Friday, May 14, 2010

A Week Off

Every once in a while, even the most hardworking bakers need a bit of time away from the kitchen.  In my case, I had no choice because I've been living without a kitchen while in residence at the Yaddo Artists Colony in Saratoga Springs, New York.

At first I thought maybe I'd try to concoct something in the microwave, or a no-bake dessert that simply required putting together.  Somehow those options didn't seem too tempting.

Anyway, just because I couldn't bake didn't mean I couldn't eat.  And so, off I went into town in search of something delicious to sample.  I ended up at the Putnam Market, where I found not one but three distinctive citrusy desserts.  (I know, three citrus-themed posts in a row.  I promise next week to branch out.)

The first dessert I tasted was a lemon petit four, glazed in white chocolate dyed yellow.  To me, there's something magical about petit fours.  Sometimes I have dreams that I'm at a buffet table covered with trays of petit fours in rainbow colors and I can have as many as I want.  In real life, petit fours do come in an array of astounding colors, but they certainly aren't free, and they don't come cheap, often going for three bucks a pop.  But these amazing little confections, like this one, are worth every penny:  delicate layers of cake glued with lemon curd, coated in a firm candied glaze.

Next, I tried a "lemon burst," a lemon cake with lemon curd and a lemon "ganache" inside that tasted like an intense, creamy mousse.  The cake layers were pillow soft with a bright citrus flavor that seemed to melt into the mousse and curd on top and in between.  I need to try to recreate this one at home.

The final treat was a "mojito cupcake."  The name alone compelled me to buy one.  It's a standard buttery cupcake filled with lime curd and topped with a mint buttercream.  The cupcake, I have to say, tasted nothing like a mojito, but was delicious all the same, maybe because the combination of the mint and lime flavors didn't really blend, as in a mojito.  It was more that I tasted them separately, but each was delicious on its own.  And the cake was feathery, with a rich buttery flavor.

Next week, back to the kitchen!

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