Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development
Olive Oil Semifreddo with chestnut cream, Asian pear, almond praline

By Flavor & The Menu
April 19, 2019

Alexandra Artinian

As diners continue to espouse enthusiasm for authentic regional fare, olive oil is finding success as a featured dessert ingredient beyond the traditional Italian olive-oil cake. Pastry Chef Alexandra Artinian turned to it when creating the Olive Oil Semifreddo at Alcove, a waterfront dining concept serving Mediterranean-inspired fare.

“When I first tasted the Viduena oil we are using at Alcove, I knew it would be a great flavor in the semifreddo,” says Artinian. “The olive oil has a lovely grassy flavor profile that pairs perfectly with the other components.”

Those components include a savory chestnut cream, sweet Asian pears poached in white wine and cinnamon, as well as an almond praline topping. “The almonds are a great way to finish the dish and add crunch, but also a nice additional salty sweet that the dish needed.”

While pears and almonds are elements we regularly see in desserts, the use of chestnut gives Alcove’s semifreddo a unique, savory element that helps it find harmony. Says Artinian, “I think that the best desserts need to be balanced, and balancing the sweetness of a dessert is definitely not easy.”

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