Desserts With Character

Shelley Levitt

The world’s greatest pastry chefs create recipes inspired by TV characters

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)

99277_d0091b_hrvrtccinpost

HAWAII 
MANG-O CAKE
Inspired by: Detective Steve McGarrett 
(Alex O’Loughlin)
Hawaii Five-0

Ingredients
FOR SPONGE CAKE
- 8 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup flour, sifted
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

FOR GLAZE
- 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 GARNISH
Mango sorbet
Pineapple chips

Instructions:
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.

99277_d0059b_hrvccinpost1“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

ALICIA’S INDULGENCE
inspired by: Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies)
The Good Wife

le_meurice_11b_hrvccinpost

Ingredients
- 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

Instructions:
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.

le_meurice_06b_hrvcinpost“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


THE FANG-TASTIC

Inspired by: Stefan and Damon Salvatore (Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder) and Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev)
The Vampire Diaries

coworth_park_14b_hrvccinpost


Ingredients

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)

FOR SERVING
Vanilla ice cream

Instructions:
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.

coworth_park_09b_hrvccinpost“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


PATRICK’S 
PLEASURE

Inspired by: Patrick Jane(Simon Baker)
The Mentalist

plaza_athenee_19b_hrvrtccinpost

Ingredients
FOR MAPLE SYRUP CONFIT
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- 6 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

FOR CREPES
- 2 1/8 cups milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 14 tablespoons flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions:
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.

plaza_athenee_03b_hrvrtccinpost“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


TRUE-BLUE DOUGHNUT

Inspired by: Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck)
Blue Bloods

99298_0386_hrvrtccinpost

Ingredients
Vanilla ice cream

FOR CINNAMON SUGAR:
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

FOR DOUGHNUTS:
- 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

Instructions:
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.

99298_0391b_hrvccinpost“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


VEGAS 
SPARKLE

Inspired by: Nick Morelli (Jim Belushi) and
Pete Kaczmarek (Jerry O’Connell)
The Defenders

the_dorchester_15b_hrvccinpost

Ingredients
FOR CHOCOLATE SPARKLES
- 7½ cups white chocolate
- 4 pots of edible sparkles

FOR CRISPY RICE
- 4 cups crispy rice cereal
- ½ cup store-bought fondant icing
- ½ cup glucose

FOR YUZU CREAM
- 1 cup liquid whole eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup bottled yuzu juice
- 1½ cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 4 gelatin sheets, soaked in cold water, or 1 (¼-ounce) packet of unflavored gelatin powder

Instructions:
FOR CHOCOLATE SPARKLES: In a double boiler, melt chocolate until it registers 125 degrees on a digital thermometer; remove from heat and stir until chocolate cools to 80 degrees. Working freehand or with flexible candy molds, create a variety of shapes, such as hearts and sunbursts, about ¼-inch thick. Before chocolate dries, sprinkle with sparkles.

FOR CRISPY RICE: Bring glucose and fondant to a boil over medium heat until golden. Stir in cereal and remove from heat. When cool, break into small pieces.

FOR YUZU CREAM: In a small saucepan, bring yuzu juice and sugar to a boil. Add eggs; remove from heat, add gelatin and butter, and mix until smooth. Whip cream to hard peaks, then fold in yuzu paste. Fill a dome mold three-quarters full with mixture; refrigerate for 1 hour.

ASSEMBLY: Pour rice crispy pieces to the top of dome mold; chill for another hour. Place mold in bowl of warm water for 20 to 30 seconds to loosen, then turn upside-down to turn out onto serving dish. Garnish with chocolate shapes. Serves 10.

the_dorchester_01b_hrvrtccinpost“These characters love the sparkle and glitz of Las Vegas nightlife. The pastry is rich and indulgent on the inside, like the lifestyle they aspire to, and shimmers on the outside like the bright city lights.”

-CLAUDE LAMARCHE, 
THE DORCHESTER, LONDON

Claude Lamarche, The Dorchester: Lamarche has been preparing for his role since his early childhood in France, where he’d spend his allowance on freshly baked breads from the local bakery. Classically trained, Lamarche launched his career under the stewardship of Gordon Ramsay at L’Aubergine in London. thedorchester.com


THE 
MAGGIE Q

Inspired by: Nikita 
(Maggie Q)
Nikita

2g2c5995_okb_hrvccinpost

Ingredients
- 6 candied or dried apricots

FOR CHOCOLATE SHEET
- 1½ cups chocolate wafers
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FOR CACAO STREUSEL
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup finely ground almonds
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- ½ cup sugar
- pinch of salt

FOR CHOCOLATE SAUCE
- ¾ cup milk
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons cocoa

FOR CHOCOLATE CREAM
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon glucose
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¾ cup chocolate milk
- 1 cup whipped cream

FOR HIBISCUS BISCUIT
- ¾ cup finely ground almonds
- ½ cup simple syrup
- 6 dehydrated hibiscus flowers

Instructions:
FOR CHOCOLATE SHEET: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients; firmly press mixture into bottom and sides of a lightly greased plate. Bake for 10 minutes. When cool, cut into a 3½-inch square.

FOR CACAO STREUSEL: Reduce oven to 325 degrees. Knead together ingredients in a bowl; place in refrigerator and cool for 2-3 hours, then crumble into small pieces. Bake in a nonstick pan for 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn out of pan.

FOR CHOCOLATE SAUCE: Bring milk to a low boil in a small saucepan; add sugar and cocoa and boil gently for 5 minutes.

FOR CHOCOLATE CREAM: Combine cream, glucose, honey and chocolate milk in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat. When mixture is lukewarm, fold in whipped cream.

FOR BISCUIT: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine ingredients and roll into a thin layer. Bake in a nonstick baking pan for 7 minutes.

ASSEMBLY: Cover chocolate sheet with a thin layer of streusel mixed with chocolate sauce, then a layer of chocolate cold cream and add slices of apricots. Cover with hibiscus biscuit. Serves 6

2g2c5939_okb_hrvrtccinpost“I created a square cake with a hard outside chocolate layer to represent the complexity and tough exterior side of Nikita. The soft chocolate mousse and the hibiscus biscuit together represent her inner beauty and exotic characteristics.”

-GIGLIO IMPERIALE,
HOTEL PRINCIPE DI SAVOIA, MILAN

Giglio Imperiale, Hotel Principe di Savoia: Imperiale was born and raised in Saronno and has worked at some of Italy’s most celebrated pastry houses, including Saint Ambroeus in Milan, before joining the Hotel Principe di Savoia. Among the specialties on the hotel’s pastry menu: Italian milk pudding with almond, and a trio of tiramisu with strawberry, chocolate and passion fruit. hotelprincipedisavoia.com

Back to top