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Jacques Torres

Celebrity Chefs, Food + Recipes

Lemon Curd – Simple and Delicious

April 24, 2011

Homemade Meyer lemon curd makes a delicious topping for a toasted scone.

With Easter upon us, it’s natural to think about eggs. Some people may like their eggs scrambled, poached or fried, but I love my eggs whipped into a delicious lemon curd.

Lemon curd — in case you’ve never tried it — is like a light and gooey lemony jam or a simple homey custard that’s flavored with lemon. In England it’s traditionally eaten on scones, but I love it on strawberries and raspberries, on toast, folded into whipped cream to make a topping for shortcake or on a spoon.

Jarred lemon curd is pretty awful stuff; the light and sheer quality of a good lemon curd can’t be captured in a jar. Fortunately, it’s so easy to make lemon curd any time you have the taste for it.

A couple years ago when I had some extra time on my hands, I decided to compare the lemon curd recipes from a couple great pastry cooks: French chef Jacques Torres of Mr. Chocolate and British culinary bombshell Nigella Lawson.

I’ve met both, and it turned out their recipes matched their personalities.Torres, who earned fame for his complex creations at Le Cirque in New York, created a recipe that was careful and detailed in his book Dessert Circus at Home.

Nigella’s lime curd recipe in How to Be A Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking was breezy and quickly thrown together, the kind of citrus curd a busy mom and writer would whip up.

My ideal lemon curd recipe is a hybrid of the two: taking Nigella’s lime curd recipe and adding the step of passing the finished curd through a strainer, to make it a little more silky, like Jacques’.

Meyer Lemon Curd
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice (of approximately 4 lemons)
zest of 1 lemon
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan, add all the other ingredients and whisk to a custard over a gentle heat. Let cool slightly before passing the curd through a wire-mesh strainer over a bowl. Spoon the curd into storage container and keep in the refrigerator.
Makes about 1-1/2 cups

Adapted from How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

© 2011 Maria Hunt aka The Bubbly Girl.

Celebrity Chefs, Food + Recipes, Pop Culture, Wine + Food Pairing

Champagne Kiss Controversy: Cast Your Vote, Get Some Chocolate

April 28, 2009
Jacques Torres Champagne Kisses

Jacques Torres Champagne Kisses

I’m not a huge fan of eating chocolate while sipping champagne — this decadent combo messes up the flavors of both. But I do love fine chocolate candies that get a little extra sparkle from a dose of bubbly.

French born pastry chef Jacques Torres in NYC makes all sorts of delicious candies at his Willy Wonka-esque chocolate shops in Brooklyn and Manhattan. One of the latest creations by Mr. Chocolate is the Champagne Kiss, smooth squares of imported chocolate adorned with a set of lipstick red lips.  He blends Taittinger Brut Prestige Rosé Champagne along with high quality milk and dark chocolate.

Apparently somebody in the Hershey Company’s legal department was having a very slooow day. The chocolate conglomerate sent a poison-pen letter to the chocolatier who became famous at Le Cirque telling him he might want to rename his candies something like Champagne Smooches or else! They say they’re worried that consumers might mistake Torres’ high end confections which cost $1.50 a piece for their sorta-chocolaty, silver foil-wrapped teardrops. Curiously, chocolate is the 4th ingredient in a Hershey’s Kiss according to this Official Snack Report by WASAW; the first three are sugar, milk and cocoa butter.

This graphic by the NY Post neatly explains why it would be rather challenging to mistake a Jacques Torres Champagne Kiss for one by Hershey's.

This graphic by the NY Post neatly explains why it would be rather challenging to mistake a Jacques Torres Champagne Kiss for one by the Hershey Company.

Despite the heat, Torres is refusing to melt and is fighting Hershey’s. He’s also giving away 10,000 kisses — sorry, the chocolate ones — to lucky visitors who stop by any of his three NYC chocolate shops in Dumbo, Hudson Square or the Upper West Side on April 29.

He’s also circulating a petition online, asking supporters to sign on so he can save his Champagne Kisses. In case you need help figuring out why this chocolaty contretemps matters to you, anyone signing gets a coupon for a free sample of Torres chocolates.