Hong Kong offers sweet sensations
There is nothing better after a delicious pasta than a little il dolci. Having something sweet is not just the finale to a good meal, but the way many Italians start their day - a little tart or tiramisu with coffee.
One classic Italian dessert is affogato and chef Alessandro Angelini, at Kowloon Shangri-La's fine-dining Italian restaurant Angelini, has created a fun take on this vanilla ice cream and coffee-based dessert.
He adds chocolate coated peta crispy which creates a fun fizz. "I add the fizzy part since it reminds me of my childhood as I used to eat a lot of fizzy candies as a kid," says Angelini, who has worked alongside such celebrated chefs as Gino Angelini and Gualtiero Marchesi.
The ingredients are a scoop of vanilla ice cream wrapped in chocolate, chocolate chips, cream foam, biscuit crumbles, chocolate coated peta crispy (the fizzy part) and it is finished with a serving of espresso coffee on top. "This dessert is a reinterpretation of the classic Italian affogato which is just a scoop of vanilla ice cream with coffee," he says.
"Desserts are very important since it is the last dish of the whole meal, so it leaves a long, lasting impression on guests, and concludes the meal on a sweet note."
Executive pastry chef at The Royal Garden Hotel is Louis Ma, who is known for his amazing pastries especially tiramisu and mille-feuille. For the hotel's traditional Italian fine-dining restaurant, Sabatini, he has put an Italian twist on the classic French cake St Honoré.
"It is a very traditional and classic dessert," says Ma, who trained as a pastry chef in Paris. "We didn't make much alteration to the cake as we would like it to be as authentic as its origin. But we certainly have put some effort on the presentation of the cake so it will look more attractive than other St Honoré cakes you have seen.
"The key to the cake is the puff pastry, cream puff, chocolate cream and we added Marsala cream for an extra taste of Italian," he says. "The puff pastry has to be light and crispy, so it can match the cream on the top and the dessert - so it won't be too heavy."