As anyone who's been to State Bird Provisions knows, you don't order just one of Nicole Krasinski's desserts at the end of the meal.
You order all of them.
Which is why we named her to Tasting Table's 2013 list of Best Pastry Chefs.
Her sweets, however simple they may appear, are miniature marvels. Black sesame, for instance, finds a surprising accord with coconut and caramelized mandarin. A shot of peanut milk, sweetened with raw muscovado sugar, is immediately familiar and yet unlike any other peanut sweet you've ever tasted. It inspires such a feeling of bonhomie that Krasinski calls it "world peace."
For the Best Pastry Chefs photo essay, we asked Nicole--as well as six other chefs from around the country--to rework a favorite childhood treat. Her cocoa custard proves true to form.
The recipe uses an unexpected method to yield a dessert whose flavor evokes both a grandmotherly baked pudding and a deep, smooth pot de crème. The final twist: a few flakes of sea salt on top.