They’re sweet and saucy, occasionally tart, and spending time with one is the perfect way to end the day. We’re talking about our favorite TV characters-and the desserts they inspired from the celebrated pastry chefs of the Dorchester Collection of luxury hotels. (dorchestercollection.com)
HAWAII MANG-O CAKE
Inspired by: Detective Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), Hawaii Five-0
- ¼ cup passion fruit juice
- ½ mango, diced
FOR COCONUT MOUSSE
- 1 cup coconut puree
- 3 gelatin sheets, soaked in cold water, or 1 (¼-ounce) packet of unflavored gelatin powder
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup egg whites
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
FOR SPONGE CAKE: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs and sugar until smooth; slowly blend in butter and flour. Pour batter into a lightly greased half-sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
FOR COCONUT MOUSSE: Split vanilla bean and scrape insides into coconut puree; allow to infuse for one hour. Beat egg whites and sugar to form the stiff, glossy peaks of a meringue; separately, whip cream to a foamy consistency. Warm coconut puree in a saucepan over low heat; transfer to a bowl and add gelatin, then fold in meringue and cream.
ASSEMBLE: Pour mousse over cake and smooth; chill in freezer to set. When frozen, glaze and cut into 10 slices; top each with a scoop of mango sorbet and a few pineapple chips.
“Since Steve McGarrett is the leader of an elite squad of agents protecting Hawaii’s lush natural heritage, the flavors and colors of the island’s mango, coconut and pineapple inspired me to create a refreshing and colorful pastry, all that I believe Hawaii represents.” - Jean-Francois Suteau, The Beverly Hills Hotel
Jean-Francois Suteau, The Beverly Hills Hotel: Suteau’s family got into the pastry business in 1752, and he moved to the U.S. in 1992, spinning his confectionary magic at top spots in Aspen, Colo., Columbus, Ga., and Dallas before joining The Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007. beverlyhillshotel.com
Inspired by: Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), The Good Wife
– 1 cup sugar
- zest of two lemons
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 cup flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 7 tablespoons melted unsalted butter (plus additional butter to grease madeleine molds)
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 ¼ cup cherries, pits removed (dried cherries can be substituted), chopped
2 cups dark chocolate
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except chocolate and a handful of cherries in a bowl. Pour mixture into a piping bag, then squeeze into lightly greased madeleine molds. Bake for 8 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out clean. Meanwhile, melt dark chocolate in a double boiler. When madeleines are cool, coat with chocolate and decorate with the remaining cherry pieces. Makes 14 madeleines.
“I wanted to offer Alicia a pastry to help her forget the difficulties she has to overcome. Since she doesn’t really have time to sit back and relax, I decided to create a simple bite of indulgence. This small lemon and cherry madeleine may be dark in color on the exterior, but like Alicia there’s a burst of sweet flavors and colors inside.” - Camille Lesecq, Paris
Camille Lesecq, Le Meurice: Lesecq, whose love affair with baked goods began when he visited his uncle’s pastry shop in Paris as a child, creates confections such as chocolate fondant under a lemon meringue with seaweed biscuit. Unexpected? That’s Lesecq’s goal. “I am always trying to surprise,” he says. “I want my desserts to be remembered long after they’re consumed.” lemeurice.com
Inspired by: Stefan and Damon Salvatore (Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder) and Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), The Vampire Diaries
FOR RASPBERRY MILK-CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1½ gelatin sheets, soaked in cold water, or 1½ teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
- 6 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 7/8 cup whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons store-bought raspberry puree
- 1 chocolate cake, purchased or made from packaged mix
FOR RASPBERRY LIQUID
- 3 cups store-bought raspberry puree
- 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon vervain or lemon verbena (found at health food stores or tea shops)
Vanilla ice cream
FOR RASPBERRY MOUSSE: Bring heavy cream to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat, add gelatin, then chocolate and mix until smooth to a temperature of about 120 degrees. Fold in whipping cream and raspberry puree. Line a 3-inch-diameter round mousse mold with a ¾-inch-thick layer of chocolate cake, then fill mold to top with mousse. Cover with plastic wrap and foil; place in freezer. When the mousse is semifrozen, cut a 1-inch-diameter hole from the center and place the rest back in the freezer.
FOR RASPBERRY LIQUID: Blend puree, superfine sugar and vervain or verbena with a hand blender in a high-sided bowl. Pass through a chinois or sieve and reserve until required.
ASSEMBLE: Place mousse in a shallow bowl and allow to defrost in refrigerator for 1 hour. Pour raspberry puree into center cutout and allow to flood over the top. Top with scoop of ice cream and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 5.
