Turkish ingredients spike award-winning mini-chocolate cake
If you think baklava or halvah whenever someone mentions Turkish sweets, think again. Bosphorale created by the executive pastry chef of Çırağan Palace Kempinski İstanbul was named the Kempinski Dessert of the year. Granted, William McCarrick, said executive pastry chef and also a master chocolatie, is not Turkish. More importantly, he was open-minded in adapting Turksh ingredients into an international confection, also made with Bergamot-scented tea from the Black Sea sweetly paired with delicately dried Malatya apricots and Valrhona chocolate.
“With our focus at Çırağan Palace Kempinski to use local culinary products as inspiration, my cake is symbolic of a trip to Turkey,” states McCarrick,said. “I combined the best of these regional flavors for my creation, as Turkey produces 80 percent of the world’s dried apricots. and it is among the world’s top five tea-growing countries.”
Among the ingredients ingrained in Turkish cultural traditions and creatively used in the cake are dried fruits, including apricots that are usually served at village festivals, weddings and other celebrations, while tea has become a culture of its own, with specific brewing techniques and drinking customs. Offering tea and drinking it together are considered a gesture of friendship and hospitality throughout Turkey.
To enter the competition, Kempinski chefs submitted original recipes using specific guidelines. This year, the key ingredient had to be chocolate, the dessert had to be presentable both as an individual cake and as a platable dessert and it could not be a soufflé, dessert à la minute or ice cream. Bosphorale was chosen as the Kempinski Dessert of the Year in a blind tasting by 80 judges from recipes by submitted by some 50 executive pastry chefs. It will be offered in all Kempinski properties worldwide throughout 2013. Alas, there’s not a single Kempinski hotel in North America.
Cross-posted to Travel Babel.