Monday, January 26, 2009

A Sweet Welcome to the Year of the Ox

Hey, I'm a cow and this is my special Chinese zodiac year, which calls for special celebrations as we contemplate the year ahead like an unopened gift. The feasting already started yesterday with kisses over at Craig's and continued deliciously with sticky fingers at Shanna's. Tomorrow, Jeremy is hosting a special party for the release of Nikki Magennis' The New Rakes, so we'll all be partying there, but he'll be taking a break now and then to stir up some soup for Wednesday's stop on our sensually stimulating progressive dinner. Which is perfect, because we all know that soup tastes better with a day in fridge to let the flavors mellow.

This wonderful food is getting addictive, though, and so, as I passed a wonderful local bakery today called Masse's Pastries, I couldn't resist bringing home a selection of their special Chinese-New-Year-inspired treats. The box alone was so festive--lucky red and yellow ribbon with a little firecracker favor attached.

But the pastries, ah, the pastries, were truly as delicious as they were gorgeous! On the upper left is the coconut cream tart: "coconut custard finished with whipped cream in a sesame and almond sable tart shell." My mother used to make the airiest coconut cream pie and this confection might possibly be the first time a coconut custard exceeded her legendary creation. Top right is the green tea opera: "almond, green tea jaconde, chocolate ganache, green tea buttercream--an exciting twist on a Parisian classic." Indeed it was, a happy marriage of flavor and texture. The cute little cow on the bottom was a flourless chocolate cake, but somehow fluffier than the usual. The shop also offered a mandarin firecracker, a small orange chiffon jelly roll with mandarin curd, iced in bright red frosting, but visually appealing as it was, I knew there were limits to our appetites. Especially after all the fine eating I've been doing in blogland!

Please help yourself to a taste of artistic sweetness and accept my wishes for a happy Year of the Ox as well. Gong Hei Fat Choi!


Belle Brett said...

You're making me hungry! I have given up sweets for a few days, but now I think I'll have to go in search of chocolate...Belle

Nikki Magennis said...

Oh, I am jonesing for those beautiful cakes! (Is that right? Shanna taught me that word but I don't know if I've quite got it yet!)

Especially the opera cake.

Gung Fat Choi to you, Donna, and thanks for spreading the word about the Rakes' party!

Donna said...

My pleasure, Nikki. I do LOVE your trailer and am so curious to know what's happening inside those pages.

And you know, A--or is it B?--a small square of dark chocolate is very good for your health. If nibbled slowly, eyes closed, feeling each taste bud explode with the pleasure, even such a small amount is thoroughly satisfying, too!

Jeremy Edwards said...

Soup's almost ready!

[Gets excited and drops spoon into tureen.]

Oops ... better give me five minutes.

[Spamword: ollipsxy]

EllaRegina said...

Jeremy Edwards said...

[Spamword: ollipsxy]

I knew him in Poland.


Verification word: poles

I kid you not!