Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Celebrate the New Year with Yvette!

As I prepare for a retro New Year's Eve celebration, with Rumaki, a mountain of crab legs, and Seven Layer Jello, I wanted to share some ideas to spruce up your cocktails! You can always pick up a bottle of the delicious French raspberry liqueur Chambord and mix 1/2 ounce with 4 ounces of your favorite Champagne, garnish with raspberries or a lemon twist for a "Kir Royale," or as I prefer to call it, a "Cham-Cham!" Or, you can go ultra-retro by picking up a bottle of once defunct Creme Yvette to make "The Stratosphere!" 

Creme Yvette is a berry and violet liqueur that was originally produced in the late 19th century in Connecticut by the Sheffield Company. Over time, it's popularity dwindled and was taken out of production in 1969. It was the base for such classic cocktails like the Aviation and Blue Moon. However, after an onslaught of requests from cocktail experts, Charles Jacquin et Cie bought the recipe and re-released it in 2009. The original Creme Yvette supposedly had a more purple color, while the new version (made in France with dried violet petals from Provence and berries from Burgundy) has a more reddish hue. So I'm not so sure how blue your Blue Moon would be? Maybe pink? Anyway, whether you are hosting or attending a New Year soiree, why not pick up a bottle that is guaranteed to impress even your most savvy cocktail-loving friends! Only one question remains, who was Yvette? Bonne Annee!

The Stratosphere

Serves 1

Glass of Champagne
3/4 ounce Creme Yvette
Lemon twist (I prefer raspberries!)

In a chilled champagne flute, add the Creme Yvette and top with Champagne. Garnish as desired and serve! Fantastique!

Monday, December 12, 2022

French Pear Cake

I adore this recipe for "French Pear Cake," also known as Gateau Fondant Aux Poires! I have been making it for years, but somehow has never been added to my site? Today's the day! This is a lovely cake that is ideal for dessert, gifts, afternoon tea, or even breakfast! This recipe is French, although; there is an Italian version called Torta di Pere. So maybe a little of both?

This wonderful cake is perfect for those ugly, overripe pears. I use D'Anjou pears. The batter is fairly thick so don't let that scare you. Make sure the butter and eggs are at room temperature before starting. Also, you will need a 9 1/2" springform pan. This easy cake is also enhanced with the addition of vanilla extract and lemon zest! Yum! Try it! You can thank me later!

French Pear Cake (Gateau Fondant Aux Poires)


3-4 small ripe pears, peeled and quartered or cubed (I use 2-3 D'Anjou and it is plenty, cubed.)
1 cup plus 1 1/2 Tbl (250 g) butter, at room temperature (I just use 2 sticks unsalted butter with good results.)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cup (250 g) sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups plus 1 1/2 Tablespoons flour (I use 2 cups with good results.)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 24 cm (9 1/2") springform pan.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until very fluffy and white. Mix in the eggs slowly, one egg at a time. Add vanilla and lemon zest.

In another bowl sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. (I just whisk together.) Add the flour mixture slowly to the egg mixture. Don't over mix.

Pour (or spoon) half the batter into the springform pan. Place the pears on top. Pour (or spoon) the rest of the batter in the pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

I also recommend refrigerating any leftover cake because of the fruit content.

Recipe from mykitchenintherockies.com.