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Jun 9, 2014 03:22 PM

Inspiration/brainstorming for new project dessert (long)

Hello everybody!

Since I really enjoyed feedback from this forum in my last post (choosing an ice cream pairing for shoe fly pie), I thought it might be interesting to get your opinion once again.

I have volunteered to make another dessert for father's day and I am looking for a project to pique my interest. I am hesitating on several potential recipes but nothing is fixed yet.

All my family are good cooks. They go from solid everyday cooks to maniac foodies. Most are obsessive about recipes and new ingredients. All are open minded, ready to try new things. Apart from allergies, most things are fair game.

My preference:
My favorite cooking moments are projects I plan for a long time and take my time to execute. I am pretty much a recipe guy (although I mix and match different recipes to get to where I want to go from time to time). I usually succeed most recipes I try so for me the challenge is usually finding a good recipe or mix of recipes. I am methodical, analytical and detail oriented. I like really vintage recipes, off the wall tests, retro concepts, new ways of doing old things or really difficult classic recipes. I don't really care for trends, molecular gastronomy (not equiped for it) or shortcuts.

Some of my previous projects (for reference)

*Paris-Brest cake
*Shoo Fly Pie
*Rum baba
*Sauterne savarin
*Bailey's cheesecake
*Baked alaska
*Bourbon pecan pie
*Crème caramel
*Kouign amann
*Momofuku Crack Pie
*Momofuku Birthday cake
*Momofuku Carrot Cake

Potentially interesting recipes:

*Canelé de Bordeau (I don't have the molds however...

*Chess Pie (the momofuku crack pie was loosely inspired by the chess pie. I liked to do the shoo fly pie and the chess pie is another southern classic

*Treacle tart (an english classic I see in the same family as chess pie, sugar pie and shoo fly pie
or, for a more vintage approach,

*Queen of Sheeba Cake (I really like vintage julia child

*Gâteau Saint-Honoré (I have a great choux pastry recipe, looks complex but should be a bit easier than optics suggest

*Sweet potato Pie (never tried it!

*Ricotta pie (saw it on the soprano's and became curious!

*Marjolaine Cake of La Pyramide (a french classic

*Sticky toffee pudding (another english classic!

*Upside down pineapple cake (a classic revisited!

So! What do you think? Do you have any thoughts or suggestions?

Thank you in advance!

TLDR: Looking to make a dessert. I like projects. Too much choice. Any advice would help.

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  1. If your family appreciates/practices local and seasonal, I'd recommend a strawberry rhubarb pie/tart/cobbler with homemade lemon buttermilk ice cream.

      1. re: Tara57

        We had a croquembouche as our wedding cake, and it was fantastic.

        Another suggestion is a Moscato and Peach Gelee:

        We made this last week and it turned out great. It would work particularly well as a hot weather dessert, it's very cool and refreshing.

        You could easily adapt the recipe for different flavors or to incorporate what's seasonal, for example strawberries and moscato with rhubarb. Or add some herbs or spices such as mint, lavender, tarragon, rosemary, angelica, fennel, lemongrass, or cardamom, anise and nutmeg.

      2. This time of year a traditional Fraisier cake is my go-to to take advantage of strawberries at their peak. These days I make it with a flourless almond cake but pistachio is awesome as well.


        Its not rocket science but the more time you spend on it the better it looks and sourcing the best ingredients you can elevates the taste, of course.

        If you do a Google image search you can see several different takes on the assembly, I favor a square cake with the edges cut off after it's set up in the fridge. The marzipan *must* be green for me since that's how I remember it at the French bakeries were I first discovered it as a teenager.

        I did see a strawberry, lime, basil Fraisier spin on it that has my interest piqued, though.

        2 Replies
        1. re: weezieduzzit

          Wow, this is brilliant. I know I've seen these cakes but didn't know what they were called.
          It's the height of strawberry season here, and I'll be making this!

        2. While I've always adored real strawberry shortcake (sweet rich biscuits, macerated berries, whipped or simply poured-on cream), the best thing I remember from my youth was a strawberry pie our excellent local restaurant had, with the macerated berries folded into whipped cream, and this mixture ladled and smoothed into a baked lard pie-crust and set in a good cold refrigerator case. This pie was 25¢ per slice, a dime more than any of their other pies, but as poor as I was I had to have a slice or two while the season lasted.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Will Owen

            I'm envisioning a Norman Rockwell painting ;)

          2. Do a croquembouche.

            Just spelling it correctly is a project all unto itself.