Italian Desserts with Chef Fred

Italian Desserts with Chef Fred
Spend an afternoon learning to
prepare traditional Italian desserts
with Chef Frederick F. Butters, FAIA,
Esq. This demonstration class will
desserts in detail. Learn to make
these delicious desserts, enjoy
samples, and take home detailed
recipes along with the knowledge
and ability to make them for your
family and friends to enjoy.
Fred has studied with a number of accomplished local chefs, including Certified
Master Chef Jeffrey Gabriel, Certified Master Pastry Chef Joseph Decker,
Certified Executive Chef / Certified Executive Pastry Chef Marcus Haight, and
Brian Polcyn of the Five Lakes Grill and more recently the Forrest Grill. An
accomplished teacher as well, Fred brings that wealth of experience to this class
This demonstration class will include;
Panna Cotta with Fruit Coulis
I learned this dish from Joseph Decker, one of only 16 Certified Master Pastry
Chefs in the United States. Chef Decker is also a Certified National Judge for
American Culinary Federation, and was a member of the 1995 World Pastry Cup
Team. He has won medals in world competitions in France and Germany and
national competitions in Chicago and Detroit.
Panna cotta (from Italian cooked cream) is a dessert made by simmering
together cream, milk and sugar, mixing with gelatin, and letting it cool until set. It
is served with wild berries, caramel, chocolate sauce or fruit coulis. It is not
known exactly how or when this dessert came to be, but some theories suggest
that cream, for which mountainous Northern Italy is famous, was historically
eaten plain or sweetened with fruit or hazlenuts. Earlier recipes for the dish used
boiled fish bones in place of gelatin; sugar, later a main ingredient, would not
have been widely available as it was an expensive imported commodity. Over the
years, this treat evolved into what is now a gelatin dessert, typically flavored with
vanilla and topped with fruit or spices, served chilled
Amoretti (Almond Macaroon) Cookies
Executive Chef / Executive Pasty Chef Marcus Haight taught me to make these.
Chef Haight held leadership positions at four of the 15 Mobil Guide Five-Star
restaurants in the United States. During his tenure as Executive Chef at The
Kark in West Bloomfield, it was rated the best restaurant in the U.S. by readers of
Condé Nast Traveler Magazine.
One day after lunch service a man walked into the Lark and introduced himself
as a neighbor who lived one street over. He indicated he had been a chef when
he lived in Italy and that he would teach the staff to make authentic Amoretti
Cookies if they were interested. They were. Chef Haight learned the recipe
then, and I learned it from him several years later.
A loose translation yields the term “little bitter things” Amoretti Cookies are found
in a wide variety of textures and flavors, and are an excellent after dinner
accompaniment to coffee, espresso, or cappuccino. The earliest recorded
macaroon recipes are for the almond meringue variety similar to amoretti, with a
crisp crust and a softer interior. Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management
includes a recipe for a macaroon of this kind.
The name derives from an Italian word maccarone, meaning paste. While origins
are uncertain, some culinary historians claim that macaroons can be traced to an
Italian monastery. The monks came to France in 1533, joined by the pastry chefs
of Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henri II. Later, two Benedictine nuns, Sister
Marguerite and Sister Marie-Elisabeth, came to the monks in Nancy, France,
sought seeking asylum during the French Revolution. The two women paid for
their housing by baking and selling macaroon cookies, and thus became known
as the "Macaroon Sisters". Recipes for macaroons (also spelled "mackaroon,"
"maccaroon" and "mackaroom") appear in recipe books at least as early as 1725
(Robert Smith's Court Cookery, or the Complete English Cook).
Italian Jews later adopted the cookie because it has no flour or leavening
(macaroons are leavened only with egg whites) and therefore can be enjoyed
during Passover. They later became popular as a year-round sweet. Over time,
coconut was added to the ground almonds and, in certain recipes, replaced
them. Potato Starch is also sometimes included in the recipe, to give the
macaroons more body.
These authentic Italian delights have earned the Benedetto Tiseo (an authentic
Italian) seal of approval
Gianduja Chocolate Bars
This specific recipe is the creation of Chef Brian Polcyn, from whom I learned it in
February 2012. Chef Polcyn is nationally recognized for his creativity and
culinary talents, and as the visionary behind some of Detroit's most acclaimed
restaurants. While still in his 20s, Polcyn honed his skills at two of Michigan's
most prestigious restaurants, The Golden Mushroom under Certified Master Chef
Milos Cihelka and The Lark. He went on to create four of Michigan's most
prominent restaurants before opening the Forest Grill in Birmingham, Michigan.
His numerous awards include three gold medals and a silver medal from The
American Culinary Federation. In 1990, he was first runner-up in the American
Culinary Gold Cup Bocuse d'Or, a competition that seeks America's top nativeborn chefs.
Gianduja chocolate is the granddaddy of Italian desserts. Loosely translated as
“sweet nuts”, Gianduja is a sweet chocolate containing about 30% hazlenut
praline or paste, invented in Turin during Napoléon's regency (1796-1814). Using
Gianduia, Turin based chocolate manufacturer Caffarel invented the popular
Gianduiotto chocolates in 1852. “Gianjduja” was Carnival and marionette
character who represents the archetypal Piedmontese, a native of the Italian
region where hazelnut confectionery is common.
Served with espresso or chocolate sauce it is a unique and decadent dessert
experience. Gianduja chocolate bars are not a daily Italian dessert, but rather is
a unique dining experience reserved for special occasions such as Grandpa’s
90th birthday or Mom and Dad’s 50th anniversary.
Join us for the fun!!!