This dessert was made out of the desire for the warm weather to just arrive. And arrive it has. The first of shipment of rhubarb is here and they are beautiful. I wanted something simple to showcase the rhubarb, and went with a cheesecake/baked crumble approach. This dessert consist of a quark cloud cheesecake, vanilla cake, white wine poached rhubarb, rhubarb raspberry sauce, and crushed crumble. I like adding crushed raspberries to poached rhubarb as a natural food coloring, as sometimes the green stalks can turn the final product a muddy brown. When the warm weather arrives, desserts tend to become simpler. The fruits that are coming into season are delicious alone, and they need a light hand to really showcase their true flavors. If you're wondering what quark is, it's a fresh dairy product that is similar in taste to a cream cheese, or sour cream although with more tang. It can be considered a fresh cheese, although some methods in producing it do not contain rennet. Alone, it's a delicious snack (and cheesy spread when strained in cheesecloth overnight), but like any other fresh dairy product, can really be delicious when paired with seasonal fruits. I probably would have never heard of it if it wasn't for working for a German chef as it is common in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
My official first Spring dessert is on the menu! Featuring an all veggie dessert (don't be scared!), it's become one of my favorites. Whenever I describe this dessert, people usually look confused. While the idea of a vegetable dessert does not have the same mouth inducing result of something like a warm brownie, chocolate sauce, and vanilla ice cream, this is delicious. Not to fear, this dessert is a crowd pleaser. White asparagus, sweet pea and mint ice cream, and lemon meringue is an intriguing and delicious combination. Add on the rest and it's a bona fide dessert.
The beginning of Spring marks a whole array of fresh produce and new products for chefs to use. Unfortunately this year, the late arrival of Spring leaves much to be desired. The lack of produce as a result of such a cold and long winter leaves one feeling meh. To start off this new season, I decided to play around with the flavors of lemon, basil, and yogurt. Good citrus is still available and I wanted to ease into Spring without having to use the first of the season's fruits. I love to wait until its the height of the fruit season before fully incorporating it into my dessert. Here's to the first dessert of Spring.
Now that we're nearing the end of winter, brainstorming for Spring desserts have become my biggest priority. When thinking of a new seasonal menu, I never think of flavors together, but rather ways in which to highlight an ingredient. My idea was to play around with citrus, a bridge between winter and spring. What better way than to make a fruit curd. Popular curd flavors include lemon, lime, and orange. My favorite flavor of curd happens to be grapefruit. I love how the bitter grapefruit is tamed with the addition of eggs, sugar, and butter. The biggest surprise of this dessert happens to be the crumble. It is a basic green tea crumble, but it's the flavors that are added after that makes it come alive. This entire dessert brings about flavors and ideas people are familiar with, such as curd or a crumble, but it is the way it has been treated that makes the familiar new.