Innovation is everything in the restaurant industry, as only those that can provide top-notch experiences and excellent food will survive. As such, it’s essential that every restaurateur keep their menu fresh and interesting no matter the genre of cuisine they produce; what was beloved ten years ago may feel stale now, though some items are perennial.
One easy way to reimagine the restaurant experience is by using your trusty cream charger for more than just making the familiar whipped cream: there’s a whole world of unique ways to utilize this multipurpose tool. Whether you’re an established restaurant striving for a Michelin star, or you’re a small startup ready to conquer the local market, these five possibilities can kickstart a culinary revolution that brings you more acclaim than ever.
Whip cream chargers rely on aeration: essentially, forcing bubbles into a solution; this creates a frothy mixture that can be dense, like whipped cream, or lighter, such as a gastronomic foam on an experimental soup.
While nitrous oxide can be pumped into nearly any liquid, it does particularly well with animal fats, including the more familiar whipping cream, because it will create a creamy texture when it expands after leaving the dispenser. The opportunities for unique savory creams are endless, such as a fluffy Hollandaise sauce striping a salmon.
Flavored kinds of butter
On the topic of dairy fat, butter works particularly well with a cream charger, especially as it easily absorbs a variety of different flavors without resulting in an unpleasant taste. Whether you have a steakhouse or a tea shop, an infused butter that matches perfectly with a dish can make a huge difference in your customers’ enjoyment. Try adding rosemary and basil to butter for an excellent compliment to herb-roasted potatoes, or creating a whipped cinnamon butter for freshly baked bread.
Cream chargers also provide rapid infusion, often used to create delicious flavors with liquor without the wait. Instead of spending weeks allowing rum to extract the essence of fresh pineapple, you only need a bit of training and a few moments in order to develop an infused cocktail that tastes indistinguishable from the slow-and-steady method.
There are endless ways to develop infused alcohol, all of which can prove both delicious and versatile; clear alcohols, like tequila and vodka, do very well with an infusion. Many cream charger companies, such as Exotic Whip, sell flavor drops, which can further intensify the flavors achieved through rapid infusion.
It’s important to note that rapid infusion must be done carefully and with the proper materials; there are recipe books available that will give you general guidelines on how to do this and what to use. Because they often require multiple dispensations of nitrous oxide, there will be a higher pressure in the dispenser, so you will need to monitor the pressure gauge carefully to prevent accidents.
In the summer months, people seek out light, airy main courses and desserts that won’t bog them down. Citrus is a perennial favorite when the weather gets hot and humid, as it’s refreshing and quite tangy. Lemon wedge garnishes and a spritz of orange are certainly fine, but what if you got a bit more experimental and made an experience that no one will forget?
Citrus juice and simple syrup can come together to create a soft, effervescent foam topping for a number of different items, but they work particularly well on cocktails and other drinks. Try adding an orange-infused foam atop a strawberry lemonade, creating a tropical paradise, or, you could float a lime foam on a margarita, enhancing the lip-puckering flavors of the drink. This same principle can work with other vegetable or fruit juices, and you can remove the simple syrup if you’d like a purer, more intense flavor.
If you serve any form of the world’s favorite beverage, you’re familiar with coffee crema, which perches atop a well-made espresso. Many people love the softly bitter flavor of this foam, which is created when piping hot water pulls the oils in a coffee bean to the top of the mixture, but they may not enjoy the full experience of an espresso shot. However, you can provide a sweeter experience to those who enjoy hot lattes by creating a coffee crema in your whipped cream charger.
To create this, you’ll add espresso, cream, and sweetener to the dispenser; you can use flavored syrups or simple syrup, depending on the flavor profile you’re creating. This delicious foam adds an extra caffeine kick that you won’t get from normal whipped cream, which will amplify your cafe to a true sensation in the area.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and innovate in the highly competitive world of hospitality
In today’s hyper-connected society, consumers find themselves fascinated with unique foods from around the world; it’s no longer good enough to provide a humdrum menu when your customers can scroll Instagram and see mind-blowing options from across the globe. As such, it simply makes sense to take advantage of the tools already at your disposal and turn them into multipurpose, publicity-generating machines. With a bit of creativity and careful use of your cream charger, you can compete with other restaurants both in your area and elsewhere, drawing in clients eager to try new things.