Recipe for Milk Confit Cake, Grapefruit Sorbet, Pistachio Ice Cream, Pomegranate by Ron Mendoza of Sona on

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Ron Mendoza
8338 W. Third St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 653-3300

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Ron Mendoza
ORTOLAN | Los Angeles

32-year old Ron Mendoza has only been in pastry for six years. He began his culinary career at the age of 25 after years of working in retail. He enrolled at the California School of Culinary Arts, then got his start with the Patina restaurant group led by chef Joachim Splichal. The ideas for his “free-flowing” pastry compositions come from having worked on the savory side of the kitchen. Mendoza credits Albert Adrià, Oriol Balaguer and Pierre Hermé as some of his pastry heroes, but it was at Patina restaurant where he received rigorous pastry training under pastry chef Michelle Myers. Mendoza continued to work with Michelle and her husband David (a 2004 LA Rising Star) at Sona. There he earned a reputation for deftly crossing savory ingredients with sweet in a delicate balance of flavor. In addition to creating desserts for the restaurant, he assisted in pastry production for Michelle Myers’ patisserie/chocolaterie, Boule, located across the street. Recently Mendoza said farewell to the Sona pastry kitchen in order to move on to the next phase of his promising career.


Milk Confit Cake, Grapefruit Sorbet, Pistachio Ice Cream
Chef Ron Mendoza of Sona Restaurant - Los Angeles, CA
Adapted by

Yield: 10 Servings


    Milk Confit:
  • 1500 grams milk
  • 500 grams sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

    Olive Oil Sponge Cake:
  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 75 grams almond flour
  • 10 grams baking powder
  • 150 grams eggs
  • 325 grams sugar
  • 185 grams milk
  • 150 grams olive oil
  • Citrus zest

    Pistachio Ice Cream:
  • 500 grams milk
  • 25 grams glucose
  • 65 grams pistachio paste
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 6 yolks
  • 100 grams crème fraiche
  • 50 grams Sicilian pistachios

    Grapefruit Sorbet:
  • 1000 grams water
  • 1000 grams sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
  • 500 grams freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

    Blackberry Sauce:
  • 2 pints blackberries
  • 50 grams glucose
  • 2 grams citric acid

    Additional Garnish:
  • Grapefruit segments
  • Chopped pistachios
  • Micro cilantro and basil


For Milk Confit:
In a saucepot, combine milk, sugar, and vanilla bean with scrapings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until reduced by half. Cool and reserve.

For Olive Oil Sponge Cake:
Preheat oven to 380°F. Sift dry ingredients together. In a mixer, whip eggs and sugar until thick and foamy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add milk, then gently fold in dry ingredients. Add olive oil and zest. Pour into cake pan and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.

For Pistachio Ice Cream:
In a saucepan, bring milk, glucose and pistachio paste to a boil. Add sugar to yolks and mix well. Temper a quarter of the warm milk into the yolks off the heat. Make sure yolks do not curdle. Return the pan to the heat and cook for 6 to 8 minutes over medium heat to make a custard. Strain the custard, cool in an ice bath and add the crème fraiche. Add the pistachios to the cutstard and freeze it in PacoJet canisters. When completely frozen, process in a PacoJet.

For Grapefruit Sorbet:
In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil until sugar is completely dissolved, then let cool.

Add vanilla bean pulp to juice and let it infuse for 30 minutes. Add sugar syrup to taste, it should just barely be sweet, about 20 percent syrup to juice. Process in a PacoJet.

For Blackberry Sauce:
Blend ¾ of the blackberries with glucose and citric acid, strain and chill. Reduce in a saucepan until glaze coats the back of a spoon. Save remaining berries for plating.

To Assemble and Serve:
Cut cake into 1½-inch squares and soak in milk confit for 30 minutes. Keep warm in oven. Add berries to the glaze, toss gently to coat and spoon onto serving plates.

Toss grapefruit segments in a little simple syrup steeped with vanilla bean.

Place the segments on the plate and top with micro herbs. Add the cake to the plate. Sprinkle some chopped pistachios on the plate and place a scoop of pistachio ice cream and grapefruit sorbet on top of the nuts.

Wine Pairing:

Semillon, Lillypilly 'Noble Blend,' Australia, 2002


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   Published: May 2006