Cooking Seminars & Classes: December 2010 Archives

Favorite Flavor?

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flavorbar.jpgby Michaela Jarvis

You may not serve grapes dipped in lime juice and salt at your next dinner party, but it's still fascinating to see what kind of flavor such a combination produces. Like cooking deconstructed, the Calibrating Your Palate demonstration at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, lets you taste for yourself how different flavors affect each other: how acid can bring out earthy tones in a food; how salt can bring out sweetness. After just 15 minutes watching the demonstration at the Flavor Bar, you'll begin to taste and season like a chef.

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Time To Stop Beating Around the Bûche

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By Deirdre Bourdet

Growing up in California, I always thought a yule log was the crackling fire you tuned your televisions to while you opened your Christmas gifts.  I was stunned to learn that the yule log is not only a real cake consumed by many Americans, but the Christmas Eve dessert for families in France.

In contrast to the rest of the traditional Réveillon menu for December 24th--oysters, foie gras, truffles, and roast capon--the Bûche de Noël is a humble little creature.  Thin genoise cake, usually chocolate, is rolled around a flavored cream-based filling and then frosted and decorated with meringue mushrooms to look like a felled log in the forest.  Although some French seem to prize an ultra-realistic log, and others opt for a more cartoonish look, everyone's goal is clearly to make the cake look like a moldering piece of wood.

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