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.
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