Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Dacquoise Fraisier #TheCakeSliceBakers


Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is The European Cake Cookbook by Tatyana Nesteruk*. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes! 


Follow our FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details. 

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.


The August 2019 selections were...

Peach Zefir Torte
Dacquoise Fraisier
Strawberry Swiss Roll
Note: The Berry Ricotta Mousse Cake was not chosen by any group members

Dacquoise Fraisier

After going on an assignment to one of the Santa Cruz farmers' markets, and picking up a bounty of organic strawberries, I knew which one I wanted to make! Well, I supposed I could have also made the Strawberry Swiss roll, but the Dacquoise was calling my name.

Ingredients makes one cake

Dacquoise Layers
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 C flour
  • 1-3/4 ground almond meal
  • Also needed: parchment paper, baking sheets, springform pan

Strawberry Cream
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C organic strawberries, crushed
  • 2 C organic heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 2 C sliced organic strawberries

For Serving
  • 1/2 C organic heaving whipping cream, chilled
  • organic strawberries for garnish


Procedure

Dacquoise Layers
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Trace two 8" circles and one 6" circle onto the sheets. I did one 8" and one 6" on one sheet; the other 8" on the second sheet.

In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and sugar on high speed until stiff peaks form, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Add the pure vanilla extract and beat until for 30 seconds.

Sift the flour and almond meal into the meringue and fold gently until incorporated.


Divide the batter between the traced circles, smoothing the layer to approximately 1" tall. Place sheets in the preheated oven. Bake layers for 28 to 30 minutes, until the edges are golden. Rotate sheets halfway through baking.

Remove sheets from the oven and let cool. Once completely cooled, invert layers and carefully remove the parchment paper.

Strawberry Cream
In a small mixing bowl, whisk softened mascarpone cheese with the crushed strawberries.

In another mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Incorporate the mascarpone-strawberry mixture. Beat, again, until you have stiff peaks again.


To assemble the cake, use a springform pan. Add one 8" cake layer. Position halved sliced strawberries along the edge of the pan, facing outward. Add a generous amount of the strawberry cream and press the cream over the berries, making sure to fill all the gaps. Add a layer of sliced strawberries and top with the 6" cake layer. Add more cream and more strawberries before topping with the final 8" layer. Refrigerate the cake for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.


For Serving
When ready to serve, beat the whipping cream and set aside. Release the springform and transfer the cake to a serving platter. Top with whipped cream and more strawberries. Serve immediately.


What a perfect summer cake! It was light and seasonal...and just sweet enough to get rid of a dessert craving. Stay tuned for next month's event when we shift seasons and start looking towards autumn flavors. I can't wait!


*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

   

Monday, August 19, 2019

Flaming Peach Pie #6thAnnualPieathalon #EatPie


Last year this was a new-to-me event. I participated in the 5th Annual Pieathalon which was coordinated by Emily of Dinner is Served 1972. And it was a ton of fun. So, when she emailed to see if I were interested in participating in the 6th annual pieathalon, I was in!

Since I'm still new to this whole Pieathalon thing, I'll share the rules with my readers. 

1. Pick a pie recipe from a pre-1990 cookbook.
2. Email it to Emily.
3. She assigns it randomly to another pieathlete.
4. We bake.
5. We post.
6. We share.

Today's the day! Get ready for some Before the fun and games started last year, I made a Foraged Huckleberry Pie just to get my pie-making brain into gear. And it is definitely a peachy time of year because last year I was assigned a Peaches and Cream Tart. This year I received the challenge of the Flaming Peach Pie from Greg at Recipes for Rebels. The pie recipe I submitted was Hawaiian Banana Pie from the 1961 Betty Crocker's New Picture Cookbook. Catherine of Kitchen Confidence received that. I can't wait to see her version.


When two of my high school classmates were in country - one lives in Spain and one in Japan - we had an impromptu dinner party and I offered to bring dessert...and wine. It was the perfect opportunity to make my assigned pie!


The #6thAnnualPieathalon Pie Pans!

Flaming Peach Pie

As I mentioned, I was assigned a Flaming Peach Pie. I am unsure of the cookbook from which it came, but this was what I got...

I decided to embrace the entire era, using a store-bought crust and canned cling peaches. Also, I was dubious of the 'flaming part', so I had to do a test run. 


And I had no idea how hard it would be to find sugar cubes. I went to three different stores before I found some. 


Drip some extract on the sugar cube. We tried two droppers full, one dropper full, and a half. All sufficed. But the one dropper ended up being the correct amount of time for the ooo-ing and aaahhh-ing necessary.


Set it aflame with a lighter.


And watch it burn. Now to the pie... 

Ingredients makes one 9" pie


  • 2 fifteen-ounce cans organic yellow cling peaches
  • 1 pie crust (homemade - like this one - or storebought)
  • 3/4 C organic raw sugar (or you can use brown sugar)
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1/4 C (4T) butter, softened
  • 5 sugar cubes
  • lemon extract
  • Also needed: pie pan, baking sheet, dropper, lighter


Procedure

Drain the peaches thoroughly. Reserve five slices of peaches for garnish. Set aside. 

In a medium mixing bowl, place the sugar, flour, and butter. Use a fork to create a crumb topping.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and parbake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven.


Spoon the drained peaches into the parbaked crust.


Spread the crumb topping over the peaches and place the pie on a baking sheet. Return the pie to the oven for 30 to 35 minutes - until the crust is browned and the topping crisp. Remove from oven and let cool completely.


To serve, arrange five peach slices on the top, alternating with five sugar cubes. Douse each sugar cube with lemon extract.


Ignite the cubes.


Once the flames have died down, slice and serve immediately. 


