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French Pastry Cake with French Custard Filling

French Pastry Cake with Soft French Custard and Fresh Strawberry Filling

French Pastry Cake with Soft French Custard and Fresh Strawberry Filling

I have been making this cake since 1968. My mom learned to make it from a series of cooking classes she took at the Antoinette Pope Cooking School in downtown Chicago.  This was our family birthday cake Mom made for her large family who would gather at our home. The only cake similar I have tasted is the Yule Log made by the French pastry chef at Café Zinc, Jeremy Lecreuse.

This recipe is taken from The New Antoinette Pope Cook Book. I made a double recipe for this large cake. One recipe is described here for an angel food cake pan or any pan of similar volume. A deep 9 x 13 inch baking pan would work as long as it is at least 3 inches deep.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

1 3/4 cup sifted granulated sugar

12 large egg yolks (1 1/2 cups white and 1 cup yolks)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

  • In a large bowl combine flour with about 1/2 the sugar. Sift together at least 3 times.
  • Separate eggs carefully. In a medium bowl, beat yolks for several minutes until lemony
  • In a large bowl combine egg whites and salt. Beat until foamy. Sprinkle cream of tartar over surface. Continue beating until whites cling to sides of bowl. Beat 1 more minute.
  • With a plastic spatula fold beaten egg yolks into whites.
  • Fold in the other 1/2 of the sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time.
  • Fold in the flour and sugar mixture, 1/4 cup at a time.
Sonia Sanders folding the flour into the cake

Sonia Sanders folding the flour into the cake

Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour-sugar mixture over top and fold in

Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour-sugar mixture over top and fold in

Folding

Folding

  • Fold in vanilla.
  • Pour batter into a round loose bottom ungreased deep pan about 12 x 3 inches or an angel food cake pan about 4 x 10 inches. If using a pan without a removable bottom, place a 3 inch round of parchment paper on center bottom of pan, holding it in place with a little butter.
  • Bake 1 hour at 300 degrees.
  • Increase to 325 degrees and bake 10-20 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick or cake tester.
Double size cake baking in oven

Double size cake baking in oven

  • Turn cake upside town and balance so the cake does not touch the counter.
Turn cake pan upside down and balance with cups to hold cake above the counter. Cake does not fall out!

Turn cake pan upside down and balance with cups to hold cake above the counter. Cake does not fall out!

  • Let cool about 2 hours or until cold. It is best to remove cake from pan as soon as it is cold.
  • Loosen sides and bottom with a spatula or dinner knife and turn out onto serving platter or cake rack.
  • When ready to ice, cut cake in half horizontally with a bread knife.

French Cream Filling (Top of Stove Custard)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup sifted flour mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 egg yolks

1/4 cup cool milk

2 cups warm milk

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

  • In a stainless steel saucepan combine sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt.
  • In a small bowl beat yolks slightly and add the 1/4 cup cool milk.
  • Whisk yolk mixture slowly into dry ingredients.
  • Whisk warm milk into yolk mixture, a little at a time, until blended.
  • Cook over moderate heat until thickened, stirring constantly.
  • Lower heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add butter.
  • Cool and continue to whisk often to prevent crust from forming.
  • Add vanilla when cool.
  • Cover top of custard with piece of plastic wrap to prevent crust from forming. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Constructing the cake

  • Divide the custard in half. Spread half of it on the cut side of the bottom cake layer.
Cake sliced in half and spread with custard and covered with fresh strawberries

Cake sliced in half and spread with custard and covered with fresh strawberries

  • Place fresh strawberry slices over the custard.
  • Spread the remaining half of custard on the cut side of the top layer of cake.
  • Carefully flip the top layer onto the strawberry layer.
Cake Assembled!

Cake Assembled!

It's a beautiful thing! And not super sweet!

It’s a beautiful thing! And not super sweet!

  • Beat at least 1 pint or more fresh whipping cream until spreadable. You can add some powdered sugar before beating if you want it a little sweeter.
  • Frost the cake top and then the sides with the whipping cream.
  • Voila!

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Bake Rice Krispie Date Nut Balls

This was a mid century cookie my Aunt Olga made for us. It’s one of my favs and requires no baking! Only a little stove top simmering! I double this recipe

In a small bowl beat 1 egg till thick and lemony

In a medium saucepan combine:
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup dark brown sugar

Add egg and beat again

Stir in 8 ounces chopped dates. Bring to a boil. Then simmer 8 minutes or until thick and light colored

Cool 10 minutes

In a large bowl combine:
2 cups Rice Krispies
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Add date mixture to Rice Krispie mix and stir with a large spoon

Form into small balls and roll in granulated sugar. Voila!

IMG_1220-1

Drinking Vinegar! An old time cocktail

Drinking Vinegar! An old time cocktail

We tried a drinking vinegar in Portland Oregon and now in Midland Michigan. Loving the Michigan Beet & Carrot mixed with sparkling water. 1 part vinegar to 4 parts sparkling water. Refreshing! Thank you Mercato di O & V, our own oil and vinegar store on Main Street in Midland!

Read the rest of this entry

Rugelach/Aunt Marie’s Cheese Horns

 

Rugelach / Cheese Horns

Rugelach / Cheese Horns

Aunt Marie (Korzin Winiarski) was my mom’s older sister. Mom had 5 brothers and 5 sisters. She was also the middle child. I won’t analyze that. My grandmother did not make many desserts, but her daughters learned to.

