What’s your perfect dessert? Until a few years ago, I was a total chocoholic. More recently, however, I’m finding myself more attracted to lighter desserts with more nuances in flavor.
At a recent dessert competition, I sampled some gems but my favorite — and the winner — was a yuzu (Asian citrus) chibouste (pastry cream). Hidden inside was a passion fruit center and it was dressed with candied-citrus zest, passion fruit caramel, baby gingersnaps and a single blackberry.
The description doesn’t do this little delight justice. The pastry cream was so smooth, light and refreshing — perfect for this time of year. The yuzu provided a touch of tartness, the candied lemon zest a nice pop and the miniature-sugared gingersnaps brought balance. From bite one I was already mentally developing my own version of this brilliant concoction so I could taste it again someday!
At the competition, this recipe earned Bluepointe’s pastry chef, Lisa Smith, the title of “Best Dessert of Atlanta.” Bluepointe was one of seven restaurants invited to compete in the contest held by Adoption Discovery, an organization devoted to supporting and educating families through the adoption process. Restaurants were selected from a pool of nominations.
As pastry chef at Bluepointe for the past six years, Lisa has represented the restaurant in Adoption Discovery’s “Best Dessert of Atlanta”
competition before. Her previous entry, a chai tea creme brulee with roasted lemon sorbet, Asian pears and candied ginger now tempts guests as a permanent part of the Bluepointe dessert menu. This year’s award-winning entry is not on the menu but is a take on the menu’s yuzu cheesecake with a gingersnap crust.
Rest assured, this was no easy win. Lisa faced stiff competition from the likes of Woodfire Grill, Rathbun’s, Livingston, 4th & Swift, Bistro Niko and Alon’s. Along with the other judges, which included “Top Chef Just Desserts” contestant Heather Hurlbert, I cast a vote for the winner. We had a tough decision before us, as you’ll see from the descriptions of the other entries.
In the end, Lisa Smith unseated Woodfire Grill as winner of the competition while Chrysta Umberger of 4th & Swift won the “people’s choice” award with her sticky toffee pudding.
Lisa Smith shared the recipe for both the gingersnap cookies and yuzu chibouste. The gingersnap cookies are posted here, but the chibouste is not because it has not been converted to standard measure. If you have a kitchen scale and would like the recipe, let me know and I’ll be happy to forward it to you: email@example.com.
–by Jenny Turknett, Food & More blog
– Jenny Turknett writes about Southern and Neighborhood Fare for the AJC Dining Team. She also publishes her own blog, Going Low Carb.