At first, it didn’t look like Aaron Spring’s creation for the 2015 Healthy Dessert Contest was going to go over very well.
So much so, in fact, that they all voted for it to win the People’s Choice Award in the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community’s contest.“It was a hard sell at first,” the MOSAIC chef said of his Ginger Agave Panna Cotta. But then, “every single one of them that had it loved it.”
Italian for “cooked cream,” panna cotta is what Spring likes to call an “eggless custard.” Flavored with ginger and topped with agave, a basil salad and grilled oranges, the dessert clocked in at fewer than 100 calories per serving.
Spring said his main motivation for the dessert was using local ingredients and making something home chefs can easily replicate.
But the panna cotta wasn’t his first try. There was a lot of trial and error to figure out what he was going to make, Spring said. It included a sweet potato tamale.
“I just couldn’t get it to work and be under the calorie content,” he said of the tamale. “It was fun to do it. I loved the challenge of it.”
“I want to take you on a roller coaster ride,” he said. “I want you to not expect it but be thrilled with what you get.”After serving in the U.S. Army for three years as a chef, most of that time in Korea, Spring enjoys cooking smaller portions. But he still wants it to be exciting for the people who eat his creations.
The panna cotta was a perfect example of that, he said.
“It’s not overly sweet for a dessert,” he said. “So it’s surprising and fulfilling, but without having a sweet ending.”
[SOURCE: suffolknewsherald.com May 19, 2015]