The second of my milk & pear pairing is this comforting dessert. With the cold weather, and post-holiday blues, nothing brings the warmth like familiar food that's full of buttery goodness. That was my inspiration for this dessert, especially the hazelnut brown butter cake. I love hazelnut cake in general, but amped up with brown butter, it's rich and divine. When paired with salted caramel, the cake is given a new dimension with the added sugar and salt. Add pears (poached in honey for a buttery finish), creamy milk ice cream, and crunchy caramelized hazelnuts, and this dessert is perfect for the cold days of January.
This is not your typical cheese course. First of all, there is no cheese. Second, there's just no cheese. What is on the plate is a play on cheese. Plated is a poached seckel pear, milk skin, olive oil, maldon salt, cracked black pepper, and pea shoots. The seckel pears are poached in honey and cardamom. I love poaching pears in honey because it gives it a rich and buttery taste without compromising the actual fruit. Cardamom is a deliciously fragrant and warm spice that I love to infuse to cooked fruit. It gives a a sense of familiarity without overwhelming the senses. The milk skin is just that, milk skin. It's the skin that develops in heated milk. I love that it has a delicate mouthfeel and is reminiscent of mozzarella, especially when topped with good olive oil, salt, and pepper. The pea shoots add a vegetal freshness. When I first tasted all the components together, I was so excited. It tasted better than what I had envisioned. In the kitchen, trial and error is part of developing any dish, but when something comes out delicious on the first try, it's just icing on the cake.