Friday, July 31, 2015

Foodie Friday: Boston Cream Pie

How funny is it that I found this recipe for an all-American dessert on a British website?!?

MAKES 1 X 20cm-23CM (8IN-9IN) CAKE

4 medium egg yolks
100g (3½ oz) golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
25g (1oz) cornflour
500ml (18fl oz) whole milk

150g (5oz) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
150ml (5fl oz) whole milk
30g (1¼ oz) unsalted butter diced
2 medium eggs plus 2 egg yolks extra
200g (7oz) golden caster sugar

100g (3½ oz) dark chocolate about 70 per cent cocoa solids
100ml (3½ fl oz) double cream

KITCHEN KIT Select a loose-bottom cake tin 20cm (8in) across and about 7cm (2¾ in) deep; alternatively, use a 23cm (9in) tin for a shallower cake.

FILLING Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl, then whisk in the cornflour. In a medium pan, bring the milk to the boil, whisk it on to the egg mixture, then return this to the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly (use a mini sauce whisk if you wish), to give a thick, smooth custard. Pour through a sieve into a large bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to cool.
SPONGE Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Place the milk and butter in a small pan and heat until the butter melts. Whisk the eggs, extra yolks and sugar in a large bowl for 5 minutes using an electric whisk until thick, moussey and almost white. Fold in the flour mixture in three goes, then gradually whisk in the buttery milk, again in three goes, to give a smooth batter. Pour into the cake tin. Bake until the surface is set and spongy, about 35-40 minutes for a 20cm (8in) cake, 25-30 minutes for a shallower one. Leave to cool in the tin, then run a knife around the collar and remove it.

GLAZE Break up the dark chocolate and place in a small bowl. Bring the cream to the boil in a small pan and pour over the chocolate. Leave for 2 minutes, stir, then leave and stir again until combined into a smooth glaze.

TO FINISH Split the sponge in half horizontally. Stir the custard, then spread it over the bottom half of the sponge to within 1cm (½ in) of the rim. Sit the remaining half on top. Using a palette knife, smooth the glaze over the top, letting it trickle down the sides. Set the cake to one side in a cool place for a couple of hours to set. It will keep well loosely covered in the fridge for a couple of days, in which case remove 30 minutes before eating.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Happy National Cheesecake Day!

In honor of the "holiday", here is a bonus recipe for the week!

Cheesecake Egg Rolls


12 egg roll wrappers
2 blocks (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Nonstick baking spray


Preheat oven to 425. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.
Wet the edges of an egg roll wrapper with water. Spread cream cheese mixture in the middle and fold according to egg roll wrapper directions.
Place egg roll on prepared baking sheet. Spray with nonstick spray and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until dark golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Excellent with chocolate or caramel sauce for dipping!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Foodie Friday: Tempura Green Beans with Mushroom Salt and Shallot Dip

Anybody who knows me, knows that I *LOVE* fried foods. Having discovered the joys of fried green beans a few years ago, finding this made me very happy!

Tempura Green Beans With Mushroom Salt And Shallot Dip
When you get right down to it, very few people actually really and truly want a green bean casserole. Lacy fried green beans with an addictive shallot dip? That’s another story, and a great way to use up any leftover beans.


2 shallots, 1 coarsely chopped, 1 thinly sliced into rings
4 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
Kosher salt
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup vegetable oil

Mushroom Salt And Assembly
3 tablespoons porcini powder, divided
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Vegetable oil (for frying; about 6 cups)
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chilled club soda
8 ounces green beans, trimmed


Place chopped shallot, scallions, and vinegar in a food processor and season with salt. Process until finely chopped; transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk in mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, and chives; season dip with salt and pepper.
Cook oil and shallot rings in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until shallots are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to paper towels to drain; season with salt. Set aside for serving.

Do Ahead: Dip (without crispy shallots) can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Mushroom Salt
Mix salt and 1 Tbsp. porcini powder in a small bowl; set mushroom salt aside.
Fit a large pot with thermometer; pour in oil to measure 2". Heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 375°.
Meanwhile, whisk cornstarch, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, kosher salt, and remaining 2 Tbsp. mushroom powder in a small bowl. Add club soda; whisk until batter is smooth.
Working in batches, dip green beans in batter, letting excess drip back into bowl, and fry, stirring gently with a slotted spoon if green beans stick together, until golden, about 3 minutes per batch. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with mushroom salt.
Top dip with crispy shallots and serve alongside green beans.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Foodie Friday: Chez Panisse Almond Torte

I may have this for my birthday cake this year!

Almond Torte

Source: Chez Panisse Desserts

Author Lindsey Shere’s notes: Serve this torte with a cup of coffee or tea or a glass of Sherry, or better, an Italian Aleatico or Passito. It is also good with sliced peaches or nectarines and crème anglaise.

