Finale Fridays Blog Series and Lemon Chips Recipe

by Urvashee on April 22, 2011 · 7 comments

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Somewhere between when I started this blog and learning my way around a DSLR and Twitter, I think I lost sight of my original vision. I’ve always loved plating desserts and really wanted to focus on it. So I’ve decided to attempt a blog series, Finale Fridays. I hope to post something related to the art of the plated dessert. It might be my own creation, a technique, tool or just something I saw somewhere. I hope I can  present something that will inspire you to create some plates at home.

Today I thought I’d start by briefly sharing some plating basics with you. To top it all off, I’m kick starting it with the recipe that I had promised for lemon chips. It’s two posts in one today!

A plated dessert generally has four main features.
1. Main Item…this of course is the star of the show: a cake, a custard, a tart…
2. Sauce…this is usually of some flavor that complements or contrasts with the star: fruit coulis, chocolate, creme anglaise…
3. Crunch…this is essential if the main item has no crunch itself: nuts, cookie, caramel decoration, piece of chocolate…
4. Garnish…a little something to add color or decorate…sugared petals, chocolate shavings, berry, mint leaves…

A plated dessert can be as complicated as you want it to be. Keep in mind that the flavors and textures still need to work together. Here’s a little something I put together after I made that Meyer Lemon Poundcake. It took minimal effort and it completely changed the taste and look of the dessert. I basically took this…

Meyer Lemon Poundcakeand created this…Meyer Lemon Pound CakeThe pound cake was good by itself but the plated version was a completely different experience. New textures and flavors made it even better. The plate was first decorated with a raspberry coulis. The slice of cake was plated with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and topped with a crunchy chewy lemon chip. A few raspberries were added for garnish. As soon as the photo snaps were done it quickly started to look like this…

Can you blame me? I know I have not given out much detail here but I hope this will get you thinking the next time you’re throwing a dinner party. There will be more to come in future posts. Now, I’ve been getting a lot of reminders that I still have not posted how to make those lemon chips. They can be used to add crunch as well as to garnish. So, as promised before, here’s how you make lemon chips:Lemon ChipsRecipe Notes:
You can use Meyer lemons or  regular lemons. However, Meyer lemons will look and taste better because the rind is thinner. The photos with the pound cake are Meyer lemon chips. The chips in these other photos are all with regular lemons. I could not get a hold of Meyer lemons the second time around. You will also want to cut your lemon slices as thin as possible for the best effect. Some people recommend using a mandoline. Sadly, my mandoline and I have issues so I chose to use my long serrated knife instead. I find that the sawing motion gives me the best control with citrus fruits. Also, use the widest pot you have for poaching so you don’t have to make multiple batches.

lemon chipsIngredients:
1-2 lemons
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 Tbs corn syrup

Slice your  lemons as thin as possible and set them aside. In a large pot, add the sugar and water and heat until the sugar is dissolves. Add the corn syrup, mix and bring to a gentle boil. Add the lemon slices and poach until translucent. Be patient, this can take up to 25 minutes. Lay them out on a silcone or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the chips at 200°F turning them over occasionally. Bake them for about an hour and a half or until they start to slightly brown. Let them cool.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Margaret - Savory Sweet Living April 25, 2011 at 11:51 am

Your pound cake was already stunning but when you serve it with the raspberry coulis, it just made it extra special. So pretty and love the lemon chip.

Tenina April 26, 2011 at 12:46 am

This is fantastic, I am going to try the same method with pineapple, something I recently enjoyed at a restaurant and have subesequently tried and failed. But this could be the method that will work! Thanks!

Carolyn April 27, 2011 at 6:55 am

Hey – thanks so much for starting this series…Perfect plating is incredibly difficult!

Just a question about those beautiful lemon chips – how long will they last? I am forever looking for ways to use the last of my lemons!

nisha April 27, 2011 at 9:28 am

i am such a sucker for plain cakes…the yellow cake is to die for

culinaryneophyte April 29, 2011 at 9:08 am

Beautiful pictures!

barunram April 28, 2013 at 10:37 am

vry good plating

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