This dessert is a staple at The Rustic, which has restaurants in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio
It’s a giant house-made marshmallow atop an icebox cake that is layers of graham crackers, toasted marshmallow fluff and chocolate ganache. It was developed by Daniel Menchaca, culinary director of Free Range Concepts, which operates The Rustic, among other restaurant concepts.
Diplomate Mousse Pinecone Cake
For this dessert at Soby’s in Greenville, S.C., pastry chef Tarciani Harger shapes a chocolate cake layered with caramel and hazelnut into a pinecone coated in milk chocolate. It’s garnished with crumbled chocolate “soil,” pistachio “moss,” and a warm river of chocolate sauce.
It’s inspired by Greenville’s surrounding countryside as the chef loves running on the Swamp Rabbit Trail along the Reedy River..
Chocolate Overload Waffle Taco
At Raleigh Rolls, an ice cream shop in Raleigh, N.C., specializing in Southeast Asian-style rolled ice cream, co0wner Ramy Bahgat developed this masterpiece, which features cookies-and-cream ice cream rolled into a cylinder and placed in a taco-shaped waffle that is then topped with M&M candies, chocolate Pirouline cookies, whipped cream, an Oreo cookie, a drizzle of Nutella, and sprinkles.
Olive Oil Cake
Maribel Mora Arias created this cake at The Albert in Chicago, made with ground pistachios, orange juice and zest, sour cream, and olive oil along with the usual flour, sugar, eggs, etc.
It looks elegant, but it’s an explosion of flavor.
Milk & Cookies Mini Cake
At three-unit Sift Dessert Bar, with locations in the California communities of San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and Napa, co-owner Andrea Ballus created this dual treat that is a vanilla chocolate chip cake on a chocolate chip cookie base topped with a milk-and-cookies mousse
Steve Eller, owner of Cosmic Cowboy Grill in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, celebrates local huckleberries with this dessert, made with huckleberries mixed in to a traditional cheesecake, served in a house-made graham cracker crust and topped with huckleberry compote
White Chocolate Tres Leches Doughnut
This has long been a staple at the six-unit Salty Donut, created by the team in 2015. It’s a brioche doughnut soaked in the classic three-milk mixture, plus rum. The bottom is crusted with white chocolate and it’s finished with a torched meringue
Peach Bourbon Bread Pudding
For this straightforward dessert at The Yardery in Sanford, Fla., chef Jerret Wilder combines a house-made cinnamon loaf with vanilla custard, peach bourbon glaze, and berry compote, all made in-house
Stonefruit del Monferrato
For this elegant dessert at Terzo in Minneapolis, created by chef and co-owner Danny Broder, a white chocolate and olive oil disk with feuilletine, dried basil, and salt is plated with stonefruit that has been macerated in sugar overnight, as well as a reduction of Barbera del Monferrato wine made with brown sugar and a little citric acid. It’s garnished with basil oil and whipped cream.
For this dessert extravaganza at The Lobster Boat Restaurant in Merrimack, N.H., created by co-owner Janet Johnston, two scoops of vanilla ice cream are stacked on top of each other and then a finger-sized hole is made from the top down. That hole is filled with hot fudge and then covered by an Oreo cookie. Whipped cream is then piped on in ribbons, followed by chocolate and caramel sauces. It’s dusted with crushed Oreo cookies and topped with a cherry.