Thursday, July 19, 2007

a birthday degustation: course eleven (dessert!)

We near the conclusion of our coverage of the recently prepared birthday degustation with our arrival at the dessert course. Our chef got his start in pastry, so dessert remains near and dear to his heart. We think he pulled out all the stops with this delicious chocolaty confection. Paired with a 10 year old tawny Port by Taylor Fladgate, this dessert was a natural conclusion to the eleven plated courses of the degustation.

The dessert started with a deliciously molten chocolate and banana bread pudding. The base of the bread pudding was a homemade banana bread, which was soaked in a bittersweet chocolate custard (made with Belgian bittersweet chocolate). A ball of bittersweet ganache was placed in the middle of the individual bread pudding molds, which when cooked, melted into a molten core.

Atop the bread pudding was placed a layer of caramelized bananas, and atop that was placed a macadamia nut-caramel crispy tuile. The tuile added a delightfully crisp contrast to the molten pudding and the creamy bananas. A scoop of homemade malt ice cream sat atop the crisp, the warmth of the warm bread pudding softening-- and then melting-- the ice cream into a smooth and creamy malt-infused sauce. Some Belgian bittersweet chocolate lattice completed the "tower" of dessert components.

The warm molten chocolate and banana bread pudding was garnished with a bittersweet chocolate ganache infused with banana rum, and a sea salt caramel sauce. All in all, it was a sweet ending to the plated meal... and coupled with the deliciously deep flavors of the Port, we couldn't have asked for a richer and smoother conclusion to our degustation.

Of course, the meal wasn't necessarily over! Up next, our chef tickles our guests' taste buds one last time with a selection of mignardises, infused Port, and dark roast coffee. Check back. You don't want to miss this!

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