These terrific desserts include milk chocolate crémeux with sesame crème anglaise and silky chocolate mousse with peanut butter crunch.
Food & Wine
March 09, 2015
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Milk-Chocolate Tart with Pretzel Crust
This dessert from pastry chef Colleen Grapes at the Harrison in Manhattan, a tribute to the chocolate-covered pretzel, hits just the right salty-sweet note. Grapes mixes crushed pretzels with flour, butter, sugar and egg to make a crunchy crust, pours in a luxurious milk-chocolate filling, then sprinkles on more crushed pretzels as a garnish.
"My favorite thing growing up was peanut butter on a spoon. Sesame is similar but more refined. And nut-free," says Shawn Gawle. This silky pudding-like milk chocolate dessert is laced with bourbon, then topped with a simple sesame-custard sauce.
Pot de crème ("pot of cream") is a traditional French custard typically served in a pot-shaped cup. This milk-chocolate version from pastry chef Frank Urso at Philadelphia's Parc is supersilky and dense.
This cake from Karina Gowing, the pastry chef at Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine, is perfection for anyone who loves frosting. The ultracreamy icing, which is almost like a milk-chocolate ganache, gets spread liberally over layers of light, delicate, cocoa-flavored cake.
Any chocolate and peanut butter lover will adore this elegant dessert from pastry chef Rachel Lansang-Hidalgo of Manhattan's Aureole. Lansang-Hidalgo tops a rich milk-chocolate mousse with a roasted-peanut cream and addictively crunchy cornflakes mixed with peanut butter, milk chocolate and peanuts.
Although Miamians are assumed to be too bathing-suit conscious to indulge in dessert, this decadent milk-chocolate cremoso (a silky pudding-like dish) drizzled with olive oil is a best-seller. "Some people are like, "Whoa...olive oil and chocolate?" says Michael Schwartz. "But the olive oil reinforces the richness of the cremoso. As if you need any more richness."
San Francisco chef Matthew Accarrino is a firm believer in making desserts healthy. So instead of loading his custard with cream, he uses just a bit, along with low-fat chocolate milk and silken tofu, for texture. He also opts to include roasted peanuts, which add terrific flavor and a little crunch.
Brownie meets cake in this fun dessert from Emily Luchetti, a cookbook author and the executive pastry chef at San Francisco's Farallon. She bakes the batter in muffin cups so the edges turn crispy and chewy like a brownie, but the inside becomes soft and fluffy like a cake.
Pastry chef Mathew Rice grew up loving an Oreo-like sandwich cookie called Murray Chocolate Cremes. In this homage, he creates a malty filling for milk-chocolate wafers by mixing butter and sugar with Ovaltine.
The genius of this layer cake is its extraordinarily crunchy filling, made with almonds, salted peanuts, creamy peanut butter, chocolate and Rice Krispies. The silky milk-chocolate ganache frosting almost pushes the recipe over the top.
Chocolate Pots de Crème with Maple Caramel and Salt
Le Bernardin pastry chef Michael Laiskonis serves this milk-chocolaty dessert in an eggshell with caramel foam; it's known as "the egg." It's just as good in ramekins, topped with a simple caramel sauce blended with maple syrup.