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Creating the Perfect Secret Garden Dessert

The Ampersand Events kitchen has been a hive of activity over the past week, with tastings galore and themed menus including Persian & Russian. One tasting that particularly caught our attention was for a charity ball, which will take place in November. From the first client meeting, when a theme of ‘Secret Garden’ was revealed, ideas were flying. Cautious not to overdo it, we decided only to theme the dessert but to make that really special.

When it comes to dessert, Andy Richard, our pastry chef, never disappoints. Andy joined the Ampersand team nearly 2 years ago from Faena Hotel & Universe, a "celeb-spot” boutique hotel in his birthplace Buenos Aires. There he attended workshops and courses where he developed his skills and the love for pastry that we see today. His idol is pastry chef extraordinaire Paco Torreblanca and his long-term goal is to open his own fusion inspired dessert restaurant in London. Andy’s passion and creative mind allow him to produce an array of beautiful and unique sweet treats for events, and we are confident that this one will follow suit.

Following this year’s successful Eaton Square Gardens event, Andy had plenty of ideas for decoration, including flower shaped lollipops and edible blooms, so the challenge was designing the dessert itself. While brainstorming with the client, we decided that presenting a dessert in a flowerpot with a mini trowel would be a charming touch, certain to get the guests talking. Andy created two desserts suited to this style and presented them at the tasting. Both were built around a mousse base, a solid enough medium to support the decorative lollies & logs.

Peanut Butter Dream- Peanut butter and dark chocolate mousse, topped by a minted crumble edible soil, with coconut and dried raspberries, decorated with chocolate lollies and a green apple

Black Forest Pot – Cherry and dark chocolate mousse with marshmallows and macerated cherries soaked in vanilla and cinnamon and topped with chocolate edible soil, meringue mushrooms, aero rocks and a chocolate log

The guests were simply blown away, and there were ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ aplenty heard from the tasting room and a considerable length of time before anyone could actually bring themselves to stop staring and tuck in. The clients found it too hard to choose between the two options, so we invited Andy to join us to discuss a mix-and-match approach to create a bespoke third choice.

We are so excited to see guests’ reactions at the ball and still buzzing from such a successful afternoon with excellent food, an excellent client and all for an event supporting an excellent cause!


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