Don’t forget to check Sam Bilton’s Coq au Vin….
This is one of those weekends in Colorado where you hug your loved ones and thank God that friends and family are OK. The news that broke all over the world also broke my heart. The fact that someone would walk into a movie theater and open fire on innocent people isn’t something that I can comprehend. A friend of mine was supposed to be at the ‘Dark Knight’ premiere with her son and chose not to go because she wasn’t feeling well. I never thought that I’d be so happy that someone was sick and was so relieved when I found out that she had opted to stay home.
I’m not often this serious in my writing but I want to send my love and prayers to all of those people affected by this tragedy. I agree with what one of the women interviewed on the news had to say and that was that we cannot live our lives looking over our shoulders. She spoke what I believe, that when we choose to interrupt our lives because of violence, the perpetrators of that violence win. I know that I’m going to do what I can, which is donate blood (I’m terrified of needles but what’s that in comparison). I’m going to try to smile at more people and hold more doors open, I know it doesn’t sound like a lot but I think that somehow the world could use just a little more kindness. Those people that I love are going to hear it until they’re sick of it and then I’m going to say it again. During all of this, I realize that if one person can damage so many lives with an act of violence, how much good can we do through acts of kindness and how many lives can we affect for the better.
Interestingly enough, I stopped in to see a friend, who I haven’t seen for a couple years. I think that without this tragedy, I would have just driven by and figured that I’d stop in another time but I felt compelled to at least reconnect. After chit chatting a bit, she asked what I was up to and I told her that I was tackling Tanya Steele’s top ten tough recipes. When I told her that Baked Alaska was on this week’s menu, she told me that that was one of her favorites and might I drop some by. As hot as Colorado is right now, I think that my Baked Alaska would quickly become a Baked Puddle with some meringue on top but got her email address and emailed an invite to join me for coffee and dessert. We’re planning for next week and it was so great to catch up with someone who has always made my life a little brighter. Friends may drift away sometimes but it’s wonderfully life affirming to know that they never really all that far away.
Not sure what everyone’s weekend plans were but I hope they’ve included reconnecting with friends and hugging loved ones. If not, it’s not too late! After all, we never know how much time we have on this big, blue ball but what matters is that we loved and let others know that they were loved. You might even want to make Baked Alaska for someone. In my world, cooking equals love and I’m planning to do a lot more of both.
|Individual Baked Alaskas|
- Pound cake discs cut to 2 inches thick and about 5 inches in diameter
- For Peach Ice Cream
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 5 fresh peaches, pitted and chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup half and half cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- For Ganache
- 2 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped fine
- 1/4 cup of heavy cream
- 1 Tbs confectioner’s sugar
- For Meringue
- 3 egg whites (3-4 day old eggs are better)
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar
- In a large bowl, mix eggs and sugar until smooth. Puree peaches in blender or food processor and stir 2.5 cups of the peach puree into the egg mixture. Stir in cream, half and half, vanilla and salt, mix well.
- Pour mixture into freezer canister of ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- In a medium microwave safe bowl melt chocolate, cream and sugar until warm to the tough 20-30 seconds. Whisk until smooth, transfer to refrigerator and let stand until chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.
- Make sure all of your bowls and utensils are completely grease free. Let egg whites come up to room temperature before beating. Place egg whites in a large bowl and set mixer to medium-high speed. Begin by beating the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add sugar slowly and continue beating the whites. Mix until still peaks are formed.
- Cut pound cake into rounds and cover with a layer of ganache. Make a round scoop of ice cream and flatten the bottom. Set on top of the pound cake making sure the ice cream doesn’t hang over the edge. Freeze for at least an hour or until pound cake and ice cream are well frozen.
- Cover with meringue, making sure that there are no open patches. Using a chef’s torch brown the meringue, garnish and serve. If you use the broiler, watch carefully and do not bake more than 2 minutes.