Creating a signature dessert requires a good understanding of basic foundational recipes along with how flavor profiles, textures and ingredients work together in order to make a lasting impression when the dessert is served. Serious home cooks and professionals alike create signature deserts by building upon and or combining basic recipes made from the best ingredients. Perfection of techniques comes from experience and practice.
Desserts in general should be thought of as the creshendo of the meal adding the last impression to experience. They should be light and never heavy. If a component of the dessert is dense and heavy then that part of the dessert should be small and be combined with a light cream, fruit garnish or tasty sauce.
This dessert that I call “The Floridian” is an example of combining multiple components to create a striking result. I chose the name because of the citrus taste profile that it imparts, which reminds me of the warmer climate in Florida at this time of the year.
I made it by layering it in a plastic tube mold with basic recipes of: Blood Orange Bavarian Cream, topped with a layer of key lime mousse, Plain Biscuit (which is a type of sponge cake) then topped it with a baked Pate Sucrée which when inverted became the base. The mousse is made with key lime juice, condensed milk, sugar and egg yolks which I cooked over a water bath to 160F and then folded in a Swiss Meringue and gelatin. The next step in the mousse was to cool it over an ice bath and when cooled to room temperature, I folded in whipped heavy cream and an a couple of drops of green food coloring. This mousse tastes like key lime pie however it is extremely light and airy. It can be served by itself in a champagne glass or when layered with these other basic preparations it becomes a more intense dessert. To finish the dessert I inverted the tube, after the dessert had set up, onto a screen and them enrobed it with a thin white chocolate ganache and garnished it with white chocolate fans, sweetened whipped cream (classical name is cream Chantilly) and candied lime zest.