Last Wednesday, Debbie and I enjoyed our annual Day-before-New-Year’s Eve-dessert- making- session. Although we part ways for the last night of the year, making our desserts together is our New Year’s celebration as friends. It’s a rewarding way to make some of our gourmet meals in advance. We’ve done it together year after year and it works beautifully each time.
This year, Debbie came to my house with her three kids. My children were thrilled to have play dates and Debbie and I managed to carve out uninterrupted time in the kitchen. We decided to make the same desserts that we do most years, Jean George’s molten chocolate cake and Vanilla CrÃ¨me brÃ»lée. Since both recipes require some concentration and don’t work as well when doubled, Debbie started by making her batch of crÃ¨me brÃ»lée while I worked on the chocolate cakes.
While Debbie worked at my kitchen table, beating eggs and cream, I was at the stove top melting chocolate and butter. In another corner, my Kitchen Aid whirred away, whisking eggs and sugar. These two desserts couldn’t have been better synchronized. As I scraped the last of the cake batter into the cake molds, Debbie had her ramekins filled with the creamy custard and we were ready to switch roles and well prepared to give each other some cooking tips.
In less than an hour, our molten chocolate cakes were in the fridge, where they’d stay until the big dinner the next day. Our crÃ¨me brÃ»lée slowly baked in the oven while the aroma of Madagascar vanilla created a perfect backdrop for us to sit back, relax and talk about food, friendship, family and tradition.