It’s been a few years since we first spoke with pastry chef Zac Young. That interview was just after week one of Top Chef Just Desserts. Back in 2010, besides being on the popular Bravo show, Zac was wowing patrons at Flex Mussels with his signature doughnuts and parfait-style pies.
Zac’s desserts have gotten a bit more refined since then then but they still have a unique and whimsical style that is all his own. Zac may have also found the perfect partner in David Burke (of cheesecake lollipops fame).
I attended Sunday brunch at David Burke Kitchen a few weeks ago with four friends. The group included at least one restaurant industry professional and one food journal–in other words, we were a tough crowd! Despite all the discriminating palates, the group seemed to enjoy the desserts. The unanimous favorite was the chocolate croissant bread pudding with white chocolate crunch.
This indulgent dessert featured a variety of components and textures and was very satisfying. The bread pudding packed a nice dark chocolate punch as well as some crispness from the additional baking of the croissant. The white chocolate “crunch” appeared to be hand-torched (always a nice touch). A scoop of expresso ice cream, whipped cream and some passion fruit pate de fruit finished things off. This is a perfect dessert to share with a group.
My second favorite dessert of the afternoon was Zac’s creme egg. At first, this almost seemed like a crazy take on Michael Laiskonis‘ famous “egg” dessert. Of course this egg was three times the size and was made of chocolate. Inside the egg shell was a delicious combination of creme fraiche panna cotta and a passion fruit “yolk”. I couldn’t stop eating the sweet-creamy-tart filling which also contained fresh raspberries and bits of chocolate cookie crunch for texture.
The molten carrot cake was an interesting take on the ubiquitous molten chocolate cakes that are found in many restaurants, but in this case, the carrot cake featured a molten center of vanilla bean and cheese center instead of chocolate. The molten center was the same consistency as the chocolate usually is–not too thick, not too thin, just “molten” enough to run out onto the plate.