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Rustic Strawberry Mousseline Cake

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Photography by Gregor Reid, As seen in the Westender Magazine

The weather is looking up and so are the strawberries! Let the first fruit of spring take center stage in this divine dish of creamy mousseline and soft, delicate white cake. There is no better combination as the days start to get longer- more time for dessert I say! Most importantly, if your decorating skills aren’t really up to par or you just simply don’t have the time- this cake will be your lifesaver…rustic is the word! P.S. as always, boxed cake is allowed as long as we keep it a secret.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 400g strawberries

For the cake:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 30g corn flour
  • 120mL whole milk
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 90g unsalted butter, softened

for the mousseline:

  • 480mL whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 55g corn flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 90g unsalted butter, softened

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To prepare:

  1. For the mousseline, heat whole milk over medium heat. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add the corn flour.
  2. Pour ½ the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisk thoroughly. Pour all back into the milk over medium heat. Whisk until thick, about 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk in vanilla, salt, and butter until thoroughly combined and remove from heat. Let cool.
  4. Meanwhile prepare the cake. Preheat the oven to 170 C. Grease and flour a 20cm by 20cm pan.
  5. In a small bowl mix the milk, egg whites, and extracts.
  6. In a large mixing bowl (electric mixer) whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter until crumbly
  7. Add the milk to the flour mixture in thirds until thoroughly combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20 minutes until done. Turn out onto wire rack

To assemble, either in one large dish or individual ramekins or glassware layer the cake, mousseline, and strawberries. Decorate away

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Pumpkin French Toast Bourbon Bake

DSC_6730I know I’m a little behind on the whole seasonal flavors thing, but what else is new? However, this French Toast makes up for any kind of lack of timing I might have. Recently, the gentleman of the house told me I was “failing” at having around essentials and that he was sick of looking in the fridge and not seeing anything he could “eat like a man”. Apparently the corn souffle and braised lamb shank that was sitting in the fridge was not “manly enough”. Go figure. DSC_6714According to his extensive and sophisticated (ah hem) food palate, eggs, milk, and bread are the only thing that should regularly be in the flat, and without them, horrors, we have no food he could possibly eat. This Saturday morning, he looked at me and said “I’m sick of scrambled eggs and toast, can we have something else?” Clearly my “fancy” cooking was looking up. I assured him that but of course we can; however, all we have in the house is his basics. I heard a sigh and a “ok, fine”.  I then got up and proceeded to put the Pumpkin French Toast Bourbon Bake I had prepped the night before into the oven (about 10 minutes total time- woo hoo). He has not said another word about my failure to make manly food since. DSC_6729The fresh pumpkin flavor from Brownwood Farms pumpkin butter is just positively divine without being overpowering. Add a little William Wolf whiskey that just has the perfect hint of pecan and along with the fact that this entire thing can be made ahead, left in the fridge, and baked the next morning, man o’ man do we have a winner.  Yes, you do need to make the glaze at the end but it takes t-1 minute and is just the icing on the cake as one would say. Or rather, the icing on the pumpkin bourbon french toast.DSC_6731

Ingredients:DSC_6649

  • 1 loaf fresh white bread
  • 720mL whole milk (3 c)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean (vanilla extract)
  • 1 oz William Wolf Whiskey (or other)
  • 5 Tbs Brownwood Farms Pumpkin ButterDSC_6678

for the glaze:DSC_6690

  • 2 Tbs melted butter
  • 125g  icing sugar (1 c powdered sugar)
  • 3 Tbs Brownwood Farms Pumpkin ButterDSC_6681
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean (vanilla extract)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

To prepare:

  1. Slice the bread into larger than bite-size pieces. Place in a large casserole dish.
  2. Whisk all ingredients together except for the glaze ingredients. Pour over the bread.DSC_6640
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight up to 24 hours, and no less than 1 hour. I think overnight is the best.DSC_6661
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 170C (350F) and bake for about 45 minutes.DSC_6695
  5. 5 minutes before the bake is finished, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and icing sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients.DSC_6698DSC_6702
  6. Pour the glaze over the french toast bake as it comes out of the oven. Enjoy!DSC_6732
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8 Minute Fried Egg Sandwich for Dinner

DSC_0447It is 7pm, you’re hungry, your (potential) children are hungry, your roommate is hungry, your mom is hungry, your dog is hungry, regardless of who is hungry, there is going to be some serious grumpy going around. That is when this 8 minute Fried Egg Sandwich Dinner WILL SAVE YOU. I know I have said some things I wish I hadn’t when I’m Hangry. So save yourself and your loved ones from yourself, and make sure you have bacon, cheese, bread, eggs, and some jam on hand for all occasions. The dishes take about 2.5 minutes (I timed myself). This is the perfect weeknight meal (or Saturday hungover one). The gooey fried egg with crispy bacon, melted cheese, fresh soft bread, and the sweetness of the preserves are nature’s perfect combos. Make it tonight (or tomorrow)!DSC_0451

