Around the world, Waldorf Astoria pastry chefs are always baking up something sweet. Don’t miss these delicious and elaborate treats, from regional dessert trends to best-selling bites.
Mascarpone Crème Brûlée Cheesecake
Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem blends Old World history with New World luxury in every aspect of the guest experience, including its culinary program, which draws heavily on the local scene’s fusion of ancient and modern recipes and techniques. In the pastry kitchen, chef Doron Groner blends the traditional with the new. He draws inspiration for flavor profiles from the confluence of ethnicities that merge in Jerusalem.
Take his sweet and crisp Kadaif. “We offer a cake made of Kadaif, a traditional Turkish thin noodle-like pastry, soaked in sugar-based syrup,” Groner says of the guest favorite. “We layer the Kadaif with creamed Italian panna cotta with pistachios, and we place it in a chocolate dome—our very own trendy addition.”
Another surprise is the nontraditional nuances found within the property’s most popular dessert: Mascarpone Crème Brûlée cheesecake. “The base is made of a mix of spicy Asian rice crackers, white chocolate and caramel,” Groner says. “I think this dessert is particularly popular due to its unconventional flavors that work together to contrast and enhance.”
Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Tart
Deden Putra’s specialty is creating works of art on the plate, a craft he has been honing his entire life, as pastry has been a passion since childhood.
“I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that I would grow up to be the executive pastry chef of Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills,” Putra says. “The best part of being a pastry chef is the unlimited amount of creativity and the inspiration that comes from the challenges associated with the dynamism of the hospitality industry, and hence the culinary industry. This is precisely what keeps me coming back for more. I love what I do.”
And guests keep coming back for his Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Tart with Thyme Ice Cream and Passion Fruit Curd, which took second place at the U.S. Pastry competition in 2015. “This dessert is a delightfully unique combination of savory and sweet, consisting of multiple textures and temperatures in one bite,” Putra says. “This stimulates the palate and provides a variety of sensations.”
Creating pastry in an evolving culinary city like LA, while keeping one eye on the global scene, keeps the kitchen hot for this dough devotee.
“In the past, the trend in Los Angeles was mostly French/European,” he says. “In more recent years, incorporating advanced Russian techniques and diverse Asian ingredients have become popular in the pastry industry. I love New York trends for the variety in products and French trends for the originality in the culinary industry.”
Valrhona Grand Chocolate Macaron
In the cultural epicenter of Midwestern U.S., expect a diverse dessert menu.
“Chicago has been named the food capital of the nation, so you can find pretty much everything here,” says Ashley Torto, pastry chef at Michael Mina’s Margeaux Brasserie and Petit Margeaux at Waldorf Astoria Chicago. “We have the super-composed and eclectic flavors down to oversize cake shakes.”
“The diversity of this city is truly what I love. You can venture to neighborhoods and experience different cuisine and techniques from many different cultures. Whatever you want you can have in Chicago.”
In Torto’s kitchen though, it’s the traditional tastes that guests keep asking for. “Our most popular baked good is by far our house-made croissants,” she says. “Seeing the beautiful flakey layers undoubtedly makes your mouth water. We use high-quality butter and flour and are diligent in keeping our technique consistent.”
On the dessert front, another French favorite captures the most smiles. “Our most popular menu item is our Valrhona Grand Chocolate Macaron,” Torto says. “It is as decadent as it sounds but well-balanced, so you can finish the whole plate. Once you see the table-side chocolate pour, you’ll know why this is our most Instagrammable dessert.”
For the Chicago native, it’s the feel-good factor that keeps her in the kitchen, navigating the long hours and early mornings of the pastry world. “There’s something to be said when a person sees or eats your creation and you get to see the pure joy wash over their face,” she says. “That’s what pastry and cooking is all about—making people feel good through food.”
Indulge in even more delectable sweet desserts with Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts.