Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar Party 2007: The Food

(At least the food I made. Everyone else made fabulous stuff, too.)

So, on the theory that I should make at least as much food as my friend Susan, who was coming from many miles away on public transit, I made candied bacon (from Gourmet last month; meant as a garnish, but I used it as a nibble), bacon ganache truffles (have to do something with all that bacon fat), and lavender-vanilla cupcakes with meyer lemon buttercream.

Candied Bacon:
I tripled the recipe, which meant a lot of standing in front of the stove mid-day on Sunday. However, I got to break in my new cast iron skillet. Hooray, cast iron skillet! I may be getting a cast iron dutch oven soon.

Main hassle: Pouring the fat out of the skillet one-handed. That's a test of forearm strength.

Bacon Ganache Truffles:
Really easy, and shamelessly stolen from Schwa, a restaurant Mr. Z and I went to last month. Basically, make a 1-to-1 ratio ganache, but replace 2/3 of the cream with bacon fat. These truffles are more solid than my usual ones, because bacon fat is solid at a cool room temperature. I rolled them in demarara sugar and paprika. Smoky and yum.

Lavender-Vanilla Cupcakes:
Used Donna Hays' cupcake recipe, doubled, which is basically "throw everything in electric mixer, walk away for four minutes". I used vanilla sugar, doubled the vanilla, and tossed in 2 tsps of food-grade lavendar buds.

Meyer Lemon Buttercream:
I used Jacques Torres' Basic Buttercream (cut in half), with some revisions: I added the cold butter in smaller batches, and at the end I added a ton of Meyer lemon rind, a little juice, and a dash of lemon extract.

Frosted the cupcakes, sprinkled more lavender buds on top. Ta-da!