Baking up batches of joy

A La Carte

December 15, 2019

Story By: Brandon Bosworth | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Strawberry Mint Hazelnuts ($24)

If you’re looking for something truly special this holiday season, then head to Halepuna by Halekulani hotel in Waikiki and check out Halekulani Bakery and Restaurant. Executive pastry chef Mark Freischmidt and his culinary crew have cooked up a unique treat that is sure to elevate your seasonal shindigs.

Freischmidt calls the items “Christmas Shareables” and describes them as something like “a Christmas pinata.” Dark chocolate is molded into shapes, decorated, and filled with candy before being sealed. This edible work of art is then broken open by the customer, revealing the sweets inside. “We have a very skilled staff, and are always trying to do something different,” Freischmidt says. “We’re hoping to start a new family tradition with the Shareables.”

Chestnut Pecan Mont Blanc ($8)

The Shareables come in three shapes.

The Christmas Tree ($75) is made with dark chocolate and filled with ginger bread caramels. Santa Claus ($90) is also made with dark chocolate but is filled with raspberry caramels. The caramels are made and hand-wrapped (or “elf-wrapped” as Freischmidt puts it) in house. To break them open, Freischmidt suggests using a serrated paring knife, though those with a bit of pent-up holiday stress will be glad to know you can break them apart with bare hands.

Stollen ($24.50)

The Golden Penguin ($45) is a little different from the other two. Instead of being hollow and filled with candy, it is made entirely of dark chocolate with marshmallow, hazelnuts, cranberries and Rice Krispies.

The Christmas Shareables are only available in limited quantities. They are fairly labor-intensive, and Freischmidt says it can take up to two hours to make a batch of four.

Executive pastry chef Mark Freischmidt shows off a Christmas Shareable

Another special is Strawberry Mint Hazelnuts ($24). Roasted hazelnuts are en-robed in milk chocolate and a strawberry chocolate with mint. Or opt for a Chestnut Pecan Mont Blanc ($8). This small pastry consists of a tart shell filled with pecan crunch and cremeux plus orange blossom Bavarian and a chestnut cream.

For a classic winter treat, opt for the Stollen ($24.50). This traditional Christmas bread has been a German tradition for more than 500 years. The Halekulani version is a mixture of dried fruit soaked in rum, almond filling and pecans and macadamia nuts. Freischmidt calls it “very rummy,” and the flavor of light rum definitely comes through.

An assortment of Christmas Shareables

“It’s great microwaved for a few seconds,” he says, adding, “It goes great with coffee.”

The special seasonal sweets are only available for the holidays, and will no longer be offered after Dec. 31, so run, run Rudolph to Halekulani Bakery and Restaurant while you can.

Honolulu, HI 96815

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