Monday, March 31, 2008

Easter Treats: Homemade Marshmallows

For Easter 2008 we decided to embark on a new adventure-- homemade scented marshmallows...
Light, creamy, sticky, and delicious, we were extremely pleased with the results. Our homemade marshmallows are scented with Tahitian vanilla, orange, or raspberry-- each as delicious as the last.
For Easter, we opted to coat the edges of the marshmallows in festive pastel sanding sugars... Of course, the marshmallow are also available in traditional white, or any color of your choosing!

Packaged in bags of four, or larger boxes, these marshmallows are a unique culinary treat-- markedly different from the bagged marshmallows one might purchase at their local grocery store. We would highly recommend trying orenji homemade marshmallows!

Come back and visit comparing apples and orenji tomorrow for more highlights of the Easter 2008 season! See you then...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Easter Treats: Egg-Shaped Krispy Pops

As with past holidays, here at orenji we are quickly becoming known for our decorative krispy cereal treats...

For Easter 2008 we opted to create egg-shaped krispy cereal treat "pops"-- egg-shaped confections on a bamboo skewer for easy eating. Simple, sweet, and delicious, these treats proved to be extremely popular!
Once the krispy treats are created-- buttery, crispy, marshmallow, vanilla, and candy-coated chocolate pieces in pretty pastel colors-- they are shaped into eggs... and then the real work begins!
Partially dipped in the highest quality Belgian white chocolate, and drizzled with milk chocolate, these confections are as beautiful as they are delicious!

Each krispy pop is packaged either individually or as a pair, and then finished with a beautiful pastel satin ribbon. These make perfect gifts for colleagues, friends, family... or yourself!

orenji krispy treat pops-- the perfect addition to any Easter basket!
More treats tomorrow... but what will they be? You'll have to check back to find out!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Easter Treats: Orange-Scented Shortbread

We created many special and delicious items for Easter 2008. Over the next two weeks we will review some of the highlights... some items you will have seen before. Others will be orenji firsts!
One of the new items that we created for the Easter season-- which proved quite popular with our customers-- were orange-scented shortbread cookies in the shape of tulips, lambs, bunnies, and eggs.
The shortbread was light, flaky, and fragile, delicately scented with the acidic high notes of orange juice, oil, and zest. To complement the sharp orange taste and crispy texture, the shortbreads were dipped in smooth and creamy Belgian white and milk chocolates. The contrast of the smooth chocolate and the flaky cookie was a match made in heaven.

Delightfully spring-like sugar pastel discs completed the decoration of these beautiful Easter cookies.

For our orange-scented tulips, the tips were dipped in pastel colored coarse sanding sugar, evocative of spring-colored tulips...

As with past holidays, we also received a number of orders for our almond and orange shortbread bars. Rich and buttery, flavored with almond paste and toasted almonds, and filled with a sinfully delicious apricot and orange liqueur filling, these shortbread bars are the perfect combination!

Moist and sweet, our apricot-almond shortbread bars are perfect for dessert, snacks, or afternoon tea!
Tomorrow, more Easter 2008 treats from orenji! Be sure to check back!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Traditional Easter Hot Cross Buns...

This year, we had the distinct pleasure of preparing eight dozen traditional Hot Cross Buns for our local church. Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, with a representative icing cross piped across the top of each bun.
Deliciously soft and moist, our Hot Cross Buns were spiced with a traditional blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and a touch of cardamom (an orenji twist!) and studded with black currants, black and golden raisins, and candied citrus peel.
Leavened with yeast, these delicious breakfast treats are dense and hearty, the sweet citrus-vanilla icing the perfect complement to the spicy undertones. Each bun was hand-shaped, hand cut, and hand-decorated!

Perfect with a cup of tea of coffee, the orenji Hot Cross Buns inspired the recipients to sing the popular children's song written for them:

Hot Cross Buns,
Hot Cross Buns,
one ha' penny,
two ha' penny,
Hot Cross Buns!

If you have no daughters,
give them to your sons,
one ha' penny,
two ha' penny,
Hot Cross Buns!

Tomorrow, more Easter treats. See you then!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Elegant Easter Entertaining... Desserts!

Our review of elegant Easter entertaining continues, focusing on dessert and after-dinner snacks.
Following plated dessert (detailed below), guests relaxed, enjoyed the beautiful California weather, as the event space was converted to a "martini lounge..." Festive Easter-inspired martinis were served, along with snack foods and miniature cakes (pictured right).
Cakes included hazelnut genoise with Frangelico, and French cashew-praline buttercream. These deliciously light, yet rich, cakes were decorated with caramelized sugar "glass."
Rich chocolate genoise with whipped milk chocolate ganache and fresh raspberries were decorated with hand-modeled bittersweet chocolate roses.

Chocolate carrot cakes, with candied carrot completed the selection of miniature cakes.
Also served was a refreshing selection of grilled vegetables and hummus, fresh cheeses, and freshly baked breads and toasted flatbreads.

Our plated dessert of the evening was a delicious combination of textures and flavors:
warm bittersweet chocolate carrot cake was topped with malt ice cream, and accompanied by
a smooth and creamy vanilla-saffron crème anglaise. Verjus poached white peaches and candied fennel and carrots added textural and acidic components, perfectly complementing the bitterness of the cake and sweetness of the ice cream.

Our guests enjoyed a relaxing evening, from hors d'eouvres to four plated courses, after dinner martinis, sweets, and snacks. All in all, a wonderful, successful event!
But what else did orenji get up to during Easter? The hand-made chocolates, sweets, and bread products will be reviewed in the coming days. Be sure to keep checking back!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Elegant Easter Entertaining...

