Strawberry Cake

 

I want something that I can make in pieces, and then assemble when company comes.

SO: Vanilla cupcakes, custard, strawberry compote, and whipping cream.

To serve: Slice the vanilla cupcake in half, add a dollop of custard and a dollop of strawberry compote. Replace the top of the cupcake. Top with whipping cream. Serve with meringue crumble.

NOTE: These ingredients can also be arranged in a trifle. Find a tall container. Layer first cake, then compote, then custard, then cream. Alternate attractively. Serve.

Custard Recipe (makes 3 cups):

4 large egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
pinch salt
2 c milk
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Whisk egg yolks until smooth in large bowl. Combine sugar, corn starch, and salt in medium saucepan and heat on medium heat. Stir constantly, adding milk gradually in a slow, steady stream. Cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 min.
  2. Whisking constantly, slowly pour 1/3 of the milk mixture into the egg yolks (this is called tempering, which keeps the yolks from curdling). Pour remaining milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to full boil and is thick enough to hold its shape when lifted with a spoon, 2 to 4 min. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.
  3. Strain mixture through fine sieve into heatproof bowl. Cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours, up to 2 days.

Vanilla Cake Recipe:

Ingredients:

1.5 c all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp room temperature butter
1 1/8 c sugar
2 eggs
2/3 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Mix butter and sugar on high in kitchenaid until fluffy.

2. Add eggs. Blend on high until fluffy.

3. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt. Blend on low until fluffy.

4. Add buttermilk and vanilla extract. Blend on low until fluffy.

5. Add flour. Blend on low until cohesive dough forms.

6. Bake 350 degrees for 25 min.

7. Remove from pan, let cool.

Strawberry Compote:

1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
2 quarts strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced (a few whole berries reserved for garnish)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 c sugar

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, cranberry juice, 2 cups strawberries, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. Using a potato masher, gently mash strawberries.
  3. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until very thick, about 1 minute.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  5. Stir in remaining strawberries.
  6. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours (or up to 1 day).

Whipping Cream:

2 c heavy cream
1/4 c confectioner’s sugar, sifted

  1. Whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form.
  2. Add sugar, whisk until combined.
  3. If not being used immediately, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 hours in airtight container.

Meringues:

2 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
dash salt
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 200F.
  2. In large bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt.
  3. Beat until soft peaks form, THEN gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Add vanilla extract at the end.
  4. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, shiny side up. Drop the meringue by large teaspoonfuls.
  5. Bake 1.5 hours. THEN turn off the heat and leave the meringues in the oven until they are completely cool, 3 hours or more (best done overnight..).
  6. Store in airtight container to keep crisp.

 

French Pot de Creme

Amended from Martha Stewart Recipe

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups half-and-half
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (10 pieces Ghirardelli dark 60% cacao squares)
1/4 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghirardelli cocoa powder)
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp Godiva chocolate liqueur (optional)
2 tbsp Disaronno amaretto liqueur (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bring half-and-half just to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, stir together yolks, vanilla, cocoa, salt, and liqueur if desired. With a fork, stir chocolate mixture until smooth, then gradually stir into yolk mixture. Pour through a fine sieve into a glass measuring cup.

Place 4 custard cups or ramekins (3 to 4 ounces each) in a shallow roasting pan, and divide chocolate mixture among them. Pour hot water into the pan so it reaches halfway up the sides of cups.

Bake until custards are almost set in centers, about 30 minutes (custards will firm as they cool). Carefully remove cups from hot-water bath; let cool slightly.

Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate. Just before serving, dollop with vanilla ice cream, blueberry compote, and strawberry compote if desired.

NOTE: I think I might have made this wrong. There was a little chocolate film/shell covering (maybe like a pudding skin?) on the top of the pot de creme. I don’t think Martha Stewart intended this. Or whatever, maybe she did. I don’t know. ANYWAY, I’m writing to say, don’t mess about trying to avoid this by adding cling film to the top of the ramekin to prevent the skin from forming or whatever. The chocolate skin is AWESOME, tastes DELICIOUS, and looks quite cool. Future amendment: Add more liquor to the recipe. Maybe a shot or two of whisky would be good? Something good, like Maker’s Mark? Yum yum. Definitely this should be added to the family rotation of recipes. Any any type of company recipe. It’s super easy and looks super impressive. It can be made ahead like three days, so you can spread out your company cooking. And it stores in easy to store ramekins (the corning ware ones with lids are the best – find them on Amazon!)

One Yolk Caramel Custard

A lot of people throw out the egg yolk. What a waste. You can also freeze it to use it later. I didn’t want to bother since I forget about the yolk when it’s time to use it again.

Instead, make a one yolk caramel custard. Serves one.

