Friday, August 5, 2011

Here's looking at you, Ben

Boccone Dolce literally means "sweet little bite" in Italian.


To me, however, Boccone Dolce means that I am in Portland, full of sushi, and my family is going to Papa Haydn for dessert. Because we go over the top like that and the restaurant is amazing.

Right in the middle of 23rd Avenue in Northwest Portland you will find this little bistro. Papa Haydn serves an excellent brunch and fancy (albeit delicious) dinners, but I go there for the sweets. I can rattle off their entire standing dessert menu. This is due to the fact that I never get the same dish twice and have been there more times than I probably should admit.

But back to my point. The sweet little bite. The house specialty at PH is the Boccone Dolce. It is layers of meringue, fresh fruit, pastry cream, and chocolate drizzle. It is served in a towering slice. It is decadent but at the same time very light due to the fluffy whipped cream and airy meringue.

My younger brother will order this every time, without fail.

I miss Ben. I miss going to Papa Haydn. I do not miss how I feel after consuming piece after piece of sushi and then a rich dessert. Maybe Ben has a keen strategy, perhaps the Boccone Dolce is so light that it compliments the meal rather than putting you into a food coma like the slice of Mayan Chocolate cake with caramel sauce does (whatever. it sounded like a good idea at the time...)

Last night I made my version of Boccone Dolce. A layered pavlova. I also went out for sushi though that was an uncoordinated coincidence.

We start out with the meringue


You are trying to achieve a slight "santa hat" when whipping the egg whites.


The meringue is then piped onto a lined baking sheet and baked at 200 degrees for a little over an hour. Then you turn off the oven, crack the door and go for a ten mile run. Just me? Ok, you can also just wait until they have hardened and peel from the pan easily. I think the run is more fun, perhaps because I drank


To make this pavlova, you will nee two varieties of cream. I chose raspberries and peaches for my fruit so I made a vanilla whipped cream and a raspberry cream using raspberry simple syrup.

meringue
raspberry cream
fresh raspberries
meringue
vanilla whipped cream
thinly sliced peaches
single raspberry


Boccone Dolce. La Dolce Vita.

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