1¼ cups sugar
⅞ cup (7 oz./200g) soft almond paste*
1 cup (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract (optional)
6 eggs
1 cup (4.5 oz/130g) flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt

powdered sugar for dusting

*First of all, be sure to buy almond paste versus marzipan, which are often placed next to each other in the baking aisle. Second, the recipe in Chez Panisse Desserts calls for 8oz of almond paste, but we have always just used one of those tubes that usually weighs 7oz. If you don’t have a scale and can’t find a 7-oz tube of almond paste, measure out the 7/8 cup, but don’t pack it too tightly.

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Beat the sugar with the almond paste until the almond paste is in fine pieces. Or, better, pulverize it in a food processor. Beat in the butter and the vanilla, then cream the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the whole eggs, one at a time — the eggs should be at room temperature — beating well after each addition so the eggs are thoroughly mixed in.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt, and beat in just until thoroughly blended.

3. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and turn the batter into it, smoothing the top evenly. Bake for 1 to 1¼ hours (mine baked for 1¼ hours) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the center feels springy when you push it gently.

4. Let cool for about 20 minutes before releasing the sides of the springform pan.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Another Wild Weekend At My House

A wild Saturday night at my house:

Decide that I need to do something besides eat junk & fool around online.

Make an attempt at tackling clean laundry mountain. Start by pulling out as much of the socks & underwear as I can find.

Realize that I can open my own shop with the amount of stuff hidden in the laundry.

Start trying to match socks. Give up on trying to find actual mates to black & white socks, settle for pairing them up by reasonably matching shade & length.

Wonder where the hell all the mates to my purple socks are?!?

Get frustrated with socks and start on the underwear instead.

Wonder why I own so many pairs of knickers when I only have 1 (admittedly large) butt.

In an unexpected burst of clarity, finally figure out the correct way to fold aforementioned knickers. Immediately dump the ones already in the drawer and refold to match the rest.

Feeling accomplished, I tackle the bra drawer. Throw away 3 bras that are so old that the label has faded away.

Renewed, I tackle the socks again. After matching everything possible, I still have half a basket of mateless socks. Hope that the rest are still in the mountain and will be found as I excavate.

Decide that I deserve a break and start reading.
3 hours later, realize I am hungry. Have given up on High Rise for the night and read a graphic novel & a memoir by Issa Rae. Decide that earns me a snack.

Sit down to eat & watch another comedy DVD. Then the rolling thunder started. Fetched the idiot cat inside, huddled on the couch with her while thunder LITERALLY shook my house. Then my phone alerts kicked in to tell me that we were under flood warning. Yay. Shady lost her mind and squalled for 90 minutes as the thunder continued and the rain threatened to was us away.

Things finally died down enough to let me get to sleep around 10 a.m. I'd forgotten to take my melatonin earlier, so it was hard to drop off and I didn't sleep well.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Ooops, I Did It Again

I checked the Chaotic Goddesses page and found another exchange to join. They're not the sponsors of this one, but I think it's cool that they let their followers know about other programs running. I hope I get accepted into this one- I found it at the very last minute, so the registration may have closed- because I *LOVE* Etsy!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Foodie Friday: lettuce-wrap-gyros-with-chicken-and-green-tzatziki

Here is a light, summery dish from Rachael Ray. She may be annoying to listen to sometimes, but I have to admit I've tried quite a few of her dishes and liked them all, so far!


2 lemons, juiced, juice divided
3 cloves garlic, grated or pasted
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided (about 1/3 cup each for marinade and chimichurri)
1 teaspoon sumac or 1/2 teaspoon each sweet paprika and sweet smoked paprika, combined
1 teaspoon dried oregano (about 1/3 palmful)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or sustainable firm white fish
Salt and pepper
1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, shredded
1 cup Greek-style yogurt
1 cup fresh herb blend: flat leaf parsley leaves, mint and dill
2 large romaine hearts, leaves separated into 4 portions
Garnishes: chopped pepperoncini and tomatoes


Combine half the lemon juice with 2 cloves grated garlic, about 1/3 cup EVOO, the sumac (or paprika mix), oregano, coriander and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Season the chicken or fish with salt and pepper, then let stand in the marinade for 15 minutes.

Salt the cucumber in a colander; let rest for 10 minutes. Press out the excess liquid. In a food processor, combine the cucumber, yogurt, remaining lemon juice, 1 clove grated garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin and fresh herbs. Puree, then season the tzatziki.

Heat a skillet or griddle pan over medium-high heat. Shake excess marinade off the chicken or fish and place in the skillet; cook, flipping once halfway through, for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Slice the chicken on an angle or flake the fish.

Serve the chicken or fish with lettuce for wrapping. Top with some tzatziki, pepperoncini and tomatoes.

Serves 4