12.04.2006

The Sweet Taste of Autumn...

Tis th' season! Rich, bold flavors. Warmth. Sexy elements of preparation. Intoxicating tastes. These are just a few descriptors of our sweet "fashion show" this month. We unveiled the menu with great success and much satisfaction by our team. The ingredients and flavors just seemed to fit like a glove. Dessert is always near to my heart...and stomach. If there is one thing that the staff in our pastry kitchen can attest to, is the fact that I can always be seen dipping my hands into the "cookie jar", or nibbling on chocolate...it's only my favorite food!

The first of the interpretations of Autumn came by way of the Spiced Pumpkin Brulee! It is a melding of richness, yet one that brings a nostalgic memoir from our childhood in a way that reminds us of the pumpkin pie baking at grandma's.
It is accompanied by a "lattice" Curried Shortdough Sablee, Poached Quince and Pumpkin Salad, Vanilla studded Bosc Pear Sorbet...smooth and silky. A Pomegranate syrup is splashed along side the Valrhona Jivara Milk Chocolate Truffle, laced with Pumpkin Seed Brittle. A Linzer Stick lay on top.

Our next taste is a Fuyu Persimmons "Charlotte",...a bavarian enrobed with gentle poached slices of Bartlett Pear. We have dubbed this one the "Winter Fruit Salad", due to the utter reason of the bounty of fall fruits nestled on top. Cranberries, Pears, Kumquats, Pumello, Tangerine, Grapefruit Confit are laden with spices and napped with a Cranberry Foam. All of this sexiness is sitting on a pillow of Tangerine-Ginger Curd. Sliced, Baby Fennel is poached and strewn around and moistened with a Citrus-Vanilla Reduction. Lastly, a very suiting Sweet Potato Sorbet finalizes the simplicity.
This dish exudes the Autumn...especially in Washington! We have basically taken one of the most easily recognizable fruits of the fall and gave our interpretation of a classic strudel. A bit deconstructed, a bit skewed in nature, and every bit as sublime! Roasted local apples, cooked slowly in a mixture of orange, brown sugar, cream and vanilla. Then with the addition of currants, it is layered upon a base of cocoa powder, hazelnut meal and graham cracker crumbs, and is baked in the oven until set. We then embellish with a Smoked Vermont Maple Foam, sirop au naturel, Crispy Kaitafi and Kumquats and Caramelized Walnuts. Lastly, a different presentation of Toasted Walnut-Cinnamon Ice Cream
makes it's appearance.
Now, many of you may have seen the silk before, and for those that have tasted it...you know the realism and intensity of this dessert, no matter what alteration and interplay of parts I may decide to throw at it. In this case, we made the declaration to follow our South American influence from our last dinner and make it part of the show for this month. It is a rich, silky, as the name suggests, concoction of Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, a crisp hazelnut crust, and a rich dark ganache. It is flanked by a swipe of roasted liberty apple jam, made from apples from Dog Mountain Farms, toasted Brazil nut "crumble", mixed with turbinado, fleur de sel, butter and honey, Melted Red Grapes in Black Pepper, Bay, Vanilla, Honey and Riesling, an Apple Brandy "Snap" Wafer and lastly, the Dulce de Leche Ice Cream succumbs to the climax of the experience.
There are not many things sweet, or savory for that matter,
that I do not like. I enjoy trying everything.
I look to inspire those around me with the visions of taste.
It is a breed of excellence, through the palate, mind and skill
that I strive to reach.
May these thoughts provoke further search in the extreme truth of cooking.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:20:00 PM  
Blogger Rhodora said...

I LOVE THIS DESSERT MENU! It definitely showcases the flavors of autumn (my favorite food season). It's amazing that though a number of the components are cold (ice creams, sorbets, bavarian), the entire menu evokes the sense of warmth and coziness. And they look great plated!

12:19:00 AM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

Hi Rho...they are wonderful flavors. You should taste them~ Ha Ha. Can't wait until the next one. Coming soon.....cuisinier.

9:17:00 PM  

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