Finally, a Spring dessert! I call this, pistachio ³ (actually it's just pistachio parfait on the menu lol). I adore pistachios, especially the bright green Sicilian variety and decided to add it as part of the Spring & Summer dessert menu. This dessert is a pistachio parfait, a frozen dessert made with cream, eggs, and sugar. To get a rich pistachio flavor, we use a combination of ground pistachio paste, including one made in house. On the bottom is a very thin dacquoise, made with pistachio flour which acts as a base. The entire parfait is then sprayed with a Valrhona Opalys white chocolate spray for a neat finish (and a nice cocoa butter snap). It is paired with a steamed pistachio cake and lime yogurt. The crumble is flavored with fresh lime zest, chopped sicilian pistachios, and green tea. The crumble is sweet, acidic, and earthy thanks to the green tea. So far in the season, the most beautiful things at the market is rhubarb, which we use for the sorbet. All of these components are combined with a strawberry and rhubarb sorbet. On top is a crunchy pistachio honey tuile and it is finished with red-veined sorrel, a lovely acidic addition.
My Fall cheesecake (concord grape, graham cracker, and a classic Philadelphia cream cheese cheesecake) was a big hit, so changing it up for Winter made me a little nervous. You never want to disappoint with cheesecake and you definitely do not want to change it to something worse. This is a ricotta cheesecake (light and creamy, thought not as heavy as a cream cheese based batter), paired with saffron poached seckel pears, hazelnut crumble, cinnamon ice cream and vanilla caramel. The pears are lightly poached in white wine, saffron, vanilla, orange & lemon zest, cinnamon, and star anise. The hazelnut crumble has almond flour for extra nuttyness and hazelnuts that have been toasted and caramelized. I have been told the cinnamon ice cream is reminiscent of cinnamon toast crunch (goal!). The warm caramel sauce drizzled over ice cream and the cheesecake makes this cheesecake comforting delicious and irresistible.
Continuing my series of winter desserts in the Spring (whoops!), here is one that is no longer on the menu. We participated in Restaurant Week this January-February and I came up with a riff off of our current cheesecake (on the next post!). It features ricotta cheesecake, pistachio cremeux, Sicilian pistachios, blood orange segments, and blood orange sorbet. We were receiving the most heavenly blood oranges during this time, and something this simple was perfect to showcase the fruit. On a dreary and cold winter day, it's nice to have a bright, citrusy, and refreshing plate in front of you.
It's been quite a busy few months that I haven't even been able to touch my blog. There's a few posts in the works showcasing my winter desserts (as we sit here through the April showers LOL). This chocolate mousse has been on the menu for a few weeks, and I am excited by the feedback and general popularity. Let's be serious though, when has chocolate not been a hit? Anyway, this is one of the desserts that had been floating around in my head, so here goes. Milk chocolate mousse (we use Valrhona Jivara 40%) is molded in a cube and then sprayed with a mixture of cocoa butter and Valrhona Manjari 64%. It is garnished with chocolate cremeux (Valrhona Extra Bitter 61%), chocolate cake, and chocolate rocks. The chocolate cake is technically steamed in the microwave, making it delicious and spongy. The chocolate rocks are a combination of cacao nib, cocoa powder, butter, and flour that has been mixed with tempered chocolate and afterwards dusted with confectioner's sugar and a bit of tapioca maltodextrin. As they are technically called chocolate rocks, I like when mine resemble coral and have crazy irregular shapes. Note to self: experiment with other flavors. All of this is paired with a maldon sea salt sherbet. I like to jokingly call it salted milk but it is very addictive. Sweet and salty. I love this dessert because it is purely focused on chocolate through percentages, flavors, textures, and different techniques with the maldon sea salt accenting the chocolate notes.
It's been a while. It's been a whirlwind of a year, with a lot of changes. I spent a lot of time learning, doing, and thinking off the web. This new dessert for the year is something familiar. It's a cake I love, paired with only the essentials. Lately, I have been stripping down desserts only until it is all it needs. No unnecessary garnishes, no added flavors to sound "interesting." A thick and fluffy layer of black sesame cake. An equally smooth and nutty layer of black sesame cream. Lemongrass and ginger ice cream. Candied kumquats in wine and vanilla. My favorite black and white sesame tuile. It's nice to be back.