Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Brunch

Over Easter break, I was on a baking frenzy. I baked Giada's crispy parmesan biscuits, Buttermilk and blackberry jam muffins, A butter spongecake, and a brown sugar almond coffee cake in two days.

I will start with the butter spongecake. The recipe came from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking - so I figured it's gotta be good. It was dense and had a sweet, buttery flavor. I topped it with homemade whipped cream and strawberries. Below is the recipe:

As a side note, it is a recipe that does not contain baking powder or baking soda. So if you are looking for a fluffy, high cake...this isn't it.

Biscuit Au Beurre
(Butter Spongecake)

You will need:
a round cake pan, preferably 10 inches
4 tbs. butter
2/3 cup + 2 tbs. granulated sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1.25 cups sifted cake flour

1. Preheat oven to 350* F. Prepare the cake pan.
2. Melt butter and set aside to cool.
3. Beat the sugar into the egg yolks, add the vanilla, and continue beating until mixture is thick, pale yellow, and "forms a ribbon."
4. Beat egg whites and salt together in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on two tbs. sugar until stiff peaks are formed.
5. Gradually add egg whites and sifted cake flour to egg yolk mixture by adding a little egg white, partially blend, then add a little cake flour, and partially blend. Then add the melted butter, but "omit the milky residue." Mix together but do not overmix to keep the volume of the egg whites.
6. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 - 35 minutes. (I put mine in for 25 minutes and it was done). Cool on a cake rack for at least an hour.
7. Enjoy!

The butter spongecake was delicious but the Brown Sugar and Almond Coffeecake stole the show at Easter. This recipe came from the Macrina Cookbook. I bought this cookbook in Seattle last summer after Joe and I just happened to step into one of the best bakeries in Seattle.

Joe ordered the Buttermilk Waffle (which I have the recipe for!)

I ordered French Toast (which I have the recipe for as well!)

I love this cookbook because it reminds me of our vacation to Seattle and Vancouver and all the amazing food we ate.

Unfortunately, the recipe for this coffee cake is at home, which is where I will not be for about a week and a half. You will just have to wait for the recipe!

Until then...

Bon Appetit!

Monday, April 11, 2011

French Food

Joe and I made a fantastic French-inspired dinner. Chicken with a Dijon mustard cream sauce, Carrots braised in butter (Julia Child original), and skinny fries with a mayo/ketchup dipping sauce. It was AMAZING to say the least.

Of course, there was lots of butter and cream involved. :)

Joe handled the chicken which was a recipe from Katie Brown's Weekends (the French section, of course). It turned out absolutely delicious. I could tell Joe had fun making it, too. Deglazing was involved - which made him feel like a "real chef." ;) He is so adorable.

I handled the carrots, fries, and dipping sauce. The carrots were easy to make. Boil them with a tablespoon of sugar (according to Julia this "develops their flavor"), a tablespoon of butter, and a pinch salt for about thirty minutes. Drain any extra water. Toss them in more butter and chopped parsley. They turned out great! They were soft, very flavorful, and the orange and green together looked beautiful.

The fries were store bought. Buy them unseasoned so you can add a little tarragon to them to give them more class. ;) The dipping sauce is simple. Two parts mayo to one part ketchup. Our favorite French restaurant serves often serves this dipping sauce as a side, so we decided it was a must.

Dessert, anyone?