Aunt Marie was a wonderful baker. At our large family gatherings she was known for these cookies we called Cheese Horns. The dough is not sweet and is made with cottage cheese. It wasn’t till recent years that I learned these were a form of Rugelach, a rolled cookie made with cream cheese or cottage cheese and filled with a variety of sugar, nuts and dried fruits or poppy seed paste, jam or chocolate. It is a Jewish Eastern European cookie which means little twist or little corners. I’ve seen much more complex recipes than this one. Mine is easy and pretty and not exceptionally sweet.

Rugelach, ready to go!

Rugelach, ready to go!

Here are the ingredients for 1 batch. I usually make 2 batches

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • In a mixer combine in this order:

1 cup butter, softened

8 ounces cottage cheese

2 cups flour

 

Rugelach Dough

Rugelach Dough

  • Divide into 3-4 rounds, depending on how small you want to make the cookies. More rounds for smaller cookies.
Rugelach Dough Round

Rugelach Dough Round

  • Place a round of dough on a floured surface. I use a Foley brand pastry cloth and frame and a rolling pin covered with a knit cover and flour.
Foley pastry cloth, covered rolling pin, covered with sifted flour

Foley pastry cloth, covered rolling pin, covered with sifted flour

  • Roll into a thin round about 10 inches across.

rugelach2

  • Brush entire surface with melted butter
  • Sprinkle with dark brown sugar
  • Sprinkle with chopped pecans
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon
Melted butter,  brown sugar & chopped pecans

Melted butter, brown sugar & chopped pecans

Cut into pie shaped segments

Cut into pie shaped segments

  • Using a small knife, cut across the dough in half. Cut into 12-16 segments.
Roll Rugelach into horn shapes

Roll Rugelach into horn shapes

  • Roll up each cookie, starting at the wider end.
  • Place small end down on a parchment covered baking sheet.
  • Brush entire surface with a mixture of 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water.
Brush Rugelach with egg yolk wash

Brush Rugelach with egg yolk wash

  • Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Cool on wire racks.

Chorizo and Goat Cheese Lollipops: Xupa Xup

Lollipops of Chorizo Filled with Goat Cheese & Quince Paste

Lollipops of Chorizo Filled with Goat Cheese & Quince Paste

Visiting my daughter Diana in Portland Oregon we were introduced to this fun tapas served at a Barcelona style tapas bar called Ataula, located in the Alphabet District of NW Portland.  This very relaxed low key town presents the most amazing food. This one I could recreate.

For more go to Ataulapdx.com. Barcelona speaks its own language, Catalyan. The Catalyan term for these lollipops is Xupa Xup.

 

Lollipops stand up in a cup of dried beans

Lollipops stand up in a cup of dried beans

Chorizo is a Spanish sausage seasoned with paprika. Have the deli slice it as thin as they can while keeping whole rounds of meat.

Chorizo Round

Chorizo Round

Sliced Paper Thin

Sliced Paper Thin

Quince Paste is a solid thick sweet jam used in Spanish cooking. It’s popular in Australia and New Zealand.  It can also be purchased in a flat rectangular form that is easy to cut into squares or slices to serve with cheese and your other international snack foods. I’d use a jam-like jar of it for this.

Quince Paste is Ready to Use in a Jam-like Jar.

Quince Paste is Ready to Use in a Jam-like Jar.

  • Spread a thin layer on one side of each slice of chorizo.
  • Place a teaspoon or so of plain natural goat cheese on the end of the lollipop stick or skewer.
  • Place the cheese and stick on one slice of chorizo.
  • Top the goat cheese with the other slice of chorizo.
  • Press rim together. The paste works like a glue with a tart sweet flavor.
  • Serve right away or within a few hours. The chorizo separates as it dries out.

Brussels Sprout Salad with Watermelon Radish, Walnuts and Cranberries

Brussels Sprout Salad with Watermelon Radish, Walnuts and Cranberries

Brussels sprouts are quartered and lightly roasted. The bright red watermelon radishes are sliced thin. Also add coarsely chopped walnuts and quartered dried cranberries. Then toss with olive oil and champagne vinegar. So colorful and delish!

Seafood Stew

Jan Doty made this recipe for us this winter and Dave and I have made it several times since! The fresh tarragon provides a bright flavor. Adding the seafood at the very end allows for preparing most of the stew before guests arrive. Thank you again Jan for another outstanding recipe!

Seafood Stew

Seafood Stew

Poaching is an excellent way to cook seafood, since the cooking liquid makes a flavorful base for sauce. This recipe features a French technique called monter au beurre (to mount with butter), whereby chilled butter is whisked into the cooking liquid at the last minute to ensure a satiny sauce. We often double the recipe when entertaining which serves at least 10. A single recipe is written here.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced leek (about 1 large)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup dry white wine

28 ounce carton of low sodium chicken stock and/or seafood stock (Swanson’s Cooking Stock is a favorite) (if you want a thicker soup, add 1/2 the amount of stock)

3/4 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined or more

3/4 pound large sea scallops, cut in half or more

1 pound cod, cut into 2 inch cubes

1 pound frozen baby clams, thawed (add liquid too)

1 pound frozen mussels, thawed (add liquid too)

2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1 and 1/2 cup chopped fresh plum tomatoes

2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon

2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon rind

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more as desired

  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven.
  • Add leek and garlic and cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Add tomatoes, wine and broth and bring to a simmer at least 10 minutes. Keep at a low simmer covered until ready to serve.
  • When you are ready to serve, whisk the butter in.
  • Add the tarragon, lemon rind, salt, pepper and cayenne and bring broth to a boil.
  • Add the seafood and all it’s liquid.
  • Bring it up to a full boil.
  • Serve immediately with white rice or brown rice and crusty bread or naan/Arabic bread.

 

 

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