Chef & I presents...


Nothing says love like dessert. After all, it's not a birthday without a cake, right? And let's face it, when you want to treat yourself, is there any better way than with something sweet and a little decadent? What better way to share an intimate moment or celebrate a special occasion? So this month we pay homage to that most wonderful of concoctions, the dessert. 

Nothing feels more fulfilling, more positively satisfying than a great dessert.  And as Nancy Steitz, owner of The French Bakery and CafÈ in Pineland Station, likes to say:  "Life is short, eat dessert first."  With that in mind, we give you our Top 5 (in no particular order) decadent desserts.  Enjoy, and be sweet.

Speaking of The French Bakery and CafÈ, nothing matches their version of Tiramisu.  So light and creamy, Chef Johny's take on Tiramisu is nothing short of perfection. He starts  with a hard chocolate bottom, then layers it with French chocolate (64% cocoa butter), vanilla genoise (a sponge cake), Marscapone cheese and expresso coffee Mousse, chocolate genoise, and tops it with whipped cream and chocolate fans.  It's almost too pretty to eat.almost.

Calibogue CafÈ's Chocolate Fondant is a slice of pure heaven. Chef Ryan Alpaugh created this for his dad, and we are all the luckier for his gift. Layers of chocolate ganache and chocolate cake make this a chocolate lover's dream. Rich but not overly so, it's the perfect ending to one of Ryan's signature dishes, or a great little decadent treat with a cup of the cafÈ's out-of-this-world coffee. Chocolate never tasted so good.

Want something other than chocolate? Look no further:  Redfish has you covered-Peaches & Cream Bread Pudding. Sous Chef Melissa Cochran's (whose Golden Lab is named Peaches) creation is addictive.   Light and sweet and topped with tender peaches, candied pecans and white chocolate cream, this is definitely not your mama's bread pudding (no offense to mom intended).  Unlike any I've ever tasted, this is hands-down one of the most delicious desserts to be found.

For the best-ever dessert to share with someone, Wild Wing's Wild Wing Chocolate Thing scores a home run. A huge helping of brownies, topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry make this the perfect dessert for the whole family.  And there's plenty to share-so brings some loved ones.  Who knew the best place to get wings also has a killer sweet tooth?

Last, but certainly not least, is Michael Anthony's Panna Cotta con Frutta Fresca. Chef Michael Cirafesi's authentic Italian dessert will transport you to Italy.  Beautifully presented, the Tuscan vanilla cream pudding was topped with strawberries, blackberries, pineapple, and orange zest.  Made with very little sugar, this dessert could actually be considered healthy!  It's light and airy and positively dreamy-truly one-of-a-kind.

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