My cousin/best friend have carried on a tradition since we were in university: we have our own Christmas celebration. Now even that she moved to Dubai about a year ago, we continue with this ritual. Usually we have a meal and exchange gifts a day or two before or after the actual Christmas date.
This year we decided to celebrate over the pasta challenge. Since it was time for me to cook it and it was the right time for our celebration. Usually making pasta is not a problem for me, since it is one of my specialties. I went by the recipe except that I used ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper instead of flakes. This seemed to make it hot for my cousin Mireille and my dad, knowing that my dad is a fan of hot peppers! I was the only one to find it just fine! Talk about a shocker.
But what is an Italian meal without a dessert that is equally Italian! I decided to surprise Mireille with an eggless and mascarpone-less Tiramisu, of which my sister gave the recipe. Usually she puts banana slices between the layers but I skipped, and whipped the cream into a Chantilly and put the dessert up in small glasses. I always wanted to make what they call in French “verrine”. So I realized my little dream :D.
The layering is the usual for Tiramisu, the twist is that instead of eggs and mascarpone, you layer some Chantilly Cream: whipping cream + powder sugar to taste. I used about 1 Tbsp of sugar and maybe 200 ml of cream for the “verrines” and a small plate on the side. I used plain cookies and not lady’s fingers that I dipped in coffee spiked with a tbsp of whisky. I topped all with cocoa powder and roasted almond powder.
Count on wine and dessert to make anyone feel happy!
Funny part is that when Mireille came over she had dessert in mind too and brought two Lindt bars: Lindt Strawberry and Petits Desserts – Mousse au Chocolat, as a surprise. Talk about telepathy!
I had the table ready by the tree, covered it with a white and red tablecloth and I put little Christmas themed lanterns to adorn it.
We also got a bottle of Chardonnay to accompany our meal. It is from a local winery in Bekaa Valley: Ksara, the brand is named after the region the wine is produced in. It went great with the spiciness of the pasilla and chicken fettuccine.
I loved this pasta (when do I not love pasta actually?), it has similar ingredients to one I make but it has them in a different setting so the taste was not the same.
It was a fun night all in all and I got a nice Sonia Rykiel bag as a gift and some more Lindt chocolate: Lindor this time. I particularly loved the black ones, which I tried for the first time. Red Lindors are one of my least favorites of the brand, not that I won’t eat them :D.
I got Mireille cute pj’s with a cat’s picture.
My other treat for her was a fake truffle and a welcome chocolate from those I made for Christmas.
Cheers and Happy New Year!