Thursday, November 22, 2012

Convoluted Cranberry Sauce

It's actually really easy to make, but how I got to it is a bit strange.

I found it via Neil Gaiman, who got it from Beat This! a hilarious cookbook (I read it cover to cover, laughing the entire way, but have made no other recipes.)

I've been attributing the orange juice to Neil. But now that I actually look up the post, apparently not. So here's how I make it. Two years in a row, and now it's a necessary part of the holiday for me.

1 lb fresh cranberries
2 c orange juice
1 1/2 c sugar
pinch of salt

Bring the orange juice to a boil. Stir in the remaining ingredients. To make a jelly that will set into a solid (what I got last year) boil for about 30 more minutes, stirring frequently and skimming the foam off. To get a more jelly jelly, something pourable but syrupy, simmer for 30-40 minutes. (what I did this year in hopes of not boiling over everywhere this time. ) Either way, you're waiting for it to get noticeably syrupy and reluctant to drop off the spoon. If you're determined to get a solid, do the ice water test (drop a bit in, see if it becomes solid.) Pour it into a wet mold (that's sitting in the bottom of the sink, because it WILL splash everywhere) refrigerate over night at least. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Strawberries and Yellow Cake

We could call it strawberry shortcake, but then I feel I'm misleading you about what kind of cake it is. And everyone I talk to has a different idea about what the cake for strawberry shortcake should be. So this is just an easy yellow cake that I think goes well with the strawberry goo.

Strawberry Goo
(a much simplified version of the one found on epicurious)
2 lbs strawberries, cored

1 Tblsp sugar
2 Tblsp sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 c water

One pound of strawberries is going to get smashed and cooked, the other is going to swim in bite sized hunks in the sauce created from the first. I usually put one pound directly into the saucepan, one directly into a mixing bowl with a lid, cutting it up to however small seems forkable. (This can be done days ahead of time, so it's likely to live in your fridge for awhile.)

Toss the bite-size strawberry bits with 1 Tblsp of sugar in their mixing bowl and let them sit.

In the saucepan, use a potato masher to destroy the other pound of strawberries. Mash them up completely. Add the water, lemon juice, and remaining 2 Tblsp of sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let this cool, add to the mixing bowl of strawberry bits, store in the fridge until needed.

Yogurt Cake
(almost precisely from theKitchn)
1 1/2 c (12 oz) yogurt
2/3 c olive oil
1 1/4 c sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
2 1/2 c flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a bundt pan.

Mix together all the stuff above ----, then stir in the dry ingredients until there are no lumps.

Pour into the bundt pan and bake for about 40 minutes. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bacon Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)

This is a combination of a recipe from the Seattle Times and one from French Women Don't Get Fat.*
yields about 40 puffs

4 strips of minced, raw bacon

4 Tblsp salted butter
1 c water

1 c flour

4 eggs
4 oz grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the bacon until crispy, set aside on a paper towel. Collect 2 Tblsp of bacon grease and put into a saucepan. Add the butter and water, bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to medium.

Remove from heat, add flour, stir til becomes a ball. Return to heat and stir for 10 seconds.

Transfer to a mixing bowl, cool 10 minutes.

Add eggs, cheese, and bacon. This will be a super gooey mess. Keep stirring and it will become a more homogenous bacon-flecked mess. Still pretty gooey.

Deposit in spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. I used one of the ice cream style scoops, but I think two spoons would have been easier since it's so very gooey.

Bake 20 - 25 minutes.

I'm not sold on pre-mincing the bacon. I still chopped it a bunch after - it's hard to cut it up small when it's raw!

* I remember enjoying reading the book, but my main takeaways were her Gougeres recipe and a belief that champagne DOES go with everything. Including pizza.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Black Pepper Chocolate Coffee Cake

Is largely this recipe and most of the modifications are via MJ

1 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt (none if using salted butter)
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
3/4 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Spread 1/2 of batter in the prepared pan.

Mix together filling ingredients. Sprinkle cake batter with 1/2 the filling. Spread second half of batter over the filling, and top with remaining filling. This is harder than it sounds since the batter is just as thick as you'd expect once you realize that no actual liquids are involved.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

My pepper is super finely ground, which makes these measurements too much. It's still yummy though. I think I will successfully manage to feed most of it to coworkers.