Savory Sweets

It’s Foodie Tuesday!

I spent the holiday season with my relatives in Manila, and it sure had me waddling through rivers of the sweet and gooey. I tell you, I was caught in a perpetual sugar haze, with my niece and fellow sweet tooth, Laura, for company. We went through a stream of endless desserts punctuated by the occasional entree. I probably exaggerate, but not by much, I think.

Via Mills and Laura

One of the things that Laura acquainted me with was her maple and bacon cupcake, which had me ooh-ing with delight. Savory flavors work so amazingly in desserts! In same way that a little acidity provides a lovely counterpoint to rich and creamy ingredients, a little umami, or savoriness, cuts through the rich sweetness in desserts and kicks them up a notch higher. That’s why a pinch of salt goes a long way, and cheese is a favorite ingredient.

Merry Moo salted caramel ice cream. Via Our Awesome Planet.

Laura and I tried Merry Moo’s salted caramel ice cream in one of the weekend markets in Manila, and it’s gotta be one of the best ice creams I’ve ever tasted! We were also dying to try Sebastian’s green mango sorbet with shrimp paste topping (it’s sweet, tart, and edgy, less fattening, and with an exotic Asian spin) but sadly never got around to it. Well, maybe next time.

Sebastian's green mango sorbet and bagoong (shrimp paste). Via Foodspotting.

There are many other new dessert concoctions that go really all in with the savory. Ingredients that one would normally find in main courses can now be encountered in the last (and best) course. These truly carry an element of risk and require a little daring and an open mind in order to enjoy.

Olive oil and vanilla cake at New York's The Lion. Via Conde Nast Traveler.

ART Restaurant's Roasted Beet Baked Alaska with Basil Meringue. By John Lok via Seattle Times.

Foie Gras and Cherry Pop Tart by 2 Sparrows, Chicago. Via Conde Nast Traveler.

Fifth Floor's Black Olive Madelines. Via Conde Nast Traveler.

I’m ready to make some of these savory desserts myself. I looked around for recipes I can try, and found these two below.

Black Sesame Sweet Tofu. Via The Cooking Channel. Click for the recipe.

Here’s a sort-of-savory dessert that I’d like to try — black sesame sweet tofu. It seems easy enough, and I love anything that has to do with beancurd. Click on the image for the recipe.

Bacon Baklava. Via Dog Eat Blog. Click for the recipe.

And who doesn’t love bacon? It’s what got me started on this post. There’s something about it’s salty porky goodness that makes you want to eat more of whatever dish it has graced with its yummy presence. This bacon baklava is slightly more complicated than the sweet tofu, but hey, it’s bacon. It’s ¬†always going to be worth the try.

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