Vienna Bars Sweetly Serenade

  • 26th July 2013

Even if you are not headed to the ‘city of music,’ any time soon you can still enjoy a small taste of Vienna right here at home.  These crumbly, nutty, fruity bars will rival many of the finest pastries from the city’s renowned bakeries.

 

 

 

Vienna Bars served with ice cream

Vienna Bars served with coconut macaroon ice cream.

 

 

The recipe comes by way of Midwest Living and has been requested time and again by anyone who tries these tarts.  In the below we use and they suggest, raspberry preserves, but feel free to swap in your own homemade jam or preserves of any flavor.

 

 

 

Vienna Bars ready to serve.

 

 

Vienna Bars—Recipe from Midwest Living

 

Makes approx. 30 bars

 

Ingredients:

For the crust

1 cup butter softened (we recommend really making it soft)

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 egg yolks (we use 3)

 

For the topping

2/3 cup seedless red raspberry preserves (we use 1 cup)

2 egg whites (we use 3)

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups finely chopped walnuts or almonds (we prefer walnuts for this tart but either are delicious)

 

 

Vienna Bar Dough

The pastry dough.

Crushed almonds for Vienna Bars.

Crushed almonds for Vienna Bars.

 

 

 

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.  Add 1/2 cup sugar and then the salt.  Beat until combined.  Add egg yolks and beat well.  Gradually add the flour, beating on a low speed until combined.  If necessary, stir in the last portion of flour by hand.  Pat dough evenly onto the bottom of an un-greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan.

 

 

Vienna Bars dough patted down.

Vienna Bars dough patted down.

 

 

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.  Remove from the oven.  Dollop preserves evenly on the crust; carefully spread to cover.

 

 

Preserves for Vienna Bars Spread.

Preserves for Vienna Bars Spread.

 

 

In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl).

 

 

 

Egg white peaks.

 

Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks.  Fold in nuts.  Dollop over preserves; spread to cover (if small amount of preserves gets into the egg-white mixture it does not matter much, do your best).

 

Spread the egg white meringue.

 

Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes.  White still warm cut into pieces.  Cool completely before serving.

 

 

Vienna Bars sliced up.

Vienna Bars sliced up.

 

 

Vienna Bars ready to eat.

Enjoy with any side of cream!

 

 

 

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Wrapped in Chains

  • 25th July 2013

In the spring we had oversized pearls, and now come fall Chanel launches the trend towards oversized chain-link.

 

Chain link at Chanel

Chain link at Chanel. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Collections

Chanel Chain Boots

Photo Courtesy of: Shoefessional.com

 

 

Rita Ora in White Chanel Chain Boots

Rita Ora Photo Courtesy of: Fashionbombdaily

Rita Ora Photo Courtesy of: Fashionbombdaily

 

Chanel Autumn Chains

Photo Courtesy of: Vogue.fr

 

 

Chanel chains behind the scenes.  Photo courtesy of:  Sphere Life

Chanel chains behind the scenes. Photo courtesy of: Sphere Life

 

 

 

Chanel Chainlink Accessories

Chanel Chainlink Accessories. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Collections

 

 

 

Dripping in chains

Photo Courtesy of: Elle

 

If you want to channel the Chanel look combining leather and chain-link try your wrist with:

 

Leather and Chain-link Wrap Bracelet
Sara Designs Gold Chain Pyramid and Leather Chain Link Bracelet

 

Chain Link Leather Wrap Bracelet, windsorstore.com, $8.90

Sara Designs Gold Pyramid Chain and Black Leather Wrap Bracelet, maxandchloe.com, $198.00

 

Another boot option:

 

 

Saint Laurent Black Suede 'Opyum 105' Chain Link Boots

 

 

Saint Laurent Black Suede ‘Opyum 105′ Chain Link Boots,’ bluefly.com, $447.00

 

 

Jeffrey Campbell chain link sneakers

Jeffrey Campbell chain link sneakers. Photo Courtesy of: Elle

 

 

A chunky watch that will match with almost anything:

 

Michael Kors Gold IP Stainless Steel Twist Chain Watch

 

Michael Kors Gold IP Stainless Steel Twist Chain Watch, saks.com, GBP £155.32

 

 

Our everyday goto headband.  It adds a chic touch to any outfit and is, literally the perfect accessory:

(Believe us, you will wear this all of the time!) 


