Taste a spring garden on a spoon at this Atlanta restaurant

Miller Union's dessert showcase is a basil cake served with rhubarb jam, lime and white chocolate ganache, and guava sorbet. Angela Hansberger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Miller Union's dessert showcase is a basil cake served with rhubarb jam, lime and white chocolate ganache, and guava sorbet. Angela Hansberger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Dish of the Week: Basil cake with guava sorbet at Miller Union

In researching and developing her basil cake, the dessert showpiece at Miller Union, Executive Pastry Chef Claudia Martinez tested flavor combinations, forgoing traditional pairings with strawberry and other seasonal fruits. All along, basil was her muse, and not a mere highlight.

What she created is reminiscent of traipsing through a meadow. Blanched basil is the foundation for a gorgeous green cake with a light crumb; it is herbaceous and barely sweet. Vivid red stalks of early spring rhubarb are compressed with yuzu for a tart jam. The bright colors provide a contrast to dollops of lime and white chocolate ganache. And, textures come into play with dehydrated basil cake and ruby red chocolate crunch adding a crisp garnish. A quenelle-shaped scoop of guava sorbet brings everything together — subtly floral, slightly sweet and so tropical it whisks you away.

It’s like spring turning into summer on a plate. It looks too pretty to disturb with a spoon, but, trust me, you’ll want to eat it.