Carrie's 21st Birthday: Parisian Pistachio Cupcakes & Toxic Thai

/ Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Lovebird
This past Friday was the birthday of Carrie Goldberg; dear dear friend, creator of Mes Petits Choux and guru of all things a la mode. A celebratory evening was dispersed through out the lower-east quadrant of Manhattan and punctuated by a few key events, but let us start with the sweets.

Some of you may remember the very beginning of my "signature cupcake" tradition. It all began with Carrie's 20th birthday at Calle Ocho and a fresh batch of Carrie's Cookies Quicksand Cupcakes. Go back to last years post and take a peek! Anyway, about a week ago Carrie had the option to tweak her treat.(Tastebuds change you know!) The result of her modified quiz was a cupcake remeniscent of a pastry we all loved in Paris: the religieuse pistache.

What you see above is a pistachio cake made with pistachio paste, sugar, a bit of flour, baking powder and 3 eggs. (Find the recipe at the end of this post). After the cupcakes had cooled they were filled with an almond pastry cream, combined with two pints of fresh raspberries. Each treat was spread with a thick layer of lightly sweetened mascarpone cheese and topped with a raspberry macaroon flower. Pastry cream...pistachios...raspberries...macaroons...every morsel of these bitty cakes scream "Je t'aime Ma Petite Chou!"Now for the festivities: 15 guests joined Carrie at Kurve, a Thai restaurant in the heart of the East Village, right on the corner of 5th street and 2nd ave. I'm pretty sure there are no right angles in the entire cafe. The modern decor is highlighted by an abstract-neon pattern that runs over the walls, and a circular bar at the center of the dining room. We certainly are not that kind of crown that trades quality of food for a trendy vibe, but when someone so stylish is celebrating a special night you have to feel a little vampy while chowing on your pad thai. Unfortunately, that's the mindset that got us into a bit of trouble...
My issues with Kurve:
1. We had reservations for 15 at 8:30pm but due to the fact that the place "didn't have enough furniture," we were not seating until just past 9:30pm. We were given complimentary drinks to offset the inconvenience, but it certainly was not a great way for them to make a first impression.

2. The meals that everyone order were very inconsistent. Some people had dynamite dishes. The lovely Lee Levy (pictured above) had a corn soup that was phenomenal. The rest of us, unfortunately, were slightly disappointed. I ordered the King Crab Fried Rice, not only was there no sign if king crab in the dish besides a few flecks left on top, the rice was way over salted and the sauce that came along with it tasted like pure fish sauce and nothing else. Sound repulsive? It kind of was :( I hate being a nitpicker but it was gross.

3. The food was toxic! FIVE people ended up with stomach issues by the end of the night, including the birthday girl. Way to go Kurve.

If you come in contact...

With any of these dishes...

Drunken Noodles...King Crab Fried Rice...Etc...

...Take caution or be sure to have some imodium close by.

The cupcakes, on the other hand, were safe to eat and were quite delicious as well. The staff was nice enough to take the treats into the kitchen so they could be presented to Carrie as a surprise.

How could you not love watching your friends enjoying homemade sweets?

The evening come to a close after a few pit stops at some bars on the lower east side. At Sweet & Vicious we found a birthday boy who was enjoying some cake of his own! He was nice enough to share...but his sweets were totally from a grocery store case. Next time mystery man, give Food & Femininity a call..I'll hook you up with some quality cake!

I hope you had a fantastic birthday love!

Carrie's Petite Parisian Cakes

8oz pistachio paste
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp vanilla

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons almond meal
3 egg yolks
1.5 teaspoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 containers mascarpone cheese
1 cup powdered sugar

1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Blend together the pistachio paste, butter and sugar using a wooden spoon until smooth.
2. Beat in three eggs, one at a time and add the vanilla.
3. Add flour and baking power. Mix until the flour is no longer visible.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared cups.Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire wrack.
5. Make the Pastry Cream: Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the milk and heat until milk is scalding, but not boiling. (if the milk boils your pastry cream will separate and look really nasty)Whisk in the almond meal.
6. Beat the egg yolks and half the sugar together in a small bowl. Add a small amount of the hot milk to temper the eggs. Slowly whisk the egg mixture to the pot of hot milk.
7. Add the remaining sugar, corn starch and almond extract. Continue to whisk the mixture until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Let the pastry cream cool. Stir in two pints raspberries. Set aside.
8. Make the Mascarpone Frosting: Empty two containers of mascarpone cheese into a large bowl; mix with a wooden spool until smooth and spreadable. Add powdered sugar, stir until combined. Set aside.
8. Cut a small amount of cake out of the center of each cupcake. Fill the cupcakes with the prepared pastry cream. Top each cupcake with prepared frosting. Garnish with a macaroon, crushed to look like a flower, if desired. Enjoy!

1 comment

  1. wish i was there, everything looks amazing as always


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