Imagine eggnog that can be sliced. Visualize a puree of buttered rum. Picture a smooth, decadent coffee drink. Conjure up the sweet flesh and voluptuous texture of a ripe persimmon paired with toasty, aromatic walnuts.
I wish it were that easy.
What the development of this dessert showed me was the importance of chasing both taste and memories. Spoil yourself with ideas and capture the essence of those inspirations.
I really crave eggnog, especially when the air gets that first frost and the scent of wood smoke. The one downfall of eggnog, yes it's store-bought most of the time, is its viscous quality. A sip or two straight or when spiked with rum a couple of glasses slide down easily, the downside is that it can be heavy, both on the palate and in the belly. I wanted to capture the essence of eggnog with a smooth custard, rather than in its heavier fluid form. Similarly, I was looking to capture buttered rum, and not as a beverage. And coffee, how could we serve the essence of a rich, bitter coffee without it pouring over the plate? As for the persimmon, autumn's chill brings both persimmons and roasted nuts. The smooth creamy quality of the persimmons inspired us to see if we could use it as a base, which could cradle the spirit of toasted walnuts and bring out the high points of each element. The culmination of this compilation is pictured above. For us it is an almost perfect fall desert. Eggnog, rum, toasted nuts, coffee, and persimmon, it's a balance of flavors and a memorable indulgence all on one plate.