Monday, July 21, 2014

Aunt Judy's yummy Lemony French Yogurt Cake

I had this wonderful cake (defrosted from a freezer) on a visit to Boston.  Aunth Judy made it.  The amazing part is that the recipe does not have much fat.  I really enjoyed this visit and this cake was just perfect with a nice summer meal.  The cake goes well with fruit and would make a great base for a strawberry shortcake dessert. The recipe is adapted from Orangette and Sweet Spoonful.  I plan to make Aunt Judy's version which is undoubtedly the best this summer to share with friends and family. 

Lemony French Yogurt Cake—for Bundt pan

2 cups white all purpose flour + more for dusting pan

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or three cups of white flour)

4 teaspoons baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cup turbinado sugar or natural cane sugar

2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest—I use micro-plane; 1 lemon =1TBSP lemon zest

1 1⁄2 cups whole milk (or low fat) Greek yogurt

1 cup mild olive oil

4 large eggs

1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Glaze: (optional)

Juice from 2 lemons

1⁄4 cup powdered sugar 

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a bundt pan (or pretty much any shape pan you like) and dust with flour; 

tap out excess.

Whisk the flours, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, rub the sugar 

with the lemon zest in a large bowl until the sugar becomes moist and fragrant. Add the yogurt, oil, eggs 

and vanilla and whisk until combined.

Fold in dry ingredients just to blend. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 

45-55 minutes or until fragrant and the top of the cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center 

comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before unmolding. Poke a few holes in the cake top with a toothpick 

and pour the glaze over the cake. When it is completely cool, sift a little confectioner’s sugar on top.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Awilda's Amazing Flan Recipe

Awilda is an opera singer and she makes amazing food.  Her signature dessert dish is a flan recipe that will wow you with its texture and taste.   She describes this flan as "not too eggy".  She spent a lot of time with trial and error to balance the flavor and texture created by the egg.  I think this is an amazing recipe and I will be making it next week for our dinner club.

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ounces cream cheese 
1/3 cup Bakers sweetened Coconut

Hot water for the bain de marie (baƱo de maria)

In an 8 ounce cake pan (one of those you use to bake layer cakes pour 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water and mix well. Over medium high heat (About 10 minutes) allow the sugar to reduce and caramelize(do NOT mix once the sugar starts bubbling otherwise you will get a crystal goo). Watch it carefully once it begins to thicken, because once it starts turning golden it will do it very quickly. When it begins to turn golden, take it off the fire because since the pan is hot it will continue to caramelize until it is a rich deep brown.  Using pot holders, swirl the caramelized sugar around the sides of the pan over and over until you have used up the caramel.  (It will begin to harden as it cools)

Set the pan aside.

In the blender mix the evaporated and condensed milk, eggs, cream cheese, vanilla and coconut extracts and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar - it won't be too sweet because the cream cheese takes away some of the sweetness of the condensed milk - and puree until smooth. Pour into the caramelized cake pan.  Sprinkle the baker's coconut on the top and place in a larger pan with hot water that comes up to the pan about 1/2 - 2/3 around it.  (Have the pan with the hot water already in the oven and place the flan pan into it).  Bake at 325 for 55 - 1:00 or until the top is nicely browned.

Remove from oven and cool completely before putting in the refrigerator. Cover with tin foil and cool in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4-6 hours. 

To serve, take a knife and go around the sides completely making sure you have loosened the flan from the sides of the pan.  Put a plate on top of the pan and invert.  Gently shake loose.

Have fun.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Roasted Cashew Sauce - perfect for chicken satay

Roasted Cashew sauce.
8 oz roasted cashews
5 oz roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
12 fl oz coconut milk
3 teaspoon thick soy sauce
2 teaspoon sweet chilli sauce
(recommend to add a bit more hot sauce of your liking here - Saracha is ok)
1 teaspoon soft brown sugar.

