Friday night was the New York City Wine and Food Festival
event. This is the only event where you can try desserts from thirty of New York’s top pastry chefs. Everyone from Le Bernardin
to the Big Gay Ice Cream
Truck was there to show off their best “sweet” plates. I can tell you that there were a lot
of cupcakes! Last year The Doughnut Plant
won the fan voting for best of the show with their Creme Brulee doughnut
. This year, Elizabeth Karmel
from Hill Country Barbecue Market
slayed all with her über-comfort, peanut butter and jelly cupcake. Read on to see some of our favorite desserts from Sweet
Dominique Ansel Bakery brought it with a special Mini-me with caramelia chocolate cake, passion fruit gelee and a marzipan birthday candle!
One of my top three favorite desserts of the event was Dominique Ansel Bakery’s special edition “Mini-me” with Valrhona caramelia chocolate cake, passion fruit gelee and a very realistic marzipan birthday candle. The textures of the passion fruit gelee and cake were a match made in pastry heaven. It was one of only a few desserts that felt like it came out of a restaurant kitchen teeming with pastry chefs.
"Sweet Genius" Ron Ben-Israel's wedding cake slices
Ron Ben-Israel Ron Ben-Israel Cakes
New York,NY Ron Ben-Israel star of Food Network’s Sweet Genius
was on hand to mingle with fans and serve two different kinds of wedding cakes: an almond cake with mexican “hot chocolate” filling and a chocolate cake with kirsch and cherry pomegranate buttercream.
Stephen Collucci's Apple Cider Doughnuts with Calvados ice cream and Horchata shooter
Stephen Collucci Colicchio & Sons New York, New York Stephen Collucci put all kinds of thought into his apple cider doughnuts that were served with a really nice calvados ice ice cream and a shooter of horchata on the side. Look for a entire book of doughnut recipes from him in the near future.
Elizabeth Falkner's "pac-man" Sicilian slider dessert
Elizabeth Falkner Krescendo New York, New York One of the most famous chefs at the event was Elizabeth Falkner who will has moved from the left coast and is opening Krescendo in Brooklyn the first week of November. She brought what I called the “pac-man” dessert–Sicilian bread with chocolate chip ice cream.
The winning cupcake the PB & J from Elizabeth Karmel from Hill country Barbecue Market
Elizabeth Karmel Hill Country Barbecue Market New York, New York The winning cupcake from Elizabeth Karmel had a very “airy” feel and taste. The frosting was very “peanutty”. Finally, there was a drop of grape jelly to complete the PB & J experience.
Tate's vanilla cookie crumble ice cream from Kathleen King
Richard Leach's Toasted Rice Ice cream bar
Close-up of the rice crisp ice cream pop
This was another one of my top three favorite desserts of the evening. Crunchy rice crisps, that somehow didn’t get soggy and lose their pop, made this ice cream feel like it came from a “fancy-pants” restaurant. The rice bits also added some texture against the smooth ice cream and tart foam on top. The chocolate shell surrounding the pop was very thin which showed off the chef’s skills.
Laurie Jon Moran's spicy cake was a nice change from all the super-sweet stuff around
Laurie Jon Moran’s pink peppercorn ice cream sandwich was another plate that departed from most of the other cakes and desserts of the show by not being very sweet. The perfect “one bite” ice cream sandwich, small enough to pop right in your mouth. As soon as you taste this cake the pepper hits you. The ice cream was surrounded by two salted chocolate cake or cookie pieces. I also liked the ratio of cake to ice cream since it was higher than normal.
Flour-less chocolate cranberry cupcake from George McKirdy
George McKirdy Astor Bake Shop New York, New York A great blast of chocolate came from George McKirdy’s single bite flour-less cranberry cupcakes.
Stephane Motir's black forest cake with pomegranate Gelee
Stephane Motir Tribeca Grill New York, New York. All-pro, all the time, Stephane Motir always brings a dessert with a high “wow-factor” to Sweet and this year was no exception. His black forest cake with pomegranate gelée, a thin chocolate glacage top layer and white chocolate twill, looked and tasted beautiful.
Joe Murphy's sticky toffee apple cake with green apple whipped cream
Joe Murphy Jean Georges New York, New York Joe Murphy broke out a sticky toffee cake with green apple whipped cream. This dessert really exploited the whole tart-sweet combination to perfection.
Marlo Scott'd cupcakes stand out in city with 10,000 cupcakes
The gloved hand of Doug Quint of Big Gay Ice Cream with one of their push pops.
A very serious Doug Quint holding up one of his push-up pops containing pumpkin ice cream with spiced candy pepitas (pumpkin seeds).
Some of the skinny girls who visited the Big Gay Ice Cream shop freaked me out a little
Ok so Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck had this bucket in front of their table with, what looked like barbie dolls. In fact, they were off-brand dolls named “Chloe” that cost $1.99 each. As they pointed out to me their bodies were thin and transparent and their heads were thick and opaque. What kind of statement were they trying to make? I’m not sure. What does this have to do with dessert? Nothing.
"Mr. Chocolate" Jacques Torres seemed to be having a good time
Ashton Warren's selection of cupcakes were different from most of the other cupcake offering
Oops a bit out-of-focus but another cupcake from Ashton Warren
Ashton Warren Marc Forgione
New York, New York. Ashton Warren really showed that a good pastry chef can work with cupcakes! She made at least 5 versions of little one bite cupcakes. There were two versions of chocolate and two versions of Hummingbird cake. Some were made in tiny, hand made pie crusts.
Bob Pruitt's Pistachio gelato with lemon confit and biscotti
Bob Truitt Nicoletta New York, New York. I loved Bob Truitt’s pistachio gelato and lemon confit. The lemon reminded me of Karen DeMasco’s famous lemon tart. The gelato was very flavorful and smooth.