I am working on a recipe/sample to be give out at an event (serving 200-350 people), and we need to highlight fresh mandarin oranges. The sample needs to be as simple as possible but have maximum impact. I won't have a kitchen or tremendous flexibility for preparation and I'll have a lot to do other than to assemble the product. I should be able to store products in the hotel/convention center cooler. Any product must be transported from halfway across the country so figure 3 days in transit and 2 days at the facility before being served.
For maximum flavor, I could go with a syrup infused cake. Make the cakes, then freeze so that they ship with less damage. The cakes could go on a refrigerated truck at 40 degrees that will have our citrus on it. Transfer to a board, cut in 2x2" or even smaller slices, and then add a dollop of Pastry Pride or even Cool Whip that has citrus zest added in. The topping would be to eliminate the need for fancy prep and handling creams that melt in the hand and hide any imperfections in the cake from transport.
I need trouble shooting on the cake idea. Am I asking for a disaster? Any tips for making this go off successfully? Simple flourishes that could add punch without use of a kitchen? What else could I do that would work?
Of course, I could go simple by using a recipe for cookies that have juice and zest in it. Simplest of all. No refrigeration needed, just keep in a sealed container. They may not be as good as fresh baked though... and I'd like to wow people if possible.
AI think anytime a cake is shipped the chance of disaster is high.
I also wouldn't assume that I could use the hotels fridge/freezer. You will want to double check before doing anything. Can you drive to the venue? I would think that would cut down travel time. If you have a travel buddy you could drive through the night.
Thanks! You are right. Driving would be the best bet but I'd have too much time on the road and have too many things to worry about in the meantime.
I've got a friend who owns a cookie shop. Her pastry chef is working on a recipe... If I had more time I'd be experimenting with it too. Now I'm waiting with baited breath to see what they come up with. ;)
AFor the cake, why don't you try an almond meal-based recipe. We call them flourless orange cakes here in Australia, and I've used other types of citrus including mandarin in this type of cake. They're very moist (I know, I'm horrified to even use that word!) and also dense/compact so they are likely to travel well. They also pack a real punch in terms of flavour. Then to reinforce your theme ingredient, you could add some mandarin flavoured simple syrup, and even top your samples with candied mandarin on top of the cream you are using. Good luck!
Nice idea! I wish I had a bit more experience on the food service side of things for this show. It sure would make this easier.
I will be trying some cookies tomorrow to see if they would work for this project. We are also talking about making a mandarin lemonade to go with it. Think fresh squeezed lemonade with mandarin orange juice blended in. I think it will do the trick!