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Friday, August 27, 2010

Corn ― It's What's for Dessert

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Luce chef Dominique Crenn's foie gras with corn textures. - TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
  • Luce chef Dominique Crenn's foie gras with corn textures.
It's summer, so what do you expect to see in desserts? Strawberries, stone fruit, and ... corn?!? We've spotted the nubbly veggie as a key ingredient in several high-end desserts this season and found it can either be a refreshing addition to the sweets palette or a shocking element that doesn't exactly work.

Dominique Crenn, chef of Luce, is currently one of the most successful experimenters of corn desserts in town. She recently hit a duo of dessert parties (SFChefs' Sugar Party and Project Open Hand's Dessert First benefit) with frighteningly delicious corn sweets. At the Sugar Party, Crenn sliced lobes of foie gras and topped them with white truffle powder, popcorn, corn sorbet, and corn espuma. At Dessert First, it was a layered parfait with cold corn soup, toasted corn, puffed caramelized rice, and cilantro.

Corn ice cream has been available for years at Fruitvale's Nieves Cinco de Mayo and has since made the leap into broader ice cream consciousness. Humphry Slocombe has been using sweet corn as a main flavor in ice cream, sometimes sandwiched between two soft raspberry cookies. Similarly, at the new Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz (from former Manresa pastry chef Kendra Baker), corn is blended with blackberries for a frozen treat. And for a grab-and-go corn dessert that won't melt quickly, we've been turning to Sweet Treaty, a dark chocolate-coated puffed corn snack made by S.F. companies Sweet Revolution and Kika's Treats.

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Tamara Palmer


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