Can you believe the Top Chef finale is on Wednesday, February 27th? I feel so invested this season with all of the amazing talent and of course the excitement of back-biting (I’m talking to you Josie). I don’t know that I’m ready for it to come to an end. Are you? Who are you rooting for? Kristen Kish or Brooke Williamson? I hate playing favorites on this blog, but for this one…I have to say that I am Team Kristen all the way. She’s made some amazing food over the entire season and I will be shocked if she doesn’t win the whole shabang.
I think my favorite moment from the show was when they revealed Kristen as the winner of Last Chance Kitchen. I had a feeling it was going to be her, but I wasn’t sure. Sheldon is a great chef, so it was definitely a nail-biter until she walked out. Did you feel the same?
The last episode was filled with TONS of deliciousness, but I couldn’t get beyond Brooke’s Brown Butter Cake with Goat Cheese and Blackberries and I knew I needed to make my own take on her dish. And soon! My interpretation is an easy to make sheet cake that I cut with a cookie cutter. Then I take goat cheese Crotin and whiz it with heavy cream and vanilla to make a silky goat cheese cream and lastly I blitz fresh blackberries with rum and honey and it’s time to plate it. Super easy, totally elegant and did I mention it was delicious? The brown butter takes this cake to a whole new plain of yum.
I have to admit that one of my favorite quotes from this season of Top Chef came from Chef Wolfgang Puck. It was the episode where they were all at Chef Tom Colicchio’s (amazeballs) house on the Puget Sound in Seattle. I could seriously live in that backyard with that view for the rest of my life (minus the 300 days of rain Seattle gets, of course). They were all jawing about the friend chicken and Chef Wolfgang says, “Top Chef? I wouldn’t even call this the Apprentice.” Gotta love a good “Wolfism”. I know I was cracking up and I think it’s possible that Donald Trumps toup flipped at the same time.
Here’s a recap of my posts for Top Chef Seattle:
- My recap of the Restaurant Wars episode where Sheldon blew my mind with the Puerco Asada. How I wished I had that in front of me right now: http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2013/01/top-chef-episode-11.html
- Impress a Sushi Master episode – who could forget Chef Joshua’s bacon sushi. The judges were unimpressed, but it inspired my take on breakfast sushi with this California Sushi Roll: http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2013/01/california-sushi-roll.html
- Oh the Iceberg challenge. So fitting as they sailed up the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the iceberg filled waters of Alaska. My one “aha” moment from that episode was when Stefan braised the iceberg lettuce greens. BRILLIANT! I didn’t go so crazy with these BLT Bites, but they were still delish! http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2013/02/blt-bites-and-a-topchef-give-away.html
Let’s get to some cake…but before we do, don’t forget to watch this Wednesday at 10/9 C. I will be live tweeting and Facebooking during the finale – so let’s chat then about all things Top Chef! No more delay, check out this recipe for my take on Brooke’s dessert that WOW’d Martin Yan on the last episode.
This is an easy and elegant dessert that can be made ahead and is quick to assemble at your next dinner party.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 egg whites,
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 3.5 ounces goat cheese Crotin
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 12 ounces fresh blackberries, 16 berries reserved
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon rum
- 1 tablespoon water
- In a small saucepan add the butter and melt over medium heat. Once the butter begins to simmer, turn down to medium-low and simmer until brown bits begin to rest on the bottom of the pan and the butter starts to smell nutty, about 10 minutes. Turn down the heat if it's browning too quickly. Pour into a clean bowl and place in the freezer for 5 minutes, or until just solid. Stir briskly just before adding to flour mixture.
- Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder 3 times and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13x9 glass baking dish and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the egg whites and salt until stiff. Add the flour mixture along with the milk, vanilla extract, almond extract and brown butter. Beat on on medium-high for 1 minute. Pour into prepared baking dish and spread to the edges.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely.
- Add the goat cheese, heavy cream and vanilla to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Remove to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Add the berries, rum, honey and water to a clean food processor bowl and process until smooth. Strain into a clean bowl, pressing the solids and discard seeds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Use a 3 inch round cookie cutter and cut out 8 circles of cake. Using a tablespoon, run a smear of goat cheese cream on each of 8 plates. Top with the cake and drizzle with the blackberry sauce. Add a fresh blackberry or 2 to each plate and serve.
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