Dessert for Dinner

A big bowl of seasonal ice cream sounds perfect for a hot summer night.

When you clicked your glasses at midnight on December 31, 2019, you probably dreamed  that 2020 was going to be a year of clear vision. Who could imagine that the world would tip upside down? Since many of our worlds are topsy turvy, we thought it would be apropos to imagine eating dessert for dinner. Surprise your true love by serving a favorite dessert for or before dinner. We reached out to a few top chefs for their ideas. Feel free to use their ideas for inspiration!

Herb sponge cake

Fresh herb sponge cake is colorful, flavorful, and elegant.

“This is a very soft sponge cake made with fresh herbs from Il Salviatino’s garden, including parsley, basil, mint, dill, and chervil. It also features a light and creamy white chocolate mousse, a little dusting of aged chocolate and a fresh mint ice cream. It’s a very elegant dessert. Light but at the same time full of flavor. Colorful and, believe me, amazing,” says Silvia Grossi, Chef at Il Salviatino.

A big bowl of artisanal ice cream

A big bowl of seasonal ice cream sounds perfect for a hot summer night

“There’s nothing more comforting (and maybe naughty) than a big bowl of ice cream for dinner. I own Helados Adela in Guatemala City, it’s an artisanal ice cream shop with bright and creative flavors. My favorites are the seasonal flavors, especially those we make with fruit at its peak. I can’t get enough of the mango – it’s tart, sweet, creamy, and I dare say healthy, too. And because we package our flavors, my freezer is always stocked. I wouldn’t have it any other way!” Marcela Jongezoon, Chef at Casa Palopo in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

Bread and chocolate chip cookies

Chef Alex Levin pairs bread with chocolate chip cookies.

“Whenever I make dinner for friends, there are two things that are must-haves – bread and chocolate chip cookies in addition to any dessert that seems to fit the meal. Here is a photo of me making Rosemary Focaccia and those chocolate chip cookies cooling in the background. The chocolate cookies are an appetizer when my guests first arrive,” says Schlow Restaurant Group Corporate Pastry Chef Alex Levin who loves having dessert for dinner.

Ashford Legend & Red Breast Whiskey Chocolate Bavarois

Paula Stakelum, Ashford Castle’s award-winning pastry chef shares a special recipe.

“This is the recipe for our exclusive “Legend” chocolate bavarois. This year, together with Valrhona and Mrs. Tollman, we created “Legend” Chocolate to mark 80 years of Irish Hospitality. You can adapt the recipe by setting the caramel in the bottom of a glass, and the bavarois on top. We serve this dessert with a bourbon vanilla ice-cream. I often eat this dessert, just for my dinner!” says Paula Stakelum, Ashford Castle’s award-winning pastry chef.


Caramel Insert:
95g caster sugar
10g glucose (liquid corn-starch)
120g Cream
30g salted butter
8g Water

Place the glucose, sugar, and water into a saucepan and cook until light caramel.
Add the butter.
Add the cream gradually, cook to 118℃.
Pour into prepared mould for insert.
A 5cm silicone mould is perfect or at home you can use an Ice-cube mould.
Set in the freezer for 2 hours or until solid.

230g Milk
60g pasteurized egg yolk
60g caster sugar
2 leaf gelatine
200g semi- whipped cream
200g Legend 55% – (or similar 55% Valrhona milk Chocolate)
10g redbreast whiskey


Standard of procedures:
Soak the gelatine in cold water.
Place the milk into a saucepan and allow to simmer.
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar.
Pour the milk onto the egg mixture and whisk to combine.
Place the mixture back into the saucepan and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add to the mixture, whisking to ensure the gelatine is fully incorporated.
Pour onto the chocolate and blend until smooth.
Add the whiskey.
Allow cooling completely.
When the mixture is cool (but still liquid) whisk in the whipped cream.
Pipe into prepared moulds.
We use a square 6cm cube Mould.
Allow to freeze until solid to demould.

In these challenging times bring a little joy to your life with food– one of life’s sweet pleasures.

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