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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Finally the recipe!

Choclate Lavendar Cake

So this picture above is the chocolate version of the cake, but I liked the lemon one better so here is the low down.

Lemon Lavender Cake

1 cup butter
1 3/4 cup white sugar
6 eggs whites
1/4 tsp lemon extract
3 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp lavender flowers (you can get them in loose tea form at Whole Foods or Health Nuts)
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Soak the lavender flowers in the buttermilk over night. Pour through a mesh sieve to get the flowers out.

Sift your flour with the salt and leavening. Sift it. I mean it. It really helps. Also, make sure to let your eggs and butter come to room temp. It's important!

Cream your butters and sugars together. Add in the flavorings. Add the flour and buttermilk in alternating thirds.

Beat the piss out of the egg white until they are glossy and fold them in to batter. Pour batter into 2 floured 9" cake rounds and bake in a pre-heated oven at 325 for about 35 mins.

Lemon Filling
I cribed this from Martha

6 large egg yolks
zest of 2 lemons
juice of about 4 or 1/2 cup
12 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter cold and cubed

Get an ice bath ready with a bowl. Whisk together yolks, zest and juice and sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat and stir constantly. Cook until think enough to coat the back of a spoon. Like a hot lady.

Remove from heat and add the butter in piece by piece. Letting each one melt. Pour through a mesh sieve in to the bowl in the ice bath.

Place a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd so it won't form a skin and chill at least 1 hour.

1 lb butter
5-7 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp lavender

Let the lavender soak in the milk over night.

Bring the butter to room temperature and beat until fluffy. Add in the vanilla and milk. Sift in the sugar until you get a nice icing consistency.

Once the cake layers are fully cooled, cut them each in half and assemble that bitch!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lavender and Lemon Birthday Cake

Lavender and Lemon Birthday Cake

It was a steamy weekend, perfect for baking right? RIGHT. A fancy cake for a fancy man. And a great excuse to dry run an experimental recipe. A cake made with the herb lavender. I've long wanted to try baking with this relaxing and fragrant flower. I adapted my buttermilk cake recipe and stepped the milk overnight with the flowers to get the aromatic taste in with out being overwhelming. I filled the layers with a lemon curd and infused the frosting with lavender as well. I will be reprising this cake for Kelly's birthday and perfecting the recipe. I will post it then!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Candy for Mother's Day

Xmas Candy

Candies all wrapped up

A friend of mine asked me for some candy recipes that I used over the holidays and I realized that I had never done my Christmas candy blog post. I'm a terrible blogger. Just awful. Why on earth would any one come to such a woefully lapsed blog any way.

Whatever. Here's some just effing awesome candy recipes that are sure to get your Mom all fired up for Mothers Day. Or at least make her feel appreciated for, you know, bring you life, or something like that.

Sea Salt Caramels

if your mother is a salty dog, she'll love these!
1 cup heavy cream
5 tblsp UNsalted butter (very important here otherwise you will go insane, like drinking salt water)
2 tblsp sea salt or fleur de sel
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup (this is not the devil high fructose corn syrup and can't really be substituted in candies. It helps the whole thing hold together)
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (REAL, people)

You will need a candy thermometer for this. There's no bones about it.

Simmer cream, butter, salt and vanilla in a small sauce pan.

Put the sugar and water in a large sauce pan over high heat, stirring constantly until it's dissolved. STOP stirring, swirl the whole pan and bring it all to a boil rising to 240-248 on the candy thermometer.

Carefully and slowly stream in the cream. Simmer and stir frequently and lower the heat maintaining a temp of no higher than 250 for at least 15 mins or until you get the consistency you want. Drop a little into ice cold water to test.

Pour into an 8x10 butter pan and cool. Once it's almost totally set but not quite, sprinkle some large salt crystals on the top. Cool all the way. Cut and wrap each in wax paper for the best keep.

Bacon Peanut Brittle

Unless your Mom is a crazy vegan, she will love this. Everyone did. Except vegans and some other religious folks who don't worship at the alter of the smoked pig. Crazy folks right?

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup (again, you can't make this without it)
4 tblsp butter or try subbing in bacon grease for that extra kick on bacony flavor
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
1 lb of cooked bacon, chopped

Combine the sugars and corn syrup over high heat, stirring until dissolved, then stop stirring and swirl the pan if needed, bringing the temp up to 290-300.

