Riverside-Hotel_Chocolate-SphereChocolate Sphere: with Chambord berries, mascarpone whipped cream, almond tuile, with warm hazelnut ganache
Sabrina-CourtemancheSabrina Courtemanche

Head-turning desserts are worth their weight in chocolate, and creating one that is a signature is even more valuable. But even signatures can show signs of wear and tear, where the “wow” factor gets diminished simply due to time and frequency.

Sabrina Courtemanche, Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille’s Executive Pastry Chef, created the Chocolate Sphere: a smooth, dark chocolate couverture filled with macerated Chambord berries, mascarpone whipped cream and crunchy almond tuile. Tableside, a warm hazelnut ganache is poured over, enrobing the chocolate sphere and melting it away to reveal the berries and cream.

“Knowing how popular this dessert had come to be, I needed to take a look at how to keep it interesting,” says Courtemanche. “I wanted to make sure the element of surprise never fizzled. Once you experience the melting and that flavor combination, what makes you keep coming back?” She answered that question by creating a new sphere every week. “This is one of the most diverse desserts I have ever put together,” she says. “Wild Sea has regular guests that come in every week just to experience the Chocolate Sphere, over and over.”

Memorable presentations include a customized celebration for a couple celebrating a cancer-free prognosis. Courtemanche started with a pink chocolate sphere, filled it with macerated raspberries, golden-honey whipped cream and toasted almond tuile. Hand-crafted pink chocolate curls and breast cancer ribbons decorated the plate, and the inscription read: “Fight like a girl.” “Happy tears were shed,” she says. “It makes me proud that my passion for desserts can take our guests’ celebrations to the next level.” Another personalized dessert moment was for a guest who was proposing to his girlfriend. Courtemanche placed the ring in a casing, where the melted chocolate wouldn’t get to it. “I made a white pearl chocolate sphere and brought this dessert out to our guests,” she said. “As I poured the glaze, the chocolate melted away, revealing a sparkling diamond, and one very happy fiancé.”

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