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Posts Tagged ‘Boquete Gourmet coffee’

Are You “Crazy for Chocolate”?

Written on March 5th, 2010 by no shouts

Several years ago, David and I went to Sarasota, Florida to a “Chocolate Convention” and I’ll never forget it. We each had a card with 20 numbers on it and each numbered station offered servings of a different chocolate treat. We stayed at the convention until all 20 numbers were punched on our cards! It was an incredible experience and we’ve been “crazy for chocolate” ever since.

In Boquete, there is a “new” pastry chef in town, Richard Meyer. He opened Sugar & Spice Bakery in a new location on the main street, on the right side coming near the town center. Richard specializes in making delicious chocolate pastries using several varieties of chocolate. He also makes country breads, rolls, pies and almost every form of baked goods you’d expect to find anywhere in the world.

From the Sugar & Spice sign above the bakery door, you can tell from the loaf of bread and star-studded chef’s hat, that fine bread and a fine chef can be found there. Look carefully at Richard’s sign, it’s handmade and full of information.

I am very happy to announce that Richard will be the next Boquete Gourmet’s guest chef for April’s cooking class. He’ll make three very special chocolate desserts using 3 different chocolates and 3 different techniques to use with chocolate. His class will be held on Wednesday, April 7, 2010, beginning at 1:00pm at the Sugar & Spice Bakery.

The registration fee of $25 includes not only the class instruction, a serving of each of 3 desserts and unlimited “Boquete Gourmet” coffee, but a recipe book, paired wine tasting and “goodie bag” to take home.

If you love chocolate, or are actually “crazy for chocolate”, you won’t want to miss Richard’s very special “Chocolate Class” coming up April 7.

There are only 12 seats available, so email, call 6614-9514 or pick up your ticket today at Sugar & Spice. First come, first served.
Chocolate lover,

Grandma Gates’ “Gold Cake”

Written on December 9th, 2009 by no shouts

GoldCake1Clyde and Phyllis Stephens live in Bocas del Toro, just over the mountains from Boquete.  We met them several years ago while visiting the famous landmark, Hospital Point.  This historic site was purchased by the Stephens many years ago from the United Fruit Company, commonly known as “Chiquta Banana”.

Clyde has written several books about living in Panama, his experiences of working in the Panama banana industry and the history of Hospital Point.

While traveling in Florida earlier this year, we visited the Stephens in Tavares, where they make their summer family visits. Clyde grew up in Florida and his boyhood home is on display at the Manatee Village Historical Park in Bradenton.

Here’s a photo of the kitchen in Clyde’s original 1912 home.  Clyde’s grandmother baked this cake in that old oven when he was a boy. You can see the original framed recipe sitting atop the cupboard on the far right of the photo. stevenskitchen

The recipe looked wonderful to me, not only because it was written almost 100 years ago, but the dozen egg yolks caught my eye.  It also seemed strange to use water instead of milk in such a rich cake, and no salt.

In all my internet research, I couldn’t find a similar recipe, not even close.  I had to make Grandma Gates’ “Gold Cake”.

12 egg yolks
2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. water
3/4 c. butter
3 1/2 c. pastry flour
4 level tsp. baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla

Sift flour once . . then measure, add baking powder and sift 3 times.  Sift sugar then measure.  Cream butter, add sugar gradually and cream thoroughly.  Beat yolks until thick and lemon color, add these to butter and sugar and stir thoroughly.  Add water and flour alternately, then flavoring and stir very hard.  Put in slow* oven until raised to the top of the pan and increase the heat and brown.  Bake 40 to 60 minutes in an ungreased mold. *325gold1

I followed the directions as closely as possible, even researching whether I should use the top or bottom of the miniscus.  When I was finished, I had a sink full of 5 bowls to wash.  Grandma Gates’ kitchen sink was outside on the porch.  I could imagine her walking outside to do her dish washing, pumping her water from a hand pump and using lye soap to cut the grease on the bowls.

Plus, she didn’t have my fancy Kitchenaid electric mixer.  It was really difficult to picture her doing this all by hand!  It must have taken her several hours to complete her cake.

But, the results were excellent; the best, tastiest, most delicious “Gold Cake” I have ever tasted.  Grandma Gates probably felt like me - it was well worth all the time and work it took to make it.

Tonight, we’re going to Eric and Jane’s home for a dinner party and we’re taking Grandma’s cake.  I’m sure they will serve it with freshly brewed, fine “Boquete Gourmet” coffee!

Why Gourmet Chefs Wear Aprons

Written on November 9th, 2009 by no shouts

pinkapron There was once a Gourmet Club in Boquete and it was very fashionable to belong to it.  So many folks were accepted into the club that it became a nightmare to organize, even using the latest internet gadgets to help out with the planning.apronblue The Boquete Gourmet Club was popular for many reasons, not the least of which was that every club member had their own “designer” apron to wear to the dinners.  The aprons came from all over the world, in all patterns, colors and designs.  At each dinner, guests couldn’t wait to see what everyone was “wearing”.  (Not clothes, but aprons).apron2

But really, why do chefs wear aprons? You might think it’s handy to use as a towel to wipe hands, or to use as a hot pad to pick up hot dishes, or maybe to protect clothing from spills or splashes, but no - it’s to make a fashion statement!

Based on that phenomenon and the fact I was beginning my new blog, I thought it was important to have an apron made that was just right for me and fans of my blog.  It would need to have “Boquete Gourmet” written on it. It would need to be brown, the color of coffee, and it would need to be of the finest possible quality.

So, I found a beautiful brown, heavy, wrinkle-proof plaid material that would make the perfect statement for any gourmet cook, especially one who has visited Boquete and knows how popular plaids are here.  Zora, a talented local seamstress, developed the pattern from an apron I love.  She sews these aprons to the highest standards.

Anyone wishing to purchase a special designer, “Boquete Gourmet” apron, will find them available at The Bistro Restaurant or by calling 6614-9514.  An apron is only $15.00, including a bag of ‘Boquete Gourmet”, home-grown gourmet coffee.  Then, serving a cup of “Boquete Gourmet” coffee is what I call making a “real” fashion statement.

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