Monday, March 31, 2008

Daring Bakers - Party Cake

This month's Daring Baker challenge was to make a lovely white Party Cake. It would have been perfect for Easter brunch dessert, but... I just couldn't fit it in this month. Oh well, there is always next month's challenge. You can still check out all the other wonderful cakes here.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Butterscotch Pudding

I got to test out a recipe from Cooks Illustrated for Butterscotch Pudding. I hadn't made this kind of pudding before, but it seemed interesting. Butter and sugar are cooked into a caramel, then cream and milk are added. I was a little intimidated by the caramel, but I followed the directions for stirring and cooking to 295F, and it turned out fine. The hot caramel and milk is then added to cornstarch and eggs and cooked until very thick. The pudding is then flavored with vanilla and rum.

After several hours in the refrigerator, we had pudding! It was thick and rich and creamy. It tasted wonderful, with just a hint of the rum. Since this is a test recipe that hasn't been published, I can't print the recipe here, but if you see it in a future Cooks magazine, give it a try.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Strawberrry Spring Thaw

For Easter Brunch I made a frozen strawberry dessert called Strawberry Spring Thaw. My grandmother had cut it out of some newspaper ages ago (probably around 20) and I inherited her recipe box and binder when she died. She used to make this for Easter too. It is really easy and it tastes like spring.

A few notes: I used a bowl instead of mixing it in the jelly roll pan. Also, I was out of white flour and used King Arthur's white whole wheat flour with fine results. Walnuts, pecans, and almonds all work well.

Strawberry Spring Thaw

1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Stir melted butter and sugar together in a jelly roll pan. With a fork, mix in flour and nuts. . Distribute the mixture over the bottom of the pan and bake it at 400 F for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (watch carefully or the nuts will start to burn). Set the crumb mixture aside to cool.

2 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup heavy cream

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks while gradually adding sugar. Add sliced strawberries, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat at high speed until stiff peaks are formed. (The beaters will crush the sliced strawberries.

Whip heavy cream and fold into the strawberry and egg white mixture. Spread 1/2 of crumbs on the bottom of 9 inch springform pan. Top with strawberry mixture, and then sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Freeze. To serve, remove ring from pan and transfer to serving platter. Cut into wedges.

Serves 12.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Korean-style Pork Tenderloin

I found this recipe over at Batter-Splattered and it is a great recipe for a week night meal. The pork tenderloin is marinated overnight in a soy sauce, ginger, garlic and a little red pepper. Then the pork is cooked on the stove top for 6 minutes and followed by the oven for 15 minutes. While the pork cooks, the marinade is cooked down into a sauce. I served this dish over brown rice and it was delicious. It was a hit with all three kids plus my husband. I was the only one who tried the pork with the sauce and it was sweet with a little bit of spice. The pork was tender and had a very nice flavor. I had some more today cold in a sandwich, also very good. I will definitely have to make this again.

Korean-Style Pork Tenderloin

Serves six

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add pork. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 425°.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Remove pork from bag, reserving marinade. Add pork to pan; cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides.

Place pan in oven; bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160° (medium) or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Bring reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Cut pork into 1/4-inch-thick slices; serve with sauce.