To Dessert or Not To Dessert | Thomas Johns, Private chef

What’s your favourite part of a meal when dining out? Do you prefer entrée, main or dessert? Do your taste buds tingle at the thought of the savoury dishes on the menu or salivate when looking at dessert!

If you are anything like me, my eyes dart straight to dessert.

When I go to certain restaurants while most people will be looking at the entrees and mains, I am stuck on dessert and which of the 5 whimsical creations I will devour. The waiter will venture over time and again and then he/or she will often suggest that I choose my entrée and main first and then decide on dessert later…

For me this only means one thing, while my palate is certainly enjoying my savoury courses, I am still fixated on which dessert I will pick. Will it be the chocolate with passionfruit, the salted caramel with banana or maybe my wife will pick the spiced apple with fennel sorbet to share?

For many people, dessert means sweet which is why those that don’t have a sweet tooth tend to prefer cheese.

However, interesting desserts don’t have to be overly sweet. My favourite dessert over the past year has been Goats Cheese Mousse, Carrot with a very cleansing Sorrel Sorbet at the new Bentley restaurant. This works because of balance. It’s about finding flavours that match and come together without one ingredient overpowering the other. A few years ago, desserts swayed a little too far into the realm of savoury. Restaurants are still experimenting but are steering away from the outright whacky.

As a private chef, what I try to create with my desserts at Dining Abode is to find the ultimate way to end the performance! It’s the finale, the course that really brings the dining experience together, puts a smile on peoples faces and as the final dish, it is often what is remembered most about the dining experience.

There is nothing better than a serious burly man who confesses to not being partial to desserts but loved the one that Dining Abode just served him….. mission accomplished!

I wanted share with you one of my favourite dessert combinations that’s easy to make and enjoyed by all.

Coconut & Lime Parfait with Chocolate & Mandarin

Parfait
100g Castor Sugar
50g Glucose
3 Limes Juiced
Grated Lime Zest of 3 Limes
500ml Coconut Milk
6g Gelatine Leaves (soaked in cold water)

1. Place glucose and sugar into a pot and pour in coconut milk.
2. On stove, warm on medium heat to dissolve the sugars
3. Take off heat, add gelatine, dissolve and pour into bowl
4. When mixture is cool, add lime zest and juice
5. Pour into moulds or tray and freeze overnight

Set Chocolate
200gm Good Quality Dark Chocolate (around 53% Cocoa Content)
170ml Boiling Water

1. Place chocolate in a bowl and pour over measured hot water
2. Mix until chocolate is melted and cool in a fridge for 10mins
3. Once cool, whisk mixture with an electric whisk on medium for 2 mins
4. Pour into small container and set for 4 hours.

To Finish:
1. Cut Parfait into desired shape and place onto plate
2. With a hot spoon, scoop chocolate onto parfait
3. Top with peeled mandarin pieces

private chef catering sydney mandarin coconut parfait

Alternatives:
Alternative to Mandarin could be Lychees or Cherries in Summer
For texture, sprinkle over broken shortbread biscuit or pistachio praline

If you want to ask me something or want me to talk about anything on my blog or have any questions about the recipe, feel free to get in touch at thomas@diningabode.com.au

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