Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Simple White Cake

adapted slightly from Allrecipes

It was late Sunday night, and not a drop of candy in the house. After dinner Ben turned to me and asked... should we make a cake?
We rushed to the kitchen and this delectable baby was born. A simple white cake, drizzled with chocolate sauce. Satisfies the sweet tooth every time.

serves 6-8

2 3/4 cup flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter (about 170 grams)
1 1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
1 tsp almond flavoring

Cream butter until soft and gradually add sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt until will integrated. Add sifted ingredients alternately with milk into the butter/sugar mixture a small amount at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in flavorings.

In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites (not the yolks!) together until foamy. Add 1/2 cup sugar gradually and continue beating until the mixture begins to form soft peaks. Fold the meringue (whipped egg whites) into the batter until thoroughly combined.

Spread batter in a 15x10x1 inch pan (or two 9 inch rounds, or three 8 inch rounds) that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 F (175 C) for 30-35 minutes. Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it and transferring it to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Creamed Cabbage Soup

from Allrecipes

It's been cold! I know spring is just around the corner, but it still feels very far away. And the best way to warm up on a cold night is a nice bowl of soup. This recipe employs the hardy cabbage (a very underrated vegetable in my opinion) and a dash of creaminess to make it feel decadent.

Serves 6

2 cups chicken broth
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 medium head of cabbage, shredded
3 carrots, diced
1/4 cup butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups fully cooked ham, diced
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
salt and pepper to taste

In a large kettle, combine broth and vegetables, bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and let simmer until the vegetables are just starting to soften, about 15 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, get a saucepan on medium heat and melt the butter. Then mix in the flour, until completely blended and gradually add milk creating a light roux. Cook and stir until thickened, and stir into soup. Add spices and ham and heat through. Garnish with parsley (fresh if you have it!) and serve warm.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Prosciutto Tart

Last week I bought a puff pastry to make an apple strudel, but then Ben ate all of the apples and I was left wondering what to do with the dough. So for dinner I made this savory tart with what I had in the fridge and it was delicious. A gone-within-the-hour kind of delicious. (And it was so easy to make, it's hard to resist!)

enough puff pastry sheets to line the bottom of a baking sheet
2 Tbsp pesto
1 zucchini, cut into thin slices
2 tomatoes, cut into thin slices
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Roll out the puff pastry onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Spread pesto in a thin layer on the pastry. Then add a layer of prosciutto, a layer of zucchini and a layer of tomato. Then top with cheese, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes (or as directed for the puff pastry) or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve warm.