ONE YOLK CARAMEL CUSTARD

Prep Time: 12 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Ready Time: 52 min
Servings: 1

INGREDIENTS:

one egg yolk
two tablespoons of sugar
one cup of reduced fat milk (you can use heavy cream but trust me this works just perfect)

DIRECTIONS:

Get a small sauce pan on medium heat and put in your sugar to start to caramelize. (This is called dry caramelizing sugar).

At the same time microwave or heat up the milk to just before boiling.

Once the sugar has a nice amber color to it add the hot milk and start whisking until it is nicely dissolved and a perfect cafe creme color.

Now beat your egg yolk and slowly add in a little bit of the milk whisking while your doing it add a little more at a time until you have the entire mixture in. (This is called tempering).

Get out your ramekin. Pour in the mixture until almost to the top and place them on a pan that has sides high enough to pour water in to at least a 1/3 of the way up. Now cover with foil to prevent a skin forming and into a 300 degree oven for 30-40 min. Check around 20 min the sides should be firm and the center a little wobbly that is when you know they are done.

Take out let cool to room temp before chilling. Serve with a little whip cream and chocolate shavings or some nice mint or basil.

Baker’s Nanaimo Bars

INGREDIENTS:

6 oz. Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. butter, softened, divided
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups Honey Maid Graham Crumbs
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp. Bird’s Custard Powder
3 Tbsp. milk
2 cups confectioner’s sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 350°F.

Microwave 2 oz. chocolate and 1/2 cup butter in large microwaveable bowl on MEDIUM 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Blend in egg and vanilla. Stir in graham crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press onto bottom of 9-inch square pan. Bake 8 min.; cool completely.

Mix custard powder and milk in medium bowl with whisk until blended. Add 1/4 cup of the remaining butter; mix well. Gradually beat in sugar until blended. Spread onto crust. Refrigerate 15 min.

Microwave remaining chocolate and butter in microwaveable bowl 2 to 3 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Spread over custard layer. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled before cutting into bars.

TIPS

MAKE IT EASY
For easy removal of dessert from pan before cutting into bars, line empty pan with foil or parchment paper, with ends of foil extending over sides. Then, use the foil handles to remove chilled dessert from pan before cutting into bars.

MOCHA NANAIMO BARS
Blend 3 Tbsp. coffee-flavoured liqueur with 2 tsp. Maxwell House Coffee granules. Substitute this for the 3 Tbsp. milk used to prepare custard layer.

RED OR GREEN NANAIMO BARS
Prepare as directed, adding 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract and a few drops green or red food coloring to filling with butter.

Chocolate Custard Pie

1 pint milk

4 tbsp sugar

3 eggs

pinch salt

2 tbsp cocoa or 1 square chocolate

1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Beat yolks of eggs. Add sugar and salt.

Wet cocoa with half a cup of warm milk and stir into the yolks. Flavor.

Line a deep pie plate with rich pie crust, pinching a little edge around the plate. Pour in the mixture and bake until it rises.

Beat the whites to a stiff froth, add  tsp sugar, spread over the pie and brown in hot oven.

Custard Pie

1 pint milk

3 eggs

4 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Line a deep plate wth pie crust, rolling it large enough to pinch up a little edge around the plate.

Beat the eggs thoroughly, add sugar and salt, beat again.

Add milk and stir well.

Pour into the plate.

Bake until it rises, bring sure to remove from the oven before it wheys.

Grate over the top a little nutmeg.

The quality of the pie depends largely on the baking.

Coconut Flan (Puerto RIcan Recipe)

This is the solid gold standard of flan recipes.

From: http://www.elboricua.com/flan.html

Ingredients:

6 eggs
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 15 oz can coconut milk
1.5 c whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. On cookie sheet in water bath, place ramekins. Place 1 tsp sugar in each ramekin. Heat until it becomes a light brown. Take out of oven. Make sure it doesn’t burn. This is not an exact science.

3. Mix eggs. Add other ingredients. Do not overmix.

4. Pour flan mixture into caramelized molds from above. Cover with foil.

5. Place the foil covered ramekins in the water bath in the oven. Bake for 60-90 min until done. Larger ramekins take longer. The small individual sized ramekins take an hour.

6. Flan is cooked with knife inserted into center comes out clean. Flip over and onto serving plate. The caramel that was on the bottom of the ramekin forms the lovely caramel topping to the flan.

ENJOY! (To guild the lily, serve with whipping cream).

LEFTOVERS: Yes, you can freeze flan. Bake it completely, let it cool completely. THEN, wrap it really super duper well. You should be able to wrap your ramekins in cling wrap and freeze it with the plastic lid it came with (if you bought the pyrex ramekins). When you want to eat them again, defrost in the fridge, then enjoy. How long do they last in the freezer? As long as ice cream (same ingredients). Biggest danger in freezing flan is the noxious smells of the freezer and fridge getting into your food. If you can safeguard against that, you’re golden.