I know Summer has arrived when there is the sound of ice cream trucks wafting through the humid air, there is a quiet stillness in the air, and all I want is something refreshing and cold, especially dessert. One of my favorite things to eat when it is sweltering out is ice cream, hence this dessert that is currently on the menu. This sweet dish is reminiscent of a Creamsicle, with its orange curd, and vanilla-flecked quark cheesecake. I was inspired when using quark, a fresh cheese, and citrus together, just how much it reminded me of a classic orange Creamsicle. This dessert is an homage to the hot summer afternoons of my childhood chasing down the ice cream truck for a cold treat. A quark cheesecake entremet is molded, with an orange curd center and vanilla cake on the bottom. The quark cheesecake is flecked with vanilla beans, lemon and orange zest. There is orange sauce on the bottom to boost the orange flavor. All this is paired with a tarragon sherbet and orange sorbet that has been swirled together, adding another element of Creamsicle flavor. For texture, we add a white chocolate meringue, using Valrhona Opalys, the white chocolate adding depth to the dairy elements in the dish. To finish this off, anise flowers, for a fennel-esque kick to aid the hint of tarragon flavor. All this equals a very light and refreshing dessert, an adult homage to a childhood classic.
I'd never thought I would write duck, orange, & rice as a dessert title. Then again, I never thought I would make roasted duck as an ice cream flavor. The other night, my boyfriend and I, craving peking duck, headed to Chinatown to settle our cravings. Eating the duck was my inspiration. This dish is roasted duck ice cream, orange cake, puffed rice chips, mascarpone brown sugar, and micro greens. I love making ice cream, so I was really set on making a roasted duck ice cream. I roasted a whole duck, removed the skin, and infused the entire duck overnight in milk and cream. After straining the duck out, I added spices and duck fat to round out the flavor. I wanted to use citrus for acidity to balance out the richness of the duck, hence the orange cake. Adding zest, juice, and segments to the batter really adds the acidity needed to counteract the ice cream. Puffed rice chips are nutty and add a crunchy element to the dish. Be warned that they are addictive to munch on throughout the day! The sauce holds it all together with extra sweetness. I have to say, I was really nervous about making a savory dessert. The entire time I was working on this dish, people kept coming up to me to ask how it was turning out. No one really knows what to expect out of a poultry ice cream. But I have to say, I am happy with how it turned out. Stay tuned for the second duck inspired dessert!