Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bubble gum as a flavor (Bubble gum explosion)

With this dessert, things can go both ways, either our customers will get it or they will hate it. There is no middle of the road here, which is what makes me a little apprehensive about it (and it is also why I am only charging $2.95 for it).
This dessert (is it a dessert when the main ingredient is a flavor from something which is in fact sweet, but not traditionally a dessert?) is made the following way:
I bought a large bag of Bazooka gum, you know, the one with the mini-comic strip, and I made a "stock" out of them. In other words, I just put the gum in water and simmered it until all of the flavor of the gum was in the water. One box (about 30 pc) was enough to flavor 2 qts of water. The flavor was not subtle by any means. There was not doubt it was bubble gum flavor.
I added a very small amount of gelatin to the bubble gum stock, just enough so that it would be like corn syrup in consistency, not fluid like water. Some body is necessary. Then I poured this into a spherical silicone mold and froze it. Once frozen, I popped it out of the mold and dipped it very carefully in melted cocoa butter (colored a light pink), so that it would be completely covered, since once the liquid thawed, it would loose its spherical shape. The hardened cocoa butter shell would act as the container for the liquid.
The sphere sat on a simple cube of vanilla poached watermelon (another favorite bubble gum flavor of mine, along with grape), and I garnished the dish with a small cube of aloe (for texture, it is close to the first bite you take when you put gum in your mouth, plus it has a mild flavor that just goes well with the bubble gum), a petal of poached hibiscus (a wonderful product that is made in Australia... generally used for champagne cocktails), a mint leaf (small, just enough to be present but not overwhelming; it is also the flavor of the chewing gum I prefer these days) and a small crystal of Maldon sea salt. Desserts always need a dash of salt.
How do you eat it? Simply tap the sphere with a spoon like a soft boiled egg and the filling explodes out; then you just eat the components together to get the effect of bubble gum without the gum part. So, is it dessert? Strictly speaking, yes. But should it be? If not, then what is it?

Note: I am not the first to use bubble gum as a flavor. There is a dessert at Alinea (in Chicago)that uses it as well, in a very different preparation. So is it a flavor for food, or should it be left to gum? Would you keep bubble gum flavor in your condiment shelf at home? I think I personally wouldn't, but my 4 year old daughter would.


  1. I can't wait to try this dessert! I am hoping to come up to apple pie at the end of June.


  2. I was so excited to see this site. Your desserts look amazing. I am a 1978 CIA grad./ Exec.Pastry Chef.
    I owned a dessert cafe in Louisville,KY for 18 years (Sweet Surrender) and sold it. I am now at Lynn's Paradise Cafe as Exec.Chef. I am looking for a really good book on ice cream production. I am planning on doing about 25 gallons a week minimum. I am very familiar with ice cream production. I just would like to find a good reference book on producing large quantities. Any ideas?
    Debbie Richter

  3. are you looking to make 25 gallons of each flavor or 25 gallons total? What machine are you using that can hold so much at a time? Or are you doing it in smaller batches until you reach the 25 gallons.
    I did write a technical book on frozen desserts. See link at the top, right side of the page to Amazon.

  4. Thank you for writing back. I am looking to make 25 gallons total (not of each flavor). I will look at the technical book on Amazon. That is exactly what I am looking for. I have not yet decided on a machine. Is there one you recommend?
    Thank you.

  5. I think that for your needs, Taylor or Emery Thompson are the right fit.
    Good luck

  6. Thank you so much for the recommendation. I will also order the book you wrote.
    Best wishes,

  7. Chef, when the "shell" is broken and the bubble-gum flavored filling spills out, is the texture sort of gelatinous? Or would you say it's kind of creamy, or . . . ? Just curious.

    Did you end up offering this as a dessert to customers? If so, how did it go over?

    Like your blog very much,

  8. Thanks Jane.
    The liquid is just barely gelled. Almost 100% fluid.

  9. I would love to try this but Alinea is out of my price range right now.

  10. I'm all for Bubble Gum as a flavor, based on my Alinea experience. I have been playing with using it to flavor pastry cream. Contrasts nicely with very dark chocolate. Thinking it might work well with black pepper, too.