Red Velvet Cake

2011/04/25 § 5 Comments

A dear friend tagged me on a red velvet cake photo and I couldn’t take my mind off it ever since.  The funny thing is I’ve never been a fan.  My best friend in Atlanta have made me try a couple and I always found them just sweet.  With not much flavor but sugar.

Ironically, I live very near a well-known Cake Shop selling nothing but Red Velvet Cake.  People from everywhere come to my area to buy and bring home red velvet cake from Cake Man Raven.  I like the shop front so I would always walk by it and peep in every now and then. I have never been particularly enamoured, however, of the stack upon stack of pre-sliced cakes in plastic containers.  Finally, I dropped by last week and got a slice.

VERDICT –  It is as good as they say it is.  And as good as I’ve been dreaming it to be – since seeing my friends’ photo.  Moist and spongy and…not so sweet it’s inedible.  In truth –  Cake Man Raven’s red velvet cake rocks!   It is bad to find something so addicting….and soooo accessible.  Tsk, tsk.  Now I’ll have to find a way to avoid that part of town…

For all my friends who bake (*Ros*) – here is the recipe taken from Time Out New York.  Please try it at home and let me know if it’s good.  If it is – you will find me knocking at your doorstep very soon.  Enjoy!

Recipe: Red-velvet cake

Courtesy of Cake Man Raven bakery

Serves 10–12

Cake

Dry ingredients:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp cocoa powder

Wet ingredients:
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vinegar (white distilled)
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 oz red food coloring
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Sift together all dry ingredients
2. Put wet ingredients into an electric mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
3. Slowly add dry ingredients to mixing bowl until all ingredients are combined
4. Pour and spread evenly into a cake tin and bake at 350 degrees for 20–30 minutes
5. Remove and leave to cool. Make frosting while you wait.

Frosting

4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 lb. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 lb. butter (softened)
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Mix together the cream cheese and the softened butter. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar until it reaches desired sweetness and smoothness
2. Add vanilla extract and mix well
3. Apply frosting to cake top

xxx

Spanish Tortilla with Wasabi

2010/09/24 § Leave a comment

I used to cook breakfast for my brother when he goes to school.  He’s very picky so tried to think of something he will eat and like, that’s easy to make.  He loves japanese food so  thought of putting egg and wasabi together.  Came up with a traditionally spanish dish.  With a twist.  Which somehow works (for me, at least, and my brother).

To make this dish, all you need is a clove of garlic (and half a tiny onion slices, if desired), 4 tiny yukon gold potatoes, 3 eggs, a tablespoon of olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper, dash of wasabi and sprinkling of shichimi.

Dice garlic and potatoes finely.  Beat eggs.  Heat olive oil.  Add potatoes and salt.  Stir occasionally til slightly golden and just tender.  Add beaten eggs.  Flip to cook other side.  This should take less than a minute if you want the egg to be slightly runny inside.  Remove skillet from flame.   Sprinkle black pepper and shichimi.  Put wasabi on the side and add a tiny paste on tortilla as your taste desires.

Sugar Snap Peas and Endive Salad

2010/09/09 § 3 Comments

Photo by Jennifer Dickert

This was my favorite salad of the summer.  The sugar snap pea season is likely over but if you are lucky enough to find them still, do go and make this in a hurry.  Discovered this at  ABC Kitchen and fell in love.

Crunchy and fresh with just that hint of  sweetness from the pea and bitterness of the endive.  It blended harmoniously with champagne vinegar and parmesan cheese.  I went straight to the farmer’s market in Union Square after this meal and bought copious quantities of sugar snap peas and feasted on them over the summer.  I’ve made my own version at home several times over.

Found the recipe at the NYMag  article by Robin Raisfeld & Rob Patronite.  Here it is:

“Dan Kluger’s Sugar-Snap-Pea-and-Endive Salad

For the Dressing:
1 cup Parmesan, grated
1/2 cup plus 1 tsp. Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Salad:
3 cups sugar snap peas
12 spears Belgian endive
12 spears red endive or radicchio di Treviso
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
2 tbs. each parsley, chives, chervil, tarragon, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Dressing:
Combine the Parmesan, vinegar, lime juice, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender. Emulsify with the oils. Reserve. For the salad: (1) string the snap peas. Blanch for 30 seconds, and remove to an ice bath to cool. Dry the snap peas, and (2) slice into thin strips. To plate each serving: Place 1 Belgian- and 1 red-endive spear on a plate. (3) Top with a small mound of sliced snap peas, a drizzle of dressing, and sprinkle of cheese. Repeat twice using smaller endives each time. Sprinkle with herbs, and drizzle more dressing around the plate. Finish with black pepper. Serves 4. Save remaining dressing for another use. Adapted from Dan Kluger.”

Alas, the sugar snap pea season is too short.   Will have to wait for next summer for more of these yummy goodness.

Potato, Caviar and Creme Fraiche Monday…

2010/08/17 § Leave a comment

I have one thing in mind when craving for a luxurious breakfast on weekends or on a free day, without meat or anything processed and without cutting up things, stirring, beating or taking out too many pots, pans and utensils for breakfast – Potato, crème fraiche (or sour cream – whatever is on hand) and inexpensive lumpfish caviar.

Recipe:

Just boil the potato in salted water.  When it’s done, cut in half (or cut like medallions).  Scrape the top a bit.  Slather with crème fraiche (or sour cream).  Add dollops of caviar.  A sprinkling of chives can also add color and that subtle zing.  Easy.

This doesn’t just work for breakfast, of course.  One can have it for lunch or dinner.  But I do not suggest this as food that should be taken on the go or when you’re rushing out the front door for work or for a meeting.  This dish is meant to be savored.  To be eaten slowly.  Letting the salty roe taste mingle with the creamy sourness of the crème fraiche or sour cream and the earthy, full taste of the potatoes.   This is a dish meant for days when you just want to close your eyes and say “mmmm….”  When simplicity is pure luxury.  When you just want to say a prayer of thanks for nature and its infinite goodness….

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