My trio is alread scheming on other dishes that would benefit from the flaming sugar cubes. And I am afraid. Thanks, Greg, for the fun culinary adventure and inspiration for the 6th annual pieathalon. Can't wait till next year!

Multi-Use Costumes, Supplì al Telefono, and Other #StarWarsFood for #FoodNFlix


Just a reminder why you're being bombarded by Star Wars-inspired recipes this month. Kelley of Simply Inspired Meals is hosting a month of Star Wars recipes for Food'N'Flix. You can read her invitation here. I've decided to wrap up my Star Wars-inspired posts with a ball-shaped recipe in honor of our favorite sentient beach ball. BB-8! But first...

Multi-Use Costumes
My husband and his dad pals are out of control with the Halloween costumes...and they are die-hard Star Wars fans. Die. Hard.

Whenever a new movie comes out, we go to opening night and wait in line for hours, taking turns running to the restaurant near the theatre for cocktails. 

When The Force Awakens* came out, not only did they create these costumes with the kids for Halloween 2015; but they had to go out for a photo shoot on the sand dunes. Here's R and one of his best friends (since kindergarten). He's BB-8 and she's Rey.


If you are asking: How does someone go about making a BB-8 costume?! The short answer: weeks of work and a heck of a lot more vision than I have! I was going to paper mache a yoga ball; they laughed at me. No, really. This build involved hot foam cutters, a custom lathe, and tons more patience than I have.


This was D's AT-AT costume. It took slightly less time to make, but was still quite involved.


Thankfully, the boys were able to use the costumes more than once. Obviously they wore them for Halloween at school during the day and for trick-or-treating that night. Then they were asked to take part in a video for the Monterey Bay Aquarium.


You can watch the finished video... with their briefest cameo. LOL.

And, the following Spring, when friends gave us tickets to the 2016 Silicon Valley Comic-Con, they wore them again. They entered the costume contest and both walked away with a trophy. Woo hoo!


R received a trophy for 'Best Youth'...


while D took home 'Audience Favorite.'


Hooray for being able to use costumes multiple times!!

Supplì al Telefono

In honor of our beloved BB-8, I wanted to make something ball-shaped.

Supplì!! they said.

Done, said I.

I used to buy Supplì al Telefono from my neighborhood rosticceria in Rome probably more often than I should admit. They're delicious and easy to eat while on the go. And I was always on the go. Not much has changed in that regard.

Supplì al Telefono, literally means supplì 'to the phone.' Odd name, perhaps, until you think back to the days when phones had cords. Yes, younguns, phones used to have cords! Inside the supplì are molten bits of mozzarella cheese; when you bite into them and pull away, the melted cheese is long and stringy, resembling a telephone cord. Like this...


This is a great dish to use up leftover risotto. Use whatever risotto you have on-hand.

Ingredients 
  • 3 to 4 C leftover risotto, chilled
  • 12 cubes cheese, ciliegie is tradtional
  • 1 C flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 C panko bread crumbs, or traditional breadcrumbs
  • parsley for garnish
  • 1 C passata di pomodoro
  • 2 t basil
  • 1 t oregano
  • 2 cloves, minced garlic
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper


Procedure
Preheat the oven to 425º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Take a handful of cold risotto and flatten slightly. Press one cheese cube into the center. Cover the cheese with more rice and roll into a ball form. Dip the ball into flour, shaking lightly to remove any clumps,

Coat the ball with beaten eggs and, finally, roll the ball in the bread crumbs. Place the coated ball onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining risotto until all of the risotto has been used.


Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown and crisp to the touch. While they are baking, make the marinara sauce.

Place the passata di pomodoro, basil, oregano, and garlic in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce till slightly thickened.

Serve with marinara sauce and a generous sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley.


#StarWarsFood Recap
And this month, I have also posted the following recipes. Click on the title to go to the original recipe post.





So that's a wrap for me. Do you have any Star Wars-inspired culinary creations? I'd love to see them. Or send them over to Kelley and join the fun! You still have the better part of two weeks to submit something.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.



Sunday, August 18, 2019

Brunede Kartofler (Danish Caramel Potatoes) #NationalPotatoDay


Happy National Potato Day! Did you know there was such a thing? I didn't, but was more than happy to participate when I saw the invitation from Valentina, The Baking Fairy. Many thanks for organizing this potato-filled event!!

Check out all of the delicious recipes we made for the occasion...


Brunede Kartofler
Danish Caramel Potatoes)

We eat a lot of potatoes. Well, we used to eat a lot of potatoes. Jake and I are actively cutting back on starches. So, the boys still eat a lot of potatoes and we are trying to minimize. But I hardly ever peel potatoes. I just scrub them clean and give them a rinse. However, this is the one dish for which I take the time: Brunede Kartofler, Danish Caramel Potatoes. I have made this without peeling them and the boys object heartily. "Mooooooommmmm...." they whine in unison. "This isn't right!"


So, when I saw Valetina's invitation. I decided to make a somewhat traditional Brunede Kartofler and peel the potatoes. I say 'somewhat traditional' because I don't think I've ever seen purple potatoes used for this dish.

Ingredients serves 4
  • 2 dozen small organic potatoes
  • water
  • 1/3 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1/3 C butter



Procedure
Place potatoes in a pot. Cover them with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until they are fork tender. Drain potatoes and pat dry. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel them. Let air dry.

In a large, heavy-bottom skillet, add the sugar to the pot and cook on medium-low heat until completely melted. Do not stir the sugar until it is completely melted and caramelized. Add in the butter and stir until it becomes syrupy.


Add the potatoes, moving the skillet around until each potato is fully covered in the caramel sauce. It might take 6 to 8 minutes until they are all completely covered.


Serve immediately.

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