Hong Kong chefs dish out the latest scoops on ice cream desserts
There is nothing better than a light, sweet dessert after a heavy meal, and a perennial favourite is likely on every menu: ice cream. But diners tend to be fussy about ice cream these days, so many chefs are making their own.
The Grand Buffet on the 62nd floor of Hopewell Centre is one such restaurant. It offers a long line of dishes without skimping on quality ingredients. There are live stations, including one for "fried" ice cream.
"We call it sautéed ice cream," says executive chef Eric Tin Ka-ming. But it's not actually heated - it's prepared on a cold slab. "We take our home-made ice cream and mix it up with different kinds of dry ingredients," says Tin, who previously worked at the InterContinental Hong Kong. "We usually use light ice cream flavours - for instance, vanilla, strawberry or chocolate - and add candies, nuts and chocolate chips. We mix it on the cold plate in front of diners, and pat it into a round or square shape. It takes five minutes to make."
Over at the InterContinental Hong Kong's Steak House Wine Bar + Grill, the hotel's executive pastry chef, Cyril Dupuis, puts his spin on the classic baked Alaska. Popular since the 1970s, the ice cream and meringue dessert makes a stunning end to any meal. Dupuis' version is called Alaska on fire, with pistachio ice cream, raspberry and apricot sherbet, Italian meringue, pistachio biscuit and lemon cream. For added drama, the mountain of meringue is flambéd tableside with warm rum.
Dupuis is a master when it comes to desserts, having worked with Alain Ducasse for 14 years, 11 of which he was executive pastry chef at Ducasse's restaurants in Paris. He also spent three years with acclaimed chocolatier Pierre Hermé at Pâtisserie Fauchon in Paris. Dupuis' take on an exceptional dessert is "using the finest ingredients, [which] is as equally important as the technique and expertise". He adds: "I also enjoy working with fresh seasonal fruit."