World influences on the menu may have started with appetizers, but global tastes have spilled over into the dessert section in a big, flavorful way. On this month’s recipe pages you’ll find examples from Judy’s on Cherry in Reading, Pa., the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Barrington Country Bistro in Barrington, Ill.
Owner/proprietor Judy Henry of Judy’s on Cherry has provided the recipe for Moroccan Rice Pudding. Judy’s is described as "a hearth-fired Euro cafe," and its menu features flavorful dishes from the Mediterranean region. Chef Nadia Tilkian’s recipe for Grand Marnier Soufflé is a classic inspiration from Barrington Country Bistro. The proprietors are Jean-Pierre Leroux and Denise Leroux. In addition, look for the recipe for Toasted Almond Panna Cotta, from Chef Sally Camacho at Four Seasons Hotel.
We also see a resurgence of retro American dessert favorites, such as strawberry shortcake and rich chocolate cake. Casual fare at Dottie’s Diner in ClevelandHeights, Ohio, includes pastry chef Patricia J. Demski’s Atomic Chocolate Cake creation. Jonathan R. Mortimer, C.E.C., of Mortimer’s in Boise shares his take on chocolate cake, a recipe for MoltenChocolate Cakes with Orange Essence. You’ll find those chocolaty recipes on the following pages.
There’s a place for both contemporary and classic tastes on current dessert menus. Chef Mindy Segal at MK and MKNorth in Chicago has provided a Strawberry Baked Alaska recipe that’s enhanced by rhubarb consomme. Meanwhile, you’ll want to check out the No-Bake Peanut Butter "Kit Kat" dessert idea from pastry chef AlisonNeustein of Azul Restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami.
It used to be that there were only two qualities that could be attributed to most desserts: rich and sweet. Those elements are still important, of course, but today we can also add the words light, tangy, tart and refreshing. Seasonal and regional fruits offer a variety of possibilities. Look for the recipes we’ve included for Chocolate-Covered Grapes, Berry Mousse, California Raisin Papaya Cake, and Pear Upside-DownHoney Spice Cake, These and the other ideas herein can help round out your world of dessert offerings.