Category: Pound Cake

Ask me about Dessert

Ask me about Dessert

Lemon-Syrup Pound Cake with Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream and Blueberry Drizzle

    What’s the fun of catering dessert?  What’s not the fun of catering dessert?  But I DO LOVE TO HAVE A REASON to make dessert.  And I adore having a reason to try something I love or have never done before; dessert for two is so different than dessert for a group.  We simply don’t need a whole pie (well, Dave would argue with that.)  We don’t want a whole cake or two quarts of ice cream, which is what my new ice cream maker makes.  But if I’m asked to bring dessert or have a catering job, I get to do the whole shebang. (Scroll down for Lemon-Syrup Pound Cake with Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream and Blueberry Drizzle.)

Seasonal crostatas — free-form pie

Creme Brulee avec  Torch.
Added art is free.
Chocolate-Hazelnut Torte
Elvis Presley’s Favorite Cake–Pound Cake I serve with Peaches and Fresh Ginger Ice Cream come summer.

 

Lemon Tart for a Birthday?

Individual Pear-Orange Crostatas.   They’re flavored with lemon or orange and have a streusel topping with or without almonds.
Coffee Cup Pies
Pagliacci’s New York Cheesecake

Any kind of whole pie

I start with numbers.  How many people?  When?  Where?  What’s the menu? 

The menu was tenderloin and fennel gratin with a carrot salad starter.  One that I blogged, in fact.  I thought that left me scotfree to make whatever I wanted.  The meal wasn’t so heavy that I needed to do a baby shot of custard and squeensy-tweentsy cookies.  It wasn’t so light that I needed to make tiramisu.  I offered several options:

 Bread Pudding!
Jam Tart?
Basket of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!

or….

–Chocolate pots de creme and ginger cookies
–Lemon poundcake and strawberry ice cream
–Fig-Brandy Vanilla Pudding with Skinny Fluted Shortbread
–Apple-Sour Cream-Walnut Pie w or w/out homemade vanilla ice cream
–Apple Tart w or without cinnamon ice cream
–Espresso pots de creme and milk chocolate chip-pecan cookies
–God’s Own Brownies or God’s Own Brownie Sundaes
–Chocolate-Dipped Salty Shortbread and Coffee Gelato
–Whole Lemon Tart

–Jam Tart
 

You can ask for pot pie, too, if you need dinner.   Here:  Turkey Roasted Vegetable

about the lemon-syrup pound cake, strawberry ice cream and blueberry drizzle:

 The choice this time was Lemon pound cake and strawberry ice cream.  After 2 seconds thought, I added a blueberry drizzle–for color and a flavor pop.   Instead of reinventing any wheels, I took two or three recipes and decided on my method. I like SILVER PALATE’S Lemon Pound Cake, but it was made in a bundt pan and I really wanted loaf pound cake as my group was small and a second loaf could go in the freezer.  I checked out Ina Garten’s Lemon Cake from her The Barefoot Contessa PARTIES book and ended up with a mixture of the two recipes aided by Marion Cunningham’s from Fanny Farmer Baking Book, which is my easy go-to for most things.   In fact, I end up with both the bundt cake and loaf cakes because I mis-read Ina’s instructions, which were a bit confusing.  The ingredient list doesn’t let you know that you’ll be using that 3/4 cup lemon juice in two parts.  Ditto sugar.  So when I dumped all the sugar in the Kitchen Aid, the extra bundt cake was born.  And while it’s obvious from the ingredient list there’s a glaze, it’s not so obvious there’s a syrup, too.  I just re-write the recipe to suit me.  No problem; the choir likes to eat, as does Word Team.  Tonight, I’ll bring the big bundt cake and a couple of pots of coffee.
 

How many cakes are you baking?  As many as it takes to get it right.

 Lemon Syrup Poundcake (new name):  all done.  Now I just have to make strawberry ice cream.
Ah gee.  And…a Blueberry Drizzle.   Could life be any more fun?
 

