Autumn Palette: The Fall Dessert Menu

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I managed to remember my camera tonight at work, and we also had the rare occasion of a slower night, which created a few opportunities to snap photos before the plates left the window.

When I was brainstorming the dessert menu for this time of year, I was inspired mostly by the colors of Autumn. You can see it on every plate- the glossy brown of the chocolate molasses glaze brushed on the white plate for the chocolate stout cake, the burgundy port reduction drizzled across a quivering oatmeal-colored cacao nib custard, the array of orange tones for the always-popular carrot cake doughnuts, and the jeweled beads of apple cider caramel for the spicy butternut squash tartlets.

Photo (below): A quenelle of salted caramel ice cream rests atop a bed of turbinado sugar-almond crumble. The dessert is also served with tarte tatin apples, a spicy butternut squash tartlet, and an apple cider caramel.


Photo (below): Carrot-walnut butter, cream cheese frosting, and golden raisin jam await carrot cake doughnuts hot out of the fryer.

Carrot-PlatingPhoto (below): Carrot cake doughnuts, made with pureed carrots, ground walnuts, and spices, don’t last very long in the kitchen if we happen to have any extras.


I have also been featuring a dessert inspired by pastry chef Francisco Migoya’s book, Frozen Desserts. It consists of a cube of pumpkin ice cream atop a gingerbread breton crust, served with caramelized pumpkin and candied pepitas. What drew me in to recreating this was the caramelized pumpkin. The entire pumpkin is peeled, then thinly sliced and cooked in a hot caramel until it turns translucent and in effect, “candies”.  A new way to enjoy pumpkin!

Photo (below): Caramelized pumpkin doesn’t look too far from candy either.


This is a very good dessert, but given that we are in Colorado, I think to make this dessert more appealing for this time of year it needs a warm component.

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There Are 2 Responses So Far. »

  1. Also try same candy technique with yams or sweet potato sliced thickly…delicious! I could eat that picture of the carrot cake donuts…the jams sound so good…very nice dessert plate! Enjoyed your pics!

  2. Hi from Belgium! Thanks for the posts/pics. I was looking to do a wintery/american dinner party for some guests and your plated desert had alot of the elements that I wanted to use. Though I may swap the pumpkin portion for a mini apple pie in a petite ramikin and the spice doughnuts with a wedge of spice cake with some bourbon raisins (i dont have a fryer). I am unsure if it’s a language thing, french vs. english, but what we call a “quenelle” is more eliptical using two spoons. No matter though, it looks beautiful and I think my guests will be very pleased, thanks again!

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