The last time we checked in with Tiffany MacIsaac, pastry chef for the ever expanding Neighborhood Restaurant Group, we went behind the scenes at Birch & Barley where she showed us how to make a chocolate Opera Cake.
This time we popped into the Red Apron Butchery at Union Market, where NRG's Nate Anda crafts sandwiches like the Porkstrami, for a look at MacIsaac's soft serve program. MacIsaac has been debuting interesting flavors like Black Tea and Peach Chamomile, and we got to see her make one of her favorites: Toasted Marshmallow.
The Toasted Marshmallow soft serve is a throwback to the nostalgia of campfire marshmallow roasts. "The best part of camping was always making s'mores," says MacIsaac, who also firmly believes marshmallows should be roasted until totally blackened.
Making soft serve is deceptively simple and most people probably aren't familiar with how it's made. The balance of ingredients is different from that of ice cream and slightly more delicate.
"With soft serve it is a little tricky because there are no eggs to rely on for richness," says MacIsaac. "I use a combination of half and half, which has a higher fat content than milk but not too high, and milk powder, which adds solids to the ice cream base by absorbing the water and transforming into non-fat milk solids. The consistency of the base has to be just right to work in the soft serve machine."
To see just how MacIsaac prepares her soft serve for Red Apron (and take a blow torch to marshmallows), click through to the slide show above.
About the author: Brian Oh is a Washington, DC based international development professional and a food, photography, and travel enthusiast. In his free time, you can usually find him stuffing his face in our nation's capital. Follow him on Twitter @brianoh11