Chef Recipe: Washington Great Cake

Cross Keys Cafe has a new addition to the pastries this season. Washington Great Cake is available at our cafe located in the Museum of the American Revolution. This seasonal recipe dates back to the revolutionary times and that’s why it fitting to have it on the menu of this colonial-inspired spot in Old City.

Great Cake

As a holiday treat we are sharing the recipe with you so you can make it at home and share it with your friends and family this winter! This Washington Great Cake recipe has been adapted by Brûlée Catering’s Executive Pastry Chef James Rodebaugh. He finishes the cake with a cinnamon butter cream frosting and it can be topped with the frosting of your choice to make it your own. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Yields 1 half sheet pan

  • 4 Cups All purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  t ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t ground clove
  • 2 lbs Dried Fruit (Combination of Dried Cranberry, Raisins, Currants and Chopped Orange Peel)
  • 10 Eggs (Separated)
  • 1 Pound Softened butter
  • 1 Cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup Dark brown sugar(packed)
  • 1/4 Cup White wine
  • 1/4 Cup Brandy( VSOP)



  • Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Soak all the dried fruit in hot water for 30 mins to re-hydrate.
  • In a medium bowl, measure out all but 1/2 cup of the flour.
  • Add the spices to the remaining flour and combine.
  • Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour to the dried fruit. (This is important-the fruit will all sink to the bottom if you do not do this!)
  • Whip the egg whites to soft peak.
  • Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Add the egg yolks and beat to incorporate.
  • Mix wine and brandy and add to butter mixture. Mixture will look broken.
  • Fold in egg whites and mix till incorporated.
  • Add the flour and spice mixture to the wet ingredients.  Beat until well mixed, but do not over beat.
  • Then, add the flour-coated fruit to the batter.
  • Spread into parchment lined sheet pan and bake 15-20 mins until toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting Cake



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Chef Recipe: Ginger-lemongrass Carrot Bisque

Warm soup on a cold fall or winter day is so comforting! Our chefs are sharing their recipe for a popular seasonal dish, Ginger-lemongrass Carrot Bisque. You may recognize this from the recent “In the Kitchen with Brûlée” video we posted on YouTube featuring our Executive Sous Chef, Eliezer Soto-Mojica.


Well, now you can enjoy this in the comfort of your own home if you just can’t wait until the next even you have planned with us! Similar to our Mushroom Soup, you can make this vegan if you follow the suggested substitutions below.

Ginger-lemongrass Carrot Bisque

Serves 8
Prep and cook time: 1 hour and 20 minutes.

This recipe can be made vegan by simply substituting a few of the ingredients as indicated below marked with *.



  • Butter, 4 oz   * Substitute with oil
  • Onion, thin sliced,     2 Cups
  • Garlic, thin sliced,      2 Tablespoons
  • Ginger, thin sliced,     ½ Cups
  • Lemongrass, think sliced,    ½ Cup
  • Carrot, peeled, thin sliced,   6 Cups
  • Cilantro, whole,     ½ Cup
  • Heavy Cream 2 Cups * Substitute with Coconut Milk
  • Chicken Stock 4 Cups * Substitute with Vegetable Stock
  • Salt,  3 Teaspoon
  • Pepper,  1 Teaspoon

In a large sauce pot melt butter over medium heat until it starts to brown and foam.  Add Onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes, add your garlic, ginger and lemongrass, cook until aromatic and tender. About 3 minutes. Use half of the salt and pepper to this mixture as it cooks.

Add Carrots and cilantro. Lower heat to low-medium and slowly cook carrots until they begin to break down. About 10 minutes. Make sure to stir every so often as to not burn the bottom of the pot.  Add in the remainder of the salt and pepper at this point.

Add stock just to barely cover the vegetable mixture. Turn heat up to a simmer.  Cook carrots for about 15 minutes or until broken down and fork tender.

Add your heavy cream or coconut milk and cook at a simmer for another 10 minutes.

Gradually add soup mixture into a blender. Start on low and gradually increase to high. Strain the soup through a fine mesh sieve (chinois, or cheesecloth)

If the soup is too thick you can adjust with more stock or coconut milk until desired consistency is reached.


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Comfort Food with a Gourmet Twist Featured at Dilworth Park’s Rothman Institute Cabin

Dilworth Park will become a hot spot once again during the cold months in Center City with lots of happenings including the return of America’s Garden Capital Maze, Rothman Institute Ice Rink and Cabin! Beginning November 10th,  Air Grille, the classic silver Airstream located adjacent to the Dilworth Park Café will operate in The Rothman Institute Cabin. Locals and visitors are welcomed to enjoy the cozy atmosphere of the heated cabin and the new menu items from Brûlée Catering’s chefs.

The new seasonal menu features flavorful Buffalo Chicken, Mac n’ Cheese, a Herb Mustard Glazed Grilled Chicken Sandwich,  Lentil Chili and Warm S’mores Bread Pudding to name a few. Scroll down to see the full made-to-order menu.

Rothman Cabin 2

Plus, the bar is featuring specialty cocktails for guests 21 years and older. With a variety of beers on tap including Stella Artois and seasonal Victory Brewing Company Ales there is something for everyone. Warm up at the fire pits outside with spiked hot cocoa featuring DeKuyper Cordials.

Rent the Cabin for a private event for up to 180 guests email us at so we can help you plan a special event in the heart of Philadelphia!  For a complete list of activities visit Center City District’s website


Cabin Burger
All Natural Urban Grind Beef, Bacon Jam, American Cheese, Caramelized Onions, House Sauce, Potato Bun

Buffalo Chicken Mac &Cheese
Fried Chicken, Victory Winter Cheers Cheese Sauce, Radiatore, Blue Cheese Crumble, Pickled Celery

Herb Mustard Glazed Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Provolone, Arugula, Tomato Chutney, Whole Grain Bun

Hearty Grilled Cheese and Roasted Tomato Soup
Gruyere, PA Cheddar, Sharp Provolone, Thick Cut Brioche

Braised Short Rib Cheese Fries
Shredded Beef, Victory Winter Cheers Cheese Sauce, Pickled Red Onions, Cilantro

Lentil Chili
Cheddar Corn Bread

Roasted Tomato Soup
Torn Rye Croutons

Arugula and Farro Salad
Roasted Cauliflower, Root Vegetables, Arugula, Farro, Torn Rye Croutons, Lemon Rosemary Vinaigrette                                                                  


Chicken Tenders 
Hot Dog


Harvest Mule – EFFEN Blood Orange Vodka, Apple Cider, Ginger Beer, Lime

Hornitos Mule – Hornitos Tequila, Ginger Beer, Lime, Bitters

EFFEN Hot Toddy – EFFEN Apple Vodka, Hot Apple Cider

Spiked Hot Chocolate


Blood Orange Mimosa – Blood Orange Juice, EFFEN Blood Orange Vodka, Prosecco

Sriracha Cucumber Bloody Mary – EFFEN Cucumber Vodka, Tomato Juice, Bloody Mary spices, Sriracha


Warm S’mores Bread Pudding


Victory –Winter Cheers

Stella Artios

Bud Light

Blizzard of Hops Winter IPA

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Cross Keys Café Features Breakfast on New Fall Menu

Brûlée Catering’s new menu in the American Revolution’s Cross Keys Café is full of seasonal flavors and comforting cocktails.  Now open daily from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., the  Cross Keys Café now offers breakfast options including muffins, pastries, bagels, hot breakfast sandwiches, and yogurt parfaits. A new make-your-own steel cut Irish oatmeal bar features toppings, including dried blueberries and peaches, almonds, pecans, raisins, and brown sugar.

Favorite menu items return including Chicken Pot Pie and Creamy Mac and Cheese and new options popped up including a Hot Turkey Gobbler Hoagie loaded with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and gravy, as well as New England Clam Chowder with smoked bacon and fresh dill.

Highlights of the Fall Menu Include:

Hot Seasonal Cocktails

  • Mulled Cider: Warm Apple Cider with Orange Slices, Spiced Rum, Cinnamon Stick, Clove and Star Anise
  • Drunken Pumpkin Latte: Pumpkin Spice Latte with Rum Chatta, Topped with Whipped Cream and Cinnamon
  • Salted Caramel Latte: Caramel Latte with Bailey’s Salted Caramel, Topped with Whipped Cream, Caramel Drizzle and Raw Sugar

New hot seasonal beverages

Hot Entrees

  • Chicken Pot Pie with All Natural Chicken, Vegetables, Pie Dough Crunchies
  • Mac and Cheese with Creamy Pennsylvania Cheddar, Buttery Crumb Topping
  • New England Clam Chowder with Smoked Bacon and Fresh Dill
  • Chicken Noodle with Tender Chicken, Noodles and Vegetables
  • Kitchen Garden Soup with Seasonal Vegan Preparation
  • Quiche with Vinaigrette Garden Salad


  • Beer Braised Bratwurst with Red Cabbage, Apple and Mustard Sauce
  • Berkshire Ham with Cured Bershire Ham, Cornichon/ Dijon Butter, Cheddar, Bibb Lettuce on Pretzel Bun
  • Grass Fed Beef with Horseradish, Pa Cheddar, Sourdough, Bibb Lettuce, Smoked Tomato Jam
  • Sassafras with Roasted Portabella, Arugula-Pepito Pesto, Oven Dried Tomato
  • Natural Turkey BLT with Bacon Tomato Jam, Garlic Aioli, Gem Lettuce
  • Old City Roast Pork with Provolone, Greens, Pepper Jam
  • Hot Turkey Gobbler with House Roasted Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, Buttery Stuffing, Roasting Pan Gravy


  • Garden Salad with House Poached Tuna, Farm egg, Confit Potato, Pickled Beets, Mustard Vinaigrette
  • Smoked Chicken Salad with Artisan Greens, Fennel, Black River Blue Cheese, Smoked Bacon, Roasted Tomato, Cider Vinaigrette
  • Kennett Caesar Salad with Baby Kale, Romaine, Crimini Mushrooms, Shaved Parm, Rye Croutons
  • Grain Salad with Pomegranate, Farro, Quinoa, Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets, Candied Hazelnuts, Pomegranate and Citrus Vinaigrette

Savory Jars

  • Farm Egg Salad with Cage Free Eggs, Mayonnaise, Dijon, Sea Salt, Fresh Herbs
  • Salmon Rillette with Smoked Salmon, Leek, Celery, Sour Cream, Chives and Lemon Juice
  • Grain & Vegetable Salad (vegan) with Farro, House Pickled Seasonal Vegetables, Fresh Herbs
  • Pickling Jar with Pickled Seasonal Vegetables

Sweet Jars

  • Tun Tavern Bread Pudding with Chocolate Chip Buttery Brioche Bread, Pecans, Dark Brown Sugar, Caramel
  • Martha Washington’s Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake, Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Glaze
  • Carrot Cake with Toasted Walnuts, Cream Cheese Icing and Raisins
  • Cranberry and Apple Crumb with Cranberry, Apple, Brown Sugar, and Toasted Streusel Crumb

Open to the Public

Oatmeal toppings

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Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix Hosted Philadelphia’s James Beard Foundation Taste America Dinner

On Friday, October, 13, 2017 Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix was the host chef for Philadelphia’s Night of Culinary Stars for the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Benefit Dinner. It was held at the Museum of the American Revolution and welcomed 300 guests and among the dinner guests were award-winning chefs. Brûlée Catering operated the bar during cocktail reception and kept the wine pouring for each course’s Robert Mondavi Wine pairing.

A collaborative effort with chefs working together to produce and execute a memorial four-course plated dinner was proof that teamwork is crucial. The photos below show the finished dishes that were presented for each course.


Patriots Gallery was set for dinner for 300 guests in the Museum of the American Revolution. The rotating exhibit space becomes a ballroom

Photo by Joel Plotkin Photography


Photo by Hugh E Dillon 


Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix poses for a photo on the red carpet before the event begins.

Photo by Joel Plotkin Photography



First Course: Heart of Romaine with Figs, Grafton Village Cheese Aged Cheddar, and Buttermilk Vinaigrette by James Beard Award Winner, Chef Greg Vernick of Vernick Food & Drink

Photo by Joel Plotkin Photography

101317_JBFPhiladelphia_Plotkin_0430 (1)

Charred Octopus with Smoked Fingerling Potatoes, Preserved Lemon, Guanciale, and Shellfish Vinaigrette by James Beard Award Winner, Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix, Brûlée Catering along with his brigade of chefs led by Chef de Cuisine Pierre Labine

Photo by Joel Plotkin Photography


Braised Beef Short Ribs with Otto File Polenta and Broccoli Rabe by Marc Murphy of  Benchmarc Restaurants by Marc Murphy (Landmarc and Ditch Plains), New York City

Photo by Joel Plotkin Photography


The final plated course was dessert by Pat O’Malley of Hungry Pigeon- All the Apples Strudel with Crab Apple Marmalade and Crème Fraîche Ice Cream.

Photo by Joel Plotkin Photography


After dinner guests enjoyed a  dessert surprise compliments of Walnut Street Café’s Melissa Weller.

Photo by Joel Plotkin Photography

101317_JBFPhiladelphia_Plotkin_0551 (1)

Chefs for Taste Philadelphia include Chef Greg Vernick, Jean-Marie Lacroix, Marc Murphy, Pat O’Malley, Melissa Weller

Photo by Joel Plotkin Photography

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Hors d’ oeuvres: Small Bites, Big Flavors

 Food is our passion and we make sure ever bite Brûlée creates is both delicious and memorable to our guests. Hors d’oeuvres  not only serve as small bites packed with intriguing flavor combinations, but most often they are the first impression greeting event attendees and wedding guests. Our chefs put just as much thought and creativity into their recipes as our catering team does into crafting artful presentations. As Chef Lacroix often quips, “be sure your food looks as good as it tastes.”

Platters, trays and dishes are thoughtfully selected to display hors d’oeuvres based on the theme of the venue and setting. Whether its a modern event with black slate trays or a more rustic affair the food will be placed perfectly on a wooden board. If you have a look in mind for your event discuss this with your sales manager so it can be taken into account for the platters selected to serve guests.

Featured photos by Susan Beard Photography.

Passed try by Susan beard

Harissa Braised Short Ribs- Crispy Grit Cake, Cilantro Pistou



Tuna Tartar – Toasted Pumpkin Aioli, Fennel Salad, Salmon Roe, Crispy Rice 


Shrimp Maki Roll – Cucumber, Toasted Sesame, Spicy Mayo 


Butternut Squash & Turkey Hand Pie – Jerk Marinated Golden Raisins 


Roasted Mushroom & Goat Cheese Lollipop

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Join us for Dilworth Park Ocotoberfest



It’s that time of year again! Octoberfest at Dilworth Park, annual five-day festival, returns to Center City on Wednesday, October 11th and will continue until Sunday, October 15th.

Our chefs were inspired by classic German menu items and they can be paired with a selection of seasonal beers and cocktails.  The annual festival will continue for five-days celebrating the flavors of the season and includes a beer garden, live music and games.

Below is the new menu that will be served 10/11 through 10/15 at Dilworth Park during the times listed below.

Wednesday, October 11Music and Entertainment, 5 – 9 p.m.

Thursday, October 12:   Music and Entertainment, 5 – 10 p.m.  (Attention Football Fans: Extended hours to View the first half of the Eagles game!) 

Friday, October 13:    Music and Entertainment, 5 – 9 p.m.

Saturday, October 14:    Market, Music and Entertainment noon – 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 15:      Market, Music and Entertainment, noon – 6 p.m.


Traditional German dish of Pork Sausage with Curried Mustard, Sauerkraut, Tomato Relish

Pork and Beef Sausage, Caramelized Onions, Maker’s Mark® Mustard

Sauerbraten Cheesesteak
Philly Twist on a German Classic with Fried Onions, Emmental Fondue

South Philly Schnitzel  
Crispy Chicken, Caramelized Onions, Peppers, Smoked Paprika Aioli

Germantown Dumplings 
Fall Mushrooms, Veg Broth, Braised Kale, Radish Salad

Festival Fries
Victory FestBier Cheese Sauce, Pickled Onion, Chives

German Potato Salad
Bavarian Pretzel Bites
House Made Apple Sauce
House Made Sauerkraut
Black Forest Chocolate Cherry Cookie

Grill Specialties 

Smoked Turkey Legs
Cider Glaze

Beef Ribs 
Mustard Sauce

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Fall in Love with Our Wedding Venues this September

Are you engaged and looking for the perfect wedding location? This month we are hosting Wedding Open Houses at two of our landmark locations, Free Library on the Parkway on Thursday, September 21st and Please Touch Museum at Memorial Hall on Wednesday, September 27th.

Below are the invitations with details about how to put your name on the guest list! They are both complimentary but RSVP is required. We look forward to helping you plan the wedding you have always dreamed of with cuisine that will WOW your guests!

Library Sept 21 Invite-2 (2) (1)


PTM Sept 27 Invite (1)

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Offer Extended for WOW Winter Promotion

Are you still planning your winter holiday party? Well, you’re in luck because we extended our winter promotion to all events booked by October 15, 2017! We will offer a complimentary seasonal dessert or cocktail station if you book before the special ends.

Plus, some of our venues have sweetened the deal with additional facility rental discounts including The Liberty View at Independence Visitor Center and National Constitution Center. Be sure to inquire about additional special offers when you plan your event and mention ‘WOW Winter’!

Contact our sales team at and they can help you select the perfect location for your occasion at one of our exclusive venues or at the location of your choice.

Select from either the Sleigh Ride Together With You or Let It Snow Stations. Both dessert menus include gourmet twists on seasonal flavors that spark nostalgia.

Sleigh Ride Together With You

  • Steamed Cherry Puddings, Cognac Glaze
  • Spiced Cranberry Clafouti Tart
  • Chocolate Chip Meringue Cloud
  • Warm Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Hot Vanilla Bean Cocoa
  • Mulled Honey Cider

Let It Snow

  • Gingerbread Macarons
  • Santa Hat Strawberry Cheesecake Tarts
  • Snowball Truffles
  • Snowmen Cookies
  • Marshmallow Candy Cane Fudge
  • Seasonal Eggnog

Rothman Cabin

Holly cupcakes


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Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix Joined Spectra Culinary Innovation Summit and Challenge as Guest Speaker and Judge

Our culinary team believes that creativity is an important ingredient in all kitchens! Our new owners, Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, share this philosophy and believe in collaboration which sparked the idea for their first ever Spectra Culinary Innovation Summit. Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix was invited to speak to eleven of Spectra’s All-star executive chefs about his successful career as well as be one of five judges for a culinary challenge.

Only one dish was named the winner by the panel of five judges, Pretzel-crusted Philly Cheesesteak Croquette, but the challenge resulted in eight dishes that will be added to Spectra menus. The new menu items will appear Nationwide in hundreds of Spectra managed stadiums, arenas, convention centers, and catering properties across North America, beginning as early as this fall. There is a strong possibility that these game-changing recipes will be adapted for Brûlée Catering’s events and cafés menus also.

“The Pretzel Crusted Philly Cheesesteak Croquette is the perfect new addition as it can be served at ballparks and arenas, and can be tweaked as a bite-size appetizers on catering menus at special events,” said Spectra’s Scott Swiger, Vice President, Culinary Excellence. “Our chefs from across the country collaborated and created several delicious items that we look forward to adding to our Spectra menus across all of our platforms.”

Pretzel-crusted Philly Cheesesteak Croquettes, the Spectra Culinary winning dish, are plated up in various ways to show the diversity of the new menu item. (Charles Cherney/AP Images for Spectra)

Pretzel-crusted Philly Cheesesteak Croquettes, the Spectra Culinary winning dish, are plated up in various ways to show the diversity of the new menu item. (Charles Cherney/AP Images for Spectra)

The Spectra Culinary Summit on Thursday August 10, 2017, in Rosemont IL (Charles Cherney/AP Images for Spectra)

Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix was a guest speaker addressing the Spectra Chefs at Spectra’s Culinary Innovation Summit.

Chef Lacroix mentoring chefs

Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix participates in the Spectra Culinary Innovation Summit as a judge and mentor alongside (L-R) Spectra ’s Chad Vanderploeg and Christopher Walters. (Charles Cherney/AP Images for Spectra by Comcast Spectacor)

The Spectra Culinary Summit on Thursday August 10, 2017, in Rosemont IL (Charles Cherney/AP Images for Spectra)

Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix poses for a photo with Scott Swiger, Vice President, Culinary Excellence at Spectra during the Culinary Innovation Summit held at US Foods headquarters in Rosemont, Illinois.

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