Peanut butter is an old favourite, and salted caramel is old news, but there’s a new salty-sweet combination you probably haven’t tried just yet: Lay’s plain salted custard.
Constantia fine dining restaurant Greenhouse is serving up the inspired new sweet, salty combination: a custard flavoured with Lay’s chips, served with beer ice cream and pretzel crumble.
“‘Beer, chips and pretzels’ came to me late one night after service over a beer,” explains Peter Tempelhoff, executive chef of The Collection by Liz McGrath, of which Greenhouse, at The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel, is part. “I wanted to create a dish that was a bridging course; a dish that contained both a little salt and sugar to get the taste buds ready for dessert.”
And so the idea of recreating the experience of sitting in a pub with friends, snacking on bar food, in a dessert was born.
The Lay’s plain salted potato chips are made into a custard, which is then aerated for lightness. Devil’s Peak ale is reduced and made into a gelato, and the whole dish is sprinkled with a dusting of pretzels, which have been made into a praline before being crushed.
The custard starts out sweet, then turns subtly salty, and there’s an underlying hint of fried, golden potato. Salty, crunchy pieces of pretzel, and a scoop of bitter ale ice cream, balances everything out. It’s a remarkably moreish thing.
“It has been really well received because it’s so unique and also just so damn delicious,” admits Peter.
The course is part of a tasting menu, so you’ll have to save up a little to try it out. It’s available either as part of Greenhouse’s spring menu (R590 without wine) or the African origins menu (R820 without wine).
If you’re a fan of salty-sweet cominations, look out for the Dalewood Huguenot ice cream in the ‘Four degrees of cheese’ course. It’s so superlatively creamy, we’d order it by the bucket, if we could.
*8 September 2015: this article was edited to remove the assertion that the Lay’s plain salted dessert was an ice cream. It is in fact a custard.