Cameron Mitchell's executive pastry chef deconstructs one of her recent creations
Cameron Mitchell's executive pastry chefdeconstructs one of her recent creations
Summer Schott has a rare job in a Columbus restaurant: pastry chef. And it's a big one. As executive pastry chef for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, Schott oversees recipe development at all 13 of Cameron Mitchell's concepts (spanning 31 restaurants). She is not only responsible for developing recipes and reworking existing ones, but also training bakers across the company and encouraging their creativity.
Schott, who says her love of science and art drew her to baking, gathers inspiration by reading food blogs and traveling. She has worked at CMR since 2005 and holds a degree in pastry arts from the International Culinary Arts and Science Institute in Chesterland, Ohio. We asked her to break down one of The Guild House's newest desserts for us: the Honey Cake. Schott takes this very dense pound cake soaked in local honey and amps up the complexity through spice, sourness, tang and texture. She garnishes it with honeycomb candy, a childhood recipe she used to make with her mom.
A) Spice and Texture: Cookie butter mousse
"Not only do I want to do desserts that are interesting and good, but also something that I like," Schott says. "Cookie butter has been around for a while but is becoming [more widely] introduced in the United States. It's got a little bit of ginger, a little bit of spice to it and it comes in a spread. Making it into a mousse keeps all of that great flavor, but gives it another texture, another way to use it on a dessert."
B) Sweet: Honey from HoneyRun Farm
"The great thing about their honey is it's a natural honey," she says. "It's not pasteurized so it keeps a lot of those natural flavors. And they sell it seasonally, so depending on the season you're going to get different flavors from the flowers or from the different clover. It's a little bit of a darker honey right now … a little bit more of that brown sugar flavor."
C) Sour: Pureed blueberries
To break up what is a very sweet honey-based dessert, Schott adds a pureed blueberry sauce to the plate. "Since blueberries aren't quite in season anymore, we actually pickle our blueberries. The pickled blueberries give that sour flavor component," she says.
D) Tang: Lemon quark cream
Quark cheese, sourced from Blue Jacket Dairy in Logan County, adds a tangy, savory component to the dessert. "Quark is kind of like an English version of cream cheese, a little bit thicker and grittier," she says. "It smears a little bit like goat cheese, and it has a little bit of lemon zest."
E) Garnish and Crunch: Honeycomb candy
"Honeycomb candy is fun because if you ever made a volcano as a kid, you're adding acid to a base-baking soda to vinegar. Honeycomb is kind of like that," she says. "You're adding baking soda to this hot honey liquid and it traps all the carbon dioxide in there and cooks it. You get this fun, light crisp that … has a really cool texture."
Trend Alert: Cookie butter
Say hello to the next Nutella. Originating from Belgium and the Netherlands, cookie butter is essentially crushed, spiced shortbread cookies (called Speculoos) made spreadable with the addition of vegetables oils. Trader Joe's sells a popular version if you're looking for a new addiction.