October 30th, 2010: The 60th Miss World is… the United States.

Alexandria Mills, Miss United States World is crowned Miss World.

Miss World 2010 returns to Sanya, China. The 60th Final was held in Hainan Province. On October 30th, the 60th Miss World Pageant crowned its new winner, and she was from the United States!

Botswana was first runner up, followed by Venezuela as second runner up.

Miss World Top 3. L to R: Botswana, USA, Venezuela.

United States РAlexandria Mills, 18 years old, has been crowned the 60th Miss World.  She won the coveted crown as Miss World 2010, triumphing out of 115 beautiful and talented young women who took to the stage of the 60th Miss World Final from the Beauty Crown Theatre in Sanya, China.

As the final duty in her reign, Miss World 2009 Kaiane Aldorino removed the bejeweled crown to place it on the head of her successor as the new Miss World 2010.  Taking up her deserved position on the throne, Miss World 2010 was joined by first runner-up Botswana and second runner-up Venezuela.

The glittering two-hour live TV spectacular to launch the 60th anniversary of Miss World 2010 showcased the beauty and talent of 115 of the World’s most incredible young women, who have spent one month enjoying the wonders of China.

Seven previous Miss Worlds from across the decades were among the judges at the live televised final:

Denise Perrier Lanfranchi    Miss World 1953        France
Ann Sidney                          Miss World 1964        United Kingdom
Mary Stävin                         Miss World 1977        Sweden
AgbaniDarego                      Miss World 2001        Nigeria
Maria Julia Mantilla               Miss World 2004        Peru
Zhang Xi Lin                         Miss World 2007        China
KseniaSukhinova                  Miss World 2008        Russia

The event also featured music and dance performances from Sanya, the home of Miss World in China.  Angela Chow presented the show.  She was joined by Miss World Event Director Steve Douglas.  

After the Final, the contestants attended the Coronation Gala at the Crowne Plaza Sanya, where they dined with family and new friends from around the world.

Since 1 October, a record 115 contestants have been touring China.  They visited Shanghai and Beijing, and saw some of the most famous ancient monuments and sites, including the Great Wall of China and Genghis Khan’s mausoleum in Ordos, Inner Mongolia.   They also got a taste of modern China, with a VIP visit to Beijing’s Olympic Stadium and a tour of the Shanghai EXPO.  This is the fifth time that Sanya has been home to the Miss World Final, successfully hosting the 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007 events.

Miss World Top 5. L to R: Venezuela, Botswana, United States, Ireland and China PR.
Miss World Pageant.

Top 7:

Top 20:

Flourless Hazelnut Torte, Wrapped in Milk Chocolate, and Garnished with Candied Hazelnuts

Wow.. that title says alot, doesn’t it? But that was what we made in my Chocolate class – Flourless Hazelnut Torte, Wrapped in Milk Chocolate, and Garnished with Candied Hazelnuts. Yummy!!.. and very decadent!

The Flourless Hazelnut Torte consisted of dark Lindt chocolate, butter, egg yolks, brown sugar, vailla, egg whites, salt, ground hazelnuts, and milk chocolate for wrapping. Because its flourless, its supposed to be a little softer, more molton-like in the centre, without it actually being a molton cake. It actually tastes like a decadent chocolate brownie! ūüôā

To make the Caramelized Hazelnuts, we used whole blanched hazelnuts, water, sugar, and butter.

Dusting with icing sugar my Flourless Hazelnut Tortes, Wrapped in Milk Chocolate, and Garnished with Candied Hazelnuts.
Flourless Hazelnut Tortes, Wrapped in Milk Chocolate, and Garnished with Candied Hazelnuts.

Note: The hazelnuts in this torte may be replaced with almonds. It can also easily be made into individual portions.

Grissini and Lavash

In last night’s Rustic Artisan Breads class we made Grissini and Lavash¬†(Armenian Flatbread).

Essentially, Grissini is bread sticks, and Lavash when cut into pieces are crackers. Basically, when you go to a higher end restaurant, and you get the bread basket delivered to your table and it has all those fancy bread sticks, and tall interestingly shaped breads, this is what we made last night. But trust me when I say that it is a helluva lot of work for bread sticks and crackers! hahaha

Lavash (Armenian Flatbread). This is then cut down into smaller "crackers".
Plain Grissini (Bread Sticks).
Grissini seasoned with herbs.

Gourmet Pizza!!

Last night was my long awaited Pizza Workshop, and boy was I excited! ūüôā

First the Chef gave us two potential basic pizza dough recipes that we could use in the future to make our own dough. We then each made our own pizza dough and let it sit so it could rise.