Pound Cake with Syrup and Glaze
Adding the last of the berries to the ice cream maker.  I use David Lebovitz ice cream recipes almost all the time, but this one is in the book that came with the Cuisinart 2qt ice cream maker.  The strawberries are marinated with lemon; half are mashed for freezing with the cream and sugar, and half are added during the last five minutes.
Blueberry Drizzle (instructions below)

Lemon-Syrup Pound Cake with Strawberry Ice Cream (Homemade) and Blueberry Drizzle

 Blueberry Drizzle:  Place one pint fresh blueberries (cleaned and picked over) in a medium saucepan with 1/4 cup each water and granulated sugar.  If you like, you can add a large piece of lemon peel or a cinnamon stick, but for this recipe, the blueberries are best left to their own devices.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and reduce heat to low, simmering and stirring the berries about 15 minutes.  When they’re softened, breaking apart, and a bit thicker, remove from heat and mash with a potato masher.   Strain the mixture over a small bowl.   Reserve the crushed berries for your peanut butter toast and use the strained liquid for your “drizzle,” which is also good on pancakes or English muffins.

Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood
Yesterday it was 60 and gorgeous.  Today it’s rainy and freezy and so gray.
I have no new pics of the dogs, but they are filthy.  Friday:  groomer.

New art in my kitchen.  Did I already show you this?
Cold Chickadees
This is melted…and we now have Minnesota Mush.

Here’s a Salmon Salad I made the other day for supper.  It might make the blog.

 Sing a new song, read my Lenten Blog
Alyce

Peaches and Cream (and Cake) Two Ways or Have Your Cake and Eat it Two

Peaches and Cream (and Cake) Two Ways or Have Your Cake and Eat it Two

 I don’t want to live in a world without peaches.  Really.  And I only like canned peaches pureed into Bellini Soup (is there such a thing?) or on top of cottage cheese for lunch in the winter if I’m just desperate and out of time and am feeling tres fat.  And while, “Sorry don’t get it done, Dude,” is one of the more famous John Wayne quotes, I often remember him in front of a campfire, “Open me up a can of those peaches.”  Poor cowboys.  They didn’t have fresh peaches.  Just cooked, peeled, old canned things.

In St. Paul, we’ve had peaches from several places for a few weeks.  And some of them have been glorious.  We’re still waiting for Colorado western-slope, but that’s as it should be.  Having lived in Colorado for years, I’m not addicted to those peaches.  In fact, I like peaches from other states better.  (These are fighting words, I know.  Sorry, Colorado.)  There’s just not enough rain in Colorado for fruit trees.  Around Penrose,  (south of Colorado Springs) there are some apple orchards that nearly bite the dust every few years despite large-scale irrigation.

Here are some of my favorite ways with peaches:

Unadorned and sweetly loved

Into a salsa for fish or pork or chicken or as a salad all alone with avocado .

 Here’s the link for the salsa recipe here at More Time at the Table.

Grilled with a little fresh cheese, thyme and a squiggle of honey

Here’s the salsa served with a grilled pork chop and my mustard tarragon green bean salad.

 This year, I’ve been baking in the wee, small hours of the morning. (Don’t you love that song?)  It’s the only way to get something in and out of the oven without adding to the heat index.  I tried Peaches, Cream, and Cake in two varieties, taking each to friends’ houses for dinner.  I can always be counted on to bring dessert.  Besides, it transports easily.

First off was Peach Shortcake and I recommend it highly if only because the shortcakes bake quickly and you could even do them in a counter top oven should you be blessed enough to have one.  I am not.  Second was Elvis Presley’s Favorite Cake with Peaches and (homemade) Ginger Ice Cream.  For some reason (not wanting to appear the forever blogger at dinner)–I only have a pic of the cake.  But you’ll get the idea.

Peach-Ginger Shortcake with Vanilla Ice Cream

First make the shortcakes, which are much like biscuits, but a tad sweeter:

Use a light hand with the dough.  Don’t pat or reform too much.

I like to bake them in a glass pie dish so you can see the bottoms.  You want them barely done.

Slice them in half and layer with the peaches.

 Fluffy Shortcakes from THE FANNY FARMER BAKING BOOK by Marion Cunningham
(Don’t bother to reinvent Marion Cunningham’s wheel.–That book is out of print, I think, but you might find a used one.  There is nothing like it.  It’s a veritable, perfect baking bible without any froofroo. BTW, her biscuit recipe is love in a bite and comes from years of testing/working with James Beard.)

