Monday, February 16, 2009

Hallmark Holiday

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Valentine's Day Dessert Plate For Two

Pardon my not visiting your blogs lately. Cupid has had me by the short and curlies.

Valentine's Day is not something I've ever given two shits about as a wife. But as a pastry chef, it's a different story. I am usually buried in my regular prep to prepare for the incursion of two-tops we'll be hit with that night, as well as the dessert special- usually chocolate, that is expected. Then, that evening, I come back to the restaurant to plate desserts.
I know I am making it sound pretty miserable, but it's actually a really fun, high energy event. I work my ass off in the kitchen, then change into my chef whites and plate- which is something I relish doing, but rarely have the chance.
Later, I have a shot or two with the cooks, and go home to eat pizza with Trevor (our Valentine's day late night pizza delivery/bottle of wine/movie rental is a much beloved tradition).

There were a few added kinks this year, mostly self-inflicted.
One is the fact that now I have two restaurants to worry about instead of one. Two dessert specials, and going back and forth between two restaurants to plate desserts.
Another hindrance- I decided to change the entire menu a few days before Valentine's day. This means that rather than spend the weeks leading up to the big day perfecting a kickass dessert special, I was working out recipes for the new menu.
Then, I convinced myself that I wanted to make truffles for the special.
Truffles.
??????

Yeah, I decided to mix tempering chocolate, with pms and a time crunch.
I don't recommend it.
But, I have said this before and I'll say it again. For some reason, I work best under pressure. Thanks to two awesome assistant bakers who rocked the shit out of the regular prep load, a nice 70 degree kitchen, and the energy giving powers of vitamin B 12 injected smoothies from the joint next door, all went off with out a hitch.

The final plate ended up being a chocolate sampler for two. Dark chocolate sorbet with vanilla bean crema and roasted coco nibs, fresh fruit (blood oranges, red currants), and assorted truffles and confections:
white chocolate-grapefruit truffle with hazelnuts, milk chocolate-Bailey's truffle with pecans, dark chocolate-single malt scotch truffle (which was heart shaped), dark chocolate-pistachio-sour cherry mendiants, and not pictured because it was still cooling at the time: marcona almond brittle

I did the same special at both restaurants to ease the feeling of panic- the dining public will never know.
The big star of the plate was the sorbet, which I promise to blog ASAP, as it's too easy and too delish not to share. The single malt scotch and dark chocolate truffle was my personal fave. But I wont blog it as I ripped it off from the Scharffenberger book, and grabbing the camera to snap a few shots while dipping truffles was completely out of the question.

I slept for 16 hours yesterday and I'm fully recovered. I'll be back to lurk on your blogs now.
Oh yeah- tomorrow is my 5 year wedding anniversary, so there is a possibility of a first ever restaurant review to come....
if I can remember the camera. And it probably wont be a review per se, as that is not my style (I never burn bridges)- but more of a "look at the pictures of this food I ate, it was yummy" type posting.

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26 comments:

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

It looks awesome! I love the color contrast of the fruit and chocolate! Gorgeous!

Heather said...

I wish I'd been at your joint instead of the place we went to. I mean it was good, but yours looks way cooler. I did get to eat a chocolate-covered, bleu-stuffed fig, though. Nommy.

Glad VD is over!

matt wright said...

rocking - what a fantastic looking dessert. Man, I wish I had come to Crow/Betty that night!!!

Pressure is always fun - I reckon it is when we learn the most.

Happy Anniversary!!!!

Emily said...

Everything sounds incredibly delicious. I wish I could try it all.

Congrats on your anniversary!

Brittany said...

Jenn- Thanks!

Heather- Heh. "VD"
..That sounds like quite the fig

Matt- Thank you! Did you and Dani do anything special?

Em- we should do a truffle exchange

Foodycat said...

Amazing! And happy anniversary.

I cooked at home - my savoury stuff was fine but I totally fucked up the dessert.

Peabody said...

I don't care about it either. But in the world of pastry it is a big deal. Especially since it is when most of the New Years Resolutioners go off the bandwagon the minute that chocolate something hits their lips. ;)

Brooke said...

Happy Anniversary. As I do each year, I left your ass completely alone so you could celebrate in peace.

Dude. Chocolate. Want.

matt wright said...

Britt: we stayed in.. I had to finish up a photography job.. ended up cooking a simple green curry for Danika and her parents.. Maybe next year we get out!

Brittany said...

foodycat- you could of just drizzled yourself with chocolate and told your valentine that YOU were dessert.

Pea- I've been shoving so much chocolate into my mouth over the last week that I think I'm finally sick of it and ready to recommit to my resolutions. At least v-day is good for something.

Brookie- and as always, we are delighted not to hear from you.

Matt- nothing says romance like dinner with the in-laws ; )

cookiecrumb said...

Photos = outstanding!
Sounds like you had a good night.

cook eat FRET said...

vd kinda bugs me...
but we ate pho and saw 'the wrestler'
and bought rubbermaid products from target. capped off the night with a fight.

i bought cary a card and signed it from our cat. he bought me the ring i wanted last october so he's good for a few years...

love love loooooove

oh, beautiful dessert. truly...

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Love the chocolate sampler plate!!!

peter said...

Now that you've caught VD from Heather, I'm not sure I can come here any more.

Even if you do make a vast array of sex-worthy truffles.

Brittany said...

Cookiecrumb- yeah, but now I wish I were able to find little truffle sized kama sutra chocolate molds.

Claudia- rubber maid is an excellent foreplay device.
..and it keeps things fresh.

Judy- Why thank you for loving my chocolate sampler plate : P

Peter- but the cream should have things cleared up in with in the next 4-5 days.
It will be at least that long until my next post.

The Spiteful Chef said...

God, that is STUNNING. The red and brown together is a total mind fuck. Hallmark holiday or no, it's still got a lot of opportunities to gorge on chocolate.

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Wow, what a plate. I'd love to order one of those.

Foodycat said...

Brittany, he is more of a cheese man, and I just couldn't take romance seriously if I was smelling of gorgonzola.

Brittany said...

Kristie- Yeah, they're 'power colors'

Shari- ; )

Foodycat- mmmm stinky feet lovin'

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