Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pavlova Cupcakes

Pavlova. It's like a cloud, with a few sweet calories, but gluten free! Which is exactly the type of dessert I was looking for when preparing for a Christmas dinner catering event that had to be gluten-free, lactose-free and include a vegetarian option! This dessert was a sweet ending that could be served with lactaid-laced cream or on its own with fruit.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Pomegranate Cosmopolitan—Merry Christmas!

Pomegranate CosmopolitanPopularized in New York City, the Cosmopolitan has been called the quintessential New York cocktail. Now trendy everywhere, it is not only delicious, but classy, pretty, pink, easy to make and fun to serve (especially at Christmas).

The traditional cosmopolitan is made with vodka, cointreau or Triple Sec, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed lime juice.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chocolate Kahlua Shortbread

Chocolate Kahlua ShortbreadThe first step in making shortbread, and many baked goods for that matter, is creaming the butter and sugar. I thought it was funny when someone next to me in the kitchen at Le Cordon Bleu asked me where the cream was when she heard that we had to "cream the butter and sugar" for the tuiles we were making that day. We all have to start somewhere: some watch a master Michelin-starred chef in a famous cooking school, some hold onto their grandmother's apron stirring batter alongside, and some watch endless hours of the Food Network and are forever scarred by the perfectionism of Martha.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sponge Cake

Biscuit de Savoie (Sponge Cake)This Biscuit de Savoie cake was one of my favorite recipes at Le Cordon Bleu. In fact, after the demo, I helped polish off many hunks (pulling off pieces with my fingers since there were no knives, only dull, plastic spoons). I dipped my pieces into the fresh, sweet crème anglaise the chef had made. I'd made this cake once before, and it was popular then too.

When you take a bite, it makes a squishy, bubbly sound. With its hint of vanilla, it adapts well to dipping into chocolate or fruit coulis, but stands on its own as a mid-morning grumble-stopper.