By reimagining classic desserts, like her white chocolate cheesecake, Cezanne Melzer is transforming the dessert experience.
For Cezanne Melzer, it all started with a simple cake, some homemade frosting and a series of instructional videos about how to decorate the former with the latter. From that moment on, she was hooked on pastry, and especially desserts.
Three years and a lot of studying, practicing and baking later, Melzer landed the Pastry Chef position with Jacksonville (Fla.) Golf & Country Club, a position she held until July when she took on a new role as Pastry Chef of Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)
During her time at JG&CC, she more than doubled the daily dessert menu to include at least ten items, in addition to a half-dozen cookies. She poured her creativity into each dish and studiously applied on-trend, whimsical tweaks to make each plate unique.
“I start with classic recipes and find new ways to reinterpret them so that the final dish is still familiar, but slightly new and a little more fun,” says Melzer. “Desserts should bring joy to our members. They shouldn’t be too serious.”
To spice things up this spring, Melzer decided to reinterpret a simple white chocolate cheesecake by incorporating a popular—and colorful—cereal: Fruity Pebbles.
“One of the line cooks has been bringing in random treats and boxes of cereal to share,” says Melzer. “I had never had Fruity Pebbles before, but I loved how colorful they were. I decided to borrow the box of cereal and come up with a flavored cheesecake that would make our members smile.”
Melzer made a graham cracker crust and added cotton candy flavoring to the homemade marshmallows, which she added to the cheesecake filling. She topped each slice with a homemade malted milk cream that tastes like cereal milk, and used the cereal as a garnish alongside fresh raspberries. The final result (see photo and recipe at right) surprised and delighted her members.
“This cheesecake was loved by so many of our members—young and old,” says Melzer.
View the recipes for Melzer’s cheesecake here.