Saturday, December 8, 2012

On A Grand Scale

Some Uses for Poetry
by Eve Merriam
to paint without a palette
to dance without music
to speak without speaking

to feel the strangeness between hot and cold
to feel the likeness of hot and cold
to plunge into both at the same moment.
Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris
The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most prominent examples of Gothic architecture in France and in Europe as a whole. It was completed in 1345. To the side of the Cathedral there is an entrance with a narrow climb of 387 steps to view their famous bell and gargoyles along the steep climb up.  If you can make it to the top :) you are rewarded with a sweeping vista view across Paris. 
This photo show the front entrance of the Cathedral.  The portal surrounding the doors shows richly embellished sculptures of saints and other holy persons. Upon entering the door hushed voices gave way to silence as each person took in the magnificence of the church. My attention immediately was drawn to the palette of colors reflected in the stained glass windows.  And then I was plunged into a variety of emotions being in such a grandiose structure. 
A spectacular dessert was in order after such a climb.
Molten Lava Cake with Anglaise Cream
Bake in individual ramekins-serves 4-6 depends on size of ramekin 
1/2 bar (2- oz. bittersweet chocolate)
1/4 cup cream
Melt chocolate and cream in double boiler
Whisk gently to blend
Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm
Form into 4 balls
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 bar (4-oz. bittersweet chocolate 60-70% cacao) be sure to use high quality like Lindt or Ghirardelli
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • Preheat oven 400
  • Grease ramekins
  • Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler
  • Whisk gently to blend
  • Use a mixer beat eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla about 5 minutes or until thick and light
  • Fold melted chocolate mixture and flour into egg mixture just till combined
  • Spoon cake batter into ramekins
  • Place a chocolate ball in each
  • Bake 15 minutes or until cake is firm to touch
  • Let it sit out of oven 5 minutes
  • Run a knife around inside of each ramekin to loosen 
  • Then invert to a plate that has a large spoonful of creme on it
  • Top with a few raspberries
Creme Anglaise
It is a classic vanilla custard sauce. For a richer sauce substitute heavy cream for half and half. Makes 2-1/2 cups
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cup half and half
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • Fill a large bowl with ice and set aside
  • Separate the eggs only using yolks-save whites for another recipe
  • Beat egg yolks 1-2 minutes
  • Add sugar and beat 2 minutes more or until yolks are pale in color
  • Heat half and half in double boiler
  • DO NOT let boil  (should be around 180 degrees) 
  • Slowly pour milk or half and half into egg and sugar mixture
  • Return custard to double boiler and heat mixture til thick 
  • Set top part of the double boiler on ice cubes to cool-stir a few times
  • Stir in vanilla 

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