Yesterday I prepped all of the desserts for the Rooftop Terrace Restaurant at the Kennedy Center; typically at work I help with catering or one off projects for the café, so I was excited to learn how to put together some new desserts. For each show that comes through, my pastry chef creates a special dessert, and because Book of Mormon is currently playing, we are offering the Salt Lake City Caramel Crème Brulée. The dessert consists of a sucrée (sugar) dough square, which is baked with some praline sprinkled on top. Once cooled, it gets a dollop of caramel in the center, which is topped with the crème brulée that has additional praline sprinkled around the edges. At service the brulée is torched to caramelize it. The interesting thing about this dessert is that crème brulée is typically baked in a ramekin and cannot be unmolded because of the high fat content – heavy cream and egg yolks – which provides little structure. This crème brulée is with gelatin and frozen so we are able to pop it out of a silicon mold for service, and the gelatin allows it to hold its shape.
There are two other new desserts on the menu, including a Chocolate Caramel Hazelnut Tart. This tart is beautiful and consists of a linzer dough crust, a layer of nut caramel and a layer of chocolate ganache. A sprinkle of hazelnuts goes on top.
The other new dessert is a Ugandan Dark Chocolate-Cacao Nib Mousse Cake with Chocolate Ganache. This dessert consists of a chocolate sucrée cookie base that has a layer of chocolate mousse piped on top and a sprinkle of cocoa nibs. A thin layer of chocolate cake made from a Thomas Keller recipe goes on next and sits in the middle of the dessert. The cake is topped with more mousse and finally a second chocolate sucrée round that has cocoa nibs baked into it. To finish the dessert, we put a small scoop of ganache on top and lightly sprinkle the dessert with black cocoa.
Another summer dessert we have been displaying is a Warm Rhubarb Cobbler with Cinnamon Crème Fraiche Ice Cream and Balsamic Anglaise. This tart is made with a sucrée dough, which is prebaked. It is filled with a rhubarb filling and covered with streusel on top. The tarts go back in the oven until the streusel is golden brown in color. It gets served with a delicious cinnamon crème fraiche ice cream and a balsamic Anglaise sauce.
One item that has been on the menu for a long time is our lemon tart. It is a sucrée shell that is prebaked and filled with lemon curd. A Swiss meringue gets piped on top to give the dessert some height. The meringue is then torched and dusted with powdered sugar. The final touch is a little lemon zest on top.
None of these photos are the final plated dessert – just the main components. If you are in the area and lucky enough to have tickets to the sold out Book of Mormon, come see for yourself our selection of sweet treats!