This post and recipe is my homage to Wolfgang puck, actually the recipe is about 90 percent his with little alterations. I had the pleasure of meeting and serving Wolfgang puck actually twice in my career. The first time was very early on just starting out, when I served him and a bunch of other celebrity chefs at an American Airlines event in the hotel I worked at the time. The second time was just in the last few years in Beaver creek, CO. My boss JP is actually an old friend of Wolfgang's and just happened to be in town promoting his latest book in Beaver creek, CO (where we were at the time). He and olympic skier
were invited over but had time only for about 45 minutes because of prior engagements. I was told there was a chance they were coming over so I had put together a few appetizers for them. I had prepped a lot of things that morning and the day before just in case they did show but I actually decided to go snowboarding for half of the day because it was not 100% that they were coming. I got back with time to spare and fortunately they ended up having time to stop by. I served truffle sous vide fried potatoes with caviar and cream, homemade fettuccine with foie gras and chantrelle foam, and Thai green curry quail with a relish. I think the quail was everyone's favorite but the other two weren't bad either. They ate, we got a few pictures and made a few jokes about how hard and nerve racking it would be to cook for the icon Wolfgang puck.
Later that night we had the pleasure of all going out to
and dinner was fabulous as you would expect. Wolfgang was in the kitchen that night and giving us the VIP treatment but the dish that really stuck out in my mind was dessert, the Kaiserschmarren. They cooked and presented these wonderful light Austrian pancakes, table side, in these crepe/souffle like pans. They cut them in half and served them topped with strawberries and cream. They were perfectly sweet, light, fluffy, and custardy all at the same time. In my mind it was the perfect dessert, I really loved it. He gave us a signed cooked book, we took a few more photos, and we said good night. I remember that wonderful dessert but had forgotten to try and make it up until a few weeks ago. As usual I try to put little changes on recipes because I don't like flat out "stealing" recipes but sometimes there are classics that you need to use.
I had some champagne grapes that I had sous vide earlier in the week and thought that it would be a great compliment to the kaiserschmarren. A few other slight alterations and the dish was complete.
2 oz of melted butter
6 oz of sugar plus 2 tbsp for pan
8 oz creme fraiche
4 oz fromage blanc
2 oz of flour
1 oz of amaretto
2 oz of plumped golden raisins (I didn't have any so I used regular raisins)
4 eggs separated room temp.
3/4 lb of champagne grapes cleaned
1 star anise
6 tbsp of amaretto
sous vide berg
Sous vide champagne grapes
Set your sous vide machine to 140 degrees.
Take your cleaned grapes and place in a cryovac bag with star anise and amaretto. Seal air tight according to your machines instructions. Then place in the water bath for 45 minutes. Take out and let it cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. This can be done well in advance.
For the Kaiserschmarren
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Take egg yolks and 4 oz of sugar in a stand mixer and beat for 3 minutes until light and airy. Then add fromage glance and whip until well combined. Add creme fraiche and amaretto and mix well. Then take egg whites and 2 oz of sugar, beat until stiff peaks. Fold in egg whites into the kaiserschmarren batter. Prepare two baking dishes ( I used to small sauté pans) with melted butter and then coating with the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar. Throw away the excess sugar. Split the batter between the two pans and place in the oven for 12-14 minutes. Take out and dust with powdered sugar, cut in half and serve immediately topped with champagne grapes and juice.
Wolfgang puck is one of those chef's that really took the celebrity chef to new heights whether you agree or not. He is one of the most successful chef's in the world with restaurants and a brand that is recognized worldwide. He has hit the whole spectrum of foodies from gourmet to fast food (whether you like it or not). Chef's need to know not only how to cook but they also need to be businessmen and leaders. In my mind you have to respect a man who is all of those.