Quickly stir in the flavors and baking soda.

Add peanuts and bacon, remove from heat.

Spread very fast on thin grease baking sheets and cool 15-20 until it's hardened. Then have fun breaking off big sweet greasy chucks of candy awesomeness.

Port wine and Hazel nut truffles

if you have an entire Sunday to kill making these for your mom, do it. But she'll never appreciate the tedium that goes into making homemade truffles

10 oz bittersweet chocolate
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate for the coating
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tblsp unsalted butter
1 tblsp light corn syrup
1/4 ruby port wine - you can swap this for brandy
1/2 cup roasted and chopped hazel nuts - you can swap this for cocoa powder, shredded coconut or other nut of your fancy

You really need a melon baller to do these right. I didn't think so, but trust me, you really, really do.

In a double boiler, or my version of one, a glass bowl over a pot of simmer water, combine 10 oz bittersweet chocolate with the butter and heat until lightly melted and the butter just combines. It should still be chunky, but stir it so the butter combines. If you heat it too much it will separate when you add the hot cream. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat the cream and corn syrup over medium heat until simmering. Pour this over the just melted chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Gently stir the mixture in concentric circles inside to out until the chocolate is melted into the cream and well combined. Slowly stream in the wine and stir thoroughly. Pour the mixture into a 8x8 (should be at least an 1 1/2 inches high for best scooping). And refrigerate for at least an hour.

Using your handing melon baller, you thought it was good for nothing since who the hell balls melon now a days any way, scoop out the balls (heh, she said balls) on to a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper and put back in the fridge for 30 more mins. They are going to be dipped in hot chocolate so they need to be cold.

In your double boiler, heat up the 8 oz of semi sweet slowly and stirring until melted. Check the temp and never let it get over 92 degrees or it won't have that crunch when you bite into it. It will still taste totally awesome though, just don't get it too hot. You may even want to remove the heat and just use the hot water for this step.

Get you bowl full of chopped nuts ready, because you are going to put your balls in it! Take an ice cream scoop and load it up with melted chocolate , drop a cold ball in it and roll until coated (10 - 15 seconds to set), quickly roll in the nuts (same 10 - 15 seconds to set) and then set to cool on another sheet of fresh wax paper to cool. Let them cool in a cool dry place for at least an hour before wrapping or moving them to boxes!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

D, D&D the second



For the second installment of Dinner Dungeons and Dragons, we cooked up a bigass piece of pork loin. Rubbed in an aromatic blend of brown sugar, hot smoked paprika, oregano and other spices, then slow roasted for a couple of hours. Served with Brady's fantastic Mac n' Cheese and stewed collards on the side. It was good accompaniment to the ensuing silly battles and cat calling!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

D D&D the first installment

Brady prepping the meat grinder.

Grinderman in action.

Finished product!

Eric, hiding his shame.

The next morning!

A few weeks ago, Brady and I were perusing the piles of piles of junk at our favorite thrift shop, Green Village where we came across this most excellent meat grinder. For only $10 to boot! Of course we had to get it. And with our first installment of the soon to be regular feature of Dinner Dungeons and Dragons! (D D&D)

Eric brought over some venison and we combined it with spices like toasted fennel and coriander. We added in rich pork belly to add fat to the very lean venison. Then ground it all up to make sausage patties. Served it up with red cabbage coleslaw and fried polenta topped off with a bruschetta. It was a tasty way to start out the game. We all noshed on Dunkaroos supplied by "Finn" (Jisuk) as we moved on to character generation.

The next morning we made country gravy with the left over sausage. Poured over homemade biscuits, it was a brunch be fitting a hunter, but instead was consumed by two hung over Brooklynites.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Catch up!

Ronnie looking crazy!

Lamb Chops with Pomegranate Glaze, asparagus and mashed sweet potatoes.

The rack right out of the oven!

Tuna steaks with Wasabi Cream and Soy Ginger Carrots

Roasted pork loin stuffed with fennel, pears and herbs with Brussels Sprouts with bacon.

Roasted baby pepper stuffed with herbed goat cheese.

So obviously Ronnie and I have been really busy lately! We've got recipes to come but for now, just enjoy these lush photos from the last 2 months of the food we've been cooking.