Perfect Pairings for Haute Pastry

Katzie Guy-Hamilton, executive pastry chef at New York Central at the Grand Hyatt, tells W.E. the latest trends in the wide world of pastry and wine pairings.


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Wine Enthusiast tapped Katzie Guy-Hamilton, executive pastry chef at New York Central at the Grand Hyatt (and a contestant on Top Chef Just Desserts) for the latest trends in the wide world of pastry, along with a few tips for favorite pairings.

Trend #1: Velvet Chocolate

Velvet chocolate refers to anything chocolate that is rich and luscious. “Everyone is making crémeuses, richer versions of chocolate ganache that are firm for some applications and soft for what I would consider the best chocolate pudding ever,” says Guy-Hamilton. “I love using Manjari as it makes a creméux that can be rich and childlike or have more depth. Either way, it can be appreciated with something as powerful and smooth as grappa.”
Pairing: “Try pairing velvet chocolate desserts with grappas like Grappa da Uve di Vin Santo from Avignonesi, with its hints of dried fruits and tobacco,” says Guy-Hamilton.

Trend #2: Coconut Tapioca

Tapioca doesn’t need to be tiresome. “When very conceptualized desserts were trendy, tapioca pearls adorned many plates,” says Guy-Hamilton. “I think a back-to-basics approach is hot.  A perfectly executed coconut tapioca doesn’t need to [be a] garnish, it can be the star in the bowl.”
Pairing: An ice wine with aromas of tangerine, apricots and pineapple works perfectly with tapiocas that feature flavors of coconut. Guy-Hamilton prefers the Canadian producer Inniskillin’s Vidal Icewine.

Trend #3: Microroasters

Incorporating espresso into desserts isn’t new, but the pastry world is now focused on products from microroasters, or small coffee-roasting companies. “Take Stumptown or Intelligencia for example,” says Guy-Hamilton. “They are very unique roasters. Perfect coffee glacé happens when you use fine espresso instead of coffee.”
Pairing: For desserts that feature microroasters, like Pear Tatin with Coffee Glacé, try a tawny Port.

Try the master pastry chef's recipe:

Coffee Glace
Courtesy of Katzie Guy-Hamilton

10½ ounces heavy cream
5¼ ounces crème fraîche
16 ounces whole milk
7/8 cup espresso beans, hot.
2½ cups sugar
2 ounces dried milk powder
4 ounces honey or Lyles Golden Syrup
12 ounces freshly brewed espresso
½ teaspoon Maldon sea salt
1 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the heavy cream, crème fraîche and milk to a boil. Next, add hot espresso beans and mix well. Blend with a stick blender and allow to steep for ten minutes. Strain mixture into a container and return the infused liquid back to the pot.

Next, mix the sugar and milk powder and add it to the infused liquid. Add the honey or Lyles Golden Syrup. Bring mixture to a boil. Immediately strain the mixture into a container over ice to catch any clumps of milk powder and allow to cool. Whisk in fresh lemon juice and brewed espresso.

Once the mixture is cold, spin the base in your household ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store in the base in your refrigerator for up to 4 days before spinning into ice cream.

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