What is life without chocolate? Who wants to find out? This is the chapter that ends a meal so it is our last chapter, too. It is like clockwork that Lenore will get up from any meal and say, “What do we have for a “sweet taste?” Thus we have begun to think of dessert as just a little sweet taste, such as a simple candied ginger or nut brittle. However, during our Dinner Shows, we serve more than a sweet taste. True to the Dinner Show format, we put many different recipes on the plate and dessert is no exception. We often serve ice cream or sorbet, cake or pie, some fruit or sweet sauce, a little whipped cream and always a crunch. There are at least three desserts on the plate here. Three recipes to split up except for a special occasion when you will want to put them altogether again.
So in desserts it is all about the crunch, Chef Bob is always telling us. He says that his first pastry chef mentor taught him to include a crunch in dessert. It just seems to make the dessert better than without it. Crunch can be in the form of nuts, cookies, brittles, crust, and hardened sugar as on crème brulee. It is a challenge that we enjoy figuring out, but admittedly our “crunch,”more often than not, becomes a brittle. We’ve made every kind of brittle you can imagine—try corn chip brittle, cocoa nib brittle, and even dried fruit brittle like raisin or cherry. Just think of it this way, peanuts on an ice cream sundae is not an accident—they are the crunch!