Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Grilled White Chocolate Carrot Gateaux

Now that Vday is officially behind me, I can concentrate on putting this place back together. Yes, yes... I PROMISE to start making Azteca Cinnamon Rolls again regularly, but until then... I'm in full swing on the next Seasonal Dessert Tasting Platter.

If you don't remember (or have for some reason taken to regularly reading my blog yet not regularly coming into the cafe), the Seasonal Dessert Tasting Platter is a little gem that consists of four desserts that rotate every six to eight weeks. One is frozen, one is a cooled pudding, one is a grilled item, and since I seem to be unusually talented at making them (don't take my word for it, Mellopie will pledge) one is a bread pudding. The platter is always $12 and is fit for two to share. Add two drinks and you have a full evening out for under $20, and these days that seems just about right!

So today I baked off the first component for this next platter. After being out of it for a full week leading up to Vday, I am happy to say that I will be ready with the entire collection of four by tomorrow. Until then, let your taste buds do the tempting...

My Grilled White Chocolate Carrot Gateaux is a simple and tasty version of a French almond cake I once baked a few years ago. Bound by lots of eggs and almond meal (instead of refined flour), the finished cake is dense and custardy in texture. I added a large quantity of finely grated carrot and studded the batter with 31% white chocolate chips before baking. Without leavening the final cake seems suspiciously thin and unassuming, but I assure you it is satisfying. The finished flavor profile is simple and sweet, with slightly caramelized notes of vanilla and toasted almond. The real punch of the dessert is in what happens next... Before serving, we grill the chilled cake until the top and bottom surfaces develop a crunchy coating that reminds me of pan-fried french toast. It make the finish dessert sing! Take a look:

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