Friday, October 10, 2014

Eat This: Brownie à la mode

Posted By on Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 3:36 PM

It seems almost counterintuitive to overlook the enticing selection of seasonal and artistic dessert creations made by pastry chef Ashley Boyd at 300 East only to settle for a perceived commoner — the brownie à la mode. Am I crazy to suggest you bypass the tender and pliant goat cheese panna cotta or the perfectly autumn sorghum molasses cookie stuffed with homemade butterscotch ice cream and head straight for the stuff of church bake sales? Would I lose my street cred if I told you to choose a dessert that’s been corporately bastardized in chain restaurants into morbidly obese caricatures of confection crowned with Reddi-Whip? Perhaps. Except this brownie is different.

The brownie has always been on the menu at 300 East, since its beginnings in 1986. But pastry chef Ashley Boyd, self-taught and mentored under exceptional pastry chefs from Chicago to Atlanta, reworked the concept into what it is today — an impeccable version that is doomed to be eaten in its entirety once it hits the table.
Boyd uses Callebaut chocolate in her brownie recipe which, when baked and plated, is equal parts cake and fudge. Soft, warm and borderline gooey, it is everything to delight your inner fat kid. The high quality Belgian genius of Callebaut ensures that this brownie maintains its chocolatey integrity and exudes a quiet sophistication instead of veering off into a saccharin one-note bite of disappointment. Boyd pairs her brownie with a honey chocolate sauce, salted caramel and, of course, vanilla bean ice cream.

The result is a dessert that will transport you right back to the annals of fond childhood memories, without having to hit up the Fuddruckers. Slide your spoon through the salted caramel, swipe a corner of brownie with ice cream and then try not to do it again. It’s impossible. Especially when the ice cream begins to melt into the brownie, creating a heavenly soupy sludge that encompasses everything that is right with the world. Like I said, you won’t be able to leave anything on the plate. It’s brownie à la mode, but in the best possible way.

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