I have a little secret: I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, yup, this pastry chef would much rather eat crispy bacon  than a creme brulee, sorry but it’s true! I think this actually helps me create more balanced desserts.

Several weeks ago I had the privilege to attend the James Beard Celebrity Chefs Dinner at the Canoe House at the Mauna Lani.  It was a magical night, sampling divine food, fine wines and cocktails, with good friends in a spectacular setting.  But the highlight had to be meeting Nancy Silverton of La Brea Bakery fame!  I was starstruck and acted like a complete goofball groupie.  Her dessert was fantastic: goat cheese honey tart garnished with a whisper thin pignolia cookie and amber pools of local honey.  Simple, not too sweet, refined and elegant.

As we left the dinner they gave us tiny bottles of the most exquisite salt in two “flavors”: keawe  smoked and guava smoked. These beautiful crystals were distinctly smoky and earthy, yet bright with a super clean punch of salinity.

I wanted to make something with it right away but what???


Keawe smoked macadamia nut toffee…. Oh my, this is my perfect dessert: buttery,nutty, chocolatey, crunchy and, yup, salty!

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