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Class: David Lebovitz @ Sur la Table

So if you happen to have been reading this blog over the last couple months you’ll know that I’ve been making different recipes from David Lebovitz’ book, The Perfect Scoop and enjoying them very much.  While I find his recipes extremely easy to follow sometimes you just want to learn from the master so when I heard that David would be in town leading a couple classes (as well as a chocolate tasting at Theo) I immediately signed up for one of the classes. M2, K, and K’s husband, N, also joined me this last Friday night. 
I always wonder just a little what to really expect when you are going to meet someone in real life and you kind of know them but only virtually.  I’ve been reading David’s blog for quite some time and that means that I’ve assigned a voice and a personality to him.  Just something that happens pretty automatically for me, not that I do it on purpose.  I can tell you that David’s personality in the blog is exactly the same as in person, which meant he led a very entertaining and informative class.  And his voice was even close to what I had imagined so that worked out well for me! 
As a side note, I had the pleasure of meeting a couple people who are readers of this blog!  Which is always so surprising to me!  They were so very nice and I hope to see them again sometime – although I wonder if I was who/what they thought I’d be! ;-) 
Back to the class ~  First, if you don’t know anything about David here’s a bit of his history.  He was the pastry chef at Chez Panisse for twelve years and also trained in France and Belgium.  He has written several cookbooks and currently lives in Paris where he does culinary tours and lots of other fun things in the industry.  I really would like to have his life but it seems he has already taken it.  And, as mentioned earlier, he maintains a very lively and informative blog
 The Gianduja Gelato Stracciatella is a little soft in this photo as it had come almost directly from the ice-cream maker without any of the normal freezing time needed prior to serving.
For this class, David demonstrated and we sampled an amazing number of recipes and of them all there was only one that didn’t knock my socks off (sorry, David…).  Here was the "menu" for the evening: 
  • Gianduja (Hazelnut-Dark Milk Chocolate) Gelato Stracciatella with Espresso Granita and ‘Panna’ 
  • Peppermint Patty-Chocolate Cookies Ice Cream Sandwiches (with Homemade Peppermint Patties)
  • Profiteroles with Roasted Banana Ice Cream and Marshmallow Hot Fudge Sauce (and a bonus addition of Pralined Almonds)
  • Coffee Frozen Yogurt with Breton Buckwheat Cake and Salted-Butter Caramel Sauce

I’m not sure I could pick an actual favorite.  There were many things I liked – both about the individual components and the presentation as a whole.  But if you really made me choose, I think the first item, Gianduja (Hazelnut-Dark Milk Chocolate) Gelato Stracciatella with Espresso Granita and ‘Panna’, might have been number one.  (Note:  Panna means "cream" so this recipe included whip cream which should make sense to you if you’ve even had panna cotta or "cooked cream" – actually cream cooked…) Each of the components was amazing on it’s own but when you mixed the various elements together you had a whole other set of taste sensations!


I also really loved the Profiteroles!  I love profiteroles in general and you may remember that I often make gougere, which is pretty much the same thing.  But what I especially loved about this recipe was how the roasted bananas really upped the flavor quotient of the ice cream.  Wow!    


Beside the recipes and the demonstration I had hoped to pick up a few other tips and David did not disappoint.  I learned there is Philadelphia-style ice cream which is basically made without eggs and then French style which is basically made with a custard and what I have always thought of at "premium" ice-cream.  I like that they both have their place in the world.  We learned about baking powder and strategies for keeping homemade ice-cream from freezing so hard.  We learned how milk chocolate in Europe has different standards than milk chocolate in the US (which helps me understand why I like some more than others) and we learned quite a bit about buckwheat, among other things. 

I came out of the class even more determined to try as many of the recipes as possible.  

If David comes to your area I highly encourage you to sign up for a class.  And whether you are able to take a class or not, I highly recommend this book!  As I mentioned, David’s instructions are very clear and the recipes straightforward so you would be able to create them just from the recipe.  And the book has tons of interesting background information, too. 

So go order it now!  The Perfect Scoop  and see lots more photos here.    


  1. Paula permalink
    01-Jul-2007 7:40 pm

    OMG this sounds like the most awesome class.  I took an Italian cooking class a couple months ago, was my first cooking class.  I\’d love to do more, what fun!

  2. Culinary permalink
    02-Jul-2007 6:11 am

    Hi Paula!
    It was a fun class!  I take a few classes a year and I\’ll let you know next time I\’m signing up for something.  Maybe you can join me sometime! 
    ~ B

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