Thursday, June 5, 2008

Apparently, I cater, too.

As a bridesmaid for my friend's wedding and one who loves to cook, I offered to be in charge of food for the bridal shower. And because this turned into my first catering experience, I'd like to share how it went.

Let's start kind of backwards -- the dessert is always everyone's favorite part anyway:

These chocolate-covered strawberries were a collaborative effort by both me and my sister -- I dipped and she drizzled. My first few attempts at drizzling the white chocolate resulted in a couple messy, weird, "artsy-fartsy" strawberries -- or so my bride later called it. I called it more fartsy than artsy. To be completely accurate, it looked like a mentally unstable leprechaun took a tiny little can of white silly string and went to town on the strawberries. My sister had pointed and laughed hysterically at them and at me. That's when I made her my designated drizzler.

She was on a roll and helped me decorate the party favors as well -- homemade giant fortune cookies.

After attempting three and a half recipes for fortune cookies, which all failed because they turned out too delicate, too soggy, or too gritty, I finally settled on a standard tuile batter recipe, provided by pastry chef cousin Irene even before the other recipes' trials and errors. She later made fun of me for ever doubting her recipe in the first place. I promise I won't do it again.

Fortune Cookies (Basic Tuile Batter)
5 oz sugar
3 oz butter, softened
3 oz egg whites (equivalent to about 3 egg whites), slightly beaten
4 oz flour (in weight, not volume -- it equals about 1 cup of flour)

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg whites and beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in the flour. The batter should be a peanut butter-like consistency.

Spread the batter evenly in a very thin, 4-inch circle on a silpat or on parchment paper. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 7 minutes or until edges are browned. Remove from the oven and wait 30 seconds, then loosen the cookie from the pan with an offset spatula and flip it over. Place the "fortune" face down on the cookie.

Working quickly (and it helps if you wear thin gloves), loosely pinch two ends of the circle together like a taco. Press the folded side of the cookie perpendicularly against the rim of the baking pan, and gently bring the edges closer together to make a fortune cookie shape. Set the shaped cookie in a muffin pan to cool and harden.

If you're brave and fast, you can try making two at a time.

Other things on the "Asian-themed" bridal shower menu:
Chicken satay
Thai lettuce wraps
Egg rolls
Tofu with peanut sauce

I also offered to make phallic cupcakes for the bachelorette party, but was reminded of the non-phallus policy. Boo!


Lisa said...

I assume this was for Kristine's put up pictures so I can live vicariously through them!...please?

Neva Modzelewski said...

Chocolate-covered strawberries? They’re so mouth-watering! :D I can imagine the sweet, crisp taste of the strawberries as it melts with the chocolate. Now, that’s a very luscious desert! :)