For some reason, this previous post was deleted from my blog...so, here it is again!
The Sweet Side of Artichoke.
Did you know that there was one?
I have made some interesting gelatos in the past, but today, I made one, probably the oddest one to date. H(my boss) was falling asleep thinking desserts the other night, and for some crazy reason, she was struck by the idea of serving Artichoke Gelato. I will admit that when she mentioned the idea to me, my response was.. “uh…. You didn’t say, Artichoke?” It turns out that she had indeed, and that it was in my best interest to come up with the perfect batch.
What I used was a cream that had been steeped with artichoke leaves. This is something that is used on the hot line somewhere, and the flavor of the artichoke really comes through. Of course, I never imagined that it would land anywhere near the dessert menu, that is…until now!
What I love about H is that she throws out some really interesting ideas, things that I would never even imagine having the guts to try on my own. It is so intriguing to me, as a Pastry Chef, to think of using something so-NOT-dessert material…and finding that if you just branch out and take a chance, it might actually taste good. I admit that we have had some ideas in the past, combinations that seemed to just scream for each other, that in fact, were quite repellent. Take for example something as tame as topping chocolate truffle cake with an Apricot Gelato. I had visions of the flavor of chocolate covered dried apricots, a treat in which the two flavors complement each other quite well. (I think..) I’ll never forget when I presented H with the freshly spun Apricot Gelato aside the sliver of chocolate cake. I grabbed each of us a spoon, and eagerly we dug in. The Apricot gelato was far too tart for the chocolate cake. In fact, it was such a flavor disaster in her mouth, that she actually spit it out! At the time, I was mortified and so embarrassed. it was at that moment that she let me in on a little secret, that she was in fact pregnant…OK, so maybe my dessert wasn’t THAT bad after all… Anyway, I remember thinking then, that I never would have known that this combo wasn’t the next award winning one, had I not tried it. And, in the case of the Artichoke gelato, the same goes…although, paired with Strawberries, a crack of black pepper, zest of lemon and some aged Balsamic, it seems to be a real seller.
I suppose, as I have been intrigued by this flavor combination, the diners seem to be as well.
What will be next?