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 cover three traditional Italian 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!!!
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