The pastry kitchen where I have been working for the past three months is always a busy place. It operates round the clock, and something new is always coming up. The staff who have been there for years never seem too frazzled by it all, but for a newbie like me, a simple seasonal menu change can set my heart to palpitating. I am prone to hissy fits though.
I’ve been working the Cafe pastry station for the past 5 weeks–the Cafe is the hotel’s casual dining restaurant and a very nice one too. We’ve been offering 5 different desserts throughout the winter: pumpkin cheesecake, poached pear tartlet, blood orange mousse parfait (with pomegranate gelee on the bottom and soft whipped cream on top), chocolate cake with caramel glaze, and tiramisu. This past week, in keeping with the approach of warmer weather, we’ve swapped out a few items. Now, instead of pumpkin cheesecake, we’re doing a classic New York style cheesecake. We’ve also replaced the blood orange mousse parfait with a berry sabayon shot–raspberry gelee on the bottom of a shot glass, then a layer of blackberry gelee, and then a thick layer of sabayon (Grand Marnier!) and a thin layer of soft whipped cream on top. Instead of the poached pear tartlet, we’re now offering a caramel pot au creme. The chocolate cake is also updated–with a new chocolate mousse filling and ganache glaze instead of the caramel. The tiramisu, likewise, used to be finished with ganache, but now we are dusting it with cocoa powder instead.
The biggest change is that we have switched from offering ice cream to gelato, but as I am not in charge of the gelato making, it’s hardly affected me. But since I handle everything else for the Cafe’s desserts, I had to jump on board instantly–the actual menu change happened on my day off, so one day I was making winter desserts, and the next time I came to work, the whole dessert tray looked different. Thankfully, I was surrounded by people who have gone through many a menu change before, who could help me with the transition.