Smooth, luscious cheesecake is pure paradise when paired with exotic and adventurous flavors.
This article first appeared in the 1 May 2009 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. Visit the R&I website to find out more about the magazine or to search its recipe database.
By Christine LaFave, Associate Editor
Pastel de Queso y Parcha (pictured above)
Cuba Libre, multiple locations. Tangy passion-fruit purée counters the richness of a traditional cream-cheese and sour-cream cheesecake at three-unit Cuba Libre. Pistachios and pecans lend depth and extra crunch to the graham-cracker crust, and kiwi segments in a white-chocolate anglaise sauce provide a sweet-tart accent.
Honey Ricotta Cheesecake
Rialto, Cambridge, Mass. Mascarpone and ricotta are a classically harmonious pairing in Rialto's Italian-inspired cheesecake. Honey's distinctive sweetness infuses a caramel sauce prepared with red wine, plump red seedless grapes and fresh rosemary. Before service, the cooked herb is removed and replaced with a pristine sprig for garnish.
Lemon Angel Cheesecake
Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore. Layers of angel-food cake, rich Bavarian cream (cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, heavy cream, water and gelatin) and lemon curd make this citrusy cake a sweet finale at Oregon State's Market Place West dining facility. Strawberry sauce and a white-chocolate cookie tuile complete the presentation.
San Diego State University Faculty-Staff Club, San Diego. Cheesecake with the zing of ground ginger in the graham-cracker crust and the zest of grapefruit rind in the batter gives a nod to Far Eastern flavors. Atop the cake, candied ginger and grapefruit slices simmered in simple syrup add color, texture and panache.