Culinary Demonstration with Emily Ellyn – Epcot International Food & Wine Festival 2014

This Epcot Food & Wine Experience took place on Wednesday, October 22, 2014

This was Walter’s first ever Culinary Demonstration. We expected beef but instead discovered that we were going to get chocolate! Again, the protein was changed but this time it morphed into sweets – wow.

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Our Celebrity Chef was Emily Ellyn

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“Pumpkin” carved with Emily’s likeness

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hey! there’s going to be some real cooking/baking going on here

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finished product, chocolate cake, looks pretty good!

So, Emily Ellyn (from Orlando) is going to be our chef today. We heard while waiting in line that she did a great job at the 3:00 Culinary Demo and we remembered her from Next Food Network Star (we had hoped she’d win) – so we were thinking that Walter would have a good time along with us. I’ll cut the suspense, he did.

When I saw “chocolate tea cake” on the standing board in the Festival Center, I was expecting what we call tea cakes in the South, a sort of sugar cookie. When Nick told me it was real cake (he had gone up to the stage and taken photos while Walter and I got settled) and I saw that there was tea in the cake, I got a bit more intrigued.

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Recipe

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more recipe

The culinary demonstrations always start with the host greeting everyone and the wine representative talking about the wine. John Ekin, the host, happened to ask if anyone has been to any other events at Food & Wine, I said “Tequila Lunch”…. He then asked who had been and how many times. Guess what, we won that contest (ha ha ha)… After that, he just called our table the Tequila Table whenever we had questions and such.

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Sharon McCarthy and John Ekin

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the wine was Rosa Regale (in our experience this is often served at Culinary Demos with sweets)

Rosa Regale – well, it seems that everyone just loves this wine. It smells like roses. It’s pretty and pink and sparkling. Honestly, we aren’t that impressed. Walter (the non-drinker) smelled his before turning it over to us to drink – his comment? “Smells like booze”

I got a lot of alcohol and citrus on the nose and Nick said “not much of anything”

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Sharon was a good wine representative and she has a storyteller in her “It’s said that this wine was enjoyed by Cleopatra and Julius Caesar.”

It’s said that this wine was enjoyed by Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. The warm days and cool nights in the Piedmont of Italy lead to good acidity and residual sugar. It pairs well with spicy foods and Sharon said that it holds hands with chocolate. John Ekin said that he could actually taste the grapes which is a rare character in wines.

The wine was okay to our palates, not bad, not great either. Walter observed “their glasses are more full than ours!”

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Emily was really pleased with the wine, she wants enough to fill her bathtub! So she can bathe in it!

Walter observed “Emily’s glass is REALLY full”

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chocolate + roses + wine = very sexy

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Emily was just as bubbly and fun in person as she was on television

Emily’s been cooking since she was three years old. She made scrambled eggs and burnt the hell out of her mom’s countertop when she put the hot pan directly on the counter. She said that she thinks her parents have recently replaced the burnt countertop.

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Emily’s been cooking since she was three years old. She made scrambled eggs and burnt the hell out of her mom’s countertop when she put the hot pan directly on the counter. She said that she thinks her parents have recently replaced the burnt countertop.

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you just have to imagine a little 3-year-old trying to cook scrambled eggs while standing on a chair pushed up to the stove

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Chocolate Tea Cupcakes with Rose Water Frosting and a Sugared Rose Petal

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“go ahead, eat your cupcake, I’m just going to make a mess and keep talking”  and “recipes are there for framework! changes are good! experiment with your cooking!”

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this is Emily’s Dump It Cake  “sifting evenly distributes the baking powder, baking soda, and salt”

When she was testing the recipe for today, she noticed that she’d forgotten the butter! It was still on the counter and the cake was already in the oven! So she pulled the cake out of the oven, scraped the batter into a bowl and added the butter. Poured it back into the pan and popped it into the oven! Yay! Cake saved. Oops… the butter was for the icing. So the cake came out rather flat – like a brownie – tasted fine but wasn’t what she was going for.

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Nick thought the icing was way too sweet. I’m not a fan of icing. Walter liked it – but then he said that my cupcakes were better. We pointed out that Emily probably didn’t actually cook all these cupcakes….

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“if you bake something and it comes out ugly, cover it up with frosting”

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getting goofy with cardboard glasses – “mix all the dry ingredients together, then mix all the wet ingredients together, then dump the wet into the dry and DON’T OVER MIX IT! That’s the secret to good moist cake”

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pouring rose water icing over the cake on stage – there was a crack in the plate and icing went all over the thermidor stove (uh oh, guess Emily will just have to take it home with her!)

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the cupcake was pretty moist, but I didn’t really taste the spice in it (or the chocolate so much)

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We aren’t amateurs at this! Nick went up and got a slice of Emily’s real cake!

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Night and Day – could taste the spices, the chocolate, and the rose water.

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This cake was fabulous!

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Emily and Walter

A few interesting tidbits…

  • Don’t use bubbly wine or beer in cake, put it on the stove at a very low temperature and stir the bubbles out
  • Emily has two masters degrees and is completing her PhD – you go girl!
  • Walter ASKED to have his picture made with Emily Ellyn – if you know Walter, you know how strange that is – he really enjoyed her personality and the demonstration
  • When we went up to say hello and tell Emily how good her real cake was – she was really friendly and outgoing, I think if we’d have invited her to join us for a margarita, she’d have followed right out of there (she called Nick “Tequila Baby”)

After this demo, I’ll be keeping my eyes open on Emily’s twitter (@Emily_Ellyn) and her webpage (emilyellyn.com) for other appearances that we can attend.

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