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Pastry Chef Miroslav Uskokovic - NYCE 2016 - Restaurant Desserts at Home PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   
Chef miroslav Uskokovic and Debra C. Argen with pudding = Photo by Luxury ExperienceAttention chocoholics! Pastry Chef Miroslav Uskokovic of Gramercy Tavern in New York City, brought the art of making decadent chocolate desserts at home to the New York Culinary Experience (NYCE) 2016 hosted by New York magazine and The International Culinary Center (ICC). The class menu: Hot Fudge Cake and Chocolate Pudding with Pecan Dragée, Pecan Praline, Prunes and Chocolate Covered Puffed Rice. Pastry Chef Miro Uskokovic graciously shares his pudding recipe below, which is fabulously delicious, need I say more?

 

Pastry Chef Miroslov Uskokovic - photo by Luxury Experience
Pastry Chef Miroslav Uskokovic

I had the opportunity to get to know Pastry Chef Miro Uskokovic while I attended his class, Restaurant Desserts at Home, part of the New York Culinary Experience (NYCE) held at The International Culinary Center (ICC) in April 2016. After taking a savory class, "Organic Grains and Heirloom Beans," during the NYCE 2012 from Chef-Partner Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern (Chef Michael Anthony - Recipes), I was eager to learn the art of the sweet from Gramercy Tavern's Pastry Chef.

What I learned in addition to great recipes and tips was that Pastry Chef Miro's passion for life and baking are synonymous; he brought a joyful playfulness to the class as well as a beaming smile that never left his face as he clearly loves what he does.

Miro Uskokovic grew up on a family farm in Serbia and attended hospitality school before moving to Greentown, Indiana, where he worked with a pastry chef. From there, he enrolled in and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York where he had the good fortune of an externship at Wallsé in New York City where he met Johnny Iuzzini, who then offered him an internship at the Michelin-starred Jean-Georges restaurant. He continued to hone his culinary credentials working as a Pastry Sous Chef at the multi Michelin-starred Jean-Georges, and then went on to become Pastry Chef at George Mendes' Michelin-star restaurant, Aldea. Miro joined the Michelin-starred Gramercy Tavern as Pastry Chef in 2013. When not working in the restaurant baking their fabulous desserts, Miro likes to explore New York, try different restaurants, and soak up the ambience.

Pastry Chef Miroslov Uskokovic and Pastry Sous Chef Lindsay Bittner- photo by Luxury Experience
Pastry Chef Miro and Pastry Sous Chef Lindsay Bittner

During the 2-hour and 15-minute class, Pastry Chef Miro Uskokovic, along with his Gramercy Tavern Pastry Sous Chef Lindsay Bittner, and the ICC Chef Instructor and his team to assist, put us through our paces making a decadently rich flourless truffle cake with hot fudge sauce made with pitted prunes, sorghum syrup, bourbon, 72% dark chocolate wafers, butter, kosher salt, whole eggs, and dark brown sugar. Fabulously delicious and gluten-free, too, makes it a perfect choice for dinner parties.

Pastry Chef Miroslov Uskokovic - photo by Luxury Experience
Chef Miro

Note: Pastry Chef Miro explained that they like to use prunes and other fruits in desserts at Gramercy Tavern which adds sweetness without adding extra sugar.

Our next task was making the Chocolate Pudding, made with sugar, milk, salt, Valrhona cocoa powder, egg yolks, cornstarch, 72% Guitard chocolate, cream, and Meyers rum. Paired with the Pecan Dragée, Pecan Praline, Stewed Prunes, and Chocolate Covered Puffed Rice, it was another tempting dessert for chocolate fans, and one that I have now made several times at home since the class.

Note: As Chef Michael Anthony likes the pudding loose, Pastry Chef Miro explained that he places plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the hot pudding to prevent a skim from forming, and then lets the pudding cool to room temperature. Next, he adds cream and rum, blends them into the pudding, and then passes the pudding through a chinoise (a cone-shaped strainer), to give it a silky smoothness.

At the end of the class, the students were beaming, perhaps because of the all the rich chocolate desserts we had eaten, however I like to think that it had to do something to do with Pastry Chef Miro Uskokovic's generosity of spirit and non-stop smile that cannot help but make you feel good.

New Culinary Experience Class - photo by Luxury Experience
Class Photo - "Say Chocolate Cake"

Pastry Chef Miroslav Uskokovic graciously shares a delicious taste from Gramercy Tavern and the NYCE 2016.

