We’ve seen lots of desserts created under the rubric of re-examining iconic commercial sweets from an artisanal perspective—chocolate sandwich fauxreos, supersized Kit-Kat-ish layered desserts, cream-filled cupcakes with a Hostess-like white squiggle across their frosted tops.
But until the other day I’d never seen an artisanal take on Tootsie Roll, when Mixed Bakery’s Elyssa Fournier enlightened me as to this possibility. Fournier’s a French Culinary Institute-trained pastry chef who along the way worked with Jacques Torres before spending several years at Andrei’s in Irvine. (Her husband, Yves Fournier, is Andrei’s executive chef.) She runs Mixed from her Corona del Mar kitchen, making special-order sweets, pastries, and breads of all stripes, from cookies and confections to classic desserts.
Tootsie Roll is def not a candy I anticipated someone replicating at home, but a professional pastry chef can see it for what it is: chocolate caramel, or caramel mou. “I hadn’t made it in years,” Fournier says, “and then I did a chocolate tasting and was looking for different-textured chocolate desserts—I’ve been making it ever since.” It’s not a challenging, pull-your-fillings-out trip, but soft and perfectly smooth, releasing more chocolate flavor the more you chew. It achieves what all retro-remakes should: it evokes the childhood treat, but is so much better.
Follow Mixed’s Instagram account and take a look at its website to keep up with Fournier’s endless stream of goodies, any of which are available to order, and look for her in an upcoming Orange Coast.