Local citrus fruits are the stars of refreshing seasonal desserts.
New Yorkers boast constantly about their cheesecake, but at Fig & Olive in Newport Beach, the cheesy dessert’s French brother swaggers with a citrus twist. Whipped cream and juicy clementines enhance a creamy cow’s-milk cheese called vacherin. The dessert is served in a clear glass, layered with vibrant red blood orange coulis, white chocolate mouse and crunchy meringue kisses. The clementine sorbet bursts with citrusy notes of spring. Boring cheesecake? Fuhgeddaboudit!
Fig & Olive, 151 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.877.3005 :: figandolive.com
Slice of Paradiso
Gelato Paradiso is best known for two things: creamy artisanal gelato and refreshingly fruity seasonal sorbettos. But for dessert aficionados, the gelateria’s handcrafted sponge cakes are the perfect ending to an alfresco spring dinner party. Try the Sorrento cake, a mélange of bright citrus and raspberry sorbets garnished with fresh slices of lemon. Inspired by the quaint southwestern Italian town that overlooks the Bay of Naples, this light and airy dessert transports you to Sorrento’s fragrant lemon gardens, where limoncello flows freely in the balmy afternoon.
Preorder cakes 36 hours in advance at the Fashion Island Atrium location. 949.718.9800
An Italian French Kiss
Pastry chef Amelia Marneau transforms classic French desserts into delightful
works of edible art. Armed with exquisite technique and a refined palate for California ingredients, Marneau enhances an oversize macaron with smooth pistachio gelato, crunchy nougatine bits, a tart yuzu citrus mousseline and bright dots of red raspberry coulis. While lesser chefs might stop there, Marneau embraces the season’s bounty with segments of fresh farmers market strawberries grown in Oxnard by family-owned Harry’s Berries.
Penthouse South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.434.7900 :: marchemoderne.net