Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sweet...some BFS Love in the Press

Very excited to share some recent newsworth BFS features...!

Cirque Du Bebe Dessert Bar on Hostess With The Mostess - so honored to be featured on site where I go for my own creative inspiration: http://www.hostessblog.com/2010/10/a-cirque-du-bebe-dessert-buffet

Los Angeles Business Journal - the interview with Alexa was so much fun...thanks for sharing our story! Sorry Bohra for the crazy brunch!

Review on Macaroni Kid, Pasedena - we made some custom birthday Brown Butter Sea Salt favors for Laura, read about what she had to say about our treats!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Our Sweet Tour of New York City: Cookies, Cakes, Waffles and…mMmmMm Donuts

On our recent visit to NYC for the 2010 NYC Wine & Food Festival, we had some important BFS business to take care of…some serious long overdue research!

Ever since I started my pursuit of baking the most perfect (when it comes to cookies, there are various types of perfection…so yes, most perfect) chocolate chip cookies, I have asked my friends, co-workers, family members about places they like to go for cookies. To much frustration, some of them go like this:

So with a mental catalog of all the places I had to visit, I arrived in New York on cookie tour mission. Due to time restrictions and my general tangent behavior, the cookie tour morphed into a sweet tour including cakes, waffles and donuts…!!

Thursday night was one of those rare weatherless nights in New York City so we opted for some al fresco street food at The Madison Square Mrk’t. After a round of deliscious pizza, lasagne and too many sandwiches to name (or remember)...we moved on to business: DESSERTS!

There were two dessert vendors, one offering waffles, the other donuts. We couldn't decide, so our dear friend Borha got us BOTH! mMMmmm... Apple Cider Donuts and Belgium Waffles topped with Dulce de Leche. Now, only if I can figure out a way to translate these flavors into cookies…thoughts marinating, hopefully something will surface. Apple cider whoopee pies with a caramel crème do sound like an appropriate cookie sandwich for the fall-time.

Friday - Sunday was filled with festival activities...so I continued my sweet tour first thing Monday morning with brunch at Prune where I had the Dutch Style Pancake with pears. The dutch pancakes I was familiar with were puffy Yorkshire pudding-like pancakes, but the one below was basically a cake baked in a pan (rather than fried)…which I guess technically still qualifies as a pancake. =)

It was fluffy goodness with a touch of cornmeal (we think!)…but also time to move on to cookies. We only had time for one cookie to visit so we had to choose among a long list of places, including Momofuku Milk Bar, Levain, City Bakery, Fat Witch Bakery, Max Brenner, Ruby et Violette, Insomnia, Jacques Torres...being in the East Village already we chose Momofuku Milk Bar.

Momofuku Milk Bar offered six different types of cookies: compost, chocolate-chocolate, blueberry & cream, peanut butter, corn, corn-flake-marshmallow-chocolate chip. Looking at the interesting variety of cookies that Momofuku offered, I just wanted to go home a write and research new flavor combinations for Batch From Scratch. We ended up with the blueberry & creme and the corn-flake-marshmallow-chocolate chip cookie...oh, and cereal milk flavored soft serve ice cream.

They were delicious. Good texture, flavor, crumb...all around yummy. The blueberry & cream one was not as sweet as I expected, which is good but dangerous because you can inhale the entire cookie without even noticing. Do you see how the cookie breaks, you can just tell its moist! Can you see those little pockets of dense buttery goodness, those little mountains of decadence that form on top of the cream chips... now that's what I call beautiful! Note that those little mountains are the parts you want to pick off first...!!

We weren't able to try all the cookies that we wanted to, but there's always next time (hopefully before next year's NYC Wine & Food Festival).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New York City Wine & Food Festival 2010: Delicious Highlights

We arrived in New York last Thursday for the New York City Wine & Food Festival as a part of the Culinary Demo Production Staff. What is a culinary demo production staff…? Have you ever watched a cooking show where the host goes to the fridge/cabinets for ingredients, pops something into the oven, starts chopping on the cutting board and like magic everything is there where it needs to be? That magic is produced by the Culinary Demo Production Staff.

The words “no detail is too small” was written on top of every recipe we prepped for each of the twenty personalities including Rachel Ray, Giada, Paula Deen, Adam Richman, Andrew Zimmern, Tyler Florence, Guy Fieri, Morimoto, The Neely’s…and many many more.

With about twenty minutes turn times between each demo and up to four recipes per demo, the stage needed to be perfect...and quickly! I was able to sneak in a picture after the last demo on Saturday. =)

I snagged a picture of Andrew Zimmern in his pre-demo interview.

After Saturday night demo, we went to the festival’s Godiva SWEET event hosted by Sandra Lee and Duff Goldman. The event was featured desserts from top restaurants and chefs from the New York area including Le Bernadin, Jean Georges, Clinton St. Baking Company & Restaurant, Fat Witch Bakery, and ‘wichcraft. It was sensory overload-- I think we consumed enough sugar for the entire year. Below is just a picture of the outside patio. This event had over three rooms of desserts!!!

One of the many dessert participants:

We also met Johnny Iuzzini, the head judge of Top Chef: Just Desserts. He was absolutely awesome and wonderful to talk to and his dessert was of course delicious! He even taught me how to use my iPhone camera so I now know how to turn the flash on my iPhone. No more dark pictures! yey! (I just got the iPhone, so I'm still learning - this is why all the photos above are dark, sorry!).

After Johnny's iPhone tutorial:

Johnny's incredible chocolate dessert display:

This is Eunice on stage with Rocco DiSpirito. He demo'ed some low cal recipes for chocolate chip cookies and fried chicken, yeap its possible. Rocco was very kind and sweet. The best part of the whole demo though was when he told Eunice not to talk back (of course, all in good fun)! =)

Adam Richman of Man vs. Food closed out the festival's demos on Sunday, and we were happy to report that all the demos went off without a hitch. We were even able to squeeze in a picture...but literally five minutes later, we hear that Morimoto cracked the induction stove top with his Iron Chef hot stone demo and we had to improvise a cooking demo...well without the cooking. We rushed to triage the whole snafu and all was well. Adam was absolutely so gracious and flexible about the whole thing. He was just plain awesome.

We also went on a little cookie research trip around New York, but we’ll save that for our next update! Til then, hope everyone has a sweet day and be simply good. =)