Desserts


Admit it.  You have more cookbooks than you actually use.  You read them.  You mark recipes.  You intend to go back and make. each. one.  But you don’t.  At least not all of them.  And don’t you just hate that.  Well here is the solution!

Joyce of Kitchen Flavors and Emily of Emily’s Cooking {Makan2} Foray have started Cookbook Countdown to solve that problem.  They started in January but I didn’t find it until late that month so decided to start in February.  And here we are, the first week of February and I am actually following through with my resolve to join and cook from a single underused cookbook each month – which is what Cookbook Countdown is all about.

For February I am using Deb Perelman’s the smitten kitchen cookbook.  You may know of Deb already from her website – Smitten Kitchen.  I have book marked so many of her recipes and not gone back to many.  Having the cookbook in front of me is old school.  And that’s me – Old School!!

To start the month I made her WHOLE LEMON BARS.

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I don’t know about you but most of the lemon desserts I make just don’t have enough lemon flavor in them.  This one, however, blew me away with the deep and tart/sweet lemon flavor.  The reason for that?  Instead of just juice and zest Deb includes THE WHOLE LEMON!! Yes, the whole thing!!!

And it works.  Beautifully!  Tartly! Tastefully!

The lemons are sliced.  Extra pith is cut out and the rest of the lemon, sans seeds, is then processed into a puree with the sugar and the rest of the filling ingredients. What a great idea. Why didn’t I think of that when I was dissatisfied with wimpy lemon flavors??  Because I am not as creative as Deb. Which is why I love her cookbook.  So many flavors.  So many ‘out of the box’ {at least to me} flavor/ingredient combos.

Thanks Joyce and Emily for this easy solution to underused cookbooks.

The recipe is on page 217 of the smitten kitchen cookbook.  I also found it ONLINE.

“I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

cookbookcountdown

 

This weekend my ladies dinner group enjoyed High Tea at “Ortigo Abbey”.  We were celebrating the new, and last, season of  Downton Abbey.

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We started with soup.  Then came the sandwiches, including the mandatory cucumber ones.  Then we had some hot buttered scones, from an Edwardian cookbook, with Clotted Cream followed by the sweet treats.  This is where Donna comes in.  I needed something bite sized and chocolate.  Something decadent seemed reasonable.   I found her Chocolate Truffle Cakes in Flavours.

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They did not come out nearly as pretty as Donna’s but they were very tasty, very chocolate-y and now they are very gone.

  • 300g  (10 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 150g butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
  • 4 Tbl sugar

Glaze:

  • 200g  (6 1/2 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1cup cream
  • 85g ( 3 oz) butter
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F (170C).
  2. Line base of eight 1 cup (8 fl oz) capacity non-stick muffin tins with non-stick baking paper. {Since I needed bite sized I used a mini-muffin tin.  I ended up with 32 minis}
  3. Place chocolate and butter in a saucepan (absolutely dry) and stir over low heat till melted and smooth.
  4. Place the egg, vanilla and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat until thick and pale.
  5. Stir through the chocolate mixture.
  6. Spoon the mixture into muffin tins and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cakes are just set.
  7. Cool in the tins and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  8. To make the glaze, place the chocolate, cream and butter in a saucepan over low heat and mix till smooth.
  9. Chill the glaze til it is firm.
  10. Unmold the cakes onto serving plates and spread with the glaze.

My glaze wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked so I topped the mini mouthwatering treats with powdered sugar.  They were very rich. and no one complained that they were rather ugly.

The recipe is on page 124 of Donna’s flavours.  (and several places on the web)

BTW it was POTLUCK week for I Heart Cooking Clubs.

 

We haven’t done sweets in a while with Wednesdays with Donna Hay so this week’s theme – Small Sweet Sensations – was just right.  Course I planned it that way by picking the theme.

Donna’s food-processor cookies were calling my name.  LOUDLY!!

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I’d like to say these were some of the best cookies EVAH! but I cannot.

They were easy to make.  All the ingredients, except the chocolate, in the food processor then add the chocolate chips  M&Ms in a separate bowl.  I found them to be rather tasteless except for the M&Ms.  Oh, well.

The recipe is a short order recipe from Donna’s off the shelf.  Page 160.

Want more sweet treats – Small Sweet Sensations – at Wednesdays with Donna Hay.

Have you visited Wednesdays with Donna Hay lately?  If you haven’t let me tell you – the group has changed.  No longer are we picking a weekly recipe.  We are picking weekly themes.  This week – Baby, It’s Cold Outside  – Kayte’s idea.

When it finally gets cold outside we tend to gravitate toward stews, soups, and gumbos to fill us up and keep us warm.  This week we had all three.  One of them was Donna Hay’s  sweet potato soup.

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Sweet potato combined with ginger, coconut, cumin seeds, and lemon grass.  What a wonderful combination of flavors.  Although the lemon grass didn’t seem to add much to the mix.  Donna’s recipe said to boil the sweet potatoes but I chose to roast them instead.  Lots more sweetness and depth of flavor.  I liked the inclusion of the cumin seeds .  I didn’t like the inclusion of the coriander leaves so I left them out and garnished with some extra cumin seeds instead.  The recipe is in Donna’s the new cook page 68

Warm and filling.  Definitely a repeat as winter continues and the days get colder.

