Archive for May, 2011

Chocolate Biscuit Cake: Fit for a … Prince!

As you’ve undoubtedly heard, Prince William induced a raised royal eyebrow or two with his request that the royal wedding feast include a groom’s cake based on a favorite childhood tea-time treat, chocolate biscuit cake — groom’s cakes are an American tradition, not an English one. But one bite of this festive, decadent creation and you’ll understand why HRH considered it an essential addition!

As with many simple, good desserts there are many variations on the recipe. This one includes brandy-spiked raisins and crunchy toasted hazelnuts, but you could use any chopped dried fruit and toasted nuts — or none at all. The Biscuit Cake is quite rich, so a small slice usually suffices.

Grilled Asparagus in Piment d’Espelette Mustard Vinaigrette

Grilling asparagus has become popular, and rightly so: the fierce heat caramelizes its natural sugars, adding sweetness and smoke to the asparagus’ fresh green flavor. A drizzle of Piment d’ Esplanette mustard vinaigrette contributes acidity with a little spicy kick. If grilling isn’t convenient, the asparagus can be pan-seared in a large skillet over high heat. This recipe works best with plump asparagus — save the delicate-pencil-thin spears for another recipe, they will overcook with high-heat methods.

Grilled Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

Grilling potatoes adds a hint of smoky char to their earthy flavor. Tossing the grilled potatoes with garlic and rosemary adds piquancy. The seasonings are added after grilling to keep the flavors fresh — if they are added before cooking, they tend to become harsh and burnt-tasting.