There’s an artform to finishing a meal; dessert wraps up the final bite, imparting a sweet aftertaste that lingers in memory long after. Foo Foo Fine Desserts shows us how it’s done.
For days when plain pound cake just won’t do, try adding an unexpected twist, or change up the flavour of a traditional dessert. You never know when you’ll strike gold and find your new favourite staple.
• Add a little zing; this can come in the form of a heady spice like nutmeg or cinnamon, both of which are perfect with fruity cakes and treats, or grate in some ginger for a hearty warmth.
• It may seem counterintuitive to add salt to dessert, but balance is everything in life. A little salt will work wonders in bringing out all the other flavours.
• Experiment with dessert recipes and combine the flavours of different cultures. From saffron-laced madeleines to rose-scented zabaglione – the sky is the limit.
Poached fruit in particular is an olden-day treat that is very rarely available in the modern Malaysian restaurant. Despite that, it has lost none of its charm, and can be served in a myriad of ways: as is, with ice cream, or cooked into a separate dessert.
• When picking fruit for poaching, you want fruit that is firm and not too ripe. Apples, pears, and peaches are traditional; however, just about any fruit can be poached with the exception of berries, unless you’re looking to make jam.
• Poaching is the perfect way with which to impart flavour Wine, spices, citrus, and tea all make great options. If you have the freezer space, don’t throw out the poaching liquid; simply freeze and reserve for the next time you need it.
• Poached fruit is good as-is, but they also make the perfect accompaniment to breakfast foods like pancakes or crepes. If you’re in the mood, poached pears are also great baked beneath a layer of chocolate brownie batter.
Churn Up a Storm
There’s always something immensely satisfying about making your own ice cream. From the ability to create your own flavours to the satisfaction of knowing only the best ingredients went into it, home-churned ice cream is the perfect dessert for a sunny day.
• If you’re a novice at making ice cream, start out following a recipe. Test out a few to see which one you like best. It takes a few tries, but you’ll eventually find the right texture and flavour, which you can then tweak and adjust to suit your own tastes.
• Consider the accompaniments; from dehydrated fruit to pastries and candied nuts, nothing quite beats the perfectly-built sundae when it comes to dessert.
• Do ample research online so you know what to expect when adding textures to your ice cream. Some additions, such as chopped fruit and raisins, can be added before churning, while others run the risk of getting soggy.
The human tastebud enjoys more than five flavours; when it comes to cuisine, the ability to detect a myriad of textures can make something infinitely more enjoyable. For this purpose, adding texture to a dessert can really up the ante, changing up the experience entirely.
• Layered desserts provide the best opportunity for creating textures within a single serving. For this purpose, make sure the base layer is one that is strong enough to hold up the others. This way, you won’t run the risk of the dessert falling apart while you’re plating.
• Make sure you have a variety of textures in every bite. A good example of this is the combination of cake, cream, and crunchy caramelised nuts.
• Layering in a vessel is also desirable if you’re afraid of your creation collapsing. You can do this by either creating a pudding in a bowl which you can serve directly at the table, or using a round or square cake tin, and then removing, cutting, and plating just before serving.
Ginger custard pudding with watermelon granita and wafer cookie.
Crispy profiteroles with salted caramel coffee ice cream
Red wine poached pear with chrysanthemum ice cream
Tahini chocolate mousse with honeycomb and peanut tuille