1. Preheat oven to warm 315oF.  Spread cashews and peanuts on baking tray and roast for 10 min and then cool.
2. Finely grind cumin coriander and fenugreek with mortar and pestle.  Put in a small pan and dry fry over low heat for 3 minutes. 
3. Put nuts and spices in food processor and finely chop.  Add remaining ingredients and salt and pepper until a soft chunky sauce.  If you prefer a thin sauce, add 2-3 tablespoons water.
4. Transfer to a small pan and heat gently for 5 minutes, until warm.

Lei's Cheesecake Recipe

Brenna's co-worker made the most amazing cheesecake recently so I just had to get the recipe.  It is amazing how good something that I usually don't crave can be once you have a bite... you just can't stop with this one :)

2.5 c graham cracker crumbs
1 stick melted butter
0.25c sugar
Handful of toasted nuts (optional)
Combine and press into 9inch springform pan)
1.5 Cup sugar
3lbs cream cheese
3 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1.5 cup sour cream

Beat Cream cheese and sugar until smooth and light. 
Beat in eggs cornstarch and vanilla just until blended.
Stir in sour cream.
Add to pan and bake @450 degrees for 10min
Reduce to 200 degrees and back for 1.5 hours
Turn oven off and open door slightly for 3 hours

This is 1.5 x the original recipe to make  taller cheesecake.  It can be scaled back.
I sift in the cornstarch so that it doesn’t clump.  I put a rack above the cheesecake and foil on the rack to keep the cake from browning
Baking time varies but just bake until it isn’t jiggly.

For the ganache I melted 10oz chocolate chips – semi sweet and added 1 cup whipping cream over a double boiler.  When this is smooth I poured it over the cheese cake and spread it around the sides.

How to plan a Sushi Party for 4 people

I enjoy putting together sushi parties with friends at my place. I have also taken a sushi class and there are some tricks and pitfalls to share. These tips and menu ideas will get you through a sushi night at home stress free. We usually have a lot of fun making sushi since our guests help out and get involved in the process. So let's get started.

What to get?

Tools: Sushi Roller (usually less than 5 dollars at your asian store)

Basic Ingredients:

Nori - Seaweed Sheets

Wasabi - (DO NOT GET THE TUBES! but the powder which is actually horseradish)

Soy Sauce (Some of the main stream brands are fine. However, you need to water them down to make them taste better 1/2 water 1/2 soy sauce. Try it, you will be pleasantly surprised.)

Ginger Pickled (I buy this ready made but some day plan to make it from the young ginger that they sell)




Salmon is my favorite

Tilapia is ok if you have some good other flavors going on

Tuna is good

Broiled Eel (unagi) is a must for us

Short grain Rice you can make into Sushi Rice.  I usually pick up Nishiki brand.

Mirin - Rice Wine Vinegar

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Amazing Crab Cakes from Lauren's Mom

The lack of measurements in this recipe can be explained by the fact that it is a family one. If you find particular quantities that work out well for you please comment to share with everyone.

Use Crab from Costco in the cooler section (not frozen)

Add the following to taste

*Small amount mayonnaise (to hold cakes together once mixed)
*Lemon Zest
*Lemon Juice
*Fresh Dill and Chives
*Sea Salt and Pepper
*Cayenne Pepper
*Add 1/2 cup approximately of Panko

Chill. Roll in small balls and press into a flat cak. Coat with more panko. Place in a hot skillet using a small amount of olive oil or butter. Cook until crisy on outside.

Serve with the following or with your own concoction:
The Ojai Cook Latin or Lemon Lemonaise
Chili Sauce

Monday, March 2, 2009

Megan's Spiced Candied Pecans

Spiced Pecans

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of cloves
2c. pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine first 4 ingredients in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly (~8 min). Add pecans and vanilla. Cook until syrup is absorbed, and pecans are coated, stirring constantly (~12 mins...the pecans will start to look dry and sugary, and become difficult to stir). Spread pecan mixture on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray (pecans will have a sugar coating). Separate pecans into halves. Cool completely. Yields 3 1/2 c.Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place for up to 1 month, in the fridge for 3 months, or in freezer for 8 months.