With a foreword by the former pastry chef of elBulli Albert Adrià, you know that Will Goldfarb, author of ‘Room for Dessert’ published by Phaidon, has to be something special. You may even recognise his name from the Netflix series ‘Chef’s Table’. This book takes you inside the original mind and creative process of a patisserie chef who is extraordinary. This recipe – a burrata pizza with Chantilly Cream – looks complex but it only has two moving parts! Will calls it ‘Who Can Resist my Top Gun?’.
‘Originally this dessert was inspired by the Cristina of Turin and the magical burrata pizza’, says Will whose book is full of stories and imaginings that play out on to the plate in his desserts. ‘In the interim, chaos ensued. Pizzeria Cristina of Turin can be found on 101 Corso Palermo, across town from the estimable Bob Noto, may he rest in peace, having established himself as one of the great gourmands, and just an all-around nice guy. Here the ageing Cristina herself can be seen spreading toppings on pizzas either before they go in the oven, or in my favourite incantation, after the cooked dough comes out, in raw form, so that the ultimate chaud froid is achieved: blistering dough and icy greens and in my first choice is served with burrata, the creamy naughty uncle of mozzarella. At the time, and in fact still, the Top Gun award, or Capocannoniere, was given to the top scorer in Serie A (at the time, but not still, at the pinnacle of European Football). The year in question the battle was between Alex “Pinturrichio” Del Piero and David Treze-gol Trezeguet, though Del Piero’s Raffaele had been Baggio… So naturally we made a Juventus-themed pizza box to house this dessert.’
To make the Pizza
For the levain
500g rye flour
Instructions to make the levain or ‘starter’ for the pizza
Mix the flours in a small container—this will be the flour mixture for feeding your starter. Add 60g flour mixture to a jar with the 60g of water. Using a small rubber spatula, mix vigorously until all flour is incorporated, an let sit overnight in a shaded, slightly warm area in your kitchen.
Same time the next day, reserve 60g of the old starter, and mix with another 60g of the flour mixture and 60g water. You should notice a tangy and vinegary smell on second day. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until day 5. The starter should have more bubbles each day, and a stronger vinegar and acid smell. For day 6, feed starter twice a day, with a 9-hour window. For day 7, feed starter three times a day, 6 hours window. The last feed should get your starter ready for baking the next day.
Before you mix your sourdough the next day (approximately 9-10 hours after the last feed), do a ‘float test’. Grab a pinch of your starter and put it in a glass filled with water. If it floats, means your starter is ready to use for mixing sourdough.
To make the dough
2g yeast or 100g levain (see above)
5g sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
10g olive oil
Instructions to make the dough
The dough will need a 24-72-hour proof. Mix the water, flour, and yeast. Let sit for 1 hour. Mix salt and olive oil, knead by hand until salt dissolved. Fold 3 times every 30 minutes, bulk fermentation for another 30 minutes. Cold fermentation for 24-72 hours. Divide the dough into 3 pieces, shape into a round and let sit for 20 minutes (or until it loosens up). Spread out the dough using your fist, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle a bit of sea salt. Bake in a preheated oven at 300C/570F oven for 8–10 minutes (or until the bottom is nicely browned and the top is golden).
White Chocolate Chantilly
Makes 6 (50g) servings
1/2 leaf of gelatin
90g white chocolate, broken into pieces
60g whipped crème fraîche
90g whipped cream
Soak the gelatin in a small bowl of cold water until soft. Boil the milk in a pan and remove from the heat. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin and add to the milk, stirring to dissolve. Place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and mix with a spatula to create a kind of emulsion. When the ganache is smooth and shiny, incorporate the yogurt. Here you can add a little of the whipped crème fraîche to “lighten” the mix before adding everything back to the whipped creme fraiche in its proper bowl. Lastly follow the same steps as with the crème fraîche for the whipped cream and then chill to set.
To serve the pizza
Burrata, for example from Caseificio Caseus, 64 Dante
Alighieri, Ponza, just behind Gennarino sul Mare
Wild arugula (rocket)
Some excellent olive oil
To assemble the pizza
Once you’ve baked your pizza base, top immediately with some olive oil, some roasted tamarillos, and some burrata, as well as the odd quenelle of white chocolate “chantilly” and arugula. Feel free to add a bit of citrus zest if you yourself are feeling zesty.
WHERE TO BUY ROOM FOR DESSERT BY WILL GOLDFARB
You’ll find Room for Dessert for sale at the Phaidon Book Store and at Amazon and other good book shops.
FIND WILL GOLDFARB ON TWITTER @willgoldfarb