Riveting in appearance, remarkable in flavor and execution.
I once wrote that “… Cristina’s desserts are the apotheosis of edible beauty.” I still believe it. Her trademark has become fusing classical pastry with art and architecture, I like to call them edible contemplations because of the sheer amount of thought that’s obviously gone into them. Every new creation is a masterpiece of such arresting artistry that it won’t be long before even I will find her creations “too pretty to eat.”
But that would be a pity because the real beauty of Cristina’s desserts lie in their hearts of sugar. For the party, Cristina is serving five desserts, quite the quintessential collection this one. They are cakes undeniably stunning in appearance and small enough for just two spoonfuls.
Begin with the Carribean (cover photo above), its undulating brown-on-white design mimics the waves of the sea it’s named after. And because its name conjures romance and tropical flavor, there’s a romantic pair of mousses reclining on this dessert beach. A pair of mousses – banana and chocolate – spoon on a sandy playground of whisper-thin cake and a chocolate butterfly is poised to take flight, just like your love for this cake.
This is the Trio, a magnificent mélange of mousse times three: coffee, dark chocolate, and white chocolate. Visually striking on eyes; on tongue, it’s the exact opposite. A current of caramel seems to run right through, perhaps a result of the three main elements. Whatever it may be, the mousses are smooth and lush, each succeeding sensation seduces.
This is quite the genteel Banoffee pie. Cristina calls this her “version of banana cream pie” and I suppose that I could call it that if I really stretch my imagination. In reality, there’s a crumbly crust here, it fleets and flies before I even know it’s there. It cuddles up to a layer of chiffon cake, the veil that’s pulled back revealing a layer of banana mousse so demure that I have to take a breath to detect it.
In the Strawberry Charlotte, cream that’s as soft as a sigh is spun like silk between four layers of nougatine. Lush and lofty this torte sits, its crown of berries glimmering in their grandness.
Chocolata is the most aggressive of this little group. Refined still yes it is, but only in appearance. Watch out, for it’s got a dark side. Its chocolate fudge base wraps around a chocolate cake all the while making eyes at the chocolate glaze. It’s temperamental, not yielding readily to my fork and then when it gives in, it’s dense and bites back. I swear I can almost hear it growl. Feisty, this one.