Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fruit Inspired Plated Desserts

During the fourth week of class, our plated desserts focused on the use of fruits in different ways. We made five different desserts, each unique and tasty in its own way.

The first dessert was a carryover of the week on custards and creams. It contained vanilla tapioca pudding, and we applied the technique for a creme brulee to give the top texture and crunch. We then placed pieces of poached rhubarb around the edges before placing a quenelle of rhubarb sorbet in the center. This was garnished with a piece of bubble sugar that was made by using isomalt.

The picture really doesn't do the dessert justice. I am generally not a fan of tapioca pudding, but I did like the crunch from the brulee technique. And I didn't think I was a fan of rhubarb but I found both the poached rhubarb and the sorbet especially to be quite tasty.

The second dessert was a Roasted Pineapple Brown Betty. We roasted pineapple with brown sugars, peppercorns, vanilla bean, and Meyer's rum. We then sliced it and sauteed it in a pan with clarified butter. The pineapple was placed on the plate and covered with an almond crisp topping. Graduated dots of mango lime sauce was added to the plate. A quenelle of coconut line sorbet was placed in the center and garnished with coconut crisps. The entire dish was dusted with fresh lime zest.

This Roasted Pineapple Brown Betty was perhaps one of the tastiest desserts of the entire course so far, and definitely in the top five I have sampled since starting culinary school. The flavors and textures worked so well together. I seriously love this dessert, and can't wait to make it again soon.

The third dessert was a Cantaloupe Soup with Watermelon two ways. The cantaloupe soup is simply pureed cantaloupe. This was ladled into the dish. Compressed watermelon was diced and placed in the center of the soup. Greek yogurt was piped in dots around the edge of the dish before a scoop of watermelon sorbet was placed on top of the compressed watermelon. The dish was finished with tiny mint leaves.

The fourth dessert was a Peach Tartes Tatin. This dessert required us to make a caramel which was placed in the bottom of individual baking cups before placing a peach half on top. These were partially baked before layering a round of puff pastry on top, which was baked again until golden brown. To assemble the plating for this dessert, peach sauce was first placed on the plate, and then the peach tartes tatin was turned over on top. The other side of the plate contained peach slices and a quenelle of peach ice cream. The plate was finished with basil oil and fresh basil.

The final dessert of the week contained fried apple and pear spring rolls with apple cider ice cream. This dessert was fun to make. We first diced apples and pears cooked them in a caramel sauce. They were rolled into spring rolls, and then fried to the proper golden brown. The spring rolls were sliced and topped with a scoop of apple cider ice cream. The plate had caramel sauce, and the ice cream was topped with an apple crisp which were equally fun to make.

This week again provided some new and exciting techniques, in the way of main items and garnishes. This course continues to expand my knowledge and skills in ways I couldn't have previously imagined.

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