As often goes, documentation of birthdays easily is swept away with the flurry of food and libations, seen above before with my cat resting before an evening of him asserting his rôle as master of ceremonies and lead entertainer. in the foreground is anise seed and orange flower water shortbread, a delicious recipe from Deborah Madison's latest book.
Autumn approaches and I wanted to do something with my florishing sage plant: here we have asiago and mascarpone blended with fresh sage as well as salt and pepper, spread on a toasted slice of baguette and topped with fried sage leaves, a delicious finish.
I adore génoise, and have made them in the past, but I recently discovered a cake by Deborah Madison (from an earlier book): a hazelnut cake that is basically a génoise with most of the flour replaced with ground toasted hazelnuts (or hickory nuts, but those are not easy to come by). I split the cake into three, spashed the layers with kirsch, and layered them with Julia Child's chocolate mousse (with kirsch in place of the orange liqueur). Finished with kirsch-flavored whipped cream and sour cherries that have been soaking in grain alcohol with hibiscus and orange peel. Fantastic.