GITH HQ were invited to document behind the scenes creativity of the marvellous Mulino team as they launched a rather special dessert; Deżerta taċ-ċikwejra.
Read on and experience backstage mulino from concept to creation of this perfect seasonal treat.
Mulino restaurant are all about the creative experience and innovatively transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. They aspire to emulate emotions with their dishes which activate all senses. Understanding that smell is the most powerful memory trigger, their chicory dessert was birthed from such fond memories of coffee aroma brewing on the stove at Nanna’s house. We are not talking about any coffee, but a traditional Maltese recipe that combines ground coffee with warming flavours of star anise, cloves, and roasted chicory (sometimes with a splash of liquor if that’s your thing!). These ever so Christmassy spices add uniqueness and depth and make a heavenly basis for this cheeky winter-perfect dessert.
GITH Magazine caught up with Matthew (Front of House), John Paul Rapa (Head Chef) and Christoper Galea (Sous Chef) as they shared the creative journey that brought the sensational Deżerta taċ-ċikwejra to life.
“One day when talking with a friend he started reminiscing about the time he used to enter his Nanna’s house and smell the scent of chicory infused coffee brewing; filling the whole place with coffee perfume. We could see in his eyes that these memories brought joy to him as he was reliving his childhood in front of us. This stuck in our mind as these are the kind of emotions we strive to emulate at Mulino. This idea was put on the back burner until one day we were at the store and saw a packet of cikwejra/chicory and brought it back to the restaurant, put it on the table in front of the kitchen staff and said: “A challenge for you guys, a chicory dessert…”
And they were off.
As usual, the team started off with a brainstorming session where everyone contributes their ideas with no limits, most often starting sentences with, “I know it might sound crazy but what if we could do…”.
This kind of session gets everyone thinking and jotting down ideas. They then cherry-pick the ones that allow them to reach their goal, elevate the dish, and agree on the fundamental parts of the palate. Instead of opting for a classic tiramisu or affogato in true Mulino style, they chose to bring something a little different to the table, translating that feeling of home, joy, and family into a dessert.
The development and testing phases happen in incremental iterations as they decide upon the dominant flavours and finally reaching the desired balanced dish in terms of all the components’ flavour and texture individually and as a whole. And Voilà!
the taste test
Luckily capturing the development of this fine dessert included the all-important taste test! Each ingredient owns its place and you feel the authenticity of the creation process. The strong, bitter ċikwejra jelly is balanced with fluffy pistachio and vanilla sponge, and a delicate chocolate crunch is added for texture alongside to-die-for creamy white chocolate mousse. And the pièce de résistance….? A delicate tempered chocolate disc topper which you witness gracefully melt away as steaming chicory syrup is poured over the top.
Mulino have crafted an exciting festive A La Carte Menu to ensure a magical setting for your quality time with friends and loved ones this Christmas. Head to Mulino fast and sample this stand out dessert before they run out!
For December and January opening hours visit Mulino’s Facebook page.
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Book your festive meal at Mulino, Grunju Street, Qala, Gozo. Tel: +356 79051119 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Discover more GITH articles about Mulino and their signature style here.