2 cups cake flour (I’ve used all-purpose flour for years..just noticed she said “cake”)
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3T sugar
8T (1 stick or 1/2 cup) butter
1 egg, well beaten
1/3 milk or cream, plus droplets more if needed

1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Get out two 8 or 9″ cake pans or a large baking sheet, but do not grease.  (I like glass pie pans for these and for biscuits, too.)
2.  Combine the cake flour, salt, baking powder, cream of tartar, and sugar in a mixing bowl, and stir and toss them together with a fork or wire whisk.  Cut the butter into bits and add it to the dry ingredients.  Then, using two knives or a pastry blender, or your fingertips (Dorie Greenspan would approve), work the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a mixture of fine, irregular crumbs that resemble fresh bread crumbs.  (I do this all in the food processor and have for years.)
3.  Add the beaten egg and the milk all at once, and stir with a fork just until the dough holds together.
4.  Turn out (it will probably be very sticky) onto a smooth, well-floured surface, and knead 12-14 times.  Pat into a rectangle (I do a circle) 1/2″ thick Cut the dough into squares or rectangles (I do circles), using a knife or into rounds with a 2″ cookie cutter. (Like I said.)  Place the biscuits, touching each other in the pans or on the baking sheet.
4.  Bake 15-20 minutes, or until very lightly browned.  (Do not overbake.)   makes 16

Minced fresh ginger mm

  For the peaches and ginger (1 peach per serving)

Peel and slice about one ripe, but firm peach per person.  To easily peel peaches, gently drop them in boiling water for 30 seconds, retrieve using a slotted spoon, cool a bit and the peel will slide right off when coaxed with a sharp knife.  If not, put the peach back in the water for another 10 seconds or so.  You could use an ice bath to cool the peaches, but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary.

Add about 1tsp freshly minced ginger for each 4 peaches.  Stir together.
Squeeze the juice from half a lemon over all and stir again.  Set aside until needed or refrigerate if not using within an hour or so.  (The lemon will keep the peaches from turning brown so quickly.) 

To assemble:
  For each serving:  Slice a shortcake in half.  Place bottom half in a small bowl and top with  gingered peaches.   Add the top half and spoon the rest of the peaches on top. You’ll use  about 3/4-1 c of peaches (1 large peach) per person.  If you’re flush with peaches, slice and use more!

Scoop up some great vanilla ice cream (I like Haagen Dazs 5 or make your own) and nestle it to the side or on top of the peaches and shortcake.  Whipped cream would be nice if you had some.  Not needed, though, unless you skip the ice cream.

 
Elvis Presley’s Favorite Pound Cake with Peaches and Ginger Ice Cream
 1.  Make the cake up to 2 days ahead…. Does this look like something you’d call someone’s favorite (pound) cake?  I don’t think it does, but it is.  The recipe is NOT an urban legend, but is on epicurious.com and is so fattening and so tender and so scrumptious that you should even make it at Thanksgiving and top it with a cranberry conserve and gingered whipped cream!
Cool thing:  this serves about 12 so it’s a great thing to take to a picnic.  I won’t put the recipe in this blog, but you can just click here for it. It also is a good deal for camping, etc. as it keeps at room temperature for several days.  I loved making this great big buttery cake with its tender crumb. 
2.  Make homemade ice cream the day you’re serving this dessert.  I used this recipe for homemade ginger ice cream from an old (1998) GOURMET, but it’s on epicurious.com now and you can click here for it.  You can make whatever kind of ice cream you like, but this was yum.  In a pinch, buy some best-quality ice cream.  Don’t scrimp here.
3.  Slice up a dozen peeled peaches and squeeze the juice of a lemon over all; stir.  (See directions above for peeling peaches.)
4.  To assemble, slice cake into 12 pieces and place each piece in a serving bowl.  Top with a big spoonful of peaches and a scoop of ginger ice cream.  
5.  Say, “AH, summer; I love thee!”
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Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood
We’ve been up on Devil Track Lake (just west of Grand Marais, MN and Lake Superior) cooking and grinning this last week.

Grilled lake trout filet salad at The Angry Trout

   We made simple things like bacon and leek pasta, grilled chops and steaks, and of course blueberry pancakes and eggs in the hole.  We ate a few restaurant meals, but not many.  Didn’t even have cell service.  For restaurants, I’d recommend The Angry Trout (sit outside) and Chez Jude right on the main drag of Grand Marais.  Of course you’d better visit:
P.S.  As a Blogger Against Hunger, I receive a lot of information about starving people.  The situation in Somalia is so critical, I ask you to take a look at sending just a small amount of money to the World Food Programme to help.  One woman walked for days looking for food; three of her children died as she searched.  Meantime, I’m writing about peaches and cream.  Read about it?
Sing a new song and live summer!
Alyce