Chef and restaurateur Marcus Samueslson recently invited the pastry chef from his restaurant in Sweden, Norda Bar and Grill, to New York for a few days. The chef, Patrik Fredricksson, has won a number of international awards, and he made a special dessert for Red Rooster with one of his favorite ingredients: rhubarb, which is just coming into season in the New York area.
The Swedish Cloud ($12) is a beautiful and light dessert that features rhubarb in three forms. The first, a sweet rhubarb "soup", is poured tableside where it surrounds three small scoops of sour lemon curd, each with a small chunk of cooked rhubarb on top. These "islands" make for an enjoyable mix of sour, sweet and tart.
The biggest component on the plate is a delicate cake tower. The base is a dense pistachio sponge that soaks up the rhubarb soup. On top comes a light vanilla yogurt mousse with the texture of a good panna cotta and a pronounced vanilla flavor. On top, a fresh cheese foam tastes like a light cheesecake. Some oat crumble adds texture and sweetness to the tangy dairy and tart rhubarb. The third rhubarb element is a scoop of creamy sorbet.
It's a cloud that stays true to its name, light and tart with balanced flavors. If you're looking for a heartier dessert, I suggest the dark chocolate pudding in a jar. The Swedish Cloud is available through April.
About the author: Native New Yorker Niko Triantafillou is the founder of DessertBuzz.com his photographs of desserts and pastry chefs have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Dessert Professional Magazine. He is an unabashed foodie nerdling. Follow him on Twitter at @DessertBuzz.