As I am the Premier party planner consulting for the Premier Fashion food caterer, it makes sense to write a article on Fashion, Food and a How-To just for you:
Make the time to make the food, as much as a show as the rest of your event is, where possible. Although some canapés can take hours of cooking to make perfect little fancy bites, there are plenty of other canapé ideas that look just as impressive and take a fraction of the time, effort and cost.
Why not make a few plates of delicious, easy canapés and serve them with a glass of champagne to make a stylish yet affordable introduction to the evening? It is worth spending some time on the presentation of your canapés, too, as it makes a real difference as to how impressive they look. Far better to have a large white plate with neat circles of the same canapés, that a mish mash of canapés thrown randomly onto painted plates.
There are also all manner of plain tiles, black boards and pieces of slate that look terrific with rows of canapés on. Take you time to think about how you will display them, as well as making the actual canapés themselves. Everyone loves to have a few tricks up their sleeve!
Why not learn a couple of Chef Tom’s ( Nomad Londons’ Master Chef) tricks to impress your guests when you’re creating your premier event, or just for a special meal at home?
Little tricks can make a simple dish look really impressive. There is nothing like serving up a perfectly risen soufflé to wow your guests and make them feel special!
Spun Sugar ( like a card in the sleeve at Poker, this is a winner)
It is really easy to make spun sugar but it adds a really professional touch to any dessert. Even a simple slice of cheesecake or a square of brownie looks like a restaurant pudding with a tumble of spun sugar perched on the top.
To make spun sugar, you only need a heavy based saucepan and some sugar, so it’s a really cheap chef trick, too, as you’ll probably have what you need in your kitchen already.
Start by pouring a cup full of sugar (granulated in best, but castor works well, too) into your saucepan. Add in about a quarter of a cup of water and heat it all gently. Give it a swirl around, but then just leave it. You will notice the sugar start to dissolve and then change colour to a light caramel colour. Keep watching and take it off the heat as soon as the colour gets a little darker – you don’t want it to burn and it catches very quickly.
To make the spun sugar tumbles, have a clean wooden spoon and a metal dessert spoon to hand. Hold the wooden spoon with the bowl in your hand. Take a spoon full of the liquid sugar with the metal spoon and drizzle the liquid back and forth over the handle of the wooden spoon, creating lots of strands that hang over the handle.
These strands will set very quickly, so while they are still warm, slide them off the wooden spoon handle and gently press them together into a ‘wire ball’. This can then be used as a decoration on top of all sorts of puddings and desserts.
While we are mastering the basics of all things FRENCH: Lets talk ….
There are plenty of recipes around for soufflés, but it can be really hard to get them to rise at all, let alone to rise neatly straight up!
Whatever recipe you follow, the chef trick to make a soufflé rise is all about the preparation.
Preparing your soufflé ingredients is the key to well risen soufflés that impress your guests. Make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature before you start cooking and ideally have your kitchen warm and draft free – it’s all about keeping the air in your soufflé.
Preparing your soufflé dishes is also important – they must be well buttered around the edges and along the top rim of the dish, so that the mixture can rise gently without being restricted. Chefs use far more butter than you would at home doing this, so copy them!
Cooking the soufflé is all about putting them carefully into the oven quickly, without putting them in vigorously or slamming the door shut. You must not open the oven door while they are cooking and make sure your guests are ready to be served as soon as they are ready to come out of the oven, like Models on the catwalk, these beauties don’t hang around!
As its the start of all things Fashion soon, I thought I would also take a few inches to talk fashion food , for me thats 2 basics. Cupcakes and (as we are a French inspired company) Macaroons.
Cupcakes have taken on a life of their own over the last five years or so. Chic little shops have popped up everywhere, there are numerous TV shows based on the handheld confections, and the flavor combinations seem endless. Aside from one cupcake lady (Lisa you know Im talking to you ), I have yet to be blown away by any cupcake from any of those chic little shops. Most times I find the cupcakes to be rather dry and the frosting just okay. And the prices? Holy Batmanstrustfund!! So, I revel in making cupcakes at the office or at home although I have to say @carolinekent makes the best ones I have ever tasted.
All kinds of cupcakes, – chocolate, vanilla, pumpkin, red velvet, alcohol infused, it’s all fair game and you can really link brands well with cupcakes. (Psst, see image below) Below is my favorite cupcake recipes! Enjoy!
Green is the new Black…( fashion week or St Paddy)
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 40 minutes | Bake Time: 17 minutes
For the Cupcakes:
1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
2/3 cup sour cream
For the Whiskey Ganache Filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey
For the Baileys Frosting:
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
1. To Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.
3. To Make the Whiskey Ganache Filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.
4. To Fill the Cupcakes: Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a large decorating tip), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
5. To Make the Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.
6. Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.
*Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
**I have a few tricks on creating the brand toppings, but will leave this for another article.**
ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR FASHION FOOD OPTIONS BY NOMAD FOOD AND DESIGN ARE MACAROONS.
Who does not love a Macaron? These chewy, delicious French cookies are truly a sweet treat. Filled with almonds, sugar, egg whites and a creamy ganache. They can be made into a variety of flavors, chocolate, vanilla, almond, pear mousse; the list goes on and on. It took me a while to perfect the macaron. I was plagued by deflated tops, small feet and and cracked shells — these little guys are tricky to make.
Yields 30 sandwich cookies
1 ¾ cups plus 2 Tbs. Powdered Sugar
1 ¼ cup plus 2 Tbs. almond flour
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
Prepare the Batter:
It is very important to have all your ingredients in place ( literally, put in place the preparation and assembly of ingredients, utensils, pans, plates or serving pieces needed for a particular dish) ready before beginning to make the macarons. First, line 3 flat baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Second, using a medium-mesh sieve, sift the powdered sugar and almond flour into a large bowl and set aside. Third, in a clean stand mixer using the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy, very soft peaks about 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar and continue to whip for another 30 to 45 seconds. Repeat this 3 more times. If adding food coloring do it now and whip until you achieve stiff and glossy peaks. Fourth, with a large rubber spatula, fold in half of the powdered sugar and almond flour mixture to the egg whites. Once it is thoroughly incorporated, fold in the remaining mixture until just combined. Be careful not to over mix. Fifth, using a piping bag fitted with a ½ -to ¾ inch round tip pipe the batter onto the prepared sheet pans in rounds about 1 inch in diameter and ¼ to ½ inch thick, about 1 ½ inches apart. Once all of the macarons have been piped rap the sheet pans against the counter a few times to flatten the rounds and pop any air bubbles. Now, allow the macarons to rest until they are no longer tacky to the touch, about 20 to 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 325 F and position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven.
When the macarons are ready to bake place them in the oven and reduce the temperature to 300F. Bake for 8 minutes and then rotate and swap the sheets positions. Continue to bake until cookies are very pale golden, about 15 to 20 minutes total, allow to cool. Meanwhile, bake the third sheet bringing the temperature back up to 325 F and following the same procedures as before.
Once the macarons have cooled completely fill with what ever your heart desires! I used cranberry, apple butter, pear mousse, vanilla butter cream and pumpkin cream to make these dainty little sandwich cookies. These are best eaten the day they are made, but you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
- Fashion Food – London Fashion/Food week
Well, thats me for this month, see you on the front row of fashion week in Milan, NY and of course London or on the red carpet of the biggest film Premiers in the world this September ..remember we are in the memory making business, we few…we lucky few in events.