Pastry Chef Miroslav Uskokovic - NYCE 2016 - Class Menu
Hot Fudge Cake
Chocolate Pudding with Pecan Dragée, Pecan Praline, Prunes and
Chocolate Covered Puffed Rice

Suggested wine pairings: Excelsior Rosa Regale or Casillero del Diablo Carmenere

Pastry Chef Miroslav Uskokovic graciously shares a delicious taste from Gramercy Tavern and the NYCE 2016.

Chocolate Pudding with Pecan Dragee, and Chocolate Covered Puffed Rice

Chocolate Pudding Ingredients

127
Grams
Sugar
846
Grams
Whole Milk, warm
72
Grams
Sugar
2
Grams
Salt
27
Grams
Valrhona Cocoa Powder
24
Grams
Whole Milk, cold
109
Grams
Egg Yolks
27
Grams
Cornstarch
139
Grams
Guitard Chocolate, 72%
109
Grams
Cream (Battenkill)
18
Grams
Meyers Rum

Pastry Chef Miroslov Uskokovic and Debra C. Argen - photo by Luxury Experience
Chef Miro and Debra C. Argen

Method: Caramelize the first measure of sugar in a deep pot until the sugar turns a deep amber color. Add warm milk to deglaze the pot. Mix together the second measure of sugar, salt and cocoa powder. Add to the warm milk and bring back to a boil.

In a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch, yolks, and cold milk to make a slurry. Temper into the warm milk and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes, constantly whisking.

Stirring pudding - photo by Luxury Experience
Mixing the pudding

Remove from the heat, cover with plastic on the surface and let the mixture cool to room temp.

Add the cream and rum, blend well. Pass the pudding through a chinoise (cone-shaped fine strainer). Pour into a bowl to cool.

Pecan Dragee Ingredients

1000
Grams
Pecan Halves
150
Grams
Water
250
Grams
Granulated Sugar
20
Grams
Lyle's Golden Syrup
8
Grams
Kosher Salt
   
10X Powdered Sugar, as needed

Method: Toast pecans and toss in just enough of 10x powdered sugar to LIGHTLY coat. Combine water, sugar, syrup and salt in heavy duty, large and wide pot; bring to boil, and cook until reaches 140° C. Add toasted pecans and mix vigorously to coat every nut with sugar mixture. Keep cooking and stirring until it crystallizes. Let the nuts cool on Silpat lined sheet tray.

Pecan Praline Ingredients

415
Grams
Caramelized Pecans
83
Grams
Pecan Oil

Method: Blend three-quarters of the pecans and the oil until a fine paste forms. Add the rest of the pecans and pulse until it looks grainy like cornmeal.

Chocolate Covered Puffed Rice Ingredients

50
Grams
Indian Puffed Rice
25
Grams
Lyle's Golden Syrup
15
Grams
Sugar
60
Grams
Chocolate
1
Gram
Salt

Method: Place the puffed rice in a bowl and add the golden syrup, mix, sprinkle with sugar and mix again. Spread the mixture thinly on a silpat and bake at 325° F until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes. Let cool down.

Melt the chocolate, add the cooled caramelized puffs. Spread on a tray lined with parchment and place in the in the refrigerator for 10 minutes until set.

Stewed Prunes Ingredients

193
Grams
Prunes
75
Grams
Orange Juice
32
Grams
Slivovitz (plum brandy from Central or Eastern Europe

Method: Combine everything in a pot, bring to a boil, turn down the temperature to simmer, and cook for 10-1r minutes or until prunes are tender, but not falling apart. Cool down and cut into small dice.

Presentation: Place pudding in individual bowls, garnish with pecan praline, chocolate covered puffed rice, and stewed prunes.

Pastry Chef Miro notes: They use organic sugar at Gramercy Tavern. Also, to add sweetness without adding extra sugar, they use other items like the prunes.

New York magazine Want more information on the next NYCE? For more information about the New York Culinary Experience, contact Stephanie Fray at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or +1-646-314-4413.

For information on taking classes throughout the year with the excellent chef instructors at The International Culinary Center at their New York, California, or Italian Campuses, please visit the website: http://www.internationalculinarycenter.com/

Location and Information

The International Culinary Center 

The International Culinary Center
462 Broadway
New York, New York 10013
United States
Toll-Free Telephone:  +1-888-324-2433
Email:                            
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Website:                      
www.InternationalCulinaryCenter.com
Facebook:                    
www.facebook.com/InternationalCulinaryCenter

The International Culinary Center of California
700 West Hamilton Avenue
Campbell, California 95008
United States
Toll-Free Telephone:   +1-866-318-2433
Email:                              
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Website:                         
www.InternationalCulinaryCenter.com  
Facebook:                     www.facebook.com/InternationalCulinaryCenter

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© June 2016. Luxury Experience. http://www.luxuryexperience.com/. All rights reserved. 

 
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