By Amelia Levin
Chef Jessica Quiet, executive chef at The Lodge at Spruce Peak, a luxury ski resort in Stowe, Vermont, knows her clientele — a mashup of ski enthusiasts, vacationers, brides, wedding guests and those with a strong interest in health and wellness.
That’s why, just in time for summer, Chef Quiet developed a not-too-sweet, 100% gluten-free variety of ice cream sandwiches. She uses an almond flour macaron base for a light and refreshing take on the summertime classic, in comparison to the oft-heavy, cookie-based original. Her current dessert menu (for dining and catering) features three flavors: strawberry matcha, Tahitian vanilla and chocolate chunk. Here’s how she makes the treats.
For the macaron, “my style is to combine room- temperature egg whites with sugar and cream of tartar and whip them to medium to stiff peaks,” says Chef Quiet, who then sifts together a ratio of two parts almond flour (for a binding agent) and one part powdered sugar. She then folds that mixture in with the egg white base, mixing in four to five turns so as not to overmix. Instead of shaping the macaron into circular disks, Chef Quiet spreads the base thin on sheet trays and bakes it at 350 degrees F with a low fan.
While the macaron cools, Chef Quiet makes a pâté à bombe mousse (which can be infused with various flavors) and spreads it across the macaron. Another sheet of macaron forms the top layer of the sandwich, and the whole dessert is frozen before being sliced into different square or rectangular shapes.
“If I’m adding flavor, I’ll sub out some of the macaron mix for the cocoa or matcha,” she says. For the strawberry matcha flavor, Chef Quiet whips the bright green, ground Japanese tea into the macaron base. She sources seasonal, local strawberries and folds them directly into the pâté à bombe, along with a touch of yuzu juice for a “bright citrus flavor.”
For the Tahitian vanilla version, Chef Quiet spikes both the pâté à bombe and the macaron
with the “trending” spice. “Tahitian vanilla seems to be more popular right now and is different from Madagascar vanilla in that it’s more floral, fruity and slightly spicy with a little bite,” she says.
For her chocolate chunk ice cream sandwich, Chef Quiet uses the same macaron base — but infuses the meringue shell with cocoa and folds chocolate chunks into the pâté à bombe. She also adds a little cold brew coffee concentrate from local Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea Co. for a bump of “toasty” flavor.
When plating the sandwiches together, Chef Quiet draws inspiration from the bright pink, green and chocolate colors of spumoni ice cream. She drizzles a bit of chocolate sauce on the plate and cuts the ice cream bars into small square shapes of different sizes, standing them up on the plate so they vary in height. Vanilla-bean Chantilly cream, chocolate shavings, a mixed-berry compote and a light dusting of snow sugar complete the dish. “The bars are super light and eat like a cloud,” she says.