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View Sample Pages : Frederick News Post, February 21, 1985

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Frederick News-Post (Newspaper) - February 21, 1985, Frederick, Maryland 1A food feast combining business with pleasure Jould considered an epicurean delight two days of learning (and J tasting) the culinary secrete of experts I tasting chocolate as if it were fine wine' I and hopping from sauna to ice skatine rink in moments. For the family chef struggling with the Joy of Cooking it was a chance to be inspired to culinary I mastery and explore foods that would not normally be on the weekly menu The event was a Food Feast 'an alternative to the usual medical con- vention or tax seminar. The focus was on cooking demonstrations of every type ranging from how to debone a chicken to making a sinfully rich white chocolate cheesecake. Becauie the weekend was under the I direction of Elaine Sherman, who has earned the title of "Madame Choco- late, there was a definite slant toward that rich dark stuff. After tasting the subtleties of several types of expensive I and gourmet choco- late chip cookies, one began to feel a bit decadent. But it was worth the guilt I trip. The two-day symposium took place in Lancaster, Pa., which has its own fine food heritage. One of the speakers Betty Groff, has quite a reputation as a regional cook with a specialty in Penn- sylvania Dutch cooking. Her demon- stration on the finer points of slippery pot pie and hot bacon dressing was spiced up with tales of her country inn and growing up with a large German- cooking family. Ms. Sherman, on the other hand, had the audience sighing just at the word chocolate truffle and shaking their heads in disbelief that her recipes con- tain no calories. One very gullible woman asked in a stage whisper, if she really used skim milk so that there are fewer calories. Not on your life. Her cheesecake alone has 2 cups of sour cream and one pound cream cheese. While certainly not everyone will rush home and try all the gourmet recipes given during the weekend, it was an experience just to watch master chefs at work Learning how to make a tart dough in a food processor, how to decorate a Gianduja Bombe in a clas- sical French manner and a quick way to wrap sushi were all explained Unfor- tunately I have my reputation as a natural foods advocate to consider. But it was the type of event to attend with an open mind. If one is completely adverse to the idea of using white sugar and ill at ease when a quail hen is cooking in the same room, perhaps a food seminar would not be the ideal way to receive some culinary inspiration. It seems very difficult to find a natural foods-type event and I expressed that problem to Ms. Sherman. "Unfortu- she explained, "many people talk about eating healthy foods, but when it comes down to attending a class and cooking that way, no one comes." Alas, the fact is, it just isn't as mar- ketable. It was quite apparent that exclusive, expensive food ingredients are marketable, however A chocolate chip cookie, similar to the familiar Toll House, was made with the latest food chic, gourmet chocolate chips Made with several types of imported, and high quality domestic cocoa, Fred's Choco- late Chips sell for about a 10-ounce package as opposed to approximately for the regular ones we all love. For the price, the least they should do is have a more exotic name. Majestic interlude, perhaps. Another popular item was very fragrant top quality extra virgin olive oil that fills the nostrils with a full olive scent when opened. But, at a bottle one must learn to use it sparingly. There was even official sushi packaging for common Chinese ingredients which helped to inflate their cost At the other end of the spectrum were foods that wouldn't even consider themselves gourmet, but rather down home Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled condiments like cantelope and water- melon rind, sweet and sour salad dressings and the slightly sweet Lebanon bologna. In the age of America's homogenization, it was comforting to see such a resurgence of distinctly regional foods. Author Margaret Engel, who was at the feast, tends to agree Her book, Food Finds, is dedicated to the survival of regional specialties. It profiles small businesses, bakeries and monastaries that continue to prepare foods with a heritage and personality Foods that probably won't find their way onto the shelves of the big supermarket, but many obtainable by mail. Found between the pages of Vernor's Soda (Detroit) and Byrd's Benne Wafers was Frederick County's own Castle Farms. Cornucopia with Nanci Bross THE POST, Frederick, Md Thursday, February E-9 While those who attend the weekend seemed as diverse as the topics covered (gourmet club members, chocoholics, and just plain curious) there was one common thread an appreciation of good food and the work that goes into preparing it For more information on Madame Chocolate's next Food Feast at the Mount Laurel Hilton, Mount Laurel, N.J, May 25-27, call 609-234-7300. ELAINE SHERMAN'S WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 12 ounces white chocolate cup slivered almonds cup graham cracker crumbs cup vanilla wafers 1% cup sugar 1 pound cream cheese, room tem- perature 1 teaspoon pure vanilla 2 cups sour cream 4 grade A large egg whites, room temperature V4 teaspoon cream of tartar 1 tablespoon powdered sugar Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a The elegant bombe An extremely rich Lindt Gianduja bombe was prepared by Michael Bortz and decorated using classical French patterns. Gianduja is a chocolate made with hazelnuts (Photo by Nanci Bross) 9-inch sprmgform pan and set aside Prep work1 Melt the butter and set aside Melt the white chocolate in the top part of a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water Stir until smooth and set aside Prepare the crust In the bowl of the food processor, fitted with the steel knife, combine the almonds, graham cracker crumbs, vanilla wafers and cup sugar Pulse until the mixture is well-blended and fine in texture. Add the butter through the feed tube and pulse to combine. Pat on top of bottom and half way up the sides of the pre- pared springform Prepare the cake In the bowl of your mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is very smooth Add the remaining cup of sugar and blend well Add vanilla and beat again Add sour cream and blend well A.dd melted chocolate, beat until smooth and pour mixture into a large bowl Beat the egg whites until frothy, add cream of tartar and beat to soft peaks Add powdered sugar and beat to stiff peaks Fold whites, by thirds, into the chocolate mixture Pour into the springform Bake 45 minutes. Cheesecake will not be set. Turn oven off, prop door open 1 inch Let cake sit in the oven for 2 hours. Chill 12 hours. Serves 12-14 Reprinted with permission from Madame Chocolate's Book of Divine Indulgences Madame Chocolate's indulgences Tasting the different foods -------------1 Elite Sherman, alao known M Madame Chocolate, directed the weekend and wu available to sign her lateat book on chocolate, Carol Mason, right, director of the Washington, D.C., based Le Chanterelle caterers serves some of her dishes to Food Feast partici- pants. (Photo by Nanci Braes) Showing the proper way to cook VMtiBf iii UK two day imkcnd Food Fewit heM in LMcanter. Pa. (Photo by Now your favorite donuts are even harder ID resist. a donut It's worth the trip. 1296 West Patrick St. Ol'ermii. not hecomfn-tta jmv offer Offer Good Thru 3-4-85 Limit 2 Do7en OPEN 24 HOURS, 1 DAYS A WEEK ;