Once upon a time, cheeses used in dessert were limited to versatile favorites like cream cheese, ricotta, and marscapone. These soft, mild dairy products easily showcased other flavors, blended well with sweeteners, and brought a smooth, creamy texture to the dish.
These days, as dessert plates are incorporating more savory and non-traditional elements, chefs are pushing the envelope by using more distinct, flavorful cheeses to complement the final course.
Before the highly anticipated Qui opened in Austin, Texas earlier this summer, pastry chef Monica Glenn began to develop an aged cheddar ice cream inspired by the frozen cheese confections executive chef Paul Qui enjoyed as a child in the Philippines. Next, sous chef Jorge Hernandez developed delicate cajeta waffle cookies and it morphed into a toothsome ice cream sandwich with a cult following.
When searching for a cheese, Glenn said they tasted the 10-month aged Cabot Clothbound Cheddar side by side with other cheeses selected by the dairy experts at Antonelli's Cheese Shop. "The brine wash really gives it a unique, punch-in-your-face kind of flavor," she told TODAY.com.