At The Market
What to watch for this month
[ Dessert ]
Pastry chef Michele Coulon started making yule logs 30 years ago at her family’s Belgian Lion restaurant. Today, at her own La Jolla patisserie, she still pulls yule log all-nighters, creating the traditional pastry. She uses flourless Belgian chocolate cake layered with a Baileys cream and smothered in chocolate mousse made of espresso and cognac. The handmade marzipan snowmen, ribbons, coconut snow, meringue mushrooms, and sprinkling of 23-carat gold dust make this a holiday table centerpiece. At 12 inches in length, it serves 12 to 16. Michele Coulon Dessertier, 7556 Fay Ave.
[ Shop ]
Do It With Icing
For many of us, “holidays” equals “sweets.” Linda Bills’ shop, Do It With Icing, has been a resource for local bakers and confectioners for 11 years, offering both a wide inventory of edibles, and non-edible baking and candy-making tools, as well as a vast curriculum of classes in its Kearny Mesa location. You can find hundreds of molds, cookie cutters, and cake toppers, as well as large containers of fondant and buttercream, sanding sugar, specially-shaped baking pans, food coloring, nonpareils of all colors, and cake/cookie boxes. 7240 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Get a class schedule at doitwithicing.com.
[ Cookbook ]
Julia M. Usher’s Ultimate Cookies
Have you been invited to a holiday cookie swap? Dig into Julia M. Usher’s Ultimate Cookies (Gibbs Smith; $24.99). Usher takes the reader on a tour of essential (and wish-list) tools, offers rolling out and decorating techniques, and then wows with crazy bedazzling so readers can make cookie rings and tiaras, not to mention “ice cream cones,” “pasta with meatballs,” “butterflies,” and “Christmas trees.” And, of course, there are tons of recipes to build on. This is the perfect holiday gift for bakers.
[ In season ]
Whole pomegranates are like a delivery system for little jewels of flavor. Cultivated since ancient times in Egypt and Greece, they made their way to Spain and then California in the 18th century, where they grow as large as oranges, with leathery red skin protecting tart vibrantly vermilion seeds. They’re perfect for the holiday table. Add them to pies and cakes. Juice the fruit and strain the liquid, then create a sauce for lamb or poultry or to top ice cream. To remove seeds, cut the fruit in sections, and break apart in a water-filled bowl. The seeds will sink to the bottom.