Monday, September 29, 2008

Citron Bundt

Sometime earlier this year, hubby came across this bakery near where he was working then called CakeLove. As the name would suggest the speciality here was cakes, particularly to die for are their cupcakes. All sorts of combinations but my favorite is the simple yellow cake with coffee buttercream...yummm. When I found out that owner Warren Brown was coming out with his own cake bible, I knew I HAD to get it.

Warren's instructions are very thorough and actually quite stern, theres just something about the tone of his writing that actually made me (although measure-averse) go out and buy a measuring scale. As for his actual method, once you are done measuring and setting everything out on the counter, it goes really quick. Basically cream butter and sugar and then alternate wet and dry ingredients within about a minute and pour into a prepared baking pan, unmould and stare at the outcome. This particular pound cake was my first try of his recipes and it was super delicious (if I do say so myself!), moist, slightly crumbly, slightly tangy with warm creamy cardamom...mmmmm. You can frost it too if you like, but I chose to keep ours a bit calorie friendly.

Citron Bundt

Dry Ingredients

13.5 oz sifted unbleached all purpose flour (2 1/2 cups +3 tbsps)
1 tbsp potato starch
5-7 cardamom pods (depodded and powdered)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

Liquid Ingredients

8 oz sour cream (1 cup)
1 orange
1 lemon
1/2 red grapefruit
2 tbsp whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Creaming ingredients

2 sticks unsalted butter
21 oz granulated sugar (2 1/2 cups +2 tbsps)
2 tbsp citrus zest (from lemon and orange in liquid ingredients)
5 large eggs
1 large egg yolk

To prepare citrus:

Segment lemon, orange and grapefruit in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cover with 1/2 cup sugar. Dont stir. Bring to a gentle simmer over low-medium heat, then remove from heat. Immediately strain syrup from segments and reserve segments.

For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking pan using baking spray.

Measure dry ingredients into a bowl. Measure sour cream, milk and vanilla into a seperate bowl and gently fold cooked citrus segments and set aside.

Cream butter, citrus zest and sugar together. Add eggs (and yolk) one by one till each is completely incorporated. Add dry ingredients alternately with wet ingredients (sour cream mixture). Try to make it within 3-5 additions. Make sure to scrape out batter from the bottom of the bowl. Beat batter on medium speed for about 15-20 seconds. Spoon batter into prepared pan and place in oven for about 50-55 minutes or till the top doesnt jiggle anymore.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Maryland Seafood pasta salad

Maybe this recipe is a sign, a sign that I've finally come to peace with Maryland. I've always liked being associated with Boston, you know, its hip, its cool and next to it suburban MD just seemed the frumpy cousin. But crab with Old bay seasoning is as MD as it gets and quite deliciously so! This pasta salad is simple and the use of fully cooked imitation crab meat makes it quick and great for a weekday lunch. Couldnt take pictures of this one unfortunately, but I envision making it again very soon and will update this post then.

Maryland Seafood pasta salad

1 package imitation crab meat
1 small red onion minced
2 med stalks of celery finely chopped
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
3 cups cooked pasta (I like bowtie for this but really its upto you)
11/2 tsp of old bay seafood seasoning (can be found in either seasoning aisle or by seafood in any grocery store)


Saute the onions for just 5 minutes on low to medium heat. This is just to take away the pungent smell, but if you dont mind it just skip the step. Toss onions into a nice big bowl. Add crab, celery pasta to the bowl. Mix old bay seasoning in with mayonnaise in a seperate bowl (to allow uniform distribution). Add the mayo to the big bowl with all the other ingredients. Toss to mix. Old bay seasoning has salt in it, but if you need more feel free to add to taste.