Part of my job is to work with purveyors. And part of the purveyor's job is to introduce me to new or interesting products they carry. One such instance happened a couple weeks ago, when I met Donna Domiano. She is the marketing director for Fabbri
, a family-owned Italian company that produces what seems like all things gelato, confectionary, and pastry. They are most well-known, however, for their Amarena cherries. I've had these cherries before from other companies, but when I sampled those of Fabbri, I was smitten. A single tiny cherry will fill your mouth with that oh-so-familiar (to Americans) flavor of cherry cola, but the sweetness is quickly tempered with a satisfying tartness. With the imminent arrival of the owners of Fabbri to NYC for the Restaurant Show, Donna asked if I would create a dessert for them using their prized cherries.
And so I did. I played off the idea of a black forest cake and made an ice cream sweetened with the Amarena syrup. Once churned, I piped the ice cream into fleximolds and plugged in a couple whole cherries for texture and extra cherry-ness. Topped off with a chocolate sacher sponge and dipped in almond scented meringue, it made for one tasty ice cream cake! A savory smearing of tarragon pesto complements and offsets the sweetness of the main component.
I think it was hit, because Nicola Fabbri himself asked for the recipe!