Oct 16, 2019 Last Updated 6:31 AM, Nov 9, 2017

Plated Dessert: “Disney’s Opus”

Laura Johnson-Lachowecki’s Plated Dessert: “Disney’s Opus.”

Graham cracker crust, key lime chiffon cheesecake, Florida macerated oranges, orange sherbet, tuile, whipped cream and Florida ruby red grapefruit fluid gel by Laura Johnson-Lachowecki, CC, Baker, University of Notre Dame Food Services, Notre Dame, IN.


Yield: 4 servings

Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1.4 oz/40 g graham cracker crumbs
  • 0.5 oz/15 g unsalted butter
  • 0.17 oz/5 g whole eggs 

Combine all ingredients and press into mold. Bake at 350°F for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool. 

Key Lime Chiffon Cheesecake:

  • 0.08 oz/2.5 g gelatin powder
  • 0.56 oz/16 g cold water
  • 1.76 oz/50 g heavy cream
  • 5.6 oz/158 g cream cheese
  • 2.5 oz/71 g confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 oz/27 g fresh Key lime juice
  • 0.6 oz/17 g Key lime puree (preferably Perfect Puree)
  • 0.03 oz/1 g Key lime zest 

1. Bloom gelatin in the cold water.

2. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. 

3. Cream the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth in mixer with paddle. Add the lime juice, puree and zest. Continue to mix until smooth.

4. Melt the bloomed gelatin.

5. Add the gelatin to the cream cheese mixture. Mix until combined. Fold in the whipped cream.

6. Pipe into the baked crust. Let set in cooler. 

Florida Macerated Oranges:

  • 12 Florida oranges
  • 0.3 oz/9 g Grand Marnier
  • 0.35 oz/10 g granulated sugar
  • 0.07 oz/2 g vanilla bean paste 

1. Supreme oranges.

2. Combine Grand Marnier, sugar, and vanilla bean paste. Add orange supremes. 

Orange Sherbet:

  • 7 oz/198 g sweetened condensed milk
  • 15 oz/425 g orange soda 

Whisk together sweetened condensed milk and orange soda. Freeze in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions. 


  • 1 oz/30 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 oz/30 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 oz/30 g confectioners’ sugar (12X)
  • 1 oz/30 g egg whites 

1. In a food processor, cream together flour, butter, and confectioners’ sugar. Add whites and blend until combined. 

2. Using an offset spatula, spread over desired template and bake at 350°F for about 3 minutes. 

Whipped Cream:

  • 0.35 oz/10 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 oz/28 g heavy cream 

Combine sugar and cream and whip with whisk attachment to stiff peaks. 

Florida Ruby Red Grapefruit Fluid Gel:

  • 4.6 oz/131 g Florida Ruby Red Grapefruit juice
  • 0.04 oz/1.2 g agar agar
  • 0.77 oz/22 g granulated sugar 

1. In a small pan over medium heat, whisk together the grapefruit juice, agar agar, and granulated sugar. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally to ensure the agar agar is dispersed and fully hydrated.

2. Pour the liquid into a container in an ice bath to set. 


  • Piped chocolate musical filigree
  • Colored sugar
  • Crumbled cookies (use scraps from butter cookie recipe below) 

Unmold Key Lime Chiffon Cheesecake. Fill a chocolate loop with the grapefruit fluid-gel sauce and sprinkle with colored sugar. Pipe rosette of Whipped Cream on the Key Lime Chiffon Cheesecake and finish with chocolate, piped, musical filigree. Place cheesecake on the left-side of the plate. Arrange Florida Macerated Oranges on the right side of the plate and put the cookie crumble to the left of the oranges. Place the orange sherbet on top of the cookie crumble and the tuile on top of the Orange Sherbet.


Click here to read more about this and related recipes in the article "ACF National Pastry."

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