Smokin’ Hot Desserts
When we read the recent Wall Street Journal headline “Smoke Signals: Woodsy flavors are spreading like wildfire across dessert menus,” our first thought was, “eww.” But after advancing through the first couple of paragraphs, we heard ourselves thinking, “mmm … s’mores.”
Can other smoke-imbued desserts really hold a candle (or a campfire?) to one of the greatest all-time summer treats? Well, the Journal reports on numerous smoky-flavored end-of-meal dishes we think we ought to check out.
Smoky desserts with a loyal following have been around for a while. In the early 1980s, Jeremiah Tower introduced a “coconut ice cream with a compote of mesquite-grilled tropical fruits” at the Astor family’s Newport, Rhode Island, mansion; Ferran Adrià once served a “cigar-smoke-flavored ice cream” at his famous, and now defunct, restaurant El Bulli, on Spain’s Costa Brava; and the hip San Francisco ice cream shop, Humphry Slocombe, still scoops up a “smoked-flavored ice cream” called Fume from time to time, according to the newspaper.
Ready to get your smoke on? At San Francisco’s Absinthe Brasserie, you might try a dessert of caramelized apples smoked over wood and cinnamon sticks served with a hazelnut crumb, the Journal says. If you’re in Cambridge, Massachusetts, you could order a “bourbon-pecan ice cream tart with bacon-chocolate crust and Mexican smoked salt” at Craigie on Main. (Why, yes, we think we would.) The high-end restaurant, Corton, in New York, serves an ice cream “infused with sourdough miche bread and sour cherry crémeux” that is topped with a “lightly smoked maple crème,” the newspaper reports.
Chef Derek Simcik, of Chicago’s Atwood Cafe, tells the WSJ, “I love taking a dish that people love, something normal and straightforward, and twisting it as much as I can,” which seems to be exactly what he’s done with a chocolate bread pudding with smoked cherries and bourbon crème anglaise.
Of course, you could always just fire up the grill and make your own s’mores at home.
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