JR Ryall is responsible for the dessert menu at Ballymaloe House in County Cork, considered the birthplace of modern Irish cuisine. Every year he travels for two months to search for culinary ideas around the world in order to offer diners a selection of delicacies with fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients, presented on a vintage cart.
In his first book, Ballymaloe Desserts, the chef shares 130 inspiring and accessible dessert recipes that can be enjoyed at the restaurant, from the Ice Cream Bomb to a spectacular Irish Coffee Meringue Gâteau and the classic Strawberry Shortcake modernized with a geometric presentation. With each dish, Ryall reveals the story behind it and gives clear, detailed instructions.
Available in English at our online bookstore Books For Chefs, it includes numerous tips and basic recipes (choux pastry, cream pastry, sauces, jams, and more). It is also divided into:
At Ballymaloe Desserts, seasonal and locally grown fruit are always used. This chapter focuses on serving fruit in its simplest form. Some recipes are so simple that they only require a knife and a bowl, others require simple cooking. Ryall assures that “when little is done to good fruit other than gently tossing it, poaching it or baking it with enough sugar to bring its flavor into complete focus, you can easily create a dish that is eye-widening and joyful to eat.”
Compote of rhubarb, pears poached with saffron and cardamom, and blood oranges in caramel sauce are some of the recipes included.
There is always a meringue dessert at this restaurant. Without a doubt, meringue is very versatile, it can be served alone or flavored, warm or cold, among other combinations. Therefore, in this section, the reader will find recipes that adapt to practically any occasion and with successful flavor combinations such as pear and walnut or coffee with Irish whiskey.
Mousses, set creams, jellies & fruit fools
In this section, Ryall wanted to bring together desserts designed to be shared on the table at the end of a meal. Depending on the time of year and the occasion, he thinks about the best option. For example, Raspberry and Mint Jelly in the fall and Sherry Trifle for the Christmas holidays.
The chef reclaims the pleasure of enjoying the almost forgotten pleasure when eating a homemade pudding with simple and traditional recipes. Puddings like Chocolate Fudge or Summer with black currants.
In the dessert cart there are always frozen desserts like silky smooth vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce, cooling with blackberry and geranium leaf sorbet, or a refreshing elderflower granita with strawberries and cream.
The pastries shown are the most popular in Ballymoe’s repertoire and have the distinction of only focusing on one or two flavors. This decision is deliberate, as this simplicity allows you to pay attention to the details. To name a few examples, the Gâteau Pithiviers with almond filling.
Here, Ryall wants to share some of the cakes he loves to make and serve. Many have been on the establishment’s menu before his incorporation, but they are some of the most requested by customers. Among those that are perfect for celebrations we find the Almond Praline Cake or Chocolate Mousse Gâteau.