Hello Pastry with Purrrsonality

By Lisa Elbert | Megan Swann

By

Lisa Elbert
Megan Swann
Coconut Fritters (aka Hello Kitty): Vanilla Bean Gelato, Morello Cherry, Passion Fruit, Crispy Rice, Spun Sugar
Coconut Fritters (aka Hello Kitty): Vanilla Bean Gelato, Morello Cherry, Passion Fruit, Crispy Rice, Spun Sugar

She's on everything from shower curtains to the bicep of the line cook on sauté. She's the queen of the cult of cuteness out of Tokyo, and now she's in dessert. “It was a backwards process. I needed something that was yellow, pink, red, black, and white,” says Chicago Pastry Chef Melanie Diamond-Manlusoc of her Hello Kitty coconut fritters, which she finishes with a ball of sugar “yarn” for Kitty—and guests—to play with.

Appropriately of Japonais, Diamond-Manlusoc's approach to pastry is personal, conceptual, and little bit kitschy (she has since taken her chimerical talents to Spiaggia). She places golden-brown coconut fritters over orbs of Morello cherry and passion fruit gelées, creating an overall aesthetic reminiscent of a paw. A spoonful of crispy forbidden rice topped with vanilla gelato completes the look. The fuchsia spun-sugar ball wisps the diner into Hello Kitty's world. “This was lots of fun,” says Diamond-Manlusoc, who's giving her guests worlds of flavor and whimsy with a pop-cultural kick.

Check out how Diamond-Manlusoc makes the ball of sugar "yarn" below.

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