Vacherin: Freezing-out Traditions

By Lisa Elbert | Megan Swann

By

Lisa Elbert
Megan Swann
Sweet Tea-Vanilla Vacherin with Candied Green Almonds and Tea-infused Olive Oil
Sweet Tea-Vanilla Vacherin with Candied Green Almonds and Tea-infused Olive Oil

Chicago Pastry Chef Anna Posey's salted meringue is filled with vanilla and sweet tea ice creams, a hazelnut-almond dacquoise layered with tea-compressed and candied green almonds, and finished with tea-infused olive oil. It's a light, fun dessert with some gravitas from the tea. It's also filled with her flight of fancy and creative vision. Essentially, it's a sweet and savory ice cream cake, but as she says, “If I called it ice cream cake, no other desserts would sell.” To encourage her guests to order outside of their comfort zones, and to ensure the equality of ordered items, she lists her not-so-traditional vacherin as vacherin, despite its different flavor profile.

Posey, who is moving on from Chicago's Publican to work on her own project, molds classic technique with imagination and a modern sense of sweet-savory balance. Her auteurship helps push the Chi-Town pastry scene forward, and ensures a menu where guests are always spoiled for choice.

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