What better way to boost dessert orders than by taking a fresh look at cheesecake, an all-time dessert favorite? While there’s no need to reinvent something so close to perfection, a few tweaks can’t hurt. Build buzz by adding regional or trendy ingredients, or creating savory cheesecake versions for appetizer and snack menus.
• The signature Crabmeat Cheesecake appetizer at the Palace Café in New Orleans, for example, incorporates pecan crust, wild mushroom sauté and Creole meuniere.
• At Fahrenheit in Charlotte, NC, desserts include Salted Caramel Cheesecake with graham cracker crust and vanilla whipped cream.
• Cheesecake can also be incorporated into other desserts. Mama’s Fish House in Paia, HI, offers a Chocolate Sailing Canoe dessert featuring mango macadamia cheesecake with berries.
• At Gaspar Brasserie, a Parisian-inspired San Francisco restaurant, dessert selections include Orange Cheesecake Flan.
Here are three creative interpretations to inspire you: Harvest grape and red wine caramel complements the Honey Ricotta Cheesecake recipe created at Rialto Restaurant in Cambridge, MA. At Zengo in Denver, the Dulce de Leche Cheesecake is presented on a cinnamon short dough crust and topped with dulce de leche. At Jack Allen’s Kitchen in Austin, TX, the Goat Cheese, Peach and Fig Tart is a variation on the cheesecake theme that changes with the seasons. Chef Jack Gilmore says the dessert is a perfect blank canvas for any seasonal fruit — apples, pears and plums work, as well as peaches. He uses goat cheese to add a savory component.
Contact Gail Bellamy at [email protected].