Thanksgiving weekend

Just a quick post today to wish everyone a quiet, peaceful close to their Thanksgiving week.  It was a busy one here, yet with time to relax and slow down too.

I was happy to have received a number of requests for desserts and goodies from a handful of folks. Since pumpkin flan, apple-cranberry/caramel nut/chocolate ganache tarts, shortbread, croissant, pain au chocolat and croissant aux amandes were on my to-do list for others for the holiday, I kept my personal dessert offerings for family and friends on the simpler side.

On Thanksgiving day Steve and I traveled up the road to brother Dick and sister-in-law Dorothy's home in Douglas, Massachusetts for our afternoon meal which included a turkey breast roulade (good job Dor!), green beans, a savory cranberry orange relish, baked sweet potatoes, Steve's potato-Gruyere galette and Cathy's pearl onions baked in a bread-crumb-topped, creamy filling.  Everything was deelish!

For dessert I brought a small ganache tart, but I also took the opportunity to create another treat with components I had on hand.  I still had a portion of the brioche loaf from my King Arthur bread class, plus some crème d'amandes in the fridge and berries in the freezer, so it was time to make a berry version of Bostock!

After slicing, the brioche is imbibed in vanilla simple syrup and topped with berries, almond cream and sliced almonds. It's then baked at 350º for about 20 minutes until the almond cream is nicely browned.

Now some might consider this breakfast food, but it was so delicious warmed, topped with a dollop of Chantilly cream and served along side a petite slice of chocolate ganache tart - a lovely duo!

For another weekend gathering at friend Barbara's home I was in a maple syrup mood. Custards are one of my all time favorite desserts, so, after comparing a few recipes, I created my own version of a maple custard, baked in my favorite square ramekins.

I mixed hazelnut nougatine, chopped toasted hazelnuts and my own chocolate cookie crumbs as a garnish, and the crunch added just the right touch to the smooth, cool, silky custard.  Definitely a hit!

It's been a good week.  And away we go to December and 2015!