Cauliflower Cake

June 15th, 2017

Caulifower Cake

Spreading my wings in cultural awareness of Middle Eastern Cuisine has taken me to cookbooks by Yotam Ottolenghi.  In partnership with Sami Tamimi he wrote the cookbook Jerusalem, his home city, which reflects the diverse cuisines of the Muslims, Christians and Jewish communities within its borders.  Now a well known vegetarian chef and restaurant owner in London, Ottolenghi has received many awards for his innovative cuisine.  More cookbooks followed among them Plenty and Plenty More.

Cauliflower Cake

From the cookbook Plenty More, I made this savory Cauliflower Cake.  Many of Ottolenghi’s recipes require unusual ingredients, but this is a pretty straightforward recipe.  The only ingredient that I did not have access to was nigella seeds.  As they are only sprinkled on the sides of the cake along with sesame seeds, I did not consider them necessary.

We love this cake.  Cauliflower florets are suspended in an eggy cake batter with flecks of rosemary, basil and red onions.  To make it even better in my mind, I added cubes of ham.  But you could leave it vegetarian and it would still be delicious.  There is added richness with lots of Parmesan cheese.  I think an aged cheddar would also be good.  I will be looking for nigella seeds because some reviewers said the seeds on the edges added a nice crunch.

Califlower Cake

You can serve this cake along with a salad for a light supper or make it for a brunch with friends.  It makes me happy.  Enjoy the coming Father’s Day weekend.

CAULIFLOWER CAKE

Serves 4 to 6

1 small cauliflower, outer leaves removed, broken into 1 1/4-inch florets (about 4 cups)
1 medium red onion, peeled (6 ounces)
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
7 large eggs
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Parmesan or another aged cheese
Melted unsalted butter, for brushing
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon nigella seeds (also known as black caraway)
Salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the cauliflower florets in a saucepan and add 1 teaspoon salt. Cover with water and simmer for 15 minutes, until the florets are quite soft. They should break when pressed with a spoon. Drain and set aside in a colander to dry.

Cut 4 round slices, each 1/4-inch/5-mm thick, off one end of the onion and set aside. Coarsely chop the rest of the onion and place in a small pan with the oil and rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Transfer the onion to a large bowl, add the eggs and basil, whisk well, and then add the flour, baking powder, turmeric, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and plenty of pepper. Whisk until smooth before adding the cauliflower and stirring gently, trying not to break up the florets.

Line the base and sides of a 9 1/2-inch/24-cm springform cake pan with parchment paper. Brush the sides with melted butter, then mix together the sesame and nigella seeds and toss them around the inside of the pan so that they stick to the sides. Pour the cauliflower mixture into the pan, spreading it evenly, and arrange the reserved onion rings on top. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown and set; a knife inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave for at least 20 minutes before serving. It needs to be served just warm, rather than hot, or at room temperature.

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Sugared Rosemary-Lemon Scones – {the} Lost Kitchen

May 11th, 2017

Sugared Lemon Rosemary Scones

These are not ordinary scones.  First of all the flavor; lots of lemon flavor from grated lemon zest and a subtle undertone of finely chopped rosemary.  The texture is both crumbly and crisp.  Secondly the method of preparation; the dough is rolled into a long log, stored in the refrigerator and sliced and baked when you are ready.  This is perfect to have on hand for fresh scones for breakfast without the prep and clean-up.

Sugared Lemon Rosemary Scones

The recipe came from a source new to me.  There is a small 40 seat restaurant in Freedom, Maine named {the} Lost Kitchen run by an intrepid strong woman named Erin French.  She had previously run a Secret Supper Club from her apartment.  These “pop-up” dining places have become popular.  Witness the seasonal pop-up that Mimi Thorisson established in her rural home in France.  Erin’s Pop-up restaurant and cooking garnered such enthusiasm that she eventually opened a restaurant in Belfast, Maine.  But after two years and much soul searching, plus a divorce, she eventually lost the restaurant.  Erin worked her way back, first by outfitting an Airstream trailer for cooking (bought in my neighborhood of Bat Cave by the way), and then by finding an old mill that she turned into a restaurant in her hometown of Freedom, Maine.

