Feast

Food To Celebrate Life

by Nigella Lawson and James Merrell

Hardcover, 472 pages, Hyperion Books, List Price: $35 | purchase

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Title
Feast
Subtitle
Food To Celebrate Life
Author
Nigella Lawson and James Merrell

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Book Summary

The New York Times columnist and author of How to Be a Domestic Goddess presents a festive assortment of delicious recipes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, and other special occasions, along with creative tips, tricks, and shortcuts to make entertaining stylish, fun, and easy. 125,000 first printing.

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Excerpt: Feast

Feast

Food to Celebrate Life


Hyperion Books

ISBN: 1-4013-0136-3

Chapter One

Chocolate Raspberry Heart

For the cake: 3/4 cup milk 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 3 large eggs 1 cup granulated sugar 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons best unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 shallow 9-inch heart-shaped pans

for the filling: 1 cup fresh raspberries 1/2 cup heavy cream

for the icing: 3/4 cup heavy cream 5 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa 1 tablespoon corn syrup 1 cup fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line two 9-inch heart-shaped cake pans. Pour the milk into a small pan, add the butter, and heat over medium heat until the butter melts. Or you can just put the milk and butter in a glass measuring cup and melt the butter in the microwave. When hot, add the vanilla. Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick, light colored, and frothy. I use the paddle attachment of the KitchenAid for this. Meanwhile, mix together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda in a bowl. Still beating the eggs and sugar, add the vanilla-flavored milk. When incorporated, slowly fold in the flour mixture, either using the paddle attachment on low speed or by hand with a spatula. You will need a final scrape-down and fold with a rubber spatula in any event. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove to wire racks and let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before turning the cakes out, and then turning them back up on the wire racks, out of the pans, the right way up. Leave the cakes to cool before icing; you can make them in advance, but they are sticky so you must wrap them in parchment paper before wrapping them in aluminum foil. To fill the heart, whip the cream until thick but not stiff. Add the raspberries and crush with a fork, but not too finely. The cream should turn wonderfully pink, in a rose-and-white mottled fashion. Sandwich the hearts with the raspberry cream. To ice, put the cream, chocolate cut into small pieces, and syrup in a pan over low to medium heat and when the chocolate seems to have all but melted into the warm cream, take off the heat and start whisking until you have a smooth, glossy mixture. Pour, and then spread - preferably with a palette knife - over the top of the cake to the edges of the heart (not worrying too much about drips). Take out your cup of raspberries and just about 1 inch, or maybe slightly less in from the edges of the heart, start studding the chocolate topping with the raspberries (hole sides down) or however, indeed, you like.

(Continues...)