We had our own "Iron Chef" challenge at school this week - we call it a "Market Basket," and were charged to create two plated desserts using specified amounts of sugar, butter, milk, cream, eggs, and tropical fruits (banana, mango, pineapple, and kiwi). We didn't have to use all the ingredients, but couldn't exceed those parameters. We also did not have to do two completely different desserts; we could make one dessert and plate it two ways. My entry was a pineapple shortcake.
The first one kind of looks like a classic French dessert using strawberries, called a Fraisier, but obviously this one has brown-sugar glazed pineapples instead. The cake was filled with vanilla bavarian, topped with a slice of dried pineapple, and sauced with a Madeira caramel. It looked nice, but I lost points for the flavors being too bland. My fault - after my dry run for the dessert earlier in the week, I realised it needed a little of the punchy lime syrup I also made, but as I had used a delicate yellow cake instead of the traditional biscuit, I was afraid the syrup would make it fall apart.
The second plate was a "deconstructed" shortcake, and the original plan was the bake it in a bundt pan, but I couldn't find one the right size. The brioche a tete mold I ended up using makes the cake kinda look like an alien spacecraft with a sail. This one got higher marks for taste because of the acidity and juiciness of the kiwi slices. Maybe next time I'll put kiwis in the middle of the first cake, too....hrm...
The other desserts below are a selection of the plates my classmates did.
This is a raspberry and whipped cream crepe gateau, or a crepe cake.
Here is a banana panna cotta that won raves from everyone.
And this handsome concoction is a rarely seen frozen "souffle." It's actually just frozen parfait, but it's molded in a ramekin to make it look like a souffle, and the core is filled with caramel sauce. There is a slice of banana in the middle to indicate its flavor. It's a really good-looking and delicious dessert. For some reason though, restaurants rarely have this on their menus so if you happen to see one in future, make sure to order it!