Crème brûlée is one of the simplest, yet most impressive desserts you can make. It only involves a few ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your pantry like eggs, sugar, and cream. But instead of keeping with the common vanilla, I infused the custard with Earl Grey tea, which transformed the ordinary crème brûlée into a unique custard that is silky and fragrant. Its sweet aroma is intoxicating — all thanks to the bergamot, a type of citrus that is infused in the tea. And then there’s my favorite part, the thin glassy layer of caramelized sugar that is oh-so-satisfying to crack. Trust me, your guests will be impressed!
It was a gorgeous and sunny Saturday in San Francisco so I took advantage of the good weather and spent the day window shopping in the Mission. Valencia Street is the perfect place to get lost among the quirky boutiques, some of which are so beautifully decorated and carry such unique products that I could spend the whole day there! After working up an appetite, I stopped by Craftsman & Wolves, a small contemporary patisserie that offers minimalist sweet and savory treats that are as beautiful as they are tasty. Former pastry chef at Quince, William Werner, has created out-of-the-ordinary pastries such as savory financiers flavored with kim chi, peanuts, and scallions; chocolate croissant stacks, a cube of stacked flakey and buttery pastry layers; and the “Rebel Within,” a savory Asiago and Parmesan cheese muffin stuffed with a poached runny egg.
Ever curious about all those fancy gadgets at play behind the bar? With strange names like muddler and jigger, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Well fear no more! Here’s our guide to a few of the hottest barware items that will make your inner mixologist’s mouth water.
There’s nothing quite like a festive pom pom garland to perk up any celebration. I love using good quality crepe paper in lieu of tissue paper when making pom poms as it’s more durable and comes in a wider variety of vibrant and glorious colors. Garlands are absolutely one of my favorite things to incorporate when decorating a party and I’m sure you’ll agree that they are incredibly easy (and addictive) to make!
- fine crepe paper cut into 5″ x 7″ rectangles
Last year I was lucky enough to travel to both France and Ireland to visit family. So when researching cocktails to make for St. Patrick’s Day, one recipe in particular caught my eye. Created by bartender David Slape of the famous NYC speakeasy, PDT, this cocktail gets its name from the Parisian hotel where famous Irish writer Oscar Wilde spent his final days. Well it just so happens that I paid a visit to the Hotel D’Alsace (now known as L’Hotel) as well as the Old Bushmills Distillery on the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland. Subtly sweet and aromatic, this drink combines Bushmills Irish Whiskey with two classic French liqueurs. Add a little rosemary and you have a simple, yet sophisticated St Patty’s Day cocktail that is sure to impress.
Don’t let the simplicity of a baked potato fool you. It’s texture can be sublimely smooth and fluffy or can turn out crumbly and firm. The secret to sublime potatoes is using salt. The salt traps in moisture and provides for even cooking that produces incredibly light and moist potatoes. They’re so amazing that it takes very little sour cream and butter to elevate it into a creamy and delicious treat.