Saturday, May 8, 2010

"Just Desserts"

The Aleutian Arts Council presents several wonderful events throughout the year, celebrating spring with its annual "Just Desserts" concert. We were very fortunate to welcome Mari Hahn, head of the Voice program at the U of Alaska in Anchorage, and three of her extremely talented students, Amber Gauthier, Alex Pierce and Waylon Waddell last night as they presented our first ever opera and show tunes concert. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the singers, but take my word for it that they were fabulous and you missed a great night if you were not able to attend.

Since this event is called "Just Desserts," you can probably guess that the food is all decadent, sweet and calorie-laden! Rich and I were asked to make a couple of items so we spent most of yesterday working on our contributions.

After perusing various cookbooks, I decided on a parfait with three layers. The original recipe called for a peppermint gelee at the bottom but I am not a huge peppermint fan so we changed it to Thai basil. First, the basil was blanched, shocked in ice water, and pureed with some simple syrup and a bit of gelatin to help it set. We tipped the parfait cups on their sides so the concoction would set at an angle.

Next, we pureed peaches and mixed them with panna cotta that was made previously. There's Vinnie in the background, working away while I am borrowing part of the kitchen. :)

Third layer, pureed strawberries, also with a bit of gelatin so they would not be runny.

Colorful, huh?!
And finally, fresh basil leaves were added to the top. Then chilled in the fridge and ready to go.

Meanwhile, Rich was making a chocolate caramel tart with a macadamia nut crust. Yum!

His finished tart with whipped cream and macadamia nuts on top.

There were so many desserts at the event that I am sure we were all overdosed on sugar!


Betty said...

Yum! Your dessert looks "WOW" - my talented daughter! Were there any left to take home? Rich's look delicious as well. You should enter them in a contest. I love the way they look!

Alaska Steve said...

Whoa, both desserts look amazing! Kelly and I are trying to "be good" so we stayed away from that event and did some spring cleaning projects around the house - looks like we missed out but made the smart choice!

bonnie said...

Beautiful and delicious I'm sure! Looks like you were having fun!

bonnie said...
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Kathi said...

Definitely all looks delicious! And sounds like fun evening, too!

alaskagal98 said...

OH MY ... that chocolate tart looks HEAVENLY! Sorry I missed the event! And, those parfaits just look so JAMAICAN! Very cute!!! What a neat idea to tip them on the side! LOVE IT.

Gigi said...

It was fun to do. No, there were none left to bring home, thank goodness, since we are trying to be "good," too. Rich helped me deliver the desserts and didn't stay since he had to do Mother's Day brunch early the next he avoided the temptation. I, on the other hand, did not go wild but certainly indulged a bit. :)

unalaska said...

You guys are sooooooo cute!

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