Chain Rutihorn

Rutihorn chain headband

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chain, rutihorn.com, $42.00

 

Absolutely perfect for the budget conscious:

 

Forever21 Oversized Chain Link Cuff

 

 

Oversized Chain-link Cuff, forever21.com, $8.80

 

And if you need to see how other top designers are working the chain-link trend:

 

Chain Link Balenciaga Vogue Japan

Balenciaga: Vogue Japan

Celine Chain Link

Celine: Bazaar

 

Dior Chain Link

Dior: Vogue Collections Paris

Natalli Brilli chain Link

Natalli Brilli: Bazaar

 

 

Vintage Chain-Link Necklaces and Cuffs

Vintage Chain-Link Necklaces and Cuffs. Photo Courtesy of: Elle

 

 

 Last Look:

 

Balmain Spring 2014 Look featuring Rihanna

 

Rihanna for Balmain

 

 

 

 

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Fried Chicken Kebabs (Ganderi Kebab)

  • 23rd July 2013

Looking for the perfect appetizer that is hearty, comes with a kick and is easy to eat? It came our way via Food & Wine in 2010.  Depending upon your guests you can serve it with a spicy dipping sauce to turn up the heat, or a sweet tamarind, mango or apricot dipping sauce to tone it down.

 

Ganderi Chicken Kebabs

Ganderi Chicken Kebabs—Photo Courtesy of: Food & Wine

 

 

Ganderi Chicken Kebabs

Our kebabs ready to serve.

 

 

“Hemant Oberoi makes kebabs with ground chicken, herbs, spices and cheese (cheddar stands in here for the Amul cheese he uses). He fries the round kebabs until crisp and golden brown and serves them on sugarcane skewers to add a little sweetness, although any kind of skewer will work”—Food & Wine Magazine

 

Spices ready in a bowl.

Spices ready in a bowl.

 

 

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

2 large eggs, beaten

1 cup shredded mild cheddar (4 ounces)

1 teaspoon paprika

1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced

Vegetable oil, for frying

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

1 1/2 cups fine dry bread crumbs

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped mint

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped onion

1 teaspoon garam masala

3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder (our addition)

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 pounds ground chicken

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, preferably black (we often sub in ground cumin here)

Maggi Hot & Spicy sauce, mango chutney, apricot chutney, or tamarind chutney for serving

 

 

Ready to be mixed and rolled.

Ready to be mixed and rolled.

Rolled ready to be breaded.

Rolled ready to be breaded.

 

Breaded and ready to be fried.

Breaded and ready to be fried.

All of the balls lined up to fry.

All of the balls lined up to fry.

 

 

The Steps:

 

In a large bowl, knead the chicken with the cheddar, onion, cilantro, mint, ginger, garlic, jalapeño, cumin seeds, paprika, garam masala, salt and cardamom. Using lightly moistened hands (we rub a penny sized dollop of oil between our palms to keep the ground chicken from sticking all over us), roll the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls.

 

Put the beaten eggs and bread crumbs in 2 separate pie plates. Roll the balls in the egg and then dredge in the bread crumbs, pressing to adhere.

 

In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil to 350°. Working in batches, fry the chicken balls over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel–lined baking sheet. Pierce each kebab with a short skewer and transfer to a platter. Serve with chutney or hot & spicy sauce.

 

Frying the kebabs.

Frying the kebabs.

Cooked and ready to serve.

Cooked and ready to serve.

 

 

MAKE AHEAD: The crumb-coated balls can be refrigerated overnight before frying.
They are a great snack or lunch for the kids the day-after.
Sliced kebab

Sliced kebab

Served with Spicy Sauce.

Served with Spicy Sauce.

