Mascarpone Cheesecake with Housemade Nutella, Sweet Tea Sorbet and Whiskey Whipped Cream
On a beautiful, hot day in August I had a strong craving for sweet tea and so on a whim I made some sweet tea sorbet. It then sat in the freezer for over a month because I just couldn’t figure out what to do with it. The problem I realized was that I mostly drink sweet tea with my savory of the meal, and so the sweetness is balanced by the salt in the food, but I never drink it with dessert because by that time its usually time to switch to water. My initial thoughts for this dessert were of citrus but I had already put lemon juice in the sorbet because that’s how I like my sweet tea. Chocolate seemed like it worked, but it also overpowered the sorbet. I tried mint with some vague thoughts of a mint julep. However, eventually I decided to go a different direction with the Southern roots of the sorbet by pairing it with a basic, but luscious cheesecake, and a little bit of chocolate from the quenelle of nutella. I made the nutella by grinding chocolate and roasted almonds and then pushing the mix through a fine mesh. The dish still needed one more flavor or texture. So I added some whiskey whipped cream under the sorbet and a little mint on top.
This was a tasty but very last minute dessert, and I am sorry that the picture quality is so poor. We had a large guest list for the night and so instead of our usual 25 portions of Sunday Supper, the sous chef asked me to make 30. This was fine because I had cut the cheese cake into 5 x 6 pieces; however, with all the pieces being served, I had to assemble the piece for this picture and the servers tasting out of scraps off the side. Also, my indecision about the flavors of this dish meant that I was working on it until the very last minute and the picture was hurried. Oh well, at least it tasted good.