Euclid Hall is known for its $3 happy-hour brews, pickle sampler and hand-cranked sausages -- but after you've washed down you kielbasa with an IPA, you may want to sweeten your experience...and loosen your belt. Because the offerings on the revamped dessert menu range from childhood-inspired s'mores to a lip-curling Elvis candy bar.
It could be called a "hunka, hunka burning love," but executive pastry chef Eric Dale named the candy bar the Elvis "Payday" instead. Taking inspiration from an Elvis-themed sandwich, he challenged himself to take some of the King's favorite foods and make a candy bar-like dessert.
The first step was making a "perfectly chewy nougat," he says, and it was more difficult than he'd anticipated. Dale estimates it took around fifteen attempts before he created a nougat that was thicker than a Three Musketeer but less dense than an actual PayDay nougat. Combining the chocolate nougat with a flourless peanut butter cookie, the gluten-free bar is topped with banana caramel, peanuts, smokey bacon (yes, bacon!) and served with three scoops of housemade vanilla bean ice cream.
The Payday has only been on the menu a few weeks, but "everyone who has had it, loved it," Dale says.
Another loved item is the best-selling S'more Pot de Crème, which were originally on Rioja's menu but moved to Euclid Hall when that sibling opened. In an homage to his favorite childhood dessert, Dale makes graham crackers and chocolate custard, then brulees marshmallows with a blowtorch for a fluffy, gooey, sweet dessert fit for a luxury campout. (Dale's been kind enough to share the recipe below.)
For non-chocolate lovers, Dale whips up his late grandmother's red velvet cupcakes, which she made for family events. Her secret ingredient: lard, which keeps the cake moist. The recipe also calls for seven-minute icing instead of cream cheese frosting.
Rounding out the dessert lineup is is the sourdough waffle ice cream sandwich. Using a classic San Francisco sourdough batter, Dale whips up three-quarter-inch waffles, then sandwiches butterscotch ice cream between them and adds pralines for a bit of crunch.
Dale has a few more dessert ideas that may make it onto the menu this fall.
Continue reading for the S'mores Pot de Crème recipe.
Euclid Hall's S'mores Pot De Crème Yields eight individual desserts
Pot de crème 2-1/2 cups heavy cream 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup sugar vanilla bean split and scraped* 6 ounces dark chocolate chopped 6 egg yolks
In a 2 quart saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat and add the chocolate; stir to combine. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher or a large measuring cup with a spout; refrigerate, uncovered. When the chocolate mixture is cool, whisk in the egg yolks and place the now-custard base in the refrigerator. The mixture can remain refrigerated for up to a week.
Preheat the oven to 300˚F.
Place 8 five- to six-ounce ramekins in a large shallow roasting pan, leaving space between them (if necessary, use two pans). Stir the chocolate mixture and divide it between the ramekins. Carefully ladle boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the roasting pan with foil and pierce with a skewer or toothpick in many places to vent the steam. Carefully place the pan(s) in the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. To test, remove a ramekin from the oven and shake it gently; the custard should jiggle like gelatin -- not have waves like the ocean.
Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and allow to cool. When they have cooled, place them in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
*1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract may be substituted for the bean; add this in the last step, whisking in with the egg yolks.
Marshmallow Fluff 1/2 sheet gelatin (1 teaspoon powdered) 2 tablespoons ice water (to soften) 1-1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1/4 teaspoon Cream of tartar 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon distilled vinegar 6 egg whites 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
In a small microwavable bowl sprinkle the gelatin over the first ¼ cup of water and set aside to soften. Combine all ingredients in a nonreactive heat proof bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Using a wire whip; whisk the ingredients constantly until they reach 120˚F and the sugar has dissolved. Place the bowl with the gelatin in the microwave and heat on high power for 5-10 seconds to melt the gelatin, add to the egg mixture. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a 5 quart stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment and whip on high until the mixture has tripled in volume is shiny and cool. Place the fluff in a disposable pastry bag fitted with a small star tip and use immediately. Fluff may be stored in the bag wrapped in a damp towel and sealed in a covered container.
Graham crackers 3 cups flour, all purpose 3 cups flour, graham 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 1 pound butter, softened 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar 1/4 cup honey 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash. 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon for sprinkling
Combine both flours, soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl and set aside. In a 5-quart mixer beat butter, sugar and honey until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture in three stages and paddle to combine. Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper to about ¼" thick and cut to desired shapes. Freeze until set; separate the shapes onto a parchment-covered cookie sheet, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Bake at 350˚F until golden brown, about nine to twelve minutes.
Cut the crackers into 2-1/2"x3-1/2" rectangles before freezing them.
Set aside 8 graham crackers and grind the remaining graham crackers in a food processor, set aside.
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To finish and serve: Spread each of the pot de crèmes with a thin layer of graham cracker crumbs and top with a dollop of fluff. Place the layered pot de crèmes under a broiler until the fluff is golden brown, insert the graham crackers through the fluff and enjoy.