Baking and holidays are inseparable, and baking for Easter is an institution. And with all the rainy days ahead, you’ll need something to do indoors (that was me yesterday). I recently ate at Ad Hoc in Napa Valley where award-winning chef, Thomas Keller, serves his childhood-inspired comfort food. Not only did I eat there, I bought the cookbook, had Bouchon for breakfast every day, and now have reservations for French Laundry in June. You might say I’m a bit obsessed with Chef Keller – and his cupcakes! They made me forget every other cupcake in the world. I bought the cake mix from Ad Hoc, and now I’ll impress even the most discerning foodies. It is so easy to make, and don’t be alarmed when it’s time to pour in the boiling water; the batter turns into a thick, hot chocolate-like consistency. Not to worry. The cupcakes come out of the oven moist and light, with a nice crunch on top. I delivered a batch to a friend who is a premiere pastry chef (she knows I don’t really bake) and although skeptical, one bite and she was blown away.
The mix comes in red velvet, yellow, and chocolate. Yum. You’ll majorly impress your friends and family (and you can always eat a couple before they arrive!). At Williams-Sonoma for $14.
Pull out all the stops and get the Easter kit for a full professional presentation (no longer available online but they have it in the stores).