With consumers more interested than ever with where their food is grown, harvested and processed, finding new formats and innovative uses of whole foods has never been more important in the baking industry.
When it comes to raspberries, Washington farmers grow 90 percent of the nation’s frozen red raspberry crop in their cool, marine climate. Because the berries are picked at the peak of ripeness and frozen shortly after being harvested, their flavor intensity is locked in, offering an unparalleled off-the-cane sweet-tart taste.
Recently, the Washington Red Raspberry Commission collaborated with the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) and top New Orleans culinary professionals, bakers and mixologists to showcase the many applications of frozen raspberry formats in baking and mixology. As part of a six-week virtual series geared toward professional bakers, chefs, mixologists and other culinary professionals, attendees had a chance to learn about techniques using Washington Red Raspberries in classic French pastries, chocolates, confections, viennoiseries and other breakfast pastries, plated desserts, breads and cocktails.
Dubbed Bakin’ and Shakin’ with Washington Red Raspberries, the session videos, recipes and formulas are now available as resources for all baking and mixology professionals at redrazz.org under the Professionals tab, along with other resources to support professionals.
From Microdried raspberry powder to raspberry puree to individually quick frozen (IQF) whole, as well as whole and broken/crumbles, frozen raspberry formats, which are fruit only, nothing added, are versatile and can add natural color and rich flavor to baked goods and drinks.
“This raspberry puree I used; the flavor was so powerful and intense,” said Maggie Scales, executive pastry chef of Link Restaurant Group, who led a session focused on incorporating frozen red raspberry formats in classic French pastries. “It took me back to my childhood when we had raspberry bushes. It was so intense, even the texture of it—you could tell it was raspberries.”
New Orleans culinary artisans taught the Bakin’ and Shakin’ sessions using the various frozen Washington Red Raspberry formats. Graison Gill, James Beard-nominated baker and owner of Bellegarde Bakery, led a session focused on using frozen red raspberry formats in breads. He covered shaping, mixing and leavening, illustrating how to use freshly stone-milled flour in unique loaves.
“I was really surprised by the texture of the raspberries and the different textures that were available,” said Gill. “Like the puree and the frozen whole pieces and how malleable the pieces were too!”
In a session focused on viennoiseries and breakfast pastries, Pastry Chef Jeff Becnel of La Petite Sophie Patisserie, discussed topics like advanced lamination techniques, yeast-risen products, and quick breads. He created a beautiful raspberry simple syrup glaze that added color and great flavor to the pastries.
In his Chocolates and Confections session, Jeremy Fogg of Emeril’s explored tempering chocolate, flavoring ganache and molded and hand-dipped chocolates, incorporating Washington Red Raspberry formats for decoration and to add that sweet-tart raspberry flavor that perfectly complements a rich chocolate.
In a session focused on plated desserts, James Kubie of Coquette created a stunning sorbet and showed how different formats and plating techniques can create eye-catching, delicious dishes.
Beyond baking, T. Cole Newton, owner of Twelve Mile Limit and The Domino demonstrated the versatility of frozen raspberry formats in mixology—from infusions to more traditional mixed drinks.
As culinary professionals look to bring more whole foods straight from the farm to their foods, frozen Washington Red Raspberry formats offer flexibility and shelf life, as well as a high quality fruit. Washington Red Raspberry frozen formats include individually quick frozen (IQF) raspberries, whole and broken/raspberry crumbles, raspberry puree (seedless and with seeds) and a Microdried raspberry powder. Learn more and access new baking resources at redrazz.org.