SCOOP/EAT: Orangeburg, SC by Four Moons Chef Charles Zeran and Pastry Chef Colleen Zeran

Four Moons restaurant Chef Charles Zeran and Pastry Chef Colleen Zeran share some of what they love in Orangeburg, SC, as well as their version of one of the South’s most talked about treats, RC Cola and a Moon Pie:

ART: Leo Twiggs’ paintings are done in a unique, innovative batik technique that he developed after several years of experimenting with the traditional medium. He has had over 60 one-man shows and his work has received international recognition, with exhibits at the Studio Museum and the American Crafts Museum in New York and in U. S. Embassies in Rome, Dakar and Togoland among others. His work has been widely published in art textbooks and featured in several television documentaries. In 2002, he was selected to design an ornament for the White House Christmas tree. (source)

A native of St. Stephen, Twiggs received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Claflin University and later studied at the Arts Institute of Chicago. He earned a masters degree from New York University, where he studied under famed black painter and muralist Hale Woodruff. Twiggs was the first black individual to receive a doctorate in art education from the University of Georgia. At South Carolina State University, together with then-president Dr. M. Maceo Nance, Twiggs developed the Stanback Museum and established the university’s first art department. The Stanback Museum has one of the largest exhibit spaces among Historically Black Colleges and Universities and is the only museum connected to a facility.

ROSES: If you enjoy the sight and scent of thousands of roses, grab a picnic lunch from Four Moons and head over to Edisto Memorial Gardens. The site is also host to the annual Festival of Roses each spring. While at the park, you can stroll the boardwalk that takes you through the Horne Wetlands Park adjacent to the banks of the Edisto River. The Edisto is a nationally recognized pristine black water river that flows from the midlands of SC to the Atlantic.

MUSEUM: The Stanback Museum at SC State University is a highly respected museum with a great space for exhibitions of the works of nationally recognized artists. The planetarium features seasonal shows and programs about night skies that can be seen in the Orangeburg area. The museum also features films from the Southern Circuit Film Series, a tour of independent films from independent filmmakers. Currently on exhibit, Journey from Africa to Gullah.

FOUR MOONS “MOON PIES”

CHOCOLATE CAKE
1 cup butter, softened
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder, euro dark
2 tsp. baking powder
½ Tbsp. baking soda
2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. salt
3 eggs, large
2 cups hot water

Combine softened butter and sugar together in mixing bowl with paddle attachment. Cream until light yellow and slowly add eggs, scraping well. Alternate the dry ingredients with the water until well combined. Line sheet or two half sheet pans with parchment, pour mixture evenly and bake at 350 until tester comes out clean in center.

GRAHAM CRACKERS
8 oz. whole wheat flour
4 oz. all purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. cold water
2 oz. unsalted butter, softened
3 ½ oz. sugar
4 ¾ oz. honey
1 ½ oz. dark molasses
1 egg, large

Combine wheat flour, all purpose flour and salt, set aside. Cream together butter and sugar until light and pale in color. Add the honey and molasses and the egg, scrape well. In small bowl combine water and baking soda. Then add to creamed mixture. Add half of the dry ingredients until combined then add the remaining. Form dough into a disk and refrigerate overnight. Roll out dough into 1/8” thick and place on parchment lined sheet pans. Bake at 325 until lightly golden brown.

VANILLA BANANA FILLING
2 cups mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup sugar
Vanilla Bean, scraped
3 ripe bananas
Banana Liqueur to taste

In mixing bowl with whip attachment mix all ingredients together until well combined and thickened.

ASSEMBLY
Place one layer of chocolate cake on work surface. Take one pan of graham cracker and brush with banana liqueur place this side towards chocolate cake. Brush the top of the graham cracker with more banana liqueur. Press the two layers firmly together. Spread the vanilla banana filling evenly over the graham layer. Continue with another layer of graham brushed with banana liqueur and top with chocolate cake. Wrap tightly and place it freezer until almost frozen, then cut into a moon shape.

Melt equal parts bittersweet chocolate and cocoa butter and place in a Wagner paint sprayer. (Or if you prefer to use your paint sprayer for paint, you can arrange the Moon Pies on a wire rack set into a parchment lined sheet pan and pour the chocolate coating over the Moon Pies). Coat moon pie evenly and allow to dry before coating with gold dust.

TO SERVE
To make the RC Cola Float: Using a small glass (juice sized glass), add a spoonful of rich vanilla ice cream to the glass and pour RC Cola over it. Set glass on a plate dusted with Cocoa powder. Place the Moon Pie adjacent to it and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and sprig of mint or seasonal flower.

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