July 18, 2012
When my children were little, we would rent a beach house every summer down in Dana Point, California. The houses on this stretch of beach are right on the water; the back yard is literally the sand. The ocean is crystal clear, bright, blue and the view is spectacular! Because this is a private beach, we could have bonfires! Every night we would have dinner outside and then after the sun went down, we'd light a fire and make s'mores. In the photo below is my son Jake, now 16, at three years old with a flaming marshmallow for his very own s'more. Oh it was so much fun! Seeing all our sweet pictures from those times brought those nights right back to me. What amazing memories of my children when they were little! If only I could go back in time for just one night.....
This month we want to invite you to come dine with us outside, under the stars on one of our big, beautiful patios! I've also got a sweet summer dessert recipe to share with you and it's part of our Menu for this Spring-Summer 2012, as well as a handy kitchen tool that will create a crispy outer crust for lots of your favorite dishes. Read on and don't forget to become an LAFW Facebook Fan. Click Here to get daily updates on the happenings in our kitchen.
Happy Summer Everyone! Hope to be cooking with you all soon!
Dining Al Fresco with LAFW
One of the best features of our LA summers is that it's rarely uncomfortable to be outside. Just beyond the doors of the LAFW kitchen, is our beautiful court yard, with a large shade tree and lots of twinkle lights. It makes dining outside a quaint and intimate experience. Our large and inviting patio is perfect for appetizer and grilling events as well as showers and team outings. We can transform the space into a beautiful outdoor dining room for up to 40 people or a lovely cocktail area for up to 60. So you bring the wine, we'll have the food and together you will have the perfect ingredients for a wonderful party!
For more information or to book your event, contact
Nothing says summer like s'mores! With this recipe, you don't even need a fire pit to get the sweet and smokey taste of this classic dessert, although a chef's torch would helpful but NOT necessary. Featured on our Spring-Summer 2012 Menu they are one of our most popular desserts this year. Graham cracker cupcakes are baked then stuffed with marshmallow fluff and a decadent chocolate ganache is spread on top. When ready to eat, pipe a dollap more of the marshmallow on to the chocolate and get your torch out to singe the fluff (or do it under your broiler). Fun and tasty...the perfect dessert!
||For the Cupcakes
| 1 1/2
||cups graham cracker crumbs -- about 8 full crackers ground up in a food processor
||teaspoons baking powder
||pinch of salt
||cup butter, at room temp
||teaspoon vanilla extract
||ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
||cup heavy cream
||7 ounce jar marshmallow cream
||graham crackers -- broken into 12 pieces for garnish
For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350F. Line standard muffin trays with muffin paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, salt in a medium bowl.
With an electric or standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter, sugar on high speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Turn the speed down and add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer turned to low, add the graham cracker mixture in 3 additions alternating with milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with graham cracker mixture.
Spoon the batter into the lined muffin pan cups, about just about full. Bake until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out cleanly, about 22 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to rack, cool completely.
For the topping: Place chocolate in medium bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in small saucepan; pour over chocolate. Let stand one minutes; stir until smooth. Cool ganache until lukewarm.
When cupcakes have cooled, push an apple corer or small pairing knife about 1 inch into the top of each cupcake; remove cake, forming hole. Spoon marshmallow cream into resealable plastic bag, pushing into 1 bottom corner. Cut 1/2 inch off center. Pipe cream into holes in cupcakes.
Spread a thin layer of chocolate ganache over the top of each cupcakes. Chill cupcakes in refrigerator until chocolate has set about 5-10 minutes.
When chocolate has hardened up a bit, pipe a large dollop of marshmallow cream onto the top of each cupcake. Toast the marshmallow frosting with a blow torch, moving around the side of the frosting and being careful not to burn the cream or the cupcake liners. (Alternately, Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Spoon dollops of marshmallow cream on the sheet. Broil until slightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon dollops of charred cream over each cupcake).
Makes 12 cupcakes; Per Cupcake: 335 Calories; 18g Fat (44.8% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 44g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 65mg Cholesterol; 295mg Sodium.
Commonly known as a brulee torch, this is what chefs use to get that brunt sugar crust on the top of creme brulee. However, this wonderful kitchen tool is good for so much more! This summer we are using ours every time we make s'mores cupcakes to give the marshmallow topping that toasty flavor. Thomas Keller, in his fabulous cookbook, "Ad Hoc at Home", has a recipe called Blowtorch Prime Rib Roast where he uses his torch to caramelize the outside of a slow roasted prime rib. They are easy to find on-line and available at Surfas here in LA. Recently, I also saw them at Bed Bath and Beyond. Or do what Thomas Keller did, go to your local hardware store and get a handheld propane blowtorch. Both will work really well in the kitchen and you'll probably be surprised at all the different dishes on which you will use your torch!
WANT TO USE THESE TIPS AND RECIPES IN YOUR E-ZINE, BLOG OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you do not alter the information in any way and include a credit that reads "by Rose LeBoeuf, www.lafoodworks.com, Interactive Cooking Classes, Parties, and Corporate Team Building Events for Groups Looking for a Fun and Unique Dinning Experience."
LA Food Works Events
Ideal for Team Building, Summer Outings, Client Entertaining, Birthday Parties, Showers and Private Gatherings.
Let LA Food Works make your party one which your guests will not soon forget!
No previous cooking experience required!
Just willingness to put on an apron,
get your hands a little messy,
indulge in some great food
and have lots of fun playing in the kitchen!
We also happily design Custom Cooking Parties. If you have a group of 10 or more foodies who love great food and playing together in the kitchen, contact us and we will design a custom menu or theme class for you and your group.
Our interactive cooking parties both unify and entertain...perfect for any occasion that requires great food, interesting activities and lots of fun!
For information or to book your event, contact Rose LeBoeuf at 310-288-0100 for an event planning kit, pricing and availability.