What do the others make when it’s cold outside?  Click on over to Wednesdays with Donna Hay and see.

I like to cook. No, I LOVE to cook. Good thing since I need to feed my family. But I only really learned to cook about 10 years ago or so. Beautiful Daughter used to come home and ask me what I was burning for supper that night. I know. But I love her anyway. Cooking was just something I did. NOW it’s something I DO!! And thanks to blogs like Living the Gourmet, which was my Secret Recipe Club ‘assignment” this month, it gets easier all the time.  Catherine, Tammy, and Michael Pappas are the people behind the blog.  Catherine is the founder who wanted a way to leave recipes for her children.  Tammy, her daughter, is the photographer (and her photos are beautiful).  Michael, her son, is in charge of interviews and product reviews.  The three of them are quite a team.

As usual it was hard to find just one recipe, so as is my habit I narrowed it down to three. (Why three?  Once I get my assignment I take a week to read and then try to cook one recipe each week until the reveal.  Makes it easier.)

The first recipe I tried was

ASIAN STYLE MARINATED SALMON FILET 

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A wonderfully flavored salmon fillet marinated in

      3 tbs. teriyaki sauce
      2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
      1 tsp. orange marmalade or apricot sauce
      ¼ cup of Italian parsley – chopped
      1 large clove of garlic – chopped
      1 inch piece of fresh ginger – chopped
      1 tbs. sesame oil
      2 tbs. soy sauce

then baked grilled until the fish is flaky. I’m glad I made two fillets because it was delicious.

Next came

YELLOW SQUASH WITH SAUSAGE AND PASTA

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A delicious mix of pasta, Italian sausage, yellow squash {I subbed in a zucchini}
Catherine’s recipe called for Italian sausage, yellow squash, lots of garlic, red onion, Italian parsley, fresh basil, red pepper flakes and dried oregano for flavor. There is no way you would not like this one.

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And THEN there’s dessert….

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This is no-churn HONEY VANILLA AND BROWN SUGAR ICE CREAM.

I love making no-churn ice cream. I’ve made ice cream in a table top churn for eons but sometimes you just want something easier. And these no-churn definitely are. If you have made this you know it is super simple. Whip together 2 cups of heavy cream with 1 can sweetened condensed milk and a 1 tsp vanilla. Catherine added in ¼ cup brown sugar and 3-4 tbs. honey. Catherine garnished hers with mini cookies but I didn’t have any so I used turbinado sugar.  The honey definitely adds an extra layer of flavor.

I think this one just became my favorite one.

Thanks, Living the Gourmet for some great recipes still to come.

There’s more for Secret Recipe Club.  Click on the frog.

There are a lot of peppermint and chocolate dessert recipes/posts floating in the blogasphere this time of the year.  When it came my time to pick for this week’s Donna Hay selection I knew I would be chocolated out so I went for something a little lighter and more refreshing – LEMON!

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This is an almond flour based cake with a really lemony curd filling.  Between the three layers!  Yes, we sliced this cake in thirds and then filled each space with lots of curd and then, because that wasn’t enough we topped it with more lemony flavor.

I would like to say this cake turned out nicely, but I found it to be rather dense (which is how the Hubs likes cake).  The curd, however, was perfect.  VERY Lemony (1/4 cups lemon juice in the recipe) and easy to make since it has whole eggs rather than just the yolks.

I will definitely make the curd again  – but maybe not the cake.

For make cakes visit Wednesdays with Donna Hay.  The recipe is from FLAVOURS  (page 50).

 

For me this cake is Naughty AND Nice. Nice because it is sweet and full of fruit. Naughty because it’s full of whiskey with a rum sauce. But also Naughty because I don’t like fruit cake. At. All. {Actually, the theme of Naughty or Nice refers to Savory or Sweet bundt, but….}

I know a lot of people joke about passing around the fruit cake to other people knowing that somewhere there is THAT someone who will finally eat it. THAT someone lives in my house. So I make fruitcake just for him. Just once a year.

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      2/3 cup packed brown sugar
      1/2 cup butter, softened
      1/2 cup fruit juice
      1/4 cup molasses
      2 Tbl whiskey or rum or brandy
      1 1/2 cups AP flour
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/4 tsp baking soda
      1 tsp allspice
      1 tsp cinnamon
      1 tsp nutmeg
      1 {16 oz) package diced fruitcake mix
      1 cup chopped almonds

Heat oven to 300 degrees
Grease and flour pan
Mix the sugar and butter until light and fluffy in a large mixing bowl
Add eggs, juice, molasses, and whiskey (rum or brandy)
Add other ingredients and mix well.
Pour into bundt pan. Bake 90 minutes until done in the center.
Cook for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool on a rack.

At this point you can wrap tightly in plastic wrap until ready to use or drizzle with your favorite Butter Rum Sauce. {I also added some powdered sugar}

fruit

Recipe modified from Bundt Classics 

 

While I don’t like the cake itself I did taste the cake and it is quite nice. Spicy and full of holiday flavors. Maybe I should make it without the fruit?

 

BundtBakers


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving Bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest Board.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers can be found on our homepage.

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