The Lost Kitchen

I would love to eat there some day.  The restaurant is opened from May 1st until New Years Eve.  Reservations open on April 1st of each year.  This year on April 1st the phone rang so often that 10,000 people called for reservations. Needless to say, the staff was overwhelmed and the waiting list is long for a 40 seat establishment.  You can hear Erin’s story in this  James Beard Award Winning Video.

 

Sugared Lemon Rosemary Scones

All I can say about Erin’s recipe for scones is that I will be making them again and using her idea of forming a log from the dough so that I can bake them in my own time.  The flavor of these scones is amazing, but be sure to use lots of lemon zest.  I tried to hide them so I could keep them to myself, but David was not to be outdone. Even though bread is not in his diet, he managed to eat several.  They are delicious. Just imagine how many combinations you can come up with. I am planning another batch. Erin French is my new hero.  If I were younger I would want to be her.  I wish her the best.Lost Kitchen You will not be sorry to own this beautiful cookbook.  Buy it on Amazon.

SUGARED ROSEMARY-LEMON SCONES ( Erin French from Food & Wine Magazine )

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon ( Use a large lemon or two small ones)
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

    1. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the 1/3 cup of sugar, the rosemary, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with some pea-size pieces of butter still visible. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the 3/4 cup of cream until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead just until it comes together. Gently roll the dough into a 14-inch log, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees; and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the log into 8 rounds and transfer to the baking sheet. I sliced them into 10 rounds.  Brush the scones with cream and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until the scones are golden. Let cool slightly before serving.

Printable Recipe

Fig and Almond Cake

August 11th, 2016

 

Fig and Almond Cake 1

To continue with the fig bounty, I made this almond and fig cake.  I always keep some almond flour in the freezer for Financiers, those dainty French cakes in the shape of  gold bars.  I love almond flour and this cake has both the flour and almond extract.  I went easy with the extract because I find it very strong.

Fig and Almond Cake 2V

The cake was moist and studded with the halved figs.  It was perfect for an afternoon tea or with coffee for breakfast.  You could sprinkle it with powdered sugar or top it with a dollop of whipped cream.

Fig and Almond Cake 3

Now that all of my figs are gone, I am wishing for more.  I have heard from a local acquaintance who has a fig tree in her yard.  Hopefully she will share!  Talking about you Donna.

FIG AND ALMOND CAKE (Adapted from The New York Times)

4 Tablespoons butter, melted, plus butter for greasing pan
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar for sprinkling
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
12 to 14 rip figs

Heat oven to 375 degrees F/  Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan or pie pan; set aside.  Put almond flour, 1/4 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, honey and almond and vanilla extracts.  Add almond mixture and beat for a minute until batter is just mixed.  Pour batter into pan.

Remove stem from each fig and cut in half.  Arrange fig halves cut-side up over the batter.  Sprinkle figs with Demerara sugar and bake for 30 minutes, until golden outside and dry at center when probed with a cake tester.  Cool before serving.

Printable Recipe

Summer Berry Buckle

June 13th, 2016

Summer Berry Buckle 1

Our hearts are hurting right now with the senseless loss of life in Orlando, Florida.  I try to keep my blog free of political comments so you will hear none of that from me, but the tragedy that took so many lives has nothing to do with politics.  It is just a sad commentary on the hate that seems to permeate our otherwise great country.  The hate needs to stop.

When the world seems too much to bear, baking cookies for your neighbors or making a breakfast cake to share can be a small token of friendship that can tell people that you care.  Please do not lambast me for such a silly response to what has happened. I fully understand the complexity of our problems and the great loss.  We are trying to deal with it by being actively involved in finding solutions.  But no act of kindness is too small. Besides, baking is good for the soul.

Summer Berry Buckle 2v

This summer berry buckle is a fruit studded coffee cake.  It is more fruit than cake, but the combination is a wonderful summer treat.  Add whipped cream or ice cream and you have the perfect dessert to enjoy on the porch or deck.  Or serve it for breakfast with juice and coffee.  You may think that 4 1/2 cups of fruit is too much but it is not.  I used a pint of washed and dried blueberries, 1/2 pint of washed and dried raspberries and 1/2 pint of washed and dried blackberries.

