The celebration started on Friday with dinner at the chef's table at Monarch. To get to the table, you have to walk through the kitchen & up a narrow spiral staircase. The table is enclosed in a glass room that overlooks the kitchen.
We all ordered the 5-course tasting menu, but were treated to a few more. Here's the menu that Chef Galliano & his team constructed for us; we had two dishes per course (forgive me for the lack of dish details, but I'd had a few cocktails by then & didn't write anything down!).
2 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 whole cloves (ground into a fine powder)
1/3 cup oven dried mint *, crumbled
*Dry the mint in a 350 oven, watching carefully so that it doesn't burn. It should crumble easily. This took me about 20 minutes.
2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons dark rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
1 teaspoon limoncello (or 2 tablespoons lemon juice)
juice of two limes
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups extra-fine granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lime zest
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Incorporated all of the dry ingredients into a bowl, whisk briefly, and set aside.
- Incorporate all of the liquid ingredients into a bowl, whisk briefly, and set aside.
- Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, and yolks into separate bowls and set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment) cream together the butter, sugar, and lime zest on the lowest setting for 4 to 5 minutes.
- With the mixer still on the lowest speed, add the eggs one at a time followed by the yolks, fully incorporating after each addition.
- Add the dry ingredient mixture, alternating with the liquid mixture in 3 to 5 additions each, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Move swiftly through this step to avoid overworking the batter. Don’t wait for the dry or liquid mixtures to be fully incorporated before adding the next. This step should take a total of about 60 seconds.
- Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl (don’t miss the clumps of ingredients hiding on the bottom of the bowl). Mix on medium speed for 15 to 20 seconds to develop the batter's structure.
- Prepare the cake pans. For 9-inch-round cakes, line the bottom of each pan with parchment. Deposit the batter evenly into the pans and smooth out with an offset spatula, making sure the pans are two-thirds full. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
- Remove the pans from the oven and cool to room temperature on a wire rack, about 25 to 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Loosen the cake gently from the pan with a small offset spatula and invert onto a flat surface. Remove the parchment from the bottom of each cake and wrap the layers tightly in plastic. You can refrigerate the layers overnight or up to 5 days before frosting.
Amazing dinner, friends, cake and Hubert Keller? Sounds like a fantastic birthday!
I thought I recognized Steph's handy work. I'll be honest, I only knew 1/4 of the foods you referenced, and those are from listening to Steph, but sounds like you had and amazing meal with amazing friends. As an official Fanboy of FBM, Happy B-Day!
Your Monarch food pics were amazing. I'm usually disappointed when people take pictures of the dishes, they never look like they were meant to in my opinion. Yours were fabulous.
Your birthday celebrations look wonderful. I love the cake!
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