Friday, 15 September 2017

French Mint Cake

A light dessert that goes perfectly with in season fresh fruit.

4 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
dash of salt
1 cup sugar
2 Mint Chocolate Bars
1 tbsp cocoa
1 cup whipping cream

Beat egg whites to soft peaks.  Add salt, vanilla and tartar.  Gradually add sugar to stiff peaks.  Cover 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Draw a 6 inch circle on each.  Bake at 275F for 1 hour on second to bottom rack.  Turn off heat; dry for 2 hours.

Grate chocolate bars and reserve a little for the top of the cake.  Whip cream.  Add cocoa and grated chocolate.  Spread as icing cake.  Sprinkle rest of chocolate on top.  Refrigerate 6 hours or more; serve. Serves 8.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Almond Cake

This was originally for coconut but I switched the shredded coconut for slivered almonds.  You choose your favourite!

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
3 cups flour
3 eggs
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp lemon extract
1 cup slivered almonds

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs; beat well.  Sift flour with baking powder; add alternately with milk.  Add lemon extract and fold in almonds.  Bake in a large 9 x 13 inch pan.  This is not a high cake.  Bake at 350 F until a tester comes out clean and cake leaves sides of pan  30 minutes.  I prefer this without icing but you could put a butter icing on it if you wish.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Butter Cake

A Danish recipe I found.  It is simple and delicious.

3 1/3 cup flour
50 g yeast
1 cup milk, luke warm
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp butter

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter

Knead and place in large cake pan.  Spread out to fill pan.  Let rise for 1/2 to 3/4 hour.

Filling:  When dough has risen, punch down and spread filling over surface.  Bake 1/2 to 3/4 hour at 375 F.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Almond Meringue Cake

I used almonds but you could change those to walnuts, pecans or cashews depending on what is in your pantry  This is light and flavourful and is best made the night before and chilling.  Based on a recipe from Food and Drink Magazine Holiday 2015.

3 tbsp plus 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup roasted, unsalted almonds - I roast my own 300 F for 15 to 20 minutes
3/4 cup egg whites (about 6)

1 3/4 cups whipping cream
1 tsp instant espresso powder (or cappuccino)
2 tbsp roasted unsalted almonds chopped

  • Centre the rack in the oven and preheat to 300F.  Lightly grease the sides of three 8 inch cake pans.  Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.  
  • Place the 3 tbsp of granulated sugar, the icing sugar and almonds in a food processor.  Pulse 8 to 10 times or just until the nuts are coarsely chopped.
  • Place the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer.  Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until frothy.  Add the remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar in a slow steady stream and continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy and the sugar has dissolved.  Test with your finger tips, you shouldn’t feel any sugar granules.  Continue beating, if necessary, in order to fully dissolve the sugar.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and add about half the nut mixture.  Fold in with a rubber spatula just until incorporated.  Repeat with remaining nut mixture.
  • Divide the meringue evenly among the pans and smooth the tops.  Bake for 1 hour, turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven for 1 more hour.  Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.  The meringues can be made 2 days ahead and stored in an air tight container, at room temperature.
  • For the mocha cream, place the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer and place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.  Remove from freezer and add the instant espresso powder and the icing sugar.  Using the whisk attachment, beat the cream to stiff peaks.
  • Place 1 meringue layer on a cake plate and top with about 3/4 cup of the whipped mocha cream, spreading it evenly right to the edges.  Repeat with the second meringue layer, move cream and the third meringue layer.
  • Mound cream over top. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours before serving.
Serves 10 to 12

Monday, 4 September 2017

Stove Top Potato Confit

Potatoes are always a crowd pleaser at my house and this is a good basic recipe for making them

1/2 cup chicken stock
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1.5 kg fingerling or mini potatoes
Salt and Freshly ground pepper
1 large head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
Leaves from a small bunch sage

  • In a large skillet (I use cast iron) stir together stock, lemon juice and oil.  Add potatoes to pan; season generously with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Reduce to low and cover with foil and leave undisturbed for 10 minutes.  Give the potatoes a stir, cover again and leave for another 10 minutes.  Remove foil.
  • Increase heat to medium low, add garlic and sage to pan and give it all a stir.  Cook an additional 20 minutes, stirring 3 or 4 times, or until potatoes and garlic are very tender and golden.  Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.  Keep warm until serving.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Couscous Stuffed Boneless Turkey Saddle and Tart Cherry Gravy

Another fabulous recipe from Food and Drink Magazine. A wonderful dinner for a small group this Thanksgiving. If you are hosting a larger group at least try the Cherry Gravy, it is a winner!

1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter or duck fat, divided 1 cup (250 mL) quick couscous

1 cup quick couscous
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) dried sour cherries
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) shelled, toasted pistachios
1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) ground allspice
1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon
1 onion, chopped
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) chopped parsley
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 boneless, skin-on turkey saddle, 4 to 5 lbs (2 to 2.5 kg)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp (30 mL) melted butter, or duck fat at room temperature 3 tsp (15 mL) chopped thyme, divided
2 tbsp (30 mL) flour
2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) tart cherry juice
1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) ground allspice

1 For the stuffing, combine chicken stock and 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter or duck fat in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, remove from heat, and stir in couscous and cherries. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, add pistachios, allspice and cinnamon and give it a stir.

2 In a small skillet, heat remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter or duck fat over medium heat; add onion and fry until golden, about 7 minutes. Add onions, parsley and thyme to couscous mixture and stir to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper.

3 Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).

4 Cut 8 pieces of twine, each about 12 inches (30 cm) long. Working on a large cutting board, arrange them parallel to each other, with about 1 inch (2.5 cm) between each. Open turkey like a book, and place in centre of twine with centre seam perpendicular to twine; season flesh with salt and pepper. Spoon stuffing into length of seam. Beginning with a piece of twine nearest the centre, gather both ends together to enclose stuffing; tie and repeat with remaining twine to form a torpedo-shaped roast. Trim excess twine and place on a rack over a small roasting pan or baking sheet. Brush with butter or duck fat, sprinkle with 2 tsp (10 mL) thyme; season with salt and pepper.

5 Roast for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F (180°C) and cook for another 18 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature reaches 165°F (73°C). Remove turkey and rack to a board and tent with foil while finishing gravy.

6 Place baking pan over medium heat on stovetop. Sprinkle flour over drippings and stir until a smooth paste forms. Pour chicken stock into pan (if using a baking sheet, scrape paste into a small pot before proceeding) and whisk until smooth; bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken and concentrate flavour. Stir in cherry juice, allspice and remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) thyme. Season to taste.

7 Carve turkey into slices and serve with gravy. Serves 8

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Asparagus with Mustard Vinaigrette

Wonderful springtime flavours, just don’t over cook the asparagus!

500 g fresh asparagus, trimmed
1/4 small onion, very finely chopped
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups baby greens
1/4 cup toasted almonds

  1. Steam asparagus until crisp-tender.  Drain and pat dry with paper towels.  Set aside
  2. Combine onion, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.  Gradually whisk in oil
  3. Divide salad mix on plates.  Arrange asparagus on top and drizzle vinaigrette.  Sprinkle with nuts.