Dessert First

Butternut Squash Squares and Pear Spice Cookies at The Café at MIM

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The desserts available at The Café at MIM last weekend were butternut squash squares with mascarpone cheese and a pear-apple cobbler. Both looked pretty appetizing (and just pretty), but I was swayed toward the former since the table eating next to us at lunch seemed to enjoy it. One lady even commented that it tasted similar to pumpkin desserts, but I was hoping it would taste something like the butternut brûlée at The House at Secret Garden. The butternut squash square didn't quite reach that level of awesome, the unique flavor of the squash not nearly as pronounced, but it was still good and disappeared quickly.

The texture of the top layer, the butternut squash, was indeed very similar to pumpkin pie filling. However, it was a little bland and could have used more spice. The middle layer of the square was mascarpone cheese, which wasn't noteworthy on its own but did add a nice creaminess to the dish. The crust on the bottom was very soft and buttery, similar to the bottom of a lemon square but a tad richer. And the little dots on the plate? Blackberry jam -- and not nearly enough of it. Overall, this dessert was pretty good, but I was left wondering how the squash flavor could be brought out more to really steal the show. Despite that, my visit to The Café at MIM was far from a waste of time thanks to the treat I brought home with me.

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Dominique Chatterjee