While our dough was rising, and our ovens were preheating, the Chef showed us how to also make Focaccia bread for pizza. In addition to the Focaccia, he also showed us gourmet pizza techniques on how to prepare the toppings for on the of our pizzas, and how to handle cetain more delicate toppings like basil, salmon, prosciutto, etc. He then made 5 additional traditional pizzas as demonstration. As well, the chef showed us how to make a basic fresh tomato pizza sauce.

Once our dough had risen, we were off to create our own gourmet pizzas. My first pizza was a Margherita Pizza which consists of pizza dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella (or traditional Italian Margherita Pizzas have no cheese), olive oil, and fresh basil leaves. The basil leaves are of course added after the pizza has baked, and been removed from the oven.

My second pizza was the Diavola Pizza (or “devil” pizza). It consists of the pizza dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella, cooked¬†Italian sausage, chopped sauteed onions, and hot peppers (or hot pepper flakes). This pizza was great because it was delicious and spicy! ūüėČ

My third gourmet pizza was my own creation. My husband loves prosciutto, so I started with the pizza dough, then added tomato sauce and mozzarella and baked it in the oven until lightly browned, then I removed it and added the prosciutto, and¬†put fresh basil leaves to top. Yum!!! ūüėÄ Next time I will also¬†pile on¬†arugula along with the fresh basil.

Front to Back: Margherita Pizza, Diavola Pizza, my Prosciutto creation. ūüôā

Chicken Kabobs in a Yogurt Sauce Marinade

Chicken Kabobs in a Yogurt Sauce Marinade

Last night I decided to get back to my original plan and try new dishes out of the chicken recipe books that I bought not that long ago. My final decision? Chicken Kabobs in a Yogurt Marinade! Yum!

First I made the sauce by putting the plain yogurt, crushed garlic glove, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and finely chopped herbs (I chose fresh oregano, rosemary, basil, and parsley) in a bowl and mixed well.

I then cut the chicken breasts into chunks measuring about 1.5 inches/4 cm square. I added the chicken to theyogurt mixture and tossed well together until the chicken pieces were coated. I covered and left it to marinade in the refrigerator for about an hour. If you are using wooden skewers like me, soak them in cold water for at least 30 minutes before use, but frankly, soaking them overnight for about 24 hours is even better.

I preheated the broiler. I then threaded the pieces of chicken onto flat, oiled wooden kabob skewers, though metal skewers or rosemary stems work as well. Then place them on an oiled broiler pan.

I cooked the kabobs under the broiler for about 15 minutes, turning and basting with the remaining marinade occasionally, until lightly browned and tender.

I served the kabobs with shredded lettuce, on a bed of rice, and garnished with lemon wedges. Yummy!

Chocolate Cups filled with Dark Chocolate Mousse..

In my Introduction to Chocolate class we made Chocolate Cups filled with Dark Chocolate Mousse. We also had a demo on how to make Chocolate Cigars. ūüôā

Chocolate Cigar.

First we made the Chocolate Cups by blowing up balloons, and dipping them into pre-crystallized milk and dark chocolate. In fact, we actually played with several versions of ceating our chocolate cups including: piping a cross pattern of milk chocolate onto the dark chocolate before dipping the balloon to help create the interesting patterns that would evolve once the balloons were dipped. Other versions included: solid dark chocolate cups, solid milk chocolate cups, piping a cross pattern dark chocolate onto the milk, multiple creative freehand patterns, even bowls with half dark Рhalf milk on each side of the bowl to create perfectly balanced chocolate cups of dark on one side and milk on the other side.  We then placed the dipped balloons on preset dolops of dark chocolate piped to the size of quaters, on parchment paper to set. When the chocolate was completely set, we gently let out the air from the balloons.

Next we made Dark Chocolate Mousse from egg yolks, sugar, dark chocolate, 35% cream, salt, gelatine sheets, and water. Once the mousse was made, we very neatly filled up the chocolate cups that had already set with the mousse. We then refrigerated the desserts until completely set. Super Yummy!!!! ūüėÄ

Dipping balloons into chocolate with a milk chocolate cross pattern to create the swirls on the petals of the chocolate cup.
Chocolate cups setting before letting the air out. Some are straight up, others on angles, all to create interesting shapes for the finished product.
Removing the balloons from the set chocolate cups.
Empty chocolate cups.
Filling the chocolate cups with dark chocolate mousse.
Chocolate Cups filled with Dark Chocolate Mousse.
A close up of Dark and Milk Chocolate Cups filled with Dark Chocolate Mousse.
A beautiful close up shot of the Chocolate Mousses Cups.
Another great close up shot of Chocolate Mousse Cups.
More yummy close ups of Chocolate Mousse Cups. ūüôā
Chocolate Mousse Cups galore!! ūüėČ