Serious Eats shined the spotlight on Hedy Goldsmith last fall, giving out copies of her recently released cookbook Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors. Now Goldsmith has been nominated for a James Beard award in the pastry chef category for her work at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink. I met Goldsmith at the fabulous Feast Portland event last fall and was immediately taken by her desserts, so I was excited when a recent trip to Miami afforded me the opportunity to taste some of her latest creations.
The evening's selections epitomized her take on dessert, more familiar than fancy, but with fun twists. Choices included Strawberry Shortcake with lemon curd and an Ice Cream Sundae with malted caramel and pretzels.
I decided to go with the Flourless Chocolate Cake ($10). On the surface, this sounds like a throwback to the 1980s, but what sold me was the server's description of the olive oil sorbet topping and salted caramel drizzle, both of which I knew would elevate the dessert.
The extras weren't entirely necessary, as the cake itself was moist and rich and packed with chocolate punch. The intensity of the chocolate, though, provided the perfect platform for the slightly nutty, slightly savory flavor of the scoop of olive oil sorbet. As for the drizzle of salted caramel? It was actually a pool of caramel at the bottom of the bowl, irresistible in its twofer offering of savory and sweet, with the saltiness spiking up the chocolate in the cake. Three basic components, so seemingly simple, but a fun dessert with big flavor—and reasonably called a classic.
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink
About the author: Jay Friedman is a Seattle-based freelance food writer who happens to travel extensively as a sex educator. An avid fan of noodles (some call him "The Mein Man"), he sees sensuality in all foods, and blogs about it at his Gastrolust website. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfriedman.