Lacroix at the Rittenhouse
| Philadelphia, PA
Olive ice cream and sweet tomato tarte tatin may not sound like
traditional desserts, but that’s because pastry chef Matt
Maslowski is anything but conventional, favoring progressive desserts
that marry sweet and savory ingredients. After graduating second
in his class from the Restaurant School in Philadelphia, Maslowski
began work at some of the best establishments in Philly, including
The Fountain Room at the Four Seasons and Ciboulette. Today in the
kitchen of Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, he is surpassing expectations
and giving diners a new perspective on desserts. Goat cheese ice
Pastry Chef Matt Maslowski of Lacroix at the Rittenhouse
– Philadelphia, PA
Adapted by StarChefs
Yield: 4-6 Servings
- 12 ounces butter
- 1 pound sugar
- 6 ounces coffee
- 6 ounces Kahlua
- 1 pound, 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 10 eggs
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 250°F. Butter and sugar 4-6 ramekins.
In medium saucepan, combine butter, sugar, coffee, and Kahlua. Heat
over low flame until butter is fully melted.
Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour butter mixture over
chocolate. Let stand until melted then stir carefully to incorporate
all the ingredients. Slowly whisk in the eggs, two at a time. Divide
mixture into buttered and sugared ramekins. Place ramekins in shallow
baking dish and fill dish halfway with hot water. Bake until set,
about 25 to 30 minutes.
Temper chocolate by heating chopped chocolate over a double
boiler. Stir constantly until chocolate is fully melted. Remove
from heat and continue stirring. Once chocolate has reached a temperature
between 110° and 120°F, allow chocolate to cool at room
temperature, stirring occasionally until it reaches a temperature
in the low 80’s. Before working with the chocolate, re-heat
until chocolate reaches about 90°F. Spread chocolate onto a
cool, smooth, clean surface. Before chocolate is completely cooled,
working quickly, cut rounds approximately the same diameter as ramekins.
Warm ramekin for a couple of minutes in a hot water bath to
release from sides. Invert pâté onto a plate and place
semi-sweet chocolate disc on top.
MM: It was a different experience.
I had to deal not only with the restaurant but the buffet and banquets
PL: What pastry tools can’t
you live without?
MM: I’m torn between
my candy thermometer and my sugar pump (to make blown sugar).
PL: What are your favorite
ingredients to incorporate into your desserts?
MM: I like to use tonka beans
because they are floral and versatile. I also like to infuse spices
and herbs into desserts.
PL: Where do you get your
MM: I like to take bits and
pieces from different sources of inspiration. I read books and Food
Arts magazine. I sometimes look to our Chef de Cuisine, Matt Ridgway,
PL: What are your top three
tips for dessert success?
MM: Taste, cleanliness, and
PL: Who are your mentors/pastry
MM: Eddie Hales from the Four
Season in Philadelphia and Frederick Ortega from Lacroix at the
PL: What are your favorite
desserts to eat?
MM: Homemade sorbet and ice
cream. They’re simple but good.
PL: What is your favorite
dessert to make?
MM: Chocolate soufflé.