Here is the cider caramel again. This time really getting the attention it deserves. This whole dessert came together while I was working at Mapuyampay in Chile. The pecan cake, which actually Ruth used walnuts, and the date ice cream I saw in a cookbook in Chile as well. Dates are great. They add sweetness, great texture, they hold up for a good body and work wonders in pastry. It seems to me that dates aren’t really used as often as they should be or I’m just not getting out as often as I should. Which is more likely the case. I love you dates!!
When I made the spiced pecan cake I sprinkled the top of the cake with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and all spice. It gives the top of the cake a good crunch and the spice goes great with the cider caramel and date ice cream. I recall a cherry and goat cheese dessert when I worked with Laiskonis where he added bits of thyme. I think it’s a brilliant addition, especially here. Once I added the thyme it really heightened the flavors of everything. It really brought out the cider caramel especially.
To step back and look at this dessert, I’m content. Everything is there I was looking for. That, “It’s good, but it’s missing something” is where the thyme idea comes from. The thyme is like the bad ass bridge in a song. You weren’t expecting it and then it was there blowing your mind and then it’s gone. You’re left remembering that quick moment, almost but not quite stealing the chorus. It’s beautiful! Love desserts with that element to them.