Carrot Cake with Candied Carrots and Carrot Shooters
Given my extreme inability to make decisions, it’s a miracle that I can figure out a dessert special every night at work. And truth be told, I can’t always. Sometimes I get part way through an idea and have to call for reinforcement. Like the day I made carrot cake. I had no problem making a carrot cake with nuts, raisins and spices, topped with an orange scented cream cheese icing but figuring out how to make it look interesting, (and not from 1972) left me drawing a blank. When in doubt, the guy with the tall hat and name embroidered on his jacket is probably a good person to ask. His answers, however, are sometimes more than I bargained for. I was looking for a little something to garnish my carrot cake with and ended up making candied carrots and carrot shooters to order.
Chocolate Caramel Walnut Tart Wrapped in Raspberry Jelly with Raspberry Confetti
Dessert specials allow for a little more freedom like being able to make carrot shooters. It was nice for one night, but it’s definitely not something I’d want to do at the height of summer business. Kind of like the day I made a Chocolate-Caramel-Walnut Tart and needed something to garnish it with. The tart on its own is quite nice, but needs some colour to look good on a plate. Chef suggested I do something with raspberry syrup and agar agar… that snowballed into wrapping rectangular pieces of tart in a raspberry jelly and then sealing the jelly with a blowtorch and sprinkling raspberry jelly confetti around the tart in a pool of crème anglaise. Once again, it was interesting for one night, not so fun for the whole summer.
Bread Pudding with Chocolate Sauce, Creme Anglaise and Vanilla Ice Cream Coated in Chocolate Crumbs
As much as I’d like to get an industrial ice cream machine and make every summer dessert ice cream based, it’s not going to happen, (sadly). That means I have to come up with new summer desserts for a menu change happening very shortly. This task should not be as difficult as it is for me. I’ve been pouring over cookbooks and looking through blogs for inspiration and coming up empty. I see tons of beautiful desserts and things that I love, but they don’t necessarily translate well in my work kitchen. Some items are too fancy, some are too plain, some are out of season, some are too fragile, we don’t have the equipment, the time, the right customers or the labour force for others. I’ve been told to employ the K.I.S.S. strategy to my summer dessert making, but with so many options, (and also restrictions) I can’t seem to narrow it down to five new menu items.
Lemon Curd Tart with Fresh Strawberries, Creme Anglaise and Strawberry Coulis
So I’m asking for your help. Bloggers and blog readers are notoriously generous and full of great ideas and I want you to help me choose some new dessert options for work. What are your favourite desserts to make and eat? What would you like to see on a restaurant menu? While you’re being creative with your suggestions, keep the following in mind:
-The dessert has to be able to be refrigerated for storage, without compromising quality.
-It has to be able to stand up to extreme heat and humidity, (meringues and sugar garnish are out).
-It has to be relatively easy to make, (because I’m not working 7 days a week for the rest of the summer).
-There needs to be a chocolate dessert, a fruit dessert and something cakey, (those don’t have to be together, but have to exist somewhere).
-It has to look pretty on a plate.
-I don’t have an ice cream maker :(
-It has to be able to be mildly mass produced, (and without taking me forever to do so or occupying all of the stoves and ovens and bench space).
Thanks for the suggestions… if I end up choosing any of your ideas, I’ll be sure to let you know! And will probably then ask for your mailing address so that I can send you something as thanks for helping save part of my sanity…