January 2013 Happy 2013 all. What a year it's been, and while I could recap everything that happened, culminating in a rather strange ending, as I s

       
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January 2013

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Happy 2013 all.

What a year it's been, and while I could recap everything that happened, culminating in a rather strange ending, as I said in my second-to- last post of the year, let's just give 2012 the heave-ho, and move on.

Moving on, this year I'm going to finish a book I'm working on, and then jump into the Seine. Okay, just kidding on that one. But I've been inside a lot baking, cooking, and writing, and once I get it wrapped up, I'm going to do a little more exploring of Paris to share with you.

Some of my favorite posts from December were a little recap of a Quick Trip to New York City that I made, a recipe for spiced Mulled Wine, a recipe for Manhattans (yes, plural – why have just one?), and a rich Hot Chocolate Pudding.

tangerines

I was happy to wrap up 2012 in a year-end post - and let me tell you, there was so much that happened this year that it felt a relief to let some of it go there. (Including a cocktail recipe helped, too.) And I also wrote about the dessert I made for Christmas this year. Because December was especially hectic, I needed to keep it simple, so I made a Champagne Jelly and I wanted to share the recipe, which is below.

But even though Christmas has passed, it goes great with summer fruits like peaches and berries, which will be with us sooner than we know it - j'espère. (I hope.)

-David

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Free Download - My Paris Pastry Guide app!

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As a sweet way to start 2013, we're offering free downloads of my Paris Paris Guide app on iTunes until 10am January 2nd! There are over 300 bakeries, chocolate shops, and other tasty addresses in Paris, as well as over 500 full-color photos.

Once you download the app, it's yours forever and will include updates and additions. So head over to the iTunes store and download it - pronto!

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Gelee de Champagne

Champagne Jelly

From Ready for Dessert

Six to eight servings

I featured this recipe for Christmas dessert and it's truly one of my favorites. For one thing, who doesn't like Champagne? And for another, it can be made in advance and is a show-stopper when piled into nice stemware. To layer with the jelly, I sectioned pink grapefruit and navel oranges (I often candy kumquats, but couldn't find any that week at the market) then chilled them thoroughly. I also put a few very thin strips of candied orange peel in the glasses as well.

Because we were twelve people, I had to use a mix of vintage glasses that I found in the kitchen cabinet where we were celebrating Christmas. To be especially festive you can use Champagne, but a dry sparkling white wine works well too.

(Cheapskate Alert: I've used that cava from Spain in the black bottle with surprisingly good results!)

1/2 cup, plus 1/2 cup (250ml total) cold water
2 envelopes (14g) gelatin* granules
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 bottle Champagne or sparkling wine
juice or 1/2 lemon or lime

1. In a large bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup of the cold water. Let it bloom for 5 minutes.
2. In a saucepan, heat the sugar with the remaining 1/2 cup of water, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and pour over the gelatin, stirring until the gelatin is dissolved.
3. Add the Champagne (it will foam up, which is why you should have used the aforementioned large bowl), and stir, adding the lemon or lime juice.
4. Cover the bowl and chill for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

You can spoon the jelly into glasses, alternating with your favorite seasonal fruits and berries, perhaps adding some strips of candied citrus peel. It's also good topped with a scoop of sorbet.

*For folks who use sheet gelatin, you can use 9 to 10 sheets of gelatin, soaking them in a bowl of cold water and heating the sugar with 3/4 cup (375ml) water. Then lift the gelatin sheets from the water and add them to the warm sugar syrup after the sugar is dissolved.

For additional tips, see my post: How to Use Gelatin.

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