Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lemon Canadian Crown Trifle

I bought the wrong kind of Ladyfingers, crispy ones from Italy.  I broke most of the Italian Ladyfingers.  There was only one thing to do in my lazy, post Thanksgiving foggy state.....crush the Ladyfingers and turn the luscious lemon filling into a trifle.  For a bit of color, frozen blueberries were scattered between the layers. The meringue toppings were piped on parchment, browned and then transferred.  Since the bowl is crystal, poor planning on my part, it was not frozen but chilled for several hours. The flavors are spectacular in Rose's Lemon Canadian Crown dessert.  The lemon is such an unexpected burst of flavor. The crunchy Ladyfingers softened just enough to retain texture but provide a lovely contrast.  This definitely is a show stopper dessert that was easy to make.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rose's Lemon Poppyseeds (Cookies)

Rose's Christmas Cookies is a treasured book on my shelf.  Many years ago Land O' Lakes Butter had a special offer for Rose's new book and my mom sent it to me.  My daughter, who was quite young at the time, immediately took to it, spending hours pouring over the pictures and reading recipes.  Through the years she made several recipes, each one a winner.  Yesterday I was only too happy to pick up ingredients for her and my granddaughter to take over my kitchen and mix up a batch of these delectable goodies.

Rose describes these Lemon Poppyseeds as the cookie variation of her Cake Bible Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake.  The cookies are rolled in ground almonds for a nice, crunchy coating.

I love lemon poppyseed cookies and these are by far the best I have tasted.  Chosen because they are in the section designated to be especially suitable for mailing, it's going to be quite hard packing these little gems up and shipping them off.  These cookies will definitely be on the annual list of requested holiday cookies.   The lemon zest filled the blustery, cold rainy evening with the most amazing aroma.

We always joke that whenever something goes "missing" in my house, all we have to do is buy another one and the original turns up.  That is exactly what happened with this book, only in triplicate!  Somehow we double ordered on Amazon; one or two clicks too many.  This worked out quite well since I have enough books for my daughter and each granddaughter to have their very own copy.  If I was allowed only one cookie book, this would be the one.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chocolate Genoise with Peanut Butter Whipped Ganache

Chocolate Genoise from Rose's Heavenly Cakes is ultra light and moist. Frosted with Peanut Butter Whipped Ganache and layered with black raspberry, it is a pretty fantastic combination. The peanut butter is a slight background flavor that enhances the chocolate and raspberry.  No one could define exactly what it was.

I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate mixed with Lindt Milk Chocolate for the ganache, Green & Blacks cocoa powder for the genoise and Valrohona chocolate pearls for garnish.

Rose uses Chambord to make a simple syrup for moistening the layers. I could not see spending twenty five dollars for two tablespoons worth of Chambord.  If I find a smaller bottle, I'll be tempted to try it.  For now, Dickinson's  Seedless Black Raspberry Jam fit the bill perfectly.  Thinned with a bit of hot water, it painted easily over the split cake.  So excited this substitution worked, I forgot to put the ganache between the two layers! Sprinkled with a few Valrohna pearls and drizzled with black raspberry syrup, it's never going to last long enough for the requisite night's rest.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Truffle Cookies

My Truffle Cookies look nothing like Ginger Elizabeth's Truffle Cookies, which isn't too surprising, but they taste pretty darn good.  The thing is, the dough is supposed to rest for fifteen minutes before baking.  The  baby granddaughter woke up, one thing led to another and the dough didn't just rest, it took a good long nap, a very long nap, which made the dough quite stiff.

I called Ginger Elizabeth's Chocolates and spoke to her husband.  He said it was alright to share this recipe with family and friends but Ginger asked that it not be posted online via Facebook, blogs, etc.  If any of you  would like the recipe, please email and I'll send it along.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Apple-Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake

So many cakes, so little time, in Rose's Heavenly Cakes.  Each free choice week with the Heavenly Cake Bakers leaves me in such a quandary.  Reading from the list of cakes I've yet to make, it is difficult to choose.  Each one sounds as good as the next.  The family is still clamoring for the infamous Bostini but I was on chocolate overload after attending an incredible seminar given by Ginger Elizabeth, Dark vs Dark Chocolate Tasting.  Not only was it educational in all things chocolate, but if there is such a thing as chocolate nirvana, that was it. Ginger just won a very prestigious top ten chocolate ranking but I can't read my own note writing, so enraptured with tasting her Creme Fraiche truffle.  For a finale, she passed around her Truffle Cookies, then generously gave out the recipe.

This simple apple cake was the perfect counterbalance for a day of chocolate nibbling.

I made more mistakes with this easy little cake than I have in quite awhile.  I divided the batter into the pan wrong.  I found a leftover half cup of crumb topping.  And literally, to top it off, I put the crumb topping on too soon.  No matter.  It turned out deliciously.  Lovely cake for this time of year.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Swedish Pear and Almond Cake

This is an amazing cake, so simple and yet utterly sophisticated.  The delicate crumb is perfectly paired with almond and pear.  Very easy to put together, I couldn't have asked for an easier cake to jump back on the baking wagon.

Happily surprised to find the pears dutifully disappeared into the batter whilst baking.  It is possible to make almond paste and Joe Pastry says quite easy.  Next time I need marzipan or almond paste I'm going to give it a try.

This cake could go anywhere or stay at home with a hot cup of tea. The family is raving about it.  It must be quite good; they've momentarily forgotten about the Bostini which fell to the wayside and has yet to be made.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Draw the Dog

Y'all may remember a few short months ago my life was relatively drama free. Not chaos free, but drama free.

That was before Daisy the Alpha Chihuahua Mare came into our home.  Don't let this little darling fool you for one second.  She has taken over.  Rules the roost.  Wears a Snuggie.  Bosses around the cats.    Shatters wine glasses with a single bark.  Sprouted wings.  Nothing is too high or off limits.  She has a tenacity and cunning that makes her a perfect candidate for the CIA doggie core.  Does the CIA have a doggie core?

As I type, Her Majesty is taking a regularly scheduled morning nap perched on my lap.  I could set the clock by this nap.  I fear when the clocks go back for daylight savings time.  She must be dreaming about having the lead in Swan Lake because her tiny paws jete mightily.

Be that as it may, I want to introduce Draw the Dog.  This is a fun site co-hosted by a former Disney illustrator.  He takes dog photos then illustrates them into a cartoon with Bruce Kasanoff.  This alone would be entertaining but the real kicker is being able to watch as the cartoon draws itself.  Sign up for their daily email and start the morning with a hearty laugh.  They are having a contest.  You can read about it on their site.  It's for a good cause. The winners get to choose a favorite dog rescue group to receive a fundraising cartoon.  You might know a nice blog to submit.

On another note,  the Bostini has been pre-empted by a very nasty virus which has thrown me under a bus.

The most I can manage is lemon ginger tea with a side of aspirin.  Much grumbling amongst the natives who have eagerly anticipated the Bostini .  They suffer.  They suffer much.  There is no mercy once one is found out to bake weekly from Rose's Heavenly Cakes.