Friday, July 11, 2008

Colorado chef's degustation: course nine...

Dessert! We finally reach the near-conclusion of our Colorado chef's degustation menu. Again, following our culinary aesthetic, we wanted to highlight locally produced items, and in this case, choose local goat cheese. We fashioned the goat cheese into a deliciously creamy and sweet ice cream, infused with vanilla and sugar. The ice cream was served atop a warm grilled poached peach, the peaches having been poached in sweet white wine and vanilla. (Unfortunately, we were in Colorado just weeks before their local peach crop was ripe, otherwise we would have been able to sample the deliciously sweet local produce). In turn, the grilled peach was served atop a warm and crisp Belgian bittersweet chocolate and toasted hazelnut "crouton," which was caramelized in butter and brown sugar.

Topping this tower of interesting sweets was a toasted hazelnut tuile-- buttery and crisp, providing a textural contrast to the smoothness of the ice cream and lightness of the poached, grilled peach. Finishing the course, providing both deep color and flavor, an aged balsamic syrup reduction infused with cinnamon basil. The herbal quality of the basil, mingled with the sweet acidity of the reduced balsamic vinegar, balanced the overwhelming sweetness of the other components, making this an enjoyable last course of our chef's degustation... well, the last course before mignardises (which we'll talk about tomorrow). See you then!

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