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Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012

17 Jan

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged.  Everyone in the food industry knows that from Thanksgiving to the New Year, it’s super busy with company parties, private parties, and non-holiday celebrations.  I’m no exception with being super busy.  From working with Sweet Sisters Cakes, doing social media work for Whole Foods Cooking, I’ve managed to hit a few restaurants, attend holiday parties, bake some cakes and hit the Chocolate Show in NYC. Whew!

Melanie's Holiday Cookies!

I’ve seen more Christmas and Hanukah cookies in 2011 then I care to admit.  Sweet Sisters gets tons of cookie orders so I’ve become quite the master in cutting and decorating these goodies.  There is something about doing the Christmas trees that put me in the holiday spirit. Outside of those, did I mention I made over 1000 (yes, you heard me) on my own for my dogs’ doggie daycare, friends and family this year. They turned out great but clearly I’m not missing doing them. I love my cookies aka “cookie crack” since once you eat one, you’ll keep on going.  What makes them great is that they are dipped and decorated with chocolate. Serve them with tea or coffee is heaven!

You’ve been to one holiday party you’ve been to them all. The one I will highlight is from my former boss, Joe.  He is replacing famed Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini at Jean George.  The food and fellowship was great. And the flow of cucumber martinis…well I’ll plead the 5th!  Maria, my foodie bestie came along for the fun. My goal in 2012 is the hit Jean George and of course eat tons of desserts!

Charlotte Patisserie NYC

Nothing like a potluck brunch with FCI classmates who are also pastry chefs to stay on your game. Our brunch was a farewell to Leah who returned to Israel.  She’ll me missed but at least we have a new vacation spot! Another highlight was going to Charlotte Patisserie in NYC (Greenpoint).  A fellow FCI grad opened his own shop.  The desserts were cute and atmosphere very welcoming. Congrats Mike!

Every year the Chocolate Show hits New York City. This was my first time attending and it was awesome! Maria along with her son Jack met up to go. Highlights of the day were: the chocolate fashions, Jacques Torres’ hot chocolate with a chili kick, and of course sampling chocolates from around the world.  The Show is enough for a separate blog so look for a new one soon!

Jack and Florian

The grand highlight of the day was Jack meeting Chef Florian Bellanger from The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. To top off the day we hit Jim Lahey’s Co. for pizza. Now I know why it is a top rated place for pizza.  Then to stuff ourselves more, we went to Billy’ Bakery for cupcakes.  I ended up trying their new flavor, orange dreamsicle. The cake was moist and dense with dreamy frosting.  A perfect ending to a great day.

Pastry Out!

The Last Course REALLY – Biscuit Success! Pt. 3

29 Jul

Melanie's Adventure in making desserts from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming

Over the past few days I’ve been obsessed with the cookbook, The Last Course by Pastry Chef Claudia Fleming who by the way is the currently at The North Fork Table & Inn in Southhold, NY.  I have convinced my dinner bestie Maria that we must go for a visit.  There is nothing like fab food and great fellowship with a few cocktails along the way!

So my obsession is how can I get my biscuits to be tall and perky vs. flat and round.  I figured it out late last night.  After thinking about how to get the perfect biscuit, it dawned on me that I had a recipe from another Chef and he baked his biscuits in stainless steel rings.  The end result were tall and evenly sized biscuits. Could it work here and is the solution that simple?   Well with rings in hand, I got two sizes and went to baking.

And voilà…Success!

The biscuits were tall and perfect.  So I quickly pulled out my tarragon cream and macerated strawberries and went to work.  With surgical precision, I plated the dessert and took these pics.

If you are wondering if I ate all three biscuits, I hate to disappoint you but no.  My rule about being in the food industry is to take a bit, nibble or taste but don’t eat it all up!  I bake and nibble along the way  but rules are meant to be broken too!

Pastry Out!