Now that summer is winding down, I am taking stock of all the desserts that I didn't post from the year. Last fall, this was the star. A classic philadelphia cream cheese cake paired with a graham cracker crumble, concord grape sorbet (my favorite flavor!), concord grape meringue, and market grapes. It was a simple dessert, pairing two of my favorite childhood flavors, concord grape jelly and cheesecake. You have to use Philadelphia cream cheese to get that creamy unctuous goodness. And fresh concord beats out any jam from the supermarket. So I wonder, how can I improve this dessert for the coming Fall?
This caramel pecan tart is sold at the cafe, but for fun I decided to doctor it up as a plated dessert. This tart is paired with ricotta cake chunks, ricotta orange "skin" , and raspberry vanilla ice cream. The skin is the top layer of the ricotta cake, and baked again to achieve a crunchy and delicate citrus bite, reminiscent of a wafer. The actual tart is deliciously salty, nutty, chewy and sweet. Complex on its own, but even better with other contrasting flavors and textures. Good raspberries can still be found at the market, but as they are organic, they spoil quickly. What I like to do is freeze them in a plastic pint container. When they are completely frozen, I shake the container quickly, breaking up what was once delicate raspberries into perfect individual "kernels." It's the best way to preserve a little bit summer.
I feel like you've reached a certain level as a chef when you start to improve on your dishes from the year before. Last fall, I perfected this butternut squash sorbet (3 months of tweaks!) to be paired with chocolate. This year, I perfected the chocolate components. The second fall dessert to go on the menu is chocolate chiboust, chocolate sauce, chocolate ganache, caramelized cocoa nib crumble, spice cake (with a hint of cocoa), butternut squash sorbet, and bruleed chestnuts. The chocolate chiboust, sauce, ganache, and cocoa nib crumble are my typical foundation for a plated chocolate dessert. The chestnuts are packed in vanilla syrup and so they are very tender and sweet. I like to drain them and pat them dry before sprinkling sugar and torching them for a caramelized crunch. This spice cake is delicate, airy and soft, a nice texture to go along with the bruleed chestnuts and rich chocolate flavor. The star is the butternut squash sorbet. It is decadent with a good blend of fall spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cardamom. I have to really credit the PacoJet for its texture, as it really helps aerate and create such a smooth flavor without dairy and added ingredients.
This is the season of change, rebirth, new beginnings, and new clothes (can anyone ever forget back-to-school shopping?). I started shopping for Fall back in August. What can I say, I'm a sucker for window displays. I definitely didn't need any more clothes (as my boyfriend constantly reminds me), but I bought this high waisted flared skirt and chunky ankle boots anyway. I couldn't wait to wear them. The past couple of days have been breezy, the perfect excuse to pair my favorite sweater and scarf from last year with my new purchases.
Coach bag, Zara hat, Forever 21 sweater, skirt, scarf, and shoes