Friday, November 9, 2007

Christmas with the Pastry Queen

Several years ago I purchased the Pastry Queen Cookbook by Rebecca Rather. It quickly became my favorite cookbook. This is high praise considering I have an extensive cookbook collection. Last month, I finally got to visit the Rather Sweet Bakery in Fredericksburg. The food was so good we ate there twice. I considered it a mission to try several items from the bakery so I could find out what other items I should try from the cookbook. My next mission is definitely going to be making the Mexican Chocolate Cake. I was really excited when I learned Rebecca was putting out a new cookbook, Christmas with the Pastry Queen and even more excited when I found out she would be teaching a cooking class. When I called to sign up for the class I was told it was sold out and I could be placed on the waiting list. I took a spot on the waiting list but didn't have high hopes. Two days before the class, they called and said there had been a cancellation and I could have a spot. Last night I attended the class and Rebecca did not disappoint. She was entertaining to watch and very down to earth. She is an amazingly talented chef. It was interesting to learn that she came up with names for several of the recipes in the new book and then just whipped up the recipes to match. We sampled five recipes from the new cookbook and each one was absolutely delicious. I can't wait to make each of those recipes and try more from the new book. Below is a review of the recipes sampled:

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Brandy Butterscotch Sauce-This dessert was very rich. It had a wonderful caramel/butter taste. It would be the perfect ending to a dinner of beef tenderloin. Interestingly it is not made in a pudding mold but a glass Pyrex dish.

Blue Corn Blini with Crab and Avocado Creme-This dish had so much flavor in each bite. It was a fun little appetizer. I think you could easily leave the crab out or even substitute different fish such as salmon.

Warm Pear Upside Down Cake with Amaretto Whipped Cream-This was a decadent dessert and surprisingly easy to prepared. The candied ginger gives the cake a nice bite. I cannot wait to make this dessert.

Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Cranberry Pecan Salsa-This would be a wonderful Thanksgiving appetizer or great for dinner with a salad. The Cranberry Pecan Salsa was a show stopper. I am looking for ways to incorporate it into other dishes. I'm thinking of trying it on a baked brie. I know this dish will become a regular on our menu.

Chocolate Chewies-I recently had cookies similar to these at a bakery and was looking for a recipe and now I found it. Even better these cookies have no butter or flour, are gluten free and if you omit the nuts-fat free. These cookies did not taste like they were missing anything. They were very light and chewy.


ashley said...

my copy arrived in the mail yesterday! it looks fabulous, a lot more meals than baked goods this time around... but it all looks delicious and the chocolate chewies definitely popped out when I flipped through the book last night.

wish i could have gone to the class!

MrsPresley said...

wow, how exciting that you got to attend a cooking class with her!

Peabody said...

I made the pear cake, it was lovely.