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Issue Date: May 2009


Silver Spoons: Finishing Touches

There’s something about desserts that relieves stress and incites happiness. Maybe it’s the soothing ability of ice cream or the scent of apple pie that takes us back to our childhood. Whatever it is, local chefs know that familiar is good, but a little change can be oh-so-sweet.
Lemon Budina
sweet melissa’s

The Inspiration:
Executive pastry chef Ashley Zinicola credits this Italian-style cheesecake to her assistant, who won an award at a summer fair with a version of this recipe. “Since then we’ve played with it a bit and have had huge success,” she says.The twist: Along with adding coconut to the crust for crunch and using homemade lemon curd, Zinicola tripled the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese filling so it’s more like a traditional cheesecake. But she also pulls off a light and summery texture that’s hard to achieve. “The nice thing about it is that it doesn’t remind me of anything I’ve ever had before,” she says.19337 Detroit Road, Rocky River, (440) 333-6357

 
 
Happy Cookie
Vine and Bean Café


The Inspiration:
“Cookies are historically a part of my family,” chef Heather Haviland says of her grandmother’s traditional shortbread recipe. “She used to make them with farm-fresh eggs, vanilla bean and raw sugar.”The twist: Haviland cuts her cookies thick because “I love the ones that aren’t quite cooked all the way through,” she says. She also added ground mace for “a nostalgic, warm flavor” and covers it all in fondant. “It’s great to see people pick up a cookie and just smile.” 12706 Larchmere Blvd., Cleveland, (216) 707-3333
 


Deconstructed apple pie a la mode
Thyme

The Inspiration:
“A lot of our chefs take our own favorites that we’ve grown up with and adapt them to the restaurant,” says chef John Kolar. “Mine was my mom’s apple pie and ice cream.”The twist: Instead of traditional pie crust, Kolar experimented with a cinnamon sugar-crusted puff pastry, Granny Smith apple filling and ice cream combination, perfecting a napoleon-style dessert that stands 3 inches tall. “It has a nice ‘wow’ effect,” he says. “And people say it tastes just like apple pie.” 716 N. Court St., Medina, (330) 764-4114



Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
Fire Food & Drink

The Inspiration:
Chef Doug Katz thought of rhubarb because it has Old World charm and a texture similar to pineapple. “It’s such a unique ingredient; you don’t tend to see it too often,” he says. “It has an heirloom quality to it.”The twist: Katz slow-cooks the rhubarb to caramelize it before pouring the batter on top. Once cooked, he tops it with rhubarb compote and crème fraiche. “Some people might think they don’t like rhubarb,” he says. “But when they taste it, the cake is real moist and buttery.”13220 Shaker Square, Cleveland, (216) 921-3473

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