Monday, February 20, 2012

Boston Cream Pie

Who thinks we've had enough healthy stuff around here??

Me too!!

It's time for some cake!

I know the title says pie...but apparently Boston Cream Pie is actually a cake.

The only Boston Cream Pie I've ever seen was my mom's donuts. LOL!

Seriously, my mom love Boston Cream donuts and that's all I've ever known...until now.

The Cake Slice Bakers voted this as the cake for February.

It seems like a lot. There are 3 components to this cake. But they are all pretty straight forward and not too difficult.

The cake itself was a bit on the dry side for my taste, but it was a darn good cake nonetheless. And my mom thoroughly enjoyed it!

Let's get baking!

Let's start with the custard filling. Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and egg yolks together.

Add in some of the warm milk.

Pour the egg mixture back into the pan. Whisk and cook until thickened.

Remove from heat and whisk in butter.

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

Stir in some vanilla.

Cover in plastic wrap and chill. Do you love my red plastic wrap???

Now let's make the cake. Whisk together some cake flour, salt, and baking powder.

Heat up some milk and butter.

Whisk up some eggs.

Gradually add some sugar...

And some vanilla. Keep whisking until tripled in volume and mixture becomes pale.

In 3 additions, gently fold in the flour mixture.

Reheat the milk then add it all at once to the batter.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake.

Go ahead and make the glaze while the cake is cooling. Heat some cream, add the chocolate until melted and smooth, add the vanilla, cover, and cool.

Now let's put the cake together. Whisk together the chilled custard and heavy cream.

Slice the cake into 2 even layers. Fill with the custard and top with the glaze.

Serve and enjoy!!

Boston Cream Pie
Adapted from The Cake Book

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For the Vanilla Custard Filling

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

For the Hot Milk Sponge Cake
  • 1 1/3 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Glaze
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Vanilla Cream Custard
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and sugar until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a gentle boil. 
  3. Remove milk from the heat and whisk about 1/3 cup of hot milk into the yolk mixture. Whisk entire mixture back into the saucepan.
  4. Whisking constantly, place mixture over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Continue to boil and whisk continuously for 1 minute. 
  5. Remove from heat and whisk butter into mixture until melted. 
  6. Immediately strain custard through a fine mesh sieve into a medium mixing bowl.
  7. Whisk in vanilla extract.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap allowing the plastic to touch the surface of the custard. Let cool to room temperature then refrigerate for 2 hours, or until well chilled.
For the Hot Milk Sponge Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch round cake pan with baking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, cook milk and butter just until butter is melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, whisk eggs at high speed until blended, about 1 minute.
  5. Gradually add sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to beat on high until pale and tripled in volume, about 6 minutes.
  6. Gently fold 1/3 of the flour mixture into the egg mixture. In 2 more additions, repeat with the remaining flour mixture.
  7. Reheat milk mixture until just under a boil. Add it all at once to the egg mixture and gently fold it in,
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  9. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; about 20-25 minutes.
  10. Cool in the pan about 10 minutes then invert onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
For the Chocolate Glaze
  1. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add chocolate to the pan. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Transfer glaze to a small mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap, with the wrap touching the top of the glaze. 
  5. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
To Assemble the Cake
  1. Using a long serrated knife, cut the cake into 2 even layers.
  2. Place custard filling into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the 1/4 cup heavy cream and whisk at high speed until mixture is light and soft peak forms, about 1 minute.
  3. Reserve smooth bottom portion of the cake for the top. Place the other layer of the cake, cut side up, on a platter. Spread custard filling over this cake layer. Top with remaining cake layer.
  4. Pour warm glaze over the top of the cake, allowing the glaze to flow over the edges of the cake. 
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
  6. Enjoy!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Crispy Roasted Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts

If you know me, you know that I am not really a vegetable person.

In fact, for a time, I refused to eat anything green. Or blue...but that's a different story.

I have come to realize lately that my claim of despising veggies is not really accurate.

I happen to really enjoy long as they are made properly.

If you roast a vegetable, I am all in!!

I have tried tossing my broccoli in bread crumbs before I roast it, so I decided one day to throw some brussels sprouts in there too. This is now my favorite way to eat them!

And they are SOOOO easy!!

These veggies make a great side dish or an awesome afternoon snack.

Let's cook!

Toss your florets and sprouts in some olive oil, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese.

Place the veggies in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast them up!

Serve and enjoy!!!

You can't get better, or easier, than that!!!

Crispy Roasted Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts

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  • 1 pound broccoli florets
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss broccoli and brussels sprouts in olive oil until well coated.
  3. In a separate, small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Add mixture to vegetables and toss to coat.
  4. Arrange vegetables in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  5. Place in oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and edges are starting to brown, about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven, serve, and enjoy!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cooking With Kikkoman ~ Crispy Salmon Salad

As much as I try to be, I'm just not really a fish person.

I think fish looks fantastic! I truly do.

I drool over snapper and I think tilapia looks amazing...but when I taste it, I'm always left less than impressed.

However, you give me a juicy slab of salmon and I'm in heaven.

I don't know what it is about salmon that gets my blood pumping...but it does.

Recently, I was contacted by the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program and offered a box of Kikkoman's new Kara-Age seasoning mix.

I immediately knew EXACTLY what I would do with that mix. A salmon salad of course!!

This salad is a bit sweet and a bit salty. The texture is soft and crunchy. And the temperature is both cool and warm.

I love it when a dish contains this many contradictions!

The palette is both confused and excited. Every taste bud experiences a new surprise.

Let me just put it in simple terms. This salad was GEWD!

Here's how you can make it!

Grab your Kikkoman Kara-Age coating mix. I also used this Kikkoman teriyaki sauce.

Take some slightly damp salmon fillets and evenly coat them in the Kara-Age mix.

Heat about an inch of peanut oil in a large skillet and cook up the salmon until lightly browned on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Place the salmon atop a bed of spring greens and baby spinach. Adorn with grape tomatoes. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. And lightly drizzle with the teriyaki sauce (a little goes a loooong way here so be careful).

Serve and enjoy!!

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a box of Kikkoman Kara-Age Soy-Ginger Seasoning mix.

Crispy Salmon Salad

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  • 1 packet Kikkoman Kara-Age Soy-Ginger coating mix.
  • 4-5 salmon fillets
  • 4-5 cups of spring greens and baby spinach 
  • Peanut oil, enough for an inch in the pan
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce & Marinade
  1. Heat 1 inch peanut oil in large pan over medium heat.
  2. Coat damp salmon with Kara-Age coating mix.
  3. Cook salmon in oil until golden brown, crispy, and cooked through. About 2-3 minutes per side. Allow to cool.
  4. Place salmon atop a bed of spring greens and baby spinach. Adorn with grape tomatoes. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. And lightly drizzle with the teriyaki sauce (a little goes a loooong way here so be careful).
  5. Serve and enjoy!!
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