March 31, 2013

Easter brunch and a cocktail for spring

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Happy Easter! We don’t really celebrate, but any holiday is a chance to eat some great food. We had friends over for brunch this morning and I must say, the meal came together beautifully.

I made Quiche Lorraine with real cream! Which never happens. It also had bacon and gruyere, so triple goodness. And to really go all out, I also made the richest of rich chocolate cakes, topped with a huge billowing mound of whipped cream. Don’t worry, we had a salad too.

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The cake was truly wonderful. Flourless, rich, soft, and fudgy with a crackly, sugary top. Almost a cross between a cake and custard. And that wonderful whipped cream on top, combined with a bit of mascarpone cheese for yes, more richness. But somehow it wasn’t all too much, and I think it’s because the cake is not that sweet. I used a regular supermarket bar of dark chocolate that was probably not more than 60 percent, yet the cake had a beautiful bitterness.  The recipe comes from the March issue of Bon Appétit. (but you can also find it here.)

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There were also grapefruit juice-whiskey cocktails that I kind of threw together after looking at a few recipes online. They were deliciously refreshing, a mix of sour and sweet, with a lovely herbal note from the rosemary simple syrup. So good I thought I’d share with you. Even though grapefruits are a winter staple, this drink made me think of spring.

Grapefruit-Whiskey Cocktails for Spring

Makes one not-very-strong drink. Add more whiskey if desired! Feel free to play around with the proportions here as much as you’d like – I was mixing with a pretty free hand.

1 oz. whiskey (I used Jack Daniel’s honey whiskey which is a bit sweet, but I’m sure regular whiskey would work fine)
1 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 oz. rosemary simple syrup (recipe follows – you could also use mint simple syrup)
1/2 oz. (or more) lime juice
1/2 oz (or more) water

Put a couple of ice cubes in a small glass. Pour the whiskey over, followed by the grapefruit juice, syrup, and lime juice. Add the water and taste. Add more lime juice or water if desired.

Rosemary Simple Syrup

Combine 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, and 2 rosemary sprigs in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn heat down and leave at  a simmer for a few minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Take off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes for the rosemary to infuse. Let cool, remove rosemary, and store in a jar in the fridge. This is also delicious stirred into sparkling water.