A best seller wherever served, cheesecake's enduring popularity proves it's no passing fancy.
This article first appeared in the 1 September 2005 issue of Restaurants & Institutions (R&I).
R&I is the USA's leading source of food and business-trend information and exclusive research on operators and restaurant patrons. Editorial coverage spans the entire foodservice industry, including chains, independent restaurants, hotels and institutions. To find out more about R&I, visit its website www.foodservice411.com
By Margaret Casey, Special to R&I
Clay Pit, Dallas. A friendly take on Indian cuisine prevails at Clay Pit, with authenticity tempered by American innovation. This contemporary approach is especially evident on the dessert menu, which makes room for mango cheesecake. Based on a classic formula that yields a creamy, rich finish, the recipe veers toward India with the addition of diced mango. Ripe mangoes also form the basis for a simple sauce.
Chocolate Marquis Cheesecake
Bistro Aix, Jacksonville, Fla. Cheesecake is a favorite at this upscale spot, outsold on the dessert menu only by Belgian chocolate cake. Combining these flavors, Pastry Chef Griffin Helwig stirs chocolate into cheesecake, nestling smooth filling enriched with cocoa and melted chocolate in a graham-cracker crust studded with candied pistachios. Merlot-poached cherries, whipped cream and spearmint leaves finish the plating.
Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie
Espresso Express, Oakdale, Calif.
Mexican Vanilla-Bean Cheesecake
Ceiba, Washington, D.C. Pastry Chef David Guas melds current taste trends with classic cheesecake by pairing house-made cake with a tropical salad of diced mangoes tossed in dark rum and lime juice. The simple topping draws the dessert closer to the restaurant's Latin American/Caribbean-influenced menu and allows Guas to reveal his Cuban heritage. As long as the choices reflect the seasons, other fruits can stand in just as handily.