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I am a culinary student at Johnson & Wales University and am in a advanced pastry class. I have to create a dessert with a main ingredient of basil. I don't know what to do... I was thinking about making a basil mousse with a tomato lace (instead of almond lace) cookie. Are there any ideas as to what else goes with basil that would be appropriate application for a dessert? I would certainly appreciate any ideas.

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A local chocolatier makes a really good lemon basil truffle; basil and chocolate is not a pairing I would have been likely to come up with myself, but it works when he does it. Perhaps a bitter chocolate & basil mousse?

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Now I remember..it took everyone elses posts to give me all the ingrediants

cold pineapple soup with (Japanese)coconut jellies, basil oil and strawberries

So, coconut, strawberry, and pineapple go great with Basil


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers


Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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garden state motorcyle association

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basil goes wonderfully with lots of fruits. my favorite pairing is with peach, but apples can be delicious, and so can berries.

and people mentioned chocolate.

basil is a natural in a creme anglaise.

if it's the main ingredient, what about a sweet pesto? basil, pine nuts, mascarpone, and olive oil (or butter, if olive oil will clash with what you put it on).

Notes from the underbelly

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“There are many wonderful flavored basils—anise, cinnamon, lemon, opal, spice, and the robust Italian Genoa Green. Basil blooms vary in flavor according to variety as the foliage does, but all taste of cloves with a hint of citrus and mint. The best way to remove the florets from the basil plant is to snip the stem closely above and below each flower whorl, discarding the stems in between which are sometimes bitter.”

Source: Susan Belsinger, Cooking with Flowers (Ward Lock, 1991); p. 33

“A single container filled with several basils, perhaps lettuce leaf, cinnamon, lemon, Thai, and purple [including ‘Dark Opal’ and ‘Purple Ruffles’], offers a wide choice of seasonings throughout summer and well into fall."

Source: Georgeanne Brennan & Mimi Luebbermann, Little Herb Gardens (Chronicle, 1993); p. 48.

In issue 75, p. 16 of Art Culinaire, Lidia Bastianich & Fortunato Nicotra shared their recipe for Fresh Pea Cake with Basil Ice Cream & Pistachio Brittle.

Parisian artisan Patrick Roger sells basil-flavored chocolates.

Chocolatier Kekau offers exotic Meyer-Lemon & Basil confections.

Peruse the Bon Appétit & Gourmet archive of basil dessert recipes.

Alain Labrie served Basil Sorbet with a Basil Tuile & Berry Coulis.

Jerry Traunfeld created Basil Mint Agar Gelatin with Nectarines.

Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja in Denver offered Mini Angel Food Cakes with Strawberry Rhubarb Basil Compote. (Restaurant Hospitality, October, 2006)

In their book, Desserts with a Difference, Sally & Martin Stone included several basil-infused dishes:

Baked Basil Cream Soufflés over Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse

Basil Cream Raspberry Tart

Basil & Peach Ice Cream

Granita di Basilico

Edited by Redsugar (log)

"Dinner is theater. Ah, but dessert is the fireworks!" ~ Paul Bocuse

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Polar Bear - you've heard from a bunch of us, now since you are a student I, for one, would love to hear more about what you're thinking. I know when I ask my intern about desserts, I ask him to brainstorm flavor combinations, textures, traditions, etc. So what's going through your mind about this dessert.

Another way for me to say this is that it's easy to take someone else's dessert and replicate, but to make your own is much more fun and rewarding.

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First let me say Thank you very much to every who posted suggested things to help. I am thinking of doing a trio of basil sorbets with a basil creme anglaise. I am not nearly as familiar with layering sweet flavor profiles as savory but I have been pretty successful in most things I create weather at school, work or home so hopefully I will be ok. If there are any more ideas I would love to hear them. I will be continuing this thread at least until I finish this class. I will post pictures when I make my product next week.

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i like the idea of the three sorbets (will they each have a different fruit flavor?)

not sure about the creme anglaise ... consider that that's essentially unfrozen ice cream! sorbet and a cream sauce strikes me as a little strange. the sorbets might work better with some kind of foil ... something not at all sorbet-like and not basil flavored. you'll have already made a strong enough statement with the basil.

Notes from the underbelly

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Make a mousse of white chocolate, basil infused cream and mascarpone, pack it in a dome mold with a chocolate basil cake base, use the mirror glazing demo here to cover it subbing a basil-green for the blue in the demo and plate it with a basil syrup, something crunchy (caramel decoration or maybe chocolate basil tuille or something) and some sugared basil leaves. Might be horrible but that's just off the top of my head.

Edited to remove a bunch of non-helpful rambling.

Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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PaulRaphael is thinking foil, and I am thinking soil.  I would plate them on/with a chocolate soil - finding the right % to match with the ice cream.

Just so I'm not confusing anyone, I mean foil in the sense of something that emphasizes something else by contrasting with it.

Not something thin and aluminum ;)

Notes from the underbelly

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At her restaurant Michy's, in Miami, chef Michelle Bernstein makes a Peach Financier Cake with Roasted Peach, Yogurt Ice Cream, and Basil Syrup that's delicious:


Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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At her restaurant Michy's, in Miami, chef Michelle Bernstein makes a Peach Financier Cake with Roasted Peach, Yogurt Ice Cream, and Basil Syrup that's delicious:

i realize this is a bit off topice, but why, oh why do people still insist on putting a mint leaf (an ugly one, at that) on a perfectly nice looking dessert? in this case, wouldn't a beautiful basil tip even be better? or take a very fine chiffonade of basil with a small dice of peaches scattered around the dessert? or sugar/candy a basil leaf to lay across the top? anything but the mint!!!!

okay, done with rant :rolleyes:

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Okay I am making a peach basil sorbet, a savory apple fritter, and a pineapple basil chilled soup. I thought of it while flipping through a book (during lecture this morn) I'll make a basil creme anglaise for the fritter, and a tuile cookie for crunch... I am pretty happy with the mix and I am totally in favor of doing tastings inside of different courses.

I agree witht the thought about the mint leaf it is boring and old.

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Although you've already decided on the thing, I guess, I wanted to add another combination I love. One of the great restaurants in Louisville does a basil souffle with a blueberry/basil/hint of cinnamon sauce drizzled through the center. It's one of my favorite things.

Edited by devlin (log)
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