Best of 2001: Best Retro Classic Dessert

Vincent Sirino's
113 W. Grand, Escondido

Chef Vincent Grumel's desserts are his forte, and he's been making his spectacular bavarois for a quarter of a century. This elaborate production number -- this Babylonian sequence of sweets -- is a pyramid of vanilla Bavarian cream, a skill-stretching, labor-intensive dessert that involves combining custard, gelatin, whipped cream, and meringue to create a puff of sweet creamed air. Grumel's elaboration on the classic Bavarian goes several steps further, concealing a party's worth of surprises: a crown of rum-soaked sponge cake, a filling of rich, pudding-like chocolate mousse, and a splash of semi-sweet chocolate syrup over it all. And to cap it all off -- not a cherry, but a blossom from the chef's own home garden.

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