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The Sweetest Easter Feast

Here’s a fresh idea for a fancy twist on the traditional Easter feast. This menu I concocted, tried, tested and loved a few days ago using spices I brought back from a trip to Costa Rica and chocolate pasta I found at the Farmer’s Market is all about playing around with flavor profiles. It was a challenge to create sweet things for guests who didn’t necessarily have a sweet tooth, and to be able to blend the flavors from floral to earthy to candy sweet. It was an “April Fools” dinner of sorts, with the promise of a rather sophisticated sugar coma. Have a look:

First Course: Dark Chocolate & Basil Truffles

I adapted this recipe using less cream to make the truffles harder and to hold a shape better. Make sure they are frozen before popping them out of the mold.

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Second Course: Algerian Basboussa

Basboussa is essentially a semolina & coconut cake in orange blossom water, with coconut & gold leaves. I blended two recipes – one from youtube.com and the other from yummly.com. Orange flower water is what makes the dish Algerian vs. Egyptian.

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Third Course: Chocolate Hazelnut Ravioli with Baharat Crème Anglaise

The chocolate pastas were purchased at the Farmer’s Market and the crème anglaise was adapted from the base sauce here. This turned out fabulous.

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Fourth Course: Chocolate Fettucini with Dark Chocolate Habanero sauce, Pistachio Dust, & Creme

The chocolate chili sauce was adapted from this recipe. Kind of looked like spaghetti al nero di sepia!

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Beverage: Masala Milk

Soak 2 pinches saffron in lukewarm milk (8 cups). Boil 24 almonds for 15 minutes to blanche. Grind almonds until powdered with a little water. Boil milk, cloves, cardamom & cinnamon then add ground almond. If using pods, strain them out now. Add the soaked saffron milk & simmer for 5 minutes or so. Add sugar and simmer, stirring in to incorporate. Let sit overnight and bring to warm.

Fifth Course: Chocolate-Monogrammed White chocolate, Saffron Risotto

The risotto was adapted from this recipe. For the monogramming, I just printed out letters backwards, placed under parchment paper and piped melted chocolate over the template. Outlining first, then filling in. I did them backwards so that, when reversed, the clean “paper side” would be up and the messy piped side would sink into the risotto.

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