Breakfast shooter, edible cocktail, call it what you will. It’s amazing. In creating White Russian Rice Krispies, bartender Eben Freeman separated the elements of a White Russian cocktail (vodka, Kahlúa coffee liqueur, and cream) and mashed them up with breakfast cereal and milk. The idea is brilliant in its simplicity. Snap, Crackle, and Pop would be proud. (Note that at this time Kahlúa is not recommended as kosher, so I used a kosher coffee liqueur instead.)
I brought this to a Shabbos meal a couple of years ago in honor of my host — who was a white Russian himself — and it made a perfect, fun dessert. This dish also works really well in an alcohol-free version. The vodka can just be left out, and since the coffee liqueur is dehydrated, its alcohol completely evaporates out.
This preparation is astounding and not just because it’s so straightforward and delicious. What drew me in, and what made me choose this for my inaugural Kosher.com contribution, is that it’s the perfect example of thinking outside the box in the kitchen in a practical and fruitful way.
There’s nothing new here in terms of the components; Rice Krispies and coffee liqueur-and-cream are each familiar and comforting. In using a creative technique to synthesize two established and previously distinct food ideas, we now have something that’s somehow both novel and familiar.
This dialectic is one powerful dimension of David Chang’s Unified Theory of Deliciousness,
which describes the foundations of why certain dishes consistently evoke such swooning responses. Perhaps that’s why presenting pure flavors in new, unfamiliar, or unexpected forms is a favorite strategy of the Modernist Cuisine movement. This is not novelty merely for the sake of novelty, but rather in the service of delicious and stimulating dishes. In future articles, I’ll explore this approach through different techniques and applications.
Taking it a step further, the coating-and-dehydrating technique can be applied wherever your imagination reaches to create new dishes of your own by substituting a different flavor coating or even a different base.
Even staying in the realm of Rice Krispies, there are dozens of approaches your imagination can take. One of my favorite Greek yogurt concoctions incorporates sriracha-coated Rice Krispies along with mango, cashews, and other goodies. Chef Moshe Wendel garnished his sea bass tartare and Meyer lemon confit dish with fennel Rice Krispies back at Pardes restaurant. Chef Heston Blumenthal used the same technique in his Coconut Baccy dish to reinforce crystallized coconut flakes with flavor before infusing them with tobacco aroma, but that’s a whole other story.
In the meantime, make up your own story. Maybe it’ll include White Russian Rice Krispies shots. Let me know how this dish comes out for you, or what other applications it inspired! Hit me up in the comments below, and be sure to tag me on your Instagram posts @ajewsbouche.
WHITE RUSSIAN (COFFEE LIQUEUR AND CREAM) RICE KRISPIES COCKTAIL
NOTE: To make it parve, substitute a soy or coconut creamer. Any non-dairy milk can also be substituted but will yield a thinner texture, although you can thicken it to a more creamy texture by blending in xanthan gum at 0.08% by weight (i.e., the weight of the milk times 0.0008).
NOTE: I give measurements for the coffee liqueur cereal component for those who want them, but the amounts can easily “eyeballed.” I like to make a large batch at once. It keeps for several months in a sealed container. A toaster oven works well for smaller batches (e.g., if you halve the recipe below).
TIP: When serving this dessert, I always reserve a portion of just the sweetened cream alone without vodka for those who are not consuming alcohol. Once fully dehydrated, the coffee liqueur cereal contains no alcohol.
Coffee Liqueur-Infused Rice Krispies (about 6 shot glass sized servings)
- 2 cups (52g) Rice Krispies cereal
- 2/3 cup (150g) coffee liqueur of your choice, divided
- In a large bowl, toss the Rice Krispies cereal with half the liqueur (1/3 cup)
- Do this until all the cereal is lightly and evenly coated but not soggy.
- Spread the cereal in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Dry in the oven at its lowest temperature for about an hour or until dry and only slightly tacky. If using a dehydrator, dehydrate at 130 °F/55 °C for 1 hour.
- Repeat the first two steps to add a second coating of liqueur, and this time extend the drying time until completely dry and crispy (depending on the humidity, it could take several hours).
Vodka Cream Adapted from Molecular Recipes
- ½ cup (4 oz) half and half (or substitute with coconut/soy creamer, see note above)
- 3 Tbsp. (1.5 oz or 45 ml) vodka
- ½ tsp. sugar
- Mix vodka and half-and-half. Stir in sugar to dissolve. Reserve in refrigerator. (Alternatively, shake the vodka and sugar with ice in a cocktail shaker, then strain and stir in half-and-half).
- Now pour yourself a shot of cereal and milk!
An endlessly experimenting home cook, A Jew’s Bouche is intrigued by unconventional thinking in the kitchen and grounds his cooking in science and wonder. Follow more of his kitchen adventures at AJewsBouche.com and on his Instagram profile @ajewsbouche.