Fabian von Hauske of Contra in New York City is one of America’s best young chefs. But even the best make mistakes every once in a while. When first opening Contra in 2013, the then 23-year-old von Hauske was experimenting with ice cream bases and messed up a batch. However, he found that while he hadn’t made a good ice cream base, he’d made a great mousse and since then he’s turned that mistake into a staple of his culinary repertoire. It’s a valuable lesson in how embracing experimentation in the kitchen can lead to cool new discoveries.
To make this dessert, von Hauske combines that mousse with a crumbly topping inspired by Alegria, an amaranth-based bar he ate growing up as a kid in Mexico City. Then he serves it to Playboy senior editor Jeremy Repanich with a lemon-yogurt sorbet that adds an acidic high note to an earthy dessert.