Ingredients: (Makes 4 open faced sandwiches i.e. two normal people)

DSC_64964 eggs

salt, pepper

8 rashers bacon

8 thin slices cheese

2 Tbs preserves of your choice

4 slices white bread

4 Tbs butter

To prepare:

1. Fry your bacon on medium for 5 minutes. DSC_0437

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Fry your eggs on medium low for 5 minutes. Hint! wipe your  egg pan with olive or vegetable oil using a paper towel, the eggs will slide off gorgeouslyDSC_0439DSC_0441DSC_04423. Toast bread. Top with preserves. Add the cheese. Then the bacon and eggs. DIVINE AND THE EASIEST RECIPE EVERDSC_0446



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Brown Sugar Pumpkin Pancakes


It is OFFICIALLY fall!!! That means baking, pies, pumpkins, and more importantly big, bulky sweaters to cover up all those extra lbs (kgs) that come from those delicious things. It is about t-9 months til bikini season begins again, so I say pile them on until about t-3 months: my usual life cycle. So, without further ado, to start off this rainy weekend and gaining weight like a champ, I made Brown Sugar Pumpkin pancakes. I also drank a glass of Moscato wine because I am not ready to give up white wine day drinking quite yet. The summer-fall transition is a work in progress. But regardless, these pancakes are the stuff fall (or autumn if you want to be snobby/British about it) is made of and will make swirly dreams of bouncing into leaf piles and riding on haybaled wagons to haunted houses come alive. The butter and brown sugar give a rich nuttiness to the pancakes and the lemon zest gives just a bit of kick. Make these on Sunday morning and I promise, everyone will wake up to the wafting smells of autumn floating throughout your house.DSC_6479Ingredients:

120g flour (1 cup)

60g brown sugar, packed (1/3 cup)

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 can pumpkin puree (3/4 cup)

80mL whole milk (1/3c)

zest of 1 lemon

1 Tbs lemon juice

3Tbs butter, melted

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

maple syrupDSC_6488To Prepare:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt) in a large bowl and mix the rest of the ingredients (pumpkin, whole milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, egg, and vanilla) in another bowl.
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. . The mixture will be very thick.
  3. Over medium heat, melt a bit of butter or vegetable oil. Pour about 1/3 cup of pancake mixture per pancake and flip when bubbly. Serve with powdered sugar or maple syrup or both!DSC_6487
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Acai (Smoothie in a) Bowl

DSC_6359I know, I know, Acai bowls are so two months ago (or probably two years if you live in LA), but I am a bit late to the party (what’s new?). Anything that has a name I am not sure I can pronounce scares me a little bit (a lot) so I tend to stick with food I understand: fried chicken, chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, etc. But, I think it is easy to forget that food is food. We aren’t re-inventing the wheel here folks (unless it is that crazy new meatless meat that google is cooking up) and we really shouldn’t be too afraid. Let me explain. I went to this wonderful little spot in Glasgow called Juice Garden and deciding to be adventurous I tried their Breakfast Acai Bowl.DSC_6353 It was delicious, but it tasted suspiciously like a smoothie I had made for myself when I was on a healthy kick (like 4 years ago). After intense investigation (i.e. going to Juice Garden 5 days in a row and ordering the Breakfast Acai Bowl each time) and a significantly lighter wallet, I emarked on an Acai Bowl making of my own. It was a disaster. The acai was bitter, there was no thick creaminess but just runny graininess, and the granola was so full of sugar that even I couldn’t pretend it was breakfast worthy. After intense googling, two more trips to Juice Garden, and 42 smoothies experiments later (the chief taste tester Henry is really digging acai right now), I reached perfection. A bowl, thick as frozen yogurt, as creamy as ice cream, as healthy as Broccoli (ew), and absolutely delicious. I cheated a little bit and did not make my own granola (who has time for that?- no offense if you do, I’m just jealous). But overall I am incredibly satisfied with my health kick, I felt full for HOURS (usually about 45 minutes after breakfast I am starving again) and my sweet tooth was completely assuaged. This stuff really is the superfood that everyone says it is. Only four more years til’ I do it again!DSC_6354Ingredients: Serves 2

100g frozen acai berries (1 pouch)

1 frozen banana

12 large frozen strawberries

120 mL almond milk (or real milk, let’s not be too picky) (1/2 cup)

1 tsp vanilla bean (vanilla extract)

1 Tbs agave nectar (optional levels of health here)

Toppings

25g blueberries (1/4 cup)

50g sliced strawberries (1/3 cup)

2 Tbs coconut shavings

50g granola (1/3 cup)

To Prepare:

1. Blend the acai, banana, strawberries, milk, vanilla, and agave (optional) together.

2. Top away!
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