Though the oblong pastry made from pate a choux and filled with pastry cream and originally called the Petite Duchesse has been around since the 1800's, according to some reports I read last year (from David Lebovitz, The Independent and even the Financial Times) éclairs have become quite trendy in Europe recently. They certainly haven’t hit critical mass here yet. But perhaps that’s about to change.
In San Francisco he shared his coffee cardamom éclair topped with bits of edible gold leaf, crunchy chocolate balls and nibs and a bit of flaky salt. The coffee cardamom eclair recipe will be in his upcoming cookbook. After his kickoff at the Le Meridien he was heading out to visit bakeries including Craftsman and Wolves as well as local farmers markets and a distillery and to forage with Chef Daniel Patterson, all to get his creative juices flowing. What will the San Francisco éclair be? We will just have to wait to find out.
While in Italy I noticed Nespresso boutiques everywhere. Nespresso machines use little pods of coffee that come in many different varieties and the stores are a convenient place to try them out or buy coffee. The machine I know best is the Pixie. It has a 16 bar pressure pump, is ready to brew in about 30 seconds and easily makes both espresso and lungo style coffee at the push of a button. It also takes very little room. The dimensions are just 12.83-Inch length by 4.33-Inch width by 9-1/4-Inch height.
If you want to make a cappuccino, you’ll need to purchase an optional Aeroccino milk frother which would also make a good gift. Both are very stylish machines and just imagine, your dad will think about you every single day when he makes coffee! You can find some models for under $200 on Amazon, but if you purchase it from Nespresso for $229 you’ll get a $75 credit for coffee.
Not only is it backlit and easy to read, it has count down and count up timers, adjusts for both high and low temperaures as well as minimum and maximum temperatures, an adjustable volume setting for the alarm and an optional extra needle probe for thin cuts. Because it is designed for commercial kitchens it's also splash proof. It’s less expensive than the Thermopen, but has lots of whistles and bells. $59.99
While perhaps not the traditional Father’s Day gift, why not? Recchiuti has long supported the nonprofit Creativity Explored with a selection that features a design by an artist, this time James Miles has created Whimsical Cyclists which definitely has a manly feel about it. A box of 9 is $27
It’s a blend from the Southern Rhone and is mostly grenache, syrah, merlot and just a touch of marselan. A medium body juicy wine, it has limestone minerality, lots of red fruit like raspberries as well as violet and licorice and a bit of leather.
It is not an expensive or fancy wine, but will show dad your good taste and eye for value, $12.99 at Whole Foods Market wine department.
This post includes some Amazon affiliate links