After a brief hiatus (and a well-deserved vacation!), we have returned to the orenji kitchens (and the computer, as well), to detail our busy Easter season!
During the Easter season, we had the privilege and pleasure to provide some elegant dining experiences, like the one pictured here.

The tablescape was set with classic white linens, with centerpieces and place-settings adorned with fresh wheat grass, festive satin ribbons, and hand-modeled Easter chocolates. Butter roses and fresh lemon leaves completed the spring look of the table.

The menu served (pictured above) consisted of the following:

“deconstructed” edible flower salad
maché , shiso & champagne vinaigrette
toasted pistachios, sea salt, cracked Indian pepper
white stilton with dried apricots
roasted golden beets, hazelnut oil
Japanese “pickled” carrot
frizzled sugared leeks

trio of sorbets
lavender &vanilla bean
blood orange & juniper berry
pepito melon & rosemary
hibiscus flower soup

braised lamb breast, pan reduction

creamy polenta, mascarpone, sweet garlic, chives

fricassee of glazed root vegetables, beurre monté

Israeli pearl couscous “risotto,” pea shoots,
cranberry beans, chanterelle mushrooms

grilled asparagus, saffron oil, grapefruit, bacon

fresh fruit medley, balsamic-mint syrup

warm bittersweet chocolate carrot cake
Verjus poached white peaches
malt ice cream
vanilla-saffron crème anglaise
candied fennel, carrots

Other easy festive decorations included fresh tulips in bright spring colors with accompanying jelly beans!

Handmade goat cheese and cracked black pepper biscuits filled with smoked salmon and dill butter were the perfect hors d'eouvre.

Rye crisps with camembert, apricot roasted garlic marmalade, roasted apricots, and toasted black walnuts also got our guests' taste buds ready for the main event!

The deconstructed edible flower salad was beautifully composed, the fresh spring flavors of each component able to be enjoyed separately, or mixed together by the diner if desired.

In a future post we will highlight the dessert served at this elegant Easter dining event. Be sure to check back!

Monday, March 10, 2008

2008 Easter Pricing Guide is Here!

The 2008 orenji Easter Pricing Guide is here! You can access the guide by clicking on the link to the left, or by clicking below:

2008 orenji Easter Pricing Guide

Some of the delicious items you will find listed include:

milk chocolate eggs filled with our homemade fruit-scented marshmallow (assortment of orange, vanilla, and raspberry-scented marshmallow filling)

milk chocolate eggs filled with peanut-butter truffle filling

bittersweet chocolate eggs filled with caramel-coconut filling

white chocolate eggs filled with Japanese matcha green tea truffle filling

milk chocolate eggs filled with chocolate-caramel truffle filling

bittersweet chocolate eggs filled with chocolate-cappuccino filling

assorted egg-shaped hand-rolled Belgian chocolate truffles

orange shortbread tulips, lambs, & bunnies with white and milk chocolates

hot cross buns

You will also find an assortment of cupcakes, shortbreads, breakfast pastries, and other delectable confections and candies, as well as some new flavors for our sweet fortune line of chocolates!

Orders requiring shipping must be placed by Monday, March 17th.
Orders for local pick-up/ delivery must be placed by Wednesday, March 19th.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

our new look!

Welcome to the new comparing apples and orenji, the website of orenji-- culinary artistry for every occasion!

We hope you enjoy the new layout of our blog, complete with rotating pictures of some of our favorite creations. As in the past, we will continue to use this space to highlight the catering, sweets, and occasions we are privileged to participate in, as well as reviews of cultural events, travels, and epicurean interests.

Should you be interested in ordering from orenji, please see ordering instructions on the left-hand side of the page. We look forward to contributing to your next holiday, event, or special occasion.

Be sure to check back often, as we update frequently. And as always, we look forward to your comments and suggestions!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

2008 Easter Pricing Guide coming soon!

Here at orenji, we are putting the final touches on our Easter 2008 Pricing Guide. In the guide you can expect to find a list of the delectable sweets and baked goods we are preparing for Easter-- chocolates, hand-made confections, our "sweet fortune" line, breakfast pastries, traditional hot cross buns, cupcakes, desserts, and much much more!

Be sure to check back in the coming days. Easter is right around the corner!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sweet Fortune!

We have some exciting news here at orenji! We are proud to announce our new line of gourmet hand-moulded chocolates: sweet fortune!

sweet fortune is a line of fortune-cookie shaped chocolates made from the finest in Belgian chocolate. Each fortune cookie is filled with a deliciously smooth and creamy chocolate truffle filling, infused with exotic flavors.
For Valentine's Day-- the "launch" of sweet fortune-- we created two special chocolates:

The first was a white chocolate "fortune cookie" filled with Japanese Matcha green tea and cardamom truffle, and finished with hand-pralined sesame seeds.

The second creation was a bittersweet chocolate "fortune cookie" filled with Italian gianduja truffle-- a sweet and smooth mixture of chocolate and hazelnuts. These delicacies were brushed with 23 karat edible gold upon completion, for a rich lustery finish.
Each fortune cookie is comprised of two pieces, separated with a gentle twisting motion. Each half is bursting with the spices and flavors of the truffle fillings!

Packaged in delightful take-out containers, these chocolates are the perfect gift for any occasion!
Currently, new flavors are being developed in the orenji test kitchens-- flavors perfect for springtime, and Easter! Be sure to check our our pricing guide for Easter 2008, coming soon.
Wishing sweet fortune to all of you!