When you strip away the fame and the talent, Wylie Dufresne is really just another boy with his toys. Of course, it just so happens that Wylie is talented, famous, and really good with his toys. Recently, the techies behind Gizmodo took a scamper down to wd~50 in New York City to visit Sir Dufresne.
Dufresne was nice enough to bring the guys back into the kitchen to talk a little bit about liquid nitrogen and to demonstrate how he prepares cookie-covered ice cream balls. In addition, Adam Frucci has a series of videos he’ll get up this week. In the meantime, here’s the transcript from the video as the sound recording wasn’t ideal:
What’s getting a lot of sway right now with urban chefs is liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen, much the same way you can a use hot oil to fry things at 375 degrees, with liquid nitrogen you can freeze things at about minus 275 degrees. And you know, people get excited because it’s so cold that when it’s exposed to the air it turns into a gas, which is a very Hollywood or rock and roll sort of thing.
[Pastry chef Alex] takes more or less sort of a cookie, he would kill me if I said this, but not all that far off from sort of an Oreo cookie, purees it, adds some fat to it, purees it into a liquid phase. Then they take ice cream, milk flavored ice cream. They pipe the milk ice cream into a bowl of liquid nitrogen. So it gets super frozen and from there they drop it into the liquid cookie and they roll it after that in cookie crumbs. And what happens is the ice cream is so cold it instantly sets a shell, even though its in a liquid, on the outside and then they can scoop it out and roll it in some crumbs. And then you get, you know, whatever they call those Dibs or Dabs that you get at the movies. This is a much better, much more high end version.
If you are a fan of molecular cooks, you might want to check out my post on the Art of Deconstructed Food. I wrote it many moons ago, when I was just getting started. It’s still one of my favorite posts to date.