Cinderella Dinner


Pumpkin Souppumpkinsoup_1050x600

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  1. Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
  2. Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender.
  3. Return to pan, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in heavy cream. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

Peasant Bread


  • 4 cups (512 g | 1 lb. 2 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups lukewarm water*
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active-dry or instant yeast
  • room temperature butter, about 2 tablespoons 

    *To make foolproof lukewarm water that will not kill the yeast (water that’s too hot can kill yeast), boil some water — I use my teapot. Then, mix 1½ cups cold water with ½ cup boiling water. This ratio of hot to cold water will be the perfect temperature for the yeast.

Mixing the dough:

  1. • If you are using active-dry yeast: In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar into the water. Sprinkle the yeast over top. There is no need to stir it up. Let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture is foamy and/or bubbling just a bit — this step will ensure that the yeast is active. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. When the yeast-water-sugar mixture is foamy, stir it up, and add it to the flour bowl. Mix until the flour is absorbed.• If you are using instant yeast: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast. Add the water. Mix until the flour is absorbed.
  2. Cover bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for at least an hour. (In the winter or if you are letting the bread rise in a cool place, it might take as long as two hours to rise.) This is how to create a slightly warm spot for your bread to rise in: Turn the oven on at any temperature (350ºF or so) for one minute, then turn it off. Note: Do not allow the oven to get up to 300ºF, for example, and then heat at that setting for 1 minute — this will be too hot. Just let the oven preheat for a total of 1 minute — it likely won’t get above 100ºF. The goal is to just create a slightly warm environment for the bread.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Grease two oven-safe bowls (such as the 1-qt pyrex bowls I mentioned above) with about a tablespoon of butter each. Using two forks, punch down your dough, scraping it from the sides of the bowl, which it will be clinging to. As you scrape it down try to turn the dough up onto itself if that makes sense. You want to loosen the dough entirely from the sides of the bowl, and you want to make sure you’ve punched it down. Then, take your two forks and divide the dough into two equal portions — eye the center of the mass of dough, and starting from the center and working out, pull the dough apart with the two forks. Then scoop up each half and place into your prepared bowls. This part can be a little messy — the dough is very wet and will slip all over the place. Using small forks or forks with short tines makes this easier — my small salad forks work best; my dinner forks make it harder. It’s best to scoop it up fast and plop it in the bowl in one fell swoop.
  4. Let the dough rise for about 20 to 30 minutes on the countertop near the oven (or near a warm spot) or until it has risen to just below or above (depending on what size bowl you are using) the top of the bowls. (Note: Do not do the warm-oven trick for the second rise, and do not cover your bowls for the second rise. Simply set your bowls on top of your oven, so that they are in a warm spot. Twenty minutes in this spot usually is enough for my loaves.)
  5. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375º and make for 15 to 17 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and turn the loaves onto cooling racks. If you’ve greased the bowls well, the loaves should fall right out onto the cooling racks. If the loaves look a little pale and soft when you’ve turned them out onto your cooling racks, place the loaves into the oven (outside of their bowls) and let them bake for about 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Round of Sausage


Meat Pie


Kit you’ll need: 1 large, oval raised/game pie mould OR a 20cm round springclip tin, 7cm deep, greased with lard; a 2.5cm oak leaf cutter OR leaf-shaped cutter; a baking sheet


700g boneless mixed game meat, diced
200g rindless back bacon, diced
200g minced pork belly (unsmoked)
2 banana shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons Madeira
½ teaspoon ground mace
½ teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper, to taste


450g plain flour
100g strong white bread flour
75g chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes
200ml water
½ teaspoon salt
100g lard


1 egg yolk, beaten

1. Start by making the filling so the flavours have time to develop. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl. Add a little salt and pepper, then mix everything together with your hands until thoroughly combined. Take a teaspoon of the mixture, shape it into a small ‘burger’ and fry it for a minute or so on each side until cooked through, then taste and add more seasoning to the filling mixture, if necessary. Cover and chill while you make the pastry.

2. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Combine both flours and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in* lightly using your fingertips. Pour the water into a small pan and add the salt and lard. Heat gently until the lard has melted, then bring to the boil. Pour the hot mixture on to the flour and quickly mix everything together with a wooden spoon to make a dough. As soon as the dough is cool enough to handle, tip it out on to a floured worktop and knead it just until smooth and even.

3. This pastry becomes crumbly as it cools, so you need to work quickly now. Cut off a third of the pastry and wrap it tightly in clingfilm. Roll out the remaining pastry to an oval or disc large enough to line your tin. Carefully lift the pastry into the tin and press it on to the base and side, smoothing out wrinkles. Leave excess pastry hanging over the rim. Check there are no cracks or holes in the pastry case – press the pastry together or patch with small scraps of pastry.

4. Roll out the remaining pastry to an oval or disc, slightly larger than the top of your tin, to form the lid. Cover with clingfilm and leave on the worktop for now.

5. Spoon the filling into the pastry-lined tin and press it down well, making sure the surface is level. Brush the edge of the pastry case with beaten egg yolk, then lay the pastry lid on top. Press the edges of the case and lid together firmly to seal. Trim off the excess pastry and crimp or flute* the edge neatly. Make a hole in the centre of the lid to allow steam to escape during baking.

6. Gather up the pastry trimmings and roll them out again. Stamp out 20 leaves with the shaped cutter. Attach these to the pastry lid, using a dab of beaten egg yolk as glue. Brush the lid all over with beaten egg yolk to glaze.

7. Set the tin on the baking sheet and bake in the heated oven for 30 minutes. Turn down the oven temperature to 170°C/325°F/gas 3 and bake the pie for a further 1¾ hours until the pastry is a rich golden brown.

8. Leave the pie in its tin until completely cold before unmoulding. Serve at room temperature, on a rimmed plate to catch any juices. Store any leftovers, tightly wrapped, in the fridge.

Petit Four Pillow w/ sugared slipper and sugar spun cage


  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 egg whites
  • GLAZE:
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • Gel, liquid or paste food coloring
  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gently fold into batter.
  2. Pour into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Cut a thin slice off each side of cake. Cut cake into 1-1/4-in. squares. Place 1/2 in. apart on a rack in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. pan.
  4. In a large bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Beat on low speed just until blended; beat on high until smooth. Apply glaze evenly over tops and sides of cake squares, allowing excess to drip off. Let dry. Repeat if necessary to thoroughly coat squares. Let dry completely.
  5. For frosting, in a small bowl, cream the butter, shortening and vanilla. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Place 1/2 cup each in two bowls; tint one pink and one green.
  6. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert #104 tip. Fill with pink frosting; pipe a rosebud on each petit four. Insert #3 round tip into another pastry or plastic bag; fill with green frosting. Pipe a leaf under each rose. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen (3 cups frosting).

Sugar Cage


  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Cooking spray

Place the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Insert a candy thermometer and cook the sugar mixture until it reaches 311 degrees F, or what is known as the “hard crack” stage. Remove from the heat and carefully pour into a medium-sized, microwave-able glass bowl.

Wash, dry, and lightly but thoroughly coat with cooking spray a clean, dry bowl that matches the diameter of whatever you’re placing the sugar cage over. Dip the tines of a fork into the hot sugar. Carefully but quickly wave the fork over the inside of the bowl, allowing the sugar to drip off the fork in long, thin strands. Try to distribute the strands evenly on the sides and bottom of the bowl, making sure to come all the way to the rim, however, not so thick that you can’t see the bowl through the sugar.

Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the edge of the cage clean by scraping the blade of the knife along the rim of the bowl. Set aside to cool, about 5 minutes.

To unmold the cage, place your thumbs on the outside of the bowl and your fingers on the inside of the sugar cage. Gently pull the cage loose from the side and bottom of the bowl; you will be able to see the cage release from the inside of the bowl. You will need to apply this gentle pressure all around the inside of the bowl. Once the cage has released from the bowl, carefully lift it out and place it over the dessert. If the sugar is still too warm, the cage may begin to collapse. A good idea is to release the cage from the bowl but leave it in the bowl until it has cooled completely. This will ensure that it keeps its shape. (At this stage, the cage can be stored, right side up, in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for one to two days.)


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