In the Net!—Part Deux

  • 21st July 2013

From Japan to Azerbaijan netting continues to wrap itself around the trendiest heads in full-force.

 

Baku magazine Azerbaijan

Baku magazine Azerbaijan

Net Headpiece Vogue Japan

Vogue Japan

 

 

 

Helena Bonham Carter in British Vogue

Helena Bonham Carter in British Vogue

Rhianna in net headpiece

Rhianna

 

 

 

 

 

If you are looking for a great net headpiece please check out our previous post, “bonconseil.us/dior-net-headpiece

 

At Christian Dior the hot headpiece from the runway has been pared back to a more discreet veil over the eyes pinned back in a decorative  bun.

 

Dior eye netting

 

 

British Vogue offered up a few more conservative way to incorporate net into your wardrobe, here are their tricks.

 

Make your own loose stole:

 

Net stoll

Net drape, photo courtesy of British Vogue

 

 

It undeniably adds elegance to any black dress.  The above veiling is £3 a meter available from MacCulloch & Wallis.

 

We went to our local fabric store in Los Angeles, F&S, and found a similar material.  Any wide netting would bring aristocratic drama to your outfit.

 

Netting available at F&S fabric Los Angeles

Netting available at F&S fabric Los Angeles

 

 

 

Garnet Hill has a great take on the classic party skirt:

 

Modern Party Skirt with Sequins and Poly Mesh in Bronze, Garnet Hill

Modern Party Skirt with Sequins and Poly Mesh in Bronze, Garnet Hill

 

 

Modern Party Skirt, garnethill.com, $138.00

 

Ever since you tried it in 8th grade, you know that denim and tulle look fabulous together:

 

 

Denim and Tulle complement one another perfectly in Cosmopolitan HK

Denim and Tulle complement one another perfectly in Cosmopolitan HK

 

 

 

Channel your inner-ballerina with fine net, or tulle, under your favorite shirt dress:

 

Ballet skirt British Vogue

Photo Courtesy of: British Vogue

 

 

 

Tulle Skirt Monique Lhuillier

Tulle Skirt Monique Lhuillier. Photo Courtesy of: Elle

 

 

Grab a lengthier adult net skirt in a muted color from a local ballet store and pair it with any shirtdress in your closet to completely transform the dress:

 

tutu and shirt dress

Put to the test with our wardrobe.

 

 

The most obvious way….the return of fish nets.

 

Fishnets at Saint Laurent runway

Fishnets on the Saint Laurent Runway. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Collections Paris

Parting Words…

  • 21st July 2013

“When I was younger I had a lot of ideas about what romantic love could do—give my life meaning, make sense out of my past.  But when you make romance the church of your choice, you’re subject to the movement of your feelings all the time.”

Ethan Hawke—In discussing Before Midnight

 

BonConseil

 

 

De Bon Goût—Craving the Halekulani’s Coconut Cake!

  • 19th July 2013

If you are headed to Oahu anytime soon a pop-in to the Halekulani for their signature coconut cake is a must!  If you are lucky it will be served up along with a full rainbow over the ocean.

 

If Oahu is not on the horizon, no worries, you can still have your cake and eat it too!  The recipe follows below…

 

 

Coconut Cream Cake with Raspberry Coulis.

The signature coconut cake with raspberry coulis.

 

 

Coconut Cake Halekulani

As soon as it is done you will cut right in!

View of Diamond Head from the Halekulani Hotel

View of Diamond Head from the Halekulani Hotel

 

Halekulani Coconut Cream Cake

Plated and pretty

Plumeria at the Halekulani

Plumeria scent the air at the Halekulani.

