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Mother's Day Recipe with Maria Tampakis, Executive Chef, Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown

With Mother's Day weekend nearly upon us, we turn to Maria Tampakis daughter of celebrated pastry chef Michelle Tampakis, who was an instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York for many years. Maria grew up learning from her mother and the ICE literally served as her playground, inspiring her to become a professional chef! She joined the Four Seasons New York Downtown in 2021 as the hotel company's first female Executive Chef in the Americas. Now, she has the opportunity to teach her daughters alongside her mother, they share a special Mother's Day recipe!

Chef Maria Tampakis with her mother, Michelle and daughter Emilija Bauza
Chef Maria Tampakis with her mother, Michelle and daughter Emilija Bauza making their signature Mother's Day dessert

Maria grew up making this delightful Delightful Trio, a gluten-free individual dessert comprising a fudge brownie layer, a creamy cheesecake layer, and a strawberry mousse layer. It can be garnished with fresh fruit, chocolate shavings, fruit sauce, and chocolate sauce!

"You can make it ahead, and it is quite adaptable," Maria tells us. "Any type of fruit mousse can be used, but either strawberry or raspberry produces not only beautiful visual contrast but also great flavor combinations."

Maria Tampakis Four Seasons New York
Maria and her daughter proudly plate the Delightful Trio

Delightful Trio Mother's Day Recipe by Maria & Michelle Tampakis

The recipe yields approximately 24 three-to-four inch servings. Use an oven-safe silicone mold for the best results.



227g dark chocolate ((60-65%) 182g butter 188g granulated sugar 188g brown sugar 4 eggs 5g vanilla extract 18g espresso coffee (brewed)(room temperature) 150g brown rice flour 2g salt


  1. Melt together dark chocolate and butter in the boil of an electric mixer, over hot (NOT boiling) water. Set aside.

  2. Whisk eggs in a bowl with vanilla extract and coffee.

  3. Add sugars to melted chocolate in a steady stream. Scrape down sides and bottom of mixing bowl.

  4. Pour in eggs gradually, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more.

  5. Add brown rice flour and salt.

  6. Divide batter between individual molds, do not fill more than halfway.

  7. Bake in a preheated (350°) oven for 10-12 minutes. Brownie should be barely set but lightly crusted on the surface.

  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool.


Ingredients 452g cream cheese 144g granulated sugar 3 eggs 48g sour cream 96g heavy cream 1tsp lemon zest Directions

  1. Using a paddle attachment of an electric mixer, soften cream cheese with sugar on lowest speed. Stop machine to scrape sides and bottom of bowl several times before adding eggs, be sure the creamcheese is a uniformly soft and smooth consistency.

  2. Add eggs one at a time. Stop the machine half way through the addition of eggs to scrape bowl.

  3. Add sour cream, and heavy cream. Add lemon zest.

  4. Divide batter among molds pouring gently over the brownie base. Do not fill cavities to the very top.

  5. Bake 20-25 minutes (325°) until cheesecake is set.

  6. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating several hours or overnight.


Ingredients 225g strawberry (or raspberry) puree 6g leaf gelatin 90g Italian Meringue ((120g egg whites, 240g granulated sugar cooked with 60g water to 244F) 188g heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks


  1. Soften the gelatin leaves in cold water. Drain and melt just until liquified.

  2. Whisk gelatin into puree.

  3. Fold in Italian Meringue.

  4. Fold in heavy Cream.

  5. Allow to set in refrigerator 1-2 hours before using.


  1. Gently unmold cold cheesecake brownie bases onto plates.

  2. Using a star tip, pipe a spiral of mousse on the surface of each dessert, covering the cheesecake completely.

  3. Garnish with chopped strawberries (or raspberries).

  4. Put a small scoop of additional chopped fruit on the plate. Decorate with drops of fruit puree and melted chocolate (or chocolate sauce).

chef maria tampakis
Inspiring the next generation of female chefs!

To watch a video of Maria with her mom and daughters, click here.

Happy Mother's Day!


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