The Dessert Masterpiece

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I’ve noticed over the last decade that desserts are becoming more and more of a work of art. The tastes are complex, and the presentation is nothing short of a culinary masterpiece. I recently ate at SWAY in Austin. Their Pastry Chef, Laura Sawicki, has made quite a name for herself. Food and Wine Magazine has named her as one of their top five pastry chefs for 2012. So when you have something this good in your backyard, why not check it out. Which is what I did. And she did not disappoint.

The name of my new favorite dessert is quite long and could take up an entire dessert menu with the description. But the benefit of that is I was able to fully understand what I should be getting. I selected the miso, white chocolate semifreddo. Served with sesame, crispy rice, coconut sticky rice, and a mango-calamansi sorbet.  A lot of stuff going on with this complex dessert!

Plated_White_Chocolate_Semifreddo_DessertWith all these tastes and textures going on, I had to disassemble it to see why it worked.

The flavor of this dessert just stood out. The salted caramel essence of the miso that blended perfectly with the sweet of the white chocolate in the semifreddo. The sesame had the flavor of peanuts. The sweet coconut sticky rice provided a beautiful backdrop for the perfect mixture of sweet and sour from the mango-calamansi sorbet.

She nailed it with the texture. The soft creaminess of the semifreddo with the silky smoothness of the sesame and the crunch from the crispy rice left your palate begging for more. Tender and crisp almost simultaneously!

The blend of room temperature items with cold elements made for a nice contrast.

Then to top it all off, I think Chef Sawicki was an artist before this career. This dessert was presented, and at first glance looked like a painter’s palette. An absolutely gorgeous presentation. They thought about line, shape, shading, negative space, and where the eye was led. This dessert was such a successful blend of each element. It was able to engage my attention, palate and senses. I’m defintely looking forward to my next trip to SWAY and trying another dessert masterpiece!


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