Wanting to update a flourless chocolate cake dessert, the team at Reserve Wine & Food came up with an artistic interpretation of the sundae. Executive Chef Luke Verhulst’s version has layers of details that come together as a “landscape” of components.
“There is a flexible chocolate ganache that we thought was reminiscent of a root, and a cocoa-nib crunch that acts as soil. A frozen milk-chocolate malt foam fills out the plate, not unlike fallen snow on fresh-turned dirt. Tart Michigan cherries are scattered throughout, like the last vestiges of the growing season,” he says.
“The dessert is finished with the centerpiece of the plate: the harvest—an Averna amaro semifreddo with ribbons of tart cherry running through it.”
After sampling the dessert, General Manager Peter Marantette noticed the play on a sundae and suggested naming it Chocolate Mondae. “We ran with it and people loved it.”
By using different types of chocolate in varying preparations and temperatures, the dish brings a complex balance of profiles, Verhulst says. As the seasons change, he will likely look to update the dish, “perhaps replacing the cherry with an orange profile using yuzu juice in the gelato instead of amaro, and maybe mint from our rooftop garden.”