“I’ve based this dish around three flavors-vervain, raspberry and milk chocolate-to represent The Vampire Diaries’ three main characters. I included vervain because the humans on the show wear the herb around their neck to stop the vampires from controlling them.” - Simon Jenkins, Coworth Park, Ascot, England
Simon Jenkins, Coworth Park: Jenkins incorporates savory elements such as herbs and vegetables into traditional English and French desserts. Jenkins, who spent three years as group pastry chef for Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, takes sweets seriously. His philosophy: “Pastry is an art and artistry is a passion.” coworthpark.com
Inspired by: Patrick Jane(Simon Baker), The Mentalist
- 2 1/8 cups milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 14 tablespoons flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
FOR CONFIT: Heat crème fraîche and syrup in a small saucepan to 205 degrees. Remove from heat and allow to cool to 140 degrees, then add butter and blend. Allow to cool.
FOR CREPES: Combine milk, egg yolks and eggs. Slowly add flour and sugar and whisk together. Add melted butter, mix and allow batter to stand.
ASSEMBLY: Heat an 8-inch crepe pan over moderate heat. Brush with butter and heat until it is hot but not smoking. Half-fill a ¼-cup measure with batter and pour batter into center of pan. Cover the bottom with a thin layer of batter. Loosen the ends of the crepe with a spatula, cook until the top is almost dry, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Turn the crepe; cook the other side for 30 seconds. Slide onto plate, allow to cool slightly, then spread with maple confit. Add berries as a garnish, if desired. Makes 15 crepes.
“Patrick can read between the lines and see that a crepe is the perfect way to indulge in life’s simple pleasures. Even amid the chaos of his hard work and investigations, it’s the perfect treat to share with colleagues with whom he maintains close relationships, despite his occasional outbursts. They’re all sure to be ‘hypnotized’ by it!” – Christophe Michalak, Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris
Christophe Michalak, Hôtel Plaza Athénée: Born in France, Michalak started his culinary career at London’s Hilton hotel at 15, then worked in Tokyo, Brussels and New York before returning to Paris and joining the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in 2000. Michalak approaches flour and fondant the way the haute dressmakers nearby do silk and chiffon. “I dress up my cakes as a couture designer would dress women up,” he says. plaza-athenee-paris.com
Inspired by: Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck), Blue Bloods
FOR CINNAMON SUGAR:
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon yeast
- ¾ cup water
- 4 cups flour
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 egg yolks
- Vegetable oil, for deep frying
FOR BLUEBERRY COMPOTE:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 pints blueberries
FOR GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST:
- 2 cups graham crackers
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
FOR CINNAMON SUGAR: Mix sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
FOR DOUGHNUTS: Combine 1 tablespoon yeast, water and 2 cups of flour; mix to a smooth “sponge.” Cover with towel and let rise for 3 hours. Combine remaining ingredients, except oil, to dough in mixing bowl with dough hook attachment. Mix on medium-low until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Transfer dough to lightly floured tray. Cover with a towel and let rest in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. Roll dough to slightly less than ½-inch thickness. Let rest for 15 minutes. Cut into eight 3½-inch rounds, then cut a 1-inch round in the center of each 3½-inch round. Let rise for 15 to 20 minutes. Heat 2 inches oil to 350 degrees in a heavy pot. Carefully place each doughnut into oil. Flip four times until each side is golden brown. Place on paper towel to remove excess oil. When cooled, coat in cinnamon sugar.
FOR BLUEBERRY COMPOTE: Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and cook for a few minutes. Add half of the blueberries and simmer 15-20 minutes. Strain and discard blueberries. Return syrup to the saucepan and boil for 10 minutes. Reserve and cool, then add remaining berries.
FOR CRUST: Heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine ingredients in a food processor and pulse to a fine crumb. Evenly spread onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and toast in oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove and let cool.
ASSEMBLY: Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of crumbs onto each plate. Place doughnut in center of plate and spoon on compote. Place one scoop of vanilla ice cream into the hole of the doughnut and serve. Makes 8 doughnuts.
“Having a little fun with the stereotype of doughnut-eating policemen, I created a blueberry doughnut. Since the character is a family man, with a deep sense of loyalty, tradition and public service, the flavor is blueberry, as in ‘true blue,’ which is also a color commonly associated with the police.” - David Carmichael, The New York Palace
David Carmichael, The New York Palace: Trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Carmichael worked in some of Manhattan’s most celebrated restaurants, including Le Bernardin and Lutèce, before joining The New York Palace four years ago. His sumptuous desserts are served at the Michelin two-star GILT restaurant. newyorkpalace.com