Something about plated desserts feels classy and elite to me. If I were to feel like a true pastry chef, I feel like I would have to master the art of these. However, I doubt I would ever work in the pastry kitchen of a restaurant. So, our dessert menu project from pastry school will have to suffice for life experience.
We had three units of individual plated desserts. Three! That is a lot, and I think most of us were a little sick of them by the end. I could fill pages of this blog with photos of visually stunning dessert plates, but I’ll stick with the ones I concocted for our dessert menu project, for which I created my imaginary dessert restaurant, Spiked, featuring cocktail-inspired desserts.
(Disclaimer: Again, neither this restaurant nor the URL is real.)
From my menu, the chef selected the Margarita and the Rum & Coke for actual presentation and taste-testing.
The Rum & Coke was intended to be a glass full of brown sugar rum ice cream sandwich cubes, coated or sprinkled with chocolate pop rocks, with a side of sour cherry compote and cherry cola sorbet. Unfortunately, the classroom fridge and freezer blew out the night before presentation, which melted everyone’s ice cream. So in a pinch, I remade the rum ice cream and scooped it into the cup, sprinkled with chocolate pop rocks, and inserted a chocolate tuile straw for decor. Tastewise, it was still a success!
The Margarita was my favorite, and is also the concept that inspired my recent eggnog bombe. This dessert is a citrus tequila mousse bombe with Grand Marnier crème brûlée and a lime cookie. On the side is an orange tequila sauce, lime cookie crumbs, crème anglaise and a candied lime.
Please excuse the iPhone photos! That’s all I had available in class.
This is a very belated post, but a couple months ago, I made two cakes for an office baby shower! One with espresso for a pick-me-up, and one with tequila for a bit of relaxation. Neither of which were soaked enough to have any of those effects of course, but I was amused when someone pointed this out to me.
The first is a Tortamisu, from Extraordinary Desserts. According to Extraordinary Desserts’ website:
“Our unique version of Tiramisu consists of espresso soaked ricotta cake layers and Italian mascarpone rum cream. This house favorite is finished with whipped cream and dusted with cocoa.”
I didn’t have chocolate paillettes, so I simply coated the sides with toasted cake crumbs, and then chocolate jimmies. I would have preferred real chocolate, but the jimmies still did the trick, at least as far as texture goes. This cake was delicious and decadent but not too heavy or sweet.
The second is the Vallarta Torte, also from Extraordinary Desserts. I don’t think this cake is currently available in store, so I don’t have an official website description of it, but it is made of sponge cake layers soaked with a tequila simple syrup, and filled with layers of lime curd and lime curd pastry cream.
The outside is coated with lime curd whipped cream and toasted coconut chips. My execution of this cake wasn’t stellar, but fortunately the whipped cream and coconut chips covered the imperfections! This cake was light and refreshing, and a great contrast to the Tortamisu.
Each of these cakes was quite an undertaking, and the two of them together resulted in a pretty late night, but I’m happy I was able to pull them off.