My Sugar Series (December 2008) is made up of desserts that I’ve enjoyed recently. Because the holidays spell sweet excess, impress the people you love with any of the following desserts. They’re guaranteed to make an impression on them as they did on me.
Other desserts in this series:
Ann Puno’s Choc-Nut cake
“Nutter” About Peanut Butter
A “Fruitcake” To Fall In Love With
Pleasure for Plaisir
San Lo’s Famous…
My 2 Favorite Cakes This Christmas
Hazelnuts and Lemons
At the FOOD and Foodie (magazines) Christmas party, Jill Sandique’s ever-famous pistachio sansrival graces the table. Naturally, I’ve positioned myself right in front of it so that I can continuously pick at it throughout the meal. My co-workers, who know my yen for dessert only too well, pretend not to notice as the pastry begins to disappear slowly even before dinner is over.
In the past two months, much copy in newspapers and local food magazines has been devoted to Jill’s sansrival and pavlova. Though the pistachio is the most popular ”“ the visual contrast of light emerald on pearl is truly striking ”“ the cashew or macadamia versions are well worth trying also. They’re a bit difficult to differentiate in both color and ironically enough, flavor. The macadamia, with its slight sweetness and buttery flavor blends seamlessly into the buttercream; were it not for the audible crunch, I wouldn’t even know it’s there.
The cashew, on the other hand, is one of those chameleon nuts — it can be substituted for pine nuts, for example. Its delicate almost imperceptible flavor enriches the sansrival’s buttercream by adding another taste dimension. In the interplay that is the meringue layers, buttercream, and cashew, crispness overtakes smoothness overtakes sweetness until each component is indistinguishable. ”˜tis better to taste than think, methinks.
The fresh fruit pavlova also harnesses the versatility of egg whites, but this time, softly-whipped cream alternates among the crunchy layers of meringue. The pavlova’s crown is its scintillating array of fruits resplendent in their multi-colored glories: gold mango, green kiwi, blood-red strawberry. A truly inspired dish modeled after the classic pavlova with the fruits of the season dictating what goes together, creating a natural harmony that’s naturally delicious.
Little leche flans is what I call tocino del cielo, the literal translation of which includes bacon from heaven, heavenly bacon, lard of heaven ”“ my research reveals countless names. Still, I’m not wont ”“ or perhaps I refuse — to believe that each glinting orb is one egg yolk each (is that true?!) and with enough sugar to make my teeth ache (for shame!).
Jill’s tocino del cielos are of the genteel sort, glimmering and seductive with just enough sweetness to make me sigh not shiver. Baked just ”˜til the yolks have formed a soft custard, the flavor of gold glides through my mouth leaving a lingering caress, a desire for just one more.
For your Valentine: The best sans rival in the world
Delize by Jill Sandique
497.8811 / 0922.826 2673 / 0905.252 2517 (Look for Lea or Charm).
Allow a minimum of 2 to 3 days for orders.