Well another Masquerade has come and gone. The 2nd Annual CTC Masquerade was actually the first one I stayed after helping to attend. It was a great night, and I wish I had been at the first.
My duties this year were the same as the last, make some tasty treats and help do whatever else is needed. Simple enough, although the better part of the day of Masquerade was spent on my baked goods. In the past I've had the pleasure of being in charge of doing opening receptions for the first night of some of the CTC's new shows. And as time has passed, some of the things I've made have been "retired" as many of the reception guests are some of our long standing supporters, so I try to keep some things changing, and I always try to make it so that any new supporters would still be very impressed.
So for Masquerade I decided on doing a little tasting of everything I had done in the past. Well almost everything I had done in the past, for allergy reasons the peanut butter cookies were retired forever. Not because of any accidents, but we all agreed it better just not to risk it in future receptions. (Although they were and still are quite tasty cookies when I decide to make them) But the menu was as follows: Open faced Apple Pies with a drizzle of Creme Caramel sauce (from scratch, of course!), Mini Vanilla Bean Cheesecakes (Some were decorated with sliced strawberries, and some weren't), Lemon Squares, Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes (Both topped with Swiss Meringue Buttercream), Chocolate Chip Cookies (These have made it to all of my CTC shows), and my very special Gingerbread recipe (The one cookie recipe I made while in baking and pastry school).
I love my Gingerbread recipe, when I went to school at Johnson and Wales, I wanted to learn of all things, a recipe for bread that was just like Wonder Bread, and a recipe for Gingerbread that would rival my beloved tubes of Pillsbury Gingerbread, that unfortunately only come out once a year. Well Pain De Mie (almost certain that's what it's called) was the bread that I fell in love with and it does indeed have that deliciously soft texture and crust of Wonder Bread. And in Baking and Pastry Formula Technology, was where I learned the rhymes and reasons of all the different flours and sugars, and leaveners and chemical reactions, in such a way that I was able to devise my own recipe for Gingerbread that I feel does in fact rival Pillsbury's Gingerbread Dough. It's a recipe I keep closely guarded until the day I get to film my segment and am able to share it with everyone. It's coming soon, but until then I hope you enjoy these pictures from Masquerade, I must give all photography credit to: Anne Marie Spatharakis, I hope she doesn't mind I "borrowed" these!!