January 3, 2011

color coding

Happy New Year from Astrid Kirschenbaum

Happy New Year!!!
Rather than picking a theme, pick a color scheme for an elegant evening. 
Our New Year's dinner was all WHITE, at least it was supposed to be. The bean dip hors d'oeuvres, celery-apple soup, and potato tart were all of the white and cream colored family, but at the last minute we decided to serve the lobster meat (white) in its shell (RED!) and so we matched the dinner table to have the same pop of color on an otherwise monochromatic setting. Just like the food. 

The Lobsters were named, pre-boiled, and then broiled just before serving. 

The accidental pièce-de-la-resistance though, the true winner, was a last minute concoction, a white trifle.  Store bought angel food cake was layered with a coconut cream from which mmm's and aaah's were heard by all. Not one guest refused seconds. Even one particular lady, whom I have known for years to keep her tiny waistline by never delving in for another bite, took a heaping, serving spoonful more.

Vanishing White Trifle

1 bag Shredded Coconut
Milk (about 4 cups)
Coconut water (about 8 oz)
Egg yolks  (about 3)
3-4 Bananas
Angel Food Cake
Whipping cream

Boil an entire bag of grated unsweetened coconut into a pot of milk with a little coconut water and a tad bit of sweetener. I use a tablespoon of agave. Once the coconut aroma has infused the milk, sieve it out, pressing firmly. Add a few egg yolks and gently heat again, VERY LOW VERY SLOW so it does not curdle and just coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat.

Layer with store bought angel food cake and 3-4 very thinly sliced bananas, top with unsweetened home-whipped cream; heavy whipping cream in the mixer until it stiffens. The sweetness of the cake is enough to sweeten the entire dessert, adding very little or no sugar to the coconut cream and whipped cream is what makes the dessert so refined. Not to mention the bombastic natural coconut flavor that will knock your Wolford socks off!

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