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Friday 28 December 2012

The desserts of Royal Caribbean cruise - the highlights - vanilla soufflé, baked alaska, pavolva, bread pudding and cherries jubilee

Ok, so we've had the appys, entrees, and now, the best part... the desserts while we were aboard Royal Caribbeans Brilliance of the Seas.  While many look fabulous, some were great, some were memorable, and others, well... read on!
Night 1
Molten lava chocolate cake. Simple dessert you can find just about everywhere.  Sadly overcooked so the centre was soft cake rather than gooey warm chocolate batter.  Guess they forgot that warm plates +mini cake = still cooks for a while before it gets to the table..

Stawberry and Kwi Pavlova.  While I'm not a huge fan of meringue based desserts (personal preference), my boyfriend enjoys them - so this was his dessert.  The fresh strawberry sauce was tart and sweet, complementing the lightly sweetened meringue and kiwi custard well.  It was well executed - except they took the meringue out too soon from cooling down in the oven - everyone's pavolva was cracked from (usually) quick temp change.

Banana Crème brûlée.  Probably the worst dessert ever encountered.  The burnt sugar layer was submerged under a layer of moisture = no satisfying crack, but more of a tough toffee layer.  And the custard part was a lumpy mess of mashed chunky banana and separating custard.  Only thing semi-passible was the pistachio crisp, but it was a bit soggy from the water floating atop the crème brûlée. This one deserved to be tossed overboard... but I doubt even the fishes would be interested.

Night 2
Chocolate Soufflé.  This was a bit hit and miss.  Hit if you got one perfectly baked, missed if you got an over or undercooked one (me). 

The liquor laced goo they poured into the center didn't quite mask the raw foamy batter within.

Bread pudding.  Warm, soft bread pudding saturated with a creamy sweet sauce its baked in, drizzled with caramel sauce and melting vanilla icecream.  Hard to resist not asking for seconds.

Tiramisu (cake).  Flavors of espresso and chocolate present, but missing the creamy mascarpone and soaked lady fingers component to give it a lot more moisture.  Pretty presentation... and needed much more of the tasty fruit decoration and mascarpone goo!

Night 3
Mini desserts trio: Straw/Raspberry mousse, chocolate fudge cake, lemon cheesecake.  The mousse while pretty was quite artificial tasting, the chocolate fudge was super dense and rich, while the lemon cheesecake needed a bit more tartness.  Having minis with gradient of textures would be better next time rather than light, dense, dense.

Custard filled donut.  This was their take on a Caribbean traditional donut (sorry, forgot to scribble down name) with a trace of rum flavor.  Presentation pretty, but, its essentially a cake donut with a bit of the good piped into the top.

Cherries Jubilee.  Normally, I only enjoy fresh cherries, but our waiter dropped us off this extra dessert as he personally felt the mini desserts trio and the donut was inferior to the cherry dessert- having tasted all the dishes and desserts before dinner service.  He was totally right, and I'm glad he insisted on this dessert as it definetely overshadowed the previous 2 desserts of the night.  Jumbo sized ripe fresh cherries are gently cooked in a light syrup - surprisingly retaining their flavor and most of their texture.  The icecream melting in added just the right amount of creaminess to round out the dessert. It wasn't set on fire due to fire codes, but still tasty! Mmm.. thanks Henry!!

Night 4
Chocolate terrine.  This moouse had a bit too much gelatin mixed in making for a odd firm jello foam texture.

Strawberry mousse.   Fluffy, cool, and creamy, with fresh strawberry flavor sans seeds coming through

Baked Alaska.  In the past they doused it liberally with alcohol and torched it making it molten hot and usually charring the heck out of the meringue.  I'm glad they lightly toasted the meringue to a crisp smore like marshmallow creamy topping...

With hard solid blocks of strawberry, chocolate and vanilla icecream underneath that didn't even get close to melting from the toasted topping... we almost had to chip at the icecream to get it out.  But the warm gooey meringue topping - yum!

Night 5 - last night!
Vanilla souffle.  Much better executed than the chocolate one. 

Fluffy and light, the thick vanilla and Baileys flavored sauce worked well together

Fresh pear mousse with chocolate sauce.  Enjoyed the moouse as it had nice fresh notes of tart fresh pear while still retaining mainly a smooth texture.

Key Lime Pie.  Crisp graham cracker based crust, the filling was a bit denser that expected, and would have been improved with more fresh key lime flavor.

And since it was our last night, we were serenaded by the waitstaff with Italian opera... all the more impressive since none of them spoke Italian!

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