Katie Praying

My nephew and his family live in Orlando and Paul’s daughter Katie made this sign to honor the fallen victims of the horrible tragedy.  Katie has a big heart.  It is not right that our young children should have to endure such horrors.  We all need to unite, without animosity, to find a solution.

Summer Berry Buckle close

Bake this Summer Berry Buckle to share with friends.  It is a small gesture of good will.

SUMMER BERRY BUCKLE ( The New York Times )

  • ½ cup/114 grams (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
  • ½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar, more for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup/55 grams light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon/5 grams finely gratedlemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups/156 grams all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ½ cups summer berries (a mix of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or use any one kind)
  • Cinnamon, for dusting (optional)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add lemon zest and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg and baking powder, and whisk to combine. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Gently fold berries into the batter, then spread batter in pan and sprinkle lightly with more granulated sugar. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until top is golden and cake is cooked through.
  5. Allow cake to cool, then sprinkle with cinnamon, if using, and confectioners’ sugar.

Buttery Breakfast Casserole

June 7th, 2016

Breakfast Casserole 1

I have cobbled together a picture of a breakfast casserole that I served to company.  My life has been rather cobbled together lately.  From selling our Florida house, to pulling a u-haul back to North Carolina, to a major get together with friends, the one thing I did not need was to get sick.  But sick I was.  I developed a hacking cough, headache, fever and laryngitis. David dragged me to the Doctor last Wednesday.  All I could croak out were the words “I can’t afford to be sick.  I have 16 people coming tomorrow for 4 or 5 days.” I am so impressed with our Nurse Practitioner.  She prescribed an antibiotic and words of wisdom.  She said be sure your friends have clean sheets and towels, but forget about the rest of the house.  No one will notice or care about a bit of dust or a less that neat house.  So true.  Everyone pitched in and we had a wonderful time.

Malt Shoppe Memories Beach

The occasion that brought us all together was the annual Lake Lure Lakefront Home Owners Association annual dinner and meeting.  David and I were in charge of the entertainment.  We booked our good friends from Florida who have a doo wop group called Malt Shoppe Memories.  They perform all over Florida and are also known in our area from previous visits.

Malt Shoppe Memories Dancing

The concert was held on the beach and a fun time was had by all.

Malt Shoppe Memories S'moresThe hotel even arranged to serve S’mores on the beach.

Malt Shoppe Memories Boathouse

 

The party was held on Saturday night.  On Sunday evening the group performed on the top of our boathouse and people were encouraged to come by boat to sit back and enjoy the concert.  The acoustics on the water and between the mountains are something special.

Malt Shoppe Memories Kitchen

It was great to have so much help in the kitchen.  We did a pot luck on Sunday and everyone contributed wonderful dishes.

Breakfast Casserole 2V

I made this casserole on Saturday afternoon when I was feeling better. I tucked it into the refrigerator and baked it on Sunday morning.  It couldn’t be easier.  What you see here are the leftovers. It is a special breakfast casserole because it uses croissants instead of bread (thus the buttery description) and because it comes from The New York Times.  All of their recipes are first rate.  I will be adding this to my permanent recipe file.  The sausage, Gruyere cheese, sage and green onions just add to the goodness.

BUTTERY BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

  • 1 pound croissants (about 5 to 7), split in half lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, more for baking dish
  • 1 bunch scallions (6 to 7), white and light green parts thinly sliced, greens reserved
  • ¾ pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces Gruyère, grated (2 cups)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

 

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Spread croissants on a large baking sheet and toast, cut side up, until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes (watch carefully to see that they do not burn). Let cool, then tear into large bite-size pieces.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add sliced scallions and sausage meat; cook, breaking up meat with a fork, until mixture is well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in sage, and remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together croissants and sausage mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, 1 1/2 cups cheese, salt and pepper.
  4. Lightly oil a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Turn croissant mixture into pan, spreading it out evenly over the bottom. Pour custard into pan, pressing croissants down gently to help absorb the liquid. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. When you’re ready to bake the casserole, heat oven to 350 degrees. Scatter the remaining grated cheese over the top of the casserole. Transfer to oven and bake until casserole is golden brown and firm to the touch, 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallion tops before serving.

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.