Tuesday 17 May 2011

Experimenting with desserts

When it comes to desserts, who wouldn’t offer their taste buds for a slice of experimentation? I know I would. Be it soft, lightly crunchy macaroons, a dessert pizza or intoxicating liqueur and liquor-based desserts, I was stumped for choice! So, I tried them all :)
(okay, not all, a few; but I still got you all loads of fun options to try out).

Liqueur and liquor desserts
Here’s a list of places in the city that offer yummy liqueur and liquor desserts:

Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai International Airport

Rum and raisin chocolate tart with bitter chocolate ice cream

The Westin Mumbai Garden City, Goregoan

  • Gelato in varieties like whisky gelato, baileys gelato and rum and raisins gelato
  • Sorbets include champagne sorbet, red wine and rosemary sorbet, vodka sorbet and sambuca sorbet
  • Tiramisu with kahlua
  • Selva negra cake with cointreau
  • Malibu cake
The sorbet platter
Recipe courtesy:
The Westin Mumbai Garden City

  • White Tiramisu infused with ginger liqueur
  • Dark chocolate fondant served on spiked chilli and Tia Maria ice-cream with a vodka shot of honey and Aspen salt
  • Petit fours of chocolate shooters (Jamaican rum, ice vodka, brandy snap, Aspen salt)

  • Frozen Grand Marnier Parfait
  • Tiramisu ice-cream

The most popular liqueurs used in desserts are:
•    Kahlua
•    Baileys
•    Cointreau
•    Sambuca

Dessert pizza
For the unique dessert pizza, head to JW Marriott, Juhu. If you’re a pizza lover, you’re going to love this. Created by the supremely talented and adorable Chef Oriana, this pizza dessert is spectacular! In her own words, Chef Oriana passionately explains, “I make it like my baby, and I cannot bear it being wasted!” With the base as a thin crust, she layers it with finger-licking mascarpone cream, a variety of fruits, slivers of chocolate and many more yummy ingredients, making sure that you eat every little bite of it.

Macaroon magic
Lately, I’ve been craving macaroons all too often; especially since I read about these kooky chilli and wasabi-flavoured macaroons. Admittingly, I was apprehensive and simultaneously excited to try these unusual flavours owing to the sheer creativity of it. So, I headed to Le15 Pâtisserie, tucked inside a nondescript tiny space in a by-lane of Worli that would have been easily missed had I not been looking for it. Ironically, it had been there for a year!

Since I reached half an hour before closing time, I could only sample their chilli and pan flavours. The chilli macaroon, decidedly green in colour, was perfectly spiked with a hint of chilli; enough for me to taste it, and not overpowering enough to sting my taste buds. It was just right. And the macaroon was light as cotton, with a slight crunchiness...I truly appreciate such perfection. The pan flavour, though not something that my taste buds enjoyed, too was bang on. With a pink-coloured macaroon on top and green on the bottom, the play of colours wasn’t lost on me. I also tried their passion fruit, which was simply yummy with a slightly sweet and tingly taste. Ditto for their bitter chocolate and hazelnut flavours.
The chilli macaroon

The passion fruit macaroon

You can also try macaroons at Theobroma, they have a decent range of flavours like chocolate, strawberry and pistachio. However, I found their macaroons weren’t as light as the ones from Le15 Pâtisserie. Still, I would definitely recommend them for their flavour and crunchiness.

I even got you a recipe to try at home. So knock yourself out (but don’t pass out!)

Tiramisu ice-cream
Serves: 4

1500ml Fresh milk
500ml Fresh cream
500gm Mascarpone cheese
400gm Egg yolks
1 Vanilla bean
300ml Kahlua liqueur
300gm Amaretti biscuits

1. Combine the egg yolks and vanilla.
2. Place the milk and cream into a sauce pan and bring to the boil.
3. Pour the hot cream onto the egg yolks and put back onto the heat until it becomes thick.
4. Remove the vanilla bean and allow the mixture to cool.
5. Add the Kahlua and start to churn in an ice cream machine.
6. Half way through the churning, crumble in the Amaretti biscuits.

Recipe courtesy: Four Seasons Hotel, Worli

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