Monday, November 10, 2008

LBJ Canape Cake

Chef Henry Haller, who served for two decades in the White House from Lyndon Johnson thru Ronald Reagan, devised this unique way of presenting appetizers. At cocktail parties and receptions, the simulated cake was quite a conversation piece and breathtaking to behold.
The base is a styrofoam circle 8 to 10 inches in diameter and shaped like a 2-layer cake, about 6 inches high. The "cake" is draped with non poisonous leaves. Chef Haller was partial to galax leaves which are thick and sturdy. On the one pictured here Nancy has used our comfrey leaves from the garden. A variety of bite sized canapes are then attached with decorative toothpicks resulting in the edible visual delight. Any number of cold canapes can be used to create the "cake" as long as all the choices are bite size and can be readily fastened with toothpicks (a canape is any appetizer that can be eaten out of hand and without the use of a fork and spoon, thus leaving one hand free for holding a cocktail). Chef Haller usually created the "cake" with around 300 canapes, to serve 50 to 150 people. On the one that Culinary Artist Nancy Reppert created for our Road to the White House dinner, she featured cheese stars, shrimp wrapped in snow peas, marinated mushrooms, and beef rolls filled with horseradish and cream cheese.


La Tea Dah said...

It is a delight to the eye! What a great idea! I'm thinking of the holidays and wondering what edible leaves I might have at that time. All that comes to mind is Nori sheets --- but I think they would be fine, as they are a lovely dark green.

Thanks for sharing a great idea! Good job, Nancy!


Steph said...

Yummy and lovely!