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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crêpe Ballon Rouge


This was definitely my favourite "nut free" dessert that I indulged in on my honeymoon.  Prepared tableside at Celebrity's specialty restaurant Murano, Crêpe Ballon Rouge was worth every single calorie!

On the little serving cart in front of our table, sat all of the required ingredients and tools required to prepare this delicious creation. A prepared crêpe, one scoop of vanilla ice cream, some fresh pepper, balsamic vinegar, about half a shot of Chambertin...

caramel sauce, sweet strawberry sauce with cinnamon and clove, and finally, some fresh strawberries.

To try this at home, lay one crêpe flat on a plate and place one scoop of ice cream in the center. 

Roll crêpe to form a pocket around the ice cream and set aside.

Set the burner to medium low heat and warm up a non-stick saucepan with high sides. Pour the caramel sauce into the pan and let it sizzle.

Add five strawberries to the pan cut side down, allowing the sauce to warm up the strawberries.

Pour the Chambertin into the pan.  The liquor is the key ingredient required to flambé this dish. Before adding the flambé to the pan, heat the liquor in the saucepan just until bubbles begin to form around the edges.


Once the flame has disappeared, add the strawberry sauce, balsamic vinegar...

and some fresh pepper.

Set the cooked strawberries around the ice cream filled crêpe and dress with the mouth watering sauce. 

Cut into the middle and enjoy.

Until there is nothing left!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cookie Seating Cards

I am now married!

And I had a zany idea to make cookie seating cards instead of doing the same old printed seating cards. So off I went...

Day 1
I bought ten pounds of butter, a huge bag of flour, a dozen eggs, a new bottle of vanilla, 3 bags of sugar and some salt. I was on a mission! A mission that ended up taking...oh...only about 6 days to make and an extra day to week before my wedding. I think that Bakerella would be proud! 

Day 2
Making the dough. To make the dough for these cookies I used my favourite sugar cookie recipe.  I divided each batch of dough in half, packaged each disc of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerated the dough overnight.

Day 3
I removed the discs of dough from the fridge and let them return to room temperature. I rolled out each disc on wax paper, piled up the rolled out dough and set it back into the fridge. The colder the cookie dough is, the easier it is to cut out the desired cookie shape.

After many hours of baking, I finally ended up with about 175 cookies!

I bought a new cutter for the occasion!  Love it!

Day 4
I finally found a fantastic recipe for royal icing!  I made large quantities of each, but I ended up having to double the recipe to pipe and flood all of the cookies. 

I found this recipe on Sweetopia who got it from Antonia74.

Antonia74’s Royal Icing Recipe
6 oz (3/4 cup) of warm water
5 Tablespoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 kilogram (2.25 lbs.) powdered icing sugar

In mixer bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened…about 30 seconds. Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more. Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer. Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy. Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying. Tint with food colourings or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.

I found that even to piping the cookies, I did have to add warm water to thin out the icing. But overall, it turned out very well!  A recipe that I am thrilled to share.  To flood the cookies, I used the same icing but continued to add water to make it even thinner.

Day 5
I must have been so busy flooding the cookies that I didn't take a single picture of my repetitious acts of squeezing the bottle to color in the cookies!  They turned out so well with very few air bubbles.  If air bubbles form, have a toothpick on hand to pop them immediately.

Day 6
I used almost an entire container of brown food colour to colour the royal icing for personalizing!  It took a very long time to personalize every single cookie.  I wrote the table number in the heart and the names of each guest on the body of the cake! 

Our apartment turned into a bakery!  Rich loved that!  He even wrote about it in our speech!  Whoo...the cookies were done!!!  Now...for the packing party!

Day 7
My family and friend Marnie came over to help wrap everything up! First, we labelled the bags with stickers that said "Melissa and Richard, August 8, 2010," then we bagged, tied ribbon, curled the ribbon and placed the cookies in containers in alphabetical order.

Ta Da!!!

I was very happy with the final product.

The cookies seemed to go over pretty well!

I had to make us each our own cookie!
Just call me Mrs. Gardos!