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The Making of a Dessert at Stowe Mountain Lodgephoto

Dessert is not only something delicious to eat, but a piece of art with the elements of science mixed in to create it.

When ordering a dessert in a restaurant, many people are thoroughly satisfied and content after eating it.  But what is the process that gets that dessert to the table?  That’s my job at Solstice Restaurant at Stowe Mountain Lodge, to come up with the best plated dessert possible, and it’s more than just baking a cake. 

Even though there is still snow on the ground and snow is still falling, spring actually is on its way, and so are spring flavors along with our new spring dessert menu for Stowe Mountain Lodge. 

To come up with a menu, I first have to think of a mix of dessert types that will cover most main categories, so there is something for everyone.  For instance, a “chocolate” dessert will always be on the menu.  Then seasonality and New England ingredients are incorporated into the concepts that have begun to spring up (no pun intended). 

When I get an idea for one of those dessert types, for instance this coming spring menu (Maple Blueberry Bread Pudding as a warm dessert), I then have to think of what would go well with that bread pudding or other dessert. 

In my mind, that dessert has to go with some maple ice cream made with our local maple syrup.  I also think of candied pecans pairing well with that bread pudding and ice cream, along with a blueberry compote.  So now that I have my components, what would be a creative way to plate and garnish the dessert?  That requires some test batches.

Testing out these desserts doesn’t always give instant gratification.  Occasionally, something doesn’t work right, or I have to change up a concept because the flavor wasn’t what I expected or was hoping for.  This is the point at which I take a base recipe for something  and change around the ingredients or alter it altogether to make a new creation with personal flare.  It then has to go through tastings where not only I try the dessert, but so do my superiors who then give their opinion on what could be tweaked, or decide it's great the way it is. 

 Coming up with these desserts is what makes my job so fun, and is a reward in itself, when our chefs and guests enjoy what I create. I hope you will enjoy the desserts we have planned for the coming season. Happy Spring!

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