I am a big fan of Top Chef. I love the competition, the creativity and the outcome of the candidates’ hard work. I have been watching it for years and there is always one thing that the chefs keep talking about; the balance of flavors in the food.
Each one of the chefs has his own culinary expertise and his own cuisine style, but they all agree on this point – and they keep saying that desserts should not be too sweet; there should be a fresh/acidic element to balance the sweetness and a crunchy element to balance the softness.
The reason why I brought this point up is because I cannot understand the servings of chocolate desserts in restaurants across Lebanon. I cannot understand why they insist on serving chocolate brownies, pudding or fondant with vanilla ice cream. Can you imagine the amount of sweetness this mixture has? Chocolate cakes are generally extra sweet and vanilla ice cream has nothing fresh or acidic about it. Every time I try to inquire about it, they explain to me that this is a classic. Well it is not. It is so sweet that it gives me heartburn after two mouthfuls.
To me, the perfect match to chocolate cakes should be either fresh or acidic, or both. Hence, restaurants should replace that vanilla ice cream with mango, raspberry, passion fruit or strawberry sorbet. What’s even better than ice cream are fresh fruits, especially berries.
A chocolate fondant served with a side of fresh raspberries, strawberries and cranberries is a heavenly match and a perfect balance.