Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Heated Enlightenment

My wonderful, beautiful and fabulous friend Stephanie enrolled the two of us in a Desserts How To at our Williams Sonoma. We have both been very excited about if for the past month and I couldn't wait to blog about it.... So off we go stomachs empty, open minded and camera in tow to the mall for our class. The chef who was teaching the class is THE best pastry chef here in Huntsville and owns a little restaurant downtown. I have not eaten there, but hear it is fabulous..... I am planning to go soon!
As I mentioned earlier, I did carry my camera (the mark of a true blogger) and started taking pictures right away. I was about 20 minutes into my photo shoot when The Manager Lady comes over to me to ask me what I was going to do with the photos... " Well, I have a little blog called Lick The Spoon, where I document my dessert escapades and I plan to post them there.." She didn't seem the least bit impressed, but that answer seemed to satisfy her. 10 minutes later she comes back over and asks me to please not photograph the Williams Sonoma name because it is "really against store policy to have cameras instore". HUH? Is there some sort of secret kitchen product that is sold there that I am not aware of?!? She acted as if I was some sort of superspy for high end kitchenware shops.... surveying her store and planning on stealing the latest greatest spatula design. I got the fact that she didn't want me to take anymore pictures, BUT because she was being so very passive aggressive about it, I decided to continue shooting. I really went overboard..... taking about 60-70 pictures. Ridiculous, really. But I was there to learn and observe and blog and there was no way in hell some middle aged passive aggressive lady in a WS apron was going to keep me from documenting desserts! And I am glad to say...... she didn't.

The chef started out making a butter cake in the Williams Sonoma
SandCastle Bunt Pan filling it with Chocolate Jack Daniels Ice Cream... The cake was a perfect little butter cake.... simple and delicious. The ice cream was.... intresting. It was a little on the strong side. The JD really made it's presence known and bit you right in the throat. When (if) I make this ice cream I think I will use less of the JD...
Nest came a Chocolate Walnut Pie. Yeah, delicious. Very delicious. The crust was made of chocolate wafers, butter and sugar and the innards were Schaffer Berger chocolate, butter, and walnuts. OMG... This was so delicious and easy. So easy I may just have to make it... soon!
Next came a chocolate Rum cheesecake. He makes his cheesecake in regular 9" cake tins. So I will have to try that... he says it prevents water leaking in and that the springform pan is the stupidest invention in cooking. I though those were pretty harsh words, but he seemed pretty passionate about it. The cheesecake was PERFECT. Not a crack in site. I do with the rum flavor had been a bit more pronounced... you know how I feel about rum.. but it was still divine. The absolute perfect creaminess and density. As he was making all of this he was spewing beautiful tid bits about chocolate and how easy it is to seize it up. He talked to use about pastry making, butter, cream ,half&half, ice cream and hazelnut flour. He told use about his other chef friends and how he is the weird one of the bunch.....
He told us that a friend of his makes a great Chocolate Key Lime tart and that stuck with me. It was all I could think about and so a few days later here I am..... with a Chocolate Key Lime Tart in the fridge.

Chocolate Key Lime Tart

1 pkg Nabisco Famous Wafers
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
5 tablespoons sugar

Place all 3 in food processor and pulse until bunch forms a mealy crumbly mess. Press into tart tin with removable bottom.

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
dash of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lime zest

3 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Lime zest

Mix all ingredients together and pour into crust. Spread merguine on top and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. That's it. Really....

Comments on "Heated Enlightenment"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (August 31, 2005 7:57 PM) : 

Wow, this sounds like great fun! The tart looks wonderful. Funny about the photo-police....:)


Blogger Jen said ... (September 01, 2005 7:36 AM) : 

I don't suppose you have the Chocolate Rum Cheesecake recipe handy, do you? Sounds like great fun!


Blogger Cate said ... (September 01, 2005 6:54 PM) : 

I've seen that sandcastle mold before and am SO tempted to buy it, but I'm afraid I wouldn't use it enough to justify the price tag...


Blogger Chan said ... (September 01, 2005 9:04 PM) : 

Yeah I know Sweetnicks... I ALMOST bought it after the class, then I thought "WHY?". I would proably use it once or twice and that would be it!


Blogger violet said ... (September 01, 2005 9:56 PM) : 

oh, i love classes like that. i took one at sur la table back in july, it was wonderful. such a good time. the manager flat out told me no when i asked to take pictures, though. she actually got a little smart with me when i asked. i told her i was a food blogger, as well. and like the lady you speak of, was... less than impressed.


Blogger Culinarily Obsessed said ... (September 05, 2005 9:09 PM) : 

wOw, this class sounds like so much fun. I would luv to take one, I've actually been looking for a class locally focused on baking, as I just finished all 3 of the Wilton method course for cake decorating. Anyway..I hadn't thought of WS until reading this. Hilarious how u handled the sales lady - I would have reacted to her similarly.

Luv your blog!! =)


Blogger Connie said ... (February 05, 2006 7:18 AM) : 

I can relate about the camera incident. I was in K-mart and the checker had the ugliest hairdo. IT was screaming red, so I pulled out my camera and when he walked over to use the phone I snapped a picture of his hair to show on my blog. Security came up and asked me what I was taking pictures of. I was not allowed to take pictures in their store. How stupid is that.


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