Sexy Chocolates, Buttercream Cakes and Fly Fishing

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Angeli Caffe celebrates Cinco de Mayo with a special Mexican meal featuring a traditional corn brew from Craftsman Brewing Company, a microbrewery in Pasadena. Call 323-936-9086 for information and reservations. Evan's Mother's Day recipe: Orange Scented Strawberries in an Almond Meringue Cup
Makes 6 to 8 cups <

For Meringue Cups

  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar
  • 1-1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of finely chopped almonds
Preheat the oven to 275F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or brown paper. With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they are foamy. Add the salt and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Continue beating while adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the whites are stiff and glossy. Fold in the vanilla and chopped almonds.

Place the meringue in a pastry bag with a plain or fluted tip, or place in zip lock bag and trim off one corner for piping. Pipe 4" circles onto the prepared baking sheet. Fill the circles with meringue. Make a raised edge to form a cup by piping a ring of meringue atop the edge of the meringue circles. Do this twice so that you have formed a cup. Place the pan of meringue cups on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until hard and still white on barely beginning to brown. Turn the oven off. Gently remove them from the paper and place directly onto the baking rack in the oven for another 10 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Can be made ahead and stored in airtight canister.


  • 5 cups (2 lbs) of fresh strawberries , hulled and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp of confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • Put the berries in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the orange juice and vanilla, and pour the mixture over the berries.

    To serve, fill meringue cups with whipped cream and top with berry mixture.

    Evan's Strawberry Risotto
    Serves 4 to 6

    • 1 stick unsalted butter, divided
    • 2 cups Arborio rice
    • 1/4 cup fruity white wine or sparkling wine
    • 2 baskets Strawberries, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
    • 3 cups water
    • 3 cups milk
    • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup cream
    Reserve 1/2 a basket of strawberries for garnish. Set aside in small bowl with 1 tablespoon of sugar to bring out the juices.

    Heat half the butter in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Add the strawberries and cook over low heat until they begin to break down. Add the rice and let it absorb the berries. Add the wine and cook over low heat until the rice absorbs it.

    Meanwhile, heat the water and milk together in a small saucepan until hot. Add the hot liquid to the rice over low heat. Wait until all the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladleful of liquid. Midway in the cooking time add remaining sugar and pinch of salt.

    When the risotto is just tender, add the remaining strawberries, butter and cream. Turn off the heat and stir risotto vigorously until all the butter and cream are absorbed.

    Diana Kron's K Chocolatier is located at 9606 (little) Santa Monica Blvd, between Camden and Bedford in Beverly Hills. 310-248-2626.

    Mark Jilg is the brewer behind Craftsman Brewing Company in Pasadena, 626-296-2537. Craftsman beers are sold at Father's Office in Santa Monica or Lucky Baldwins, 17 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, 626-795-0652.

    Debra King is a pastry chef. To find out more about her cakes and pastries for sale, call her at 323-661-8878 or

    White Layer Cake
    Make sure all ingredients are room temperature

    • 1 cup milk
    • 6 egg whites
    • 1 tsp almond extract
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar
    • 4 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 6 ounces butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
    Preheat oven to 350.

    Grease 2 - 9" cake pans with vegetable shortening (or a cooking spray like Pam) and cover pan bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Lightly grease top of parchment.

    Lightly whisk milk, egg whites, and extracts together and set aside.

    In the bowl of and electric mixer combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix at slow speed for a few seconds. Add softened butter and continue beating at slow speed until the mixture resembles moist crumbs. Do not over beat.

    Add 1/3 of the milk and egg mixture and mix until blended, 1-2 minutes, making sure there are no lumps. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Add another 1/3 of the milk mixture and mix until incorporated. Scrape bowl again and add the last 1/3 of the milk mixture and mix just a few more seconds until batter is smooth. The batter will have a creamy consistency and there should be no lumps.

    Divide batter evenly between pans and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Let cakes rest for 5 minutes and then turn out onto greased cake racks. Cool completely.

    NOTE: This recipe X1 will fit into a 4 1/2 or 5 Qt. Kitchen Aid mixer.

    Have all ingredients ready and at room temperature before starting.

    • 2 cups sugar
    • 2 Tblsp clear corn syrup
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 pound + 4 ounces butter, softened
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    In an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, start mixing the 4 eggs on medium speed.

    In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water, and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Boil until mixture reaches soft-ball stage (238 degrees) and take off of the heat. In a steady stream and with the beater on, slowly pour sugar mixture into the eggs. (Try not to get the sugar mixture on the whisk or it will make the buttercream stringy). Increase mixer speed to medium high and whip until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch.

    Turn the mixer to slow and start slowly adding the butter in 1 ounce pieces. After all the butter has been added, turn the speed up to medium and watch for the mixture to emulsify. It may take a few minutes. Add the vanilla and mix another 30 seconds. Chill to harden or use immediately.

    James Prosek is the author of Fly-Fishing the 41st: Around the World on the 41st Parallel.