 

Since the cake is really a signature of the hotel, we are going to pepper the recipe post with pictures on and around Oahu’s Halekulani hotel.  (Then you can dream of ocean sprays and slack key guitar while you are savoring the decadent cream)

 

This recipe comes by way of one of our favorite books:  The Gourmet Cook Book edited by Ruth Reichl

 

Coconut Cake with Raspberry Coulis

 

For the cake:

1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising, sift before measuring)

1/3 cup plus 7 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup water

1 large egg

4 large egg whites

Pinch of cream of tartar

 

 

Coconut cake baking

Cake baking

The Halekulani Pool

The Halekulani Pool

 

 

 

For the Pastry Cream

1 1/2 cup whole milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise

1/3 cup plus 5 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 large egg yolks

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 1/4 cups very cold heavy cream

 

 

One cup coconut

One cup coconut


 

 

For Raspberry Coulis

2 cups raspberries

1 cup sugar

 

For Topping

1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Approx. 30 raspberries for decoration

A few sprigs of mint for decoration

(Alternatively, you can thinly slice some strawberries and arrange them decoratively atop the cake)

 

 

Special Equipment

A 9-to-9 1/2 inch springform pan

 

 

Cake all done and ready to slice.

Cake all done and ready to slice into layers.

Assembled, iced and ready to slice and eat.

Assembled, iced and ready to slice and eat.

 

 

 

Make the Cake:

Put in a rack in the middle of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together cake flour, 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  Whisk together oil, water and egg in another bowl, then add to flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until they barely hold soft peaks.  Beat in remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and continue beating until meringue holds stiff peaks.

Fold one third of meringue into batter to lighten it, then gently but thoroughly fold in remaining meringue.

Pour batter into ungreased  springform pan.  Bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.  Run a thin knife around edge of pan, then cool cake for 5 minutes.  Remove side of pan and invert cake onto a rack.  Gently remove bottom of pan and let cake cool completely.

 

Meanwhile make the pastry cream.

 

 

Pastry cream before mixing

Pastry cream before mixing.

 

Bring milk and salt just to a simmer in a 2-quart saucepan over moderately high heat.  Remove from heat and scrape seeds from vanilla bean into milk and discard pod.

Whisk together 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, and yolks in a medium bowl (mixture will be very stiff).  Whisk in one third of hot milk and whisk until smooth.  Whisk yolk mixture into hot milk and saucepan, bring to a boil over moderate heat, and boil, whisking, for 1 minute.  Transfer to a bowl and stir in coconut.  Cover surface with wax paper and cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Beat heavy cream with remaining 3 tablespoons sugar with cleaned beaters until it holds stiff peaks.  Fold 1 1/2 cups whipped cream into pastry cream; cover and refrigerate.  Cover remaining whipped cream and refrigerate.

 

 

Pastry cream mixed with whipped cream.

Pastry cream mixed with whipped cream.

Rainbow from the Halekulani restaurant.

Rainbow from the Halekulani restaurant.

 

 

 

Make the Coulis:

Combine raspberries and sugar in a blender and purée until smooth.  Force through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on solids.  Discard solids.

 

 

View from hotel room window.

View from hotel room window.

 

 

Assemble the Cake:

Cut cake horizontally into 3 layers with a serrated knife.  Place bottom layer cut side up on a cake stand or platter.  Spread with half of pastry cream and top with middle layer of the cake.  Spread with remaining pastry cream and top with the third cake layer, cut side down.  Spread reserved whipped cream on top and sides of cake.  Gently press coconut onto the tops and sides.

 

Cake cut into three layers.

Cake cut into three layers.

First layer with pastry cream.

First layer with pastry cream.

 

Cake iced.

Cake iced.

Sprinkle cake with coconut add fresh raspberries.

Sprinkle cake with coconut add fresh raspberries.

 

 

Add a flourish of fresh mint in the center of the cake.  Serve cake with coulis.

 

Plated and pretty again.

Ready to eat.

 

 

Cook’s Notes:

—The cake layers can be made up to 1 day ahead and kept, well wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature.  They can also be frozen, wrapped in plastic and foil, for up to 1 week.  (Thaw, still wrapped in refrigerator for 1 day)

—The pastry cream, without whipped cream, can be refrigerated for up to 2 days

—The raspberry coulis can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated covered

—The cake can be assembled up to 6 hours before serving and refrigerated.

 

 

Rainbow over the Halekulani beach.

Rainbow over the Halekulani beach.

 

 

Hibiscus on property.

Hibiscus on property.