Dessert Party!

I had my second annual dessert party on Saturday and it was fabulous. I had almost 20 people over. I’m still not quite finished cleaning up, but that’s a detail. All but one dessert was someone’s favorite.

BriochesThe unloved Brioches. These were okay, but not spectacular, I think they’d do better just as brunch item. They were a based on a yeast-based dough with raisins, orange zest, cinnammon and nutmeg. They needed more of the last four ingredients. They are pretty.

The Ginger Cake. I forgot to take a picture of it!! The recipe is from David Lebovitz, courtesy of Epicurious. This was nice and spicy, though it was too spicy for some people. I think next time I’ll make a Creme Anglaise to accompany it.

Chocolate CookiesThe Double Chocolate Cookies. This used 8 0z Scharffenberger chocolate plus 1/2 cup Scharffenberger cocoa powder. The recipe is from the Scharffenberger site, although it is credited to Tartine. The premium chocolate made a big difference and really added some depth to these cookies. I will definitely make these again, but only for people I really like.

Angel Food CakeThe Angel Food Cake. This was a simple, straightforward cake. It was also the only item that did not contain butter. This was one of several recipes I read. I particular liked this one because it gave a volume for the eggs (I find it easier to buy extra large eggs instead of large eggs) and it gave weight measurements for the flour and confectioners sugar. I wish more recipes used weights instead of volumes for the dry goods. What made this recipe stand out was the accompanying sauce. I had 10 egg yolks left and it seemed a shame to waste them. I thought about making a lemon curd, but decided on a Berry Curd, using the package of frozen mixed Berries from Trader Joe’s that I always have on hand for a cobbler emergency. I guessed at this recipe, adding lemon juice to taste and it worked out well. It paired very nicely with the cake. As a bonus, it additionally tasted good with the chocolate cookies.

Lemon TartThe Lemon Tart. This recipe is from the Williams Sonoma Baking Book. This was nice, not too sweet. The lemons I used were small, so there weren’t quite enough on the top. This book is also not for the novice baker. You need to know what you are doing because the directions can be incomplete and misleading, but they do have many classic recipes.

Congo Bars The Congo Bars. These were nothing more than glorified chocolate chip cookies, but for sugar they only had brown sugar, which made than softer than the corresponding cookie would be. They had the addition of pecans. The recipe is from The Great Book of Chocolate by David Lebovitz. They are quite tasty.

And Finally . . .
The Most Popular Dessert
Vanilla Cupcakes

Smurf Village Vanilla CupcakesVanilla CupcakesVanilla Cupcakes - Mixed Colors
This is the same recipe as mentioned in my Vanilla Cupcake post. I just had to repeat it. I made many of them miniature cupcakes this time and they are so cute. They also had the correct frosting-to-cake ratio and were almost bite sized. These were also very popular. For some reason, the picture on the left made me think of a Smurf Village.

Now I need a dessert after all this work.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Magnolia Vanilla CupcakeI made these cupcakes from a recipe from Magnolia Bakery in NYC. They also have an official published cookbook which I might have to buy. These cupcakes were delicious. I made both the frosting and the cupcakes. I had about 3 times as much frosting as I needed. I took them to a party where some people were familiar with the bakery. One person liked the ratio of frosting to cake that I used. Apparently the original has frosting 3 times as high. That did explain a lot about why I had so much leftover frosting. Perhaps for next time I will purchase a large piping tip and have a bit more frosting on each of these.