The question of the hour, when cooking for David Lebovitz, isn’t “what to make for dinner?” It’s: “What to make for dessert?”
The man is a dessert guru; the author of legendary books on chocolate and ice cream and dessert in general. What could I make this man that would impress him? My Twitter followers, as usual, chimed in with good advice.
I ultimately decided to travel the seasonal route and to repeat a dessert I’d made a few nights earlier at the same dinner party where I’d made that heirloom tomato salad. (You could look at this two ways: (1) I was lazy and just made all the same stuff again, or (2) I was so determined to succeed for David I used the first dinner party as a trial run for David’s dinner.)
The dessert in question was a nectarine cake I blogged about last year (click here for that post and the full recipe.) It’s a truly simple recipe: you make a batter with butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract, spread the batter in a springform pan, slice two nectarines and neatly place the slices around the top and then sprinkle everything with nutmeg and sugar. You bake and out it comes looking beautiful:
Now at Dinner Party #1, for my friends Jeffery and Cole (whose show, “Jeffery & Cole Casserole” is currently in Season 2 on Logo: don’t miss it tonight) not only did I present the nectarine cake with whipped cream, I made it interactive (i.e.: I made the guests do the work). Here’s Cole whipping cream by hand:
At Dinner Party #2, I asked David, the dessert guru, if he had a favorite method for whipping cream. “Don’t,” he said, matter-of-factly. It turns out that David feels about whipped cream the same way he feels about squid: he finds it icky. And when I offered to powder his cake with sugar, David refused that too. “I just like my desserts plain.” So plain is how he got it:
Personally, I prefer it with whipped cream: I think it adds extra richness. But the cake itself is lovely and light and a good, refreshing ender to a summery meal. (I didn’t tell you the major difference between the two dinner parties: Jeffery & Cole’s entree was leg of lamb and David’s entree was homemade lobster rolls.)
Thanks Twitter followers for all your help; you’re the cherry on the top of my ice cream sundae, with or without whipped cream.