Here is a great little cookie to make for the holidays. It only has 4 ingredients, it contains no flour and it's from one of the best Italian restaurants in the country. What's not to like? This delicious cookie is what Marc Vetri serves at Vetri, his famous Philadelphia restaurant. Vetri was named one of the top 50 restaurants by Gourmet magazine, Mario Batali sings its praises and Frank Bruni says Vetri ranks up there with the best New York Italian restaurants. On the menu is a quote by da Vinci: "Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication." If this is true, then this cookie is ultra sophisticated!
I was scared to make this cake.
When I saw what this month's Daring Baker's Challenge was, I was excited because it was something sweet and the last couple have been savory. This cake comes from Shuna Fish Lydon, who is a professional pastry chef and writes the great food blog, Eggbeater. I started reading all the comments by people who have previously attempted this cake and had real problems with it. I was sure I would, too. But Shuna had lots of detailed notes posted about how to deal with some of the challenges of this cake and I followed them thoroughly and did not have any problem at all. The cake was moist and light and absolutely delicious. The caramel frosting is outstanding. So if you have the urge to make this cake, don't be afraid. It was pretty straightforward. It just takes a little time to make it properly.
We had to go to Chicago this weekend for a wedding and we got to have dinner one night with our oldest son, Barry, who goes to school there. I've always wanted to try "Quince", the restaurant which occupies the space where the famous five star "Trio" and Grant Achatz used to be. We had a great dinner there. The menu had me stumped because I wanted to try almost every single thing on it. And I was so disappointed in myself because I did not have the guts to take decent photos of the food - just these lousy low light ones. But I was way too conscientious to use my flash in such a nice place. Just what they need - another food blogger taking pictures of the food. But that food really deserved serious photos. If you want to see real photos of how the food was presented, go to their website. The dishes are real works of art.