Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Dorie Greenspan!

Surprise, Dorie! It's your birthday and we have a virtual birthday celebration for you! A little backstory first....

About a month ago there was a request for volunteers for a super secret project. I had no idea what that project would be but I was up for it. Laurie and Holly wanted to put together a surprise birthday dinner for Dorie with some members of TWD and FFwD. Each person would pick a dish from "Around My French Table" and we would post it today for Dorie's birthday.

I volunteered for the dessert section and had such a hard time choosing a recipe. I realize that Dorie wasn't going to actually eat this but there was a lot of pressure baking for her. I wanted it to be perfect!

After a lot of debate I decided on the Paris-Brest since Dorie calls it "truly a party dessert". The Paris-Brest was created to celebrate an annual amateur bike race in France from Paris to Brest. The dessert is circular to represent a bicycle wheel.

There are two parts to the ring: a pate-a-choux ring and a vanilla pastry cream (with caramelized almonds). Believe it or not, the carmelized almonds are what made me choose this recipe. Caramel used to get the best of me. I couldn't ever get it to come out right. Then, when making the Burnt Sugar Ice Cream with TWD, it just happened. The way Dorie explained it in that recipe made it just click for me and now I am confident in my caramel abilities. I wanted to pick a recipe that required me to do something that Dorie had a hand in helping me accomplish.
So, Dorie, this one's for you! I hope you have a wonderful birthday! I have so enjoyed my journey with TWD and feel like I have learned so much from you. I am looking forward to this new journey with FFwD and I know I will learn just as much from this group, too!


Make sure to stop by Holly's blog, Phe-MOM-enon, to get the links for the rest of the party!

18 comments:

♥Cari♥ said...

This is such an awesome idea!

That looks yummy!

natalia said...

Ciao Cristine ! You made a chef d'oeuvre with this dessert ! Bravissima !

Paula said...

What a great idea! Happy Birthday to Dorie. I'm sure you have made her proud.

Ingrid said...

That's so cool of you guys!

Looks like you nailed this recipe.
~Ingrid

Di said...

That looks amazing! I have to agree, it's thanks to Dorie that I no longer fear caramel. =)

steph- whisk/spoon said...

fantastic-- a very sophisticated dessert! and a classic french one, too.

Jaime said...

what a great choice! you did a fantastic job!

AmyRuth said...

I just love how this whole experience brings us along and increases our confidence by experiencing food in the practice of cooking and baking. Your dessert is most beautiful and I love caramel too. Great party!
AmyRuth

Marthe said...

This looks sooo good, a great party dessert! Great pick for our super secret project!! (Don't you just love secrets???) ;)

The Grows said...

This looks soooo good. I wish I was there to celebrate her b-day with you so I could try this. You are one amazing baker.

Jess said...

That looks incredible - kudos to you for picking something so challenging (well, it would be for me, anyway).

Monica said...

It was so much fun to participate.. and oh wow I love what you choose too.

Mary said...

This looks delicious. Is it wrong that I want to skip ahead in FFwD and do all the desserts first...oh well, I guess I am a TWD girl at heart! I had so much fun celebrating Dorie's birthday with you all.

Flourchild said...

Great idea..I had no idea you all were doing this..so fun!!
Your dessert looks perfect!!

TeaLady said...

Beautiful wheel of awesomeness.

TeaLady said...

Beautiful wheel of awesomeness.

Dorie said...

I don't know how everyone kept this a secret, but it certainly was a surprise and I can't thank you enough. I was very touched when I read that I'd helped you learn new things and that you wanted to make something that I had had a hand in helping you master. It meant so much to me. Merci.

Linda said...

A party dessert indeed! I love pate a choux pastry, and this is definitely on my short list. Beautiful job!

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