August 17, 2019
Jessica Collins developed her love of cooking at an early age. She enjoyed spending time in the kitchen with her mom and grandmothers watching them and helping them prepare meals. She graduated with honors from Johnson County Community College’s Culinary Arts program in 2004 before earning her associate’s degrees in culinary arts plus food and beverage management. After moving to Nashville she worked as a pastry supervisor at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center for five years until the flood shut the hotel down.
Jessica has worked at several well-known Nashville restaurants in the city such as Table 3, Giovanni’s, Bound’ry, The Farm House and Oak Steakhouse, and is currently executive pastry chef for Amaranth Hospitality Group, overseeing the pastry/bread programs at both Liberty Common and Butchertown Hall. She also is an adjunct professor at Nashville State Community College, where she teaches advanced baking and pastry.
When she’s not working, Jessica is an active member of the Les Dames d’ Escoffier — a worldwide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. The most important aspect of the organization is its mission to mentor and support women in food, farming, beverage and hospitality by providing scholarships for women for continuing education to further their careers, as well as help to provide books and equipment for students in culinary school. Les Dames also co-funds internships for at-risk young women in partnership with Nashville’s Opportunity Now Initiative. Jessica served as a board member and now runs the organization’s various social media pages.
Pound-cake toast with grilled apples, mascarpone, caramel sauce and hazelnuts
Brown sugar pound cake
227g butter, room temperature
213g brown sugar
2 large eggs
1t baking powder
¼ t baking soda
227g sour cream
1 ½ t vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 325. Spray and flour bundt pan
2. In mixer cream the butter and sugars
3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute or two between additions. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat briefly.
4. Add the baking powder, salt, and baking soda, then gently beat in half the flour.
5. Gently mix in the sour cream and vanilla, then add the remaining flour, mixing just until blended.
6. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Remove the cake from the oven. Cool it in the pan for 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack to finish cooling.
1 cup mascarpone
Raw honey, to taste
Pinch black pepper (optional)
½ t vanilla
1. Mix all together until combined.
3 apples, cut into wedges
3T melted butter
3T cinnamon sugar
1. Toss your apples in the butter and cinnamon sugar.
2. Line your grill with some aluminum foil and spray with some pan spray. This will keep your apples from falling through the grill grates.
3. Grill your apples for about 6 minutes on each side, or until grill marks appear. You don’t want to burn your apples but you do want them nice and grilled and caramelly.
Brown butter sage caramel
3 cups heavy cream
2 sticks sage
6oz butter, browned
¼ c water
¼ c corn syrup
1 t salt
2 t vanilla
1. Heat cream with sage to boil. Turn off heat and let steep 10 min.
2. Strain cream into container and brown the butter (using same pan fine)
3. Remove from heat when butter is darkish amber color and pour into the cream
4. In same pan, add sugar, corn syrup, water and salt and caramelize mix until medium-dark amber color.
5. Slowly pour in your cream and butter mixture (careful it will pop)
6. Stir to combine then add vanilla
Slice pound cake about 1-1.5” thick.
Line your grill with some aluminum foil and spray with some pan spray to prevent sticking and to keep your pound cake from falling through your grates.
Lightly butter both sides and grill the pound cake for about 30-45 sec each side. You just want grill marks. If you grill too long the pound cake will fall apart.
Schmear on some mascarpone cream on each slice of pound cake
Top with some grilled apples
Drizzle some brown butter caramel over the apples and sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts