The Firefall Cocktail at The Ahwahnee Bar

The Firefall Cocktail served at The Ahwahnee Bar

The Firefall Cocktail served at The Ahwahnee Bar

For a few weeks each year in February, if the water is flowing in Horsetail Fall, photographers and park visitors gather at sunset for an amazing natural display.  The ‘natural firefall’ appears when the angle of the winter sun strikes the flowing water of the waterfall at sunset, making it appear to glow with reds and oranges, like fire cascading down the cliffs on the shoulder of El Capitan. This natural phenomenon is referred to as a ‘firefall’ in Yosemite due to the fact that an actual fire fall occurred in the park every summer when a bonfire built on top of Glacier Point was pushed over the edge to create a spectacular light show for the park visitors below at Curry Village in Yosemite Valley. Though the actual Yosemite Firefall was discontinued in 1968, park visitors can still witness the same type of breathtaking display at Horsetail Fall. Celebrate Yosemite’s Firefall in all its forms with this cocktail at The Ahwahnee Bar – sure to warm you up on a winter’s evening!

1/2 shot tequila (we prefer Sauza Gold)
1/2 shot Creme de Cocoa Brown (we prefer DeKuyper)
2 Tablespoons Firefall Hot Chocolate Mix, see recipe below

2 Cups Nestle Hot Chocolate Powder
1 Tablespoon pasilla chili powder
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Pour tequila and Creme de Cocoa Brown into an Irish Coffee Mug
Add the Firefall Hot Chocolate Mix
Add boiling water and stir well
Top with whipped creme
Sprinkle whipped creme with pasilla chili and cinnamon

Horsetail Fall at sunset on February 13, 2014. Photo by Chris Falkenstein.

Horsetail Fall at sunset on February 13, 2014. Photo by Chris Falkenstein.

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Double Chocolate Bread Pudding from The Ahwahnee

Photo by Brett Archer

Photo by Brett Archer

This dessert from Chef Paul Padua is one of the most popular on The Ahwahnee’s Dining Room menu.

Double Chocolate Bread Pudding from The Ahwahnee Dining Room

Ingredients:
1 quart heavy whipping cream
2 pieces vanilla beans pod (split and scraped)
8 ounces granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
7 pieces egg yolk
2 pieces large croissants (baked and sliced crosswise)
2 ounces milk chocolate chips
2 ounces dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1.In a stainless mixing bowl, incorporate the egg yolk, ground cinnamon, sugar and a cup of heavy whipping cream
2.Split and scrape the seed of the vanilla pods
3.Place pods and beans in a sauce pot and the remaining heavy whipping cream and bring to a boil
4.Pour the hot cream into the egg mixture and stir
5.Arrange half of the croissant slices in a baking dish
6.Sprinkle half of the milk and dark chocolate chips over the croissants
7.Pour half of the hot custard mixture over the croissants to soak.
8.Repeat the layers
9.Bake at 320 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes