If you like it, put a ring on (or in) it

 Hearts on cheesecake

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, a day that will feature countless romantic dinners and more than a few marriage proposals. Sometimes the person making the proposal will ask the restaurant to assist him or her in making the moment extra special by requesting the couple’s favorite song to be played or by having the pastry chef hide the engagement ring in the dessert

At some restaurants this phenomenon isn’t limited to Valentine’s Day. Anna Bolz, pastry chef at Per Se in New York City, sees a ring a few times per month. One of the ways she will present the ring involves a play on a custom at the restaurant to send out a whole truffle as a sort of teaser before the truffle course. In the case of a proposal, “they’ll send out the ring as a pre-dessert course. Bolz plates the ring differently depending on the couple, and what’s for dessert, but her favorite is a golden egg dish, which opens up to reveal the ring nested in glittering Maldon salt (chosen because it doesn’t leave too much residue on the ring).”

Pastry chefs frequently create desserts in which to hide the ring. At River Cafe in New York City, one of the favorites is called the Brooklyn Bridge dessert, “a dark chocolate sculpture in which the ring dangles from one of the bridge’s cables.” At Gramercy Tavern, also in New York City, rings are delicately placed on the restaurant’s “allergy-friendly coconut cake with a torched marshmallow frosting, surrounded by flower petals from their in-house florist, and presented under a cloche.”

One enterprising young gentleman even proposed using a Cronut. “I remember this gentlemen came into the shop and it was like 4:30 in the morning, and he was pounding on the door asking me for a Cronut,” said chef Dominique Ansel, “I told him that he had to wait because they just weren’t ready.” The young man persisted, knocking again at 6:00 a.m., but was again rebuffed by Ansel. It wasn’t until after he showed Ansel the boarding ticket for his flight to California that was departing quite soon that Ansel made a rare exception and sold an early Cronut.

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