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Dessert in the Desert:
Hacienda Del Sol

The modern desserts at Hacienda Del Sol are guaranteed to make your mouth water.

November 27, 2017

Dessert in the Desert

Sometimes, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s will cure your craving for sweets. Other times, what you really need is a trip to Hacienda Del Sol to experience desserts at their finest.

Luckily, you can visit The Grill or the Terraza Garden Patio & Lounge for some of the most decadent, fancy, and delicious desserts you’ll ever come across.

“I like to play on classics,” Pastry Chef Kara Hranicka says. “I try to put twists on what our guests’ favorites are. We always have some sort of creme brûlée and carrot cake, but I try to make them different. They have a lot of comfort in them; they’re more modern and unique.”

As an example of one of Hranicka’s twists, the dessert menu currently includes Carrot Three Ways, which is a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, carrot sorbet, candied carrot strips, butter pecan cream, and an almond crumble. After devouring this dessert, it’ll be hard to eat traditional carrot cake again.

Halloween and Thanksgiving might be over, but it’s never too late to enjoy apple pie—especially Nana’s Apple Pie at Hacienda Del Sol.

Another one of Hranicka’s twists is a take on apple pie. It’s called Nana’s Apple Pie and includes housemade churros, sautéed apples, apple sorbet, apple whiskey gelée, vanilla bean pastry cream, and an apple chip.

“It brings out the southwestern with the churros,” Hranicka says. “And then the apple side of it provides a nice comfort food. It’s different than your traditional apple pie.”

Hranicka says she also tries to use ingredients that are grown on Hacienda Del Sol’s property.

“It’s important to keep the integrity of our products up,” Hranicka says. “Everything is made daily. We always want to upkeep freshness.”

The raspberry zinfandel sorbet on top of the Chocolate & Zin is enough to make your mouth water.

The menu changes seasonally—usually 2-3 times a year. Besides Carrot Three Ways and Nana’s Apple Pie, the menu currently includes:

  • HDS Hot Cocoa — Southwest-spiced hot cocoa with housemade mesquite marshmallows
  • Housemade Ice Cream & Sorbet — Changes daily
  • Chocolate & Zin — Flourless chocolate cake with raspberry zinfandel sorbet, raspberry fluid gel croquants, raspberry coins, and vanilla meringue kisses
  • Winter Citrus Tart — Local citrus, sweet tart shell, raspberry gel, toasted marshmallow fluff, fresh fruit, and micro-flowers
  • Creme Brûlée — Vanilla bean or chef’s choice

Aside from the desserts on the regular menu, Hacienda Del Sol is also home to many events, which means special menus are made frequently for banquet guests. Hranicka says she enjoys the chance to be creative and play around with new menus.

The Winter Citrus Tart is almost too pretty to eat… almost.

When asked why it’s important to not only offer many desserts, but to also ensure that they’re genuinely good quality desserts, Hranicka says it’s just something that’s engrained in her.

“I’ve been in this business for ten years,” she says. “That’s my goal when I create menus. I want people’s mouths to be watering just by reading the menu.”

“I like the creativity of being a pastry chef,” she adds. “I like that desserts are the final note of a meal. A lot of times, when people decide to have dessert, the dessert is the last thing they remember.”

As for her favorite dessert? It’s ice cream.

“I’m such a sucker for ice cream or gelato,” she says. “Especially if it’s housemade.”

Hacienda Del Sol
5501 N Hacienda Del Sol Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85718

Dessert in the Desert is a series highlighting desserts in Tucson. The main courses at restaurants get all the rage, as they should, but what about desserts? They deserve a spotlight, too.



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