Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dark and Stormy Rum Cake with Lime Glaze

So, the year ends today and it has been quite a stormy year, so I decided to bake this luscious and decadent rum cake. The original recipe I found in a magazine, adapted it to my culinary specs (it means I used what I had in hand)  and the cake is patiently waiting to be eaten tonight.

The year has been a great year, where I started this unfancy blog (autocorrect wants to change unfancy to unfunny...ha!) which after 5 months has already a good group of unidentified visitors. The blog started as an idea to share my cooking experiences in Spanish and English...which resulted in a bigger task than I though. After great consideration I decided to drop the Spanish one. With now three blogs, a job and a full time wife...life is busy.

I have also discovered that the one and only son is becoming independent so Christmas and New Year, for the first time...we are on our own. Due to that shocking event, the current wife and I decided to spend Christmas in San Francisco and New Year's here at home. Go figure.

A year of great things where I discover that I kind of like my only cousin who visited us (an annoying experience on its own), that rediscovering life only with the wife which has been more satisfying than I expected. She is a curios being, full of happiness and...full of food. Her fault.

So, here I am... the year ahead is predicted to be a great year, or at least that is what I predict. Like they say in my native land: Feliz Año Nuevo!


Dark and Stormy Rum Cake with Lime Glaze

Cooking Time: 90 Minutes   Yields 16 servings
Ingredients

2 1/2 Cups Sifted flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1/4 tsp Baking soda

2 tsp Ground ginger

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp All spice

1/2 Cup Crystalized ginger chopped

1/2 Cup Molasses

1/2 Cup Dark rum

1 1/4 Cup Room temperature Butter

1/4 Cup Brown sugar

3 Large eggs, room temperature

2 Egg Yolks -from large eggs-

LIME GLAZE -recipe below-

Lime Glaze Recipe

1 Cup Sifted Icing Sugar

1 tsp Dark rum

1 tsp Coconut oil *

3 tsp Lemon juice

1/2 tsp Lime zest

1 1/2 tsp Coconut milk or whole milk -I use regular milk-

* Coconut Oil: I wish I had all the necessary ingredients for all recipes I do but due to limitations in budget and kitchen space… sometimes I resource to some allowable substitutions. Coconut oil is one of those ingredients (along with avocado oil, chestnut oil, etc). For what I understand, coconut oil is used as a thickener, so I used butter instead… knowing that butter will add another flavor to the icing, but who doesn’t like butter?


Cooking Instructions

CAKE:

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and grease and flour a 2.5 L Blunt cake mold making sure that we cover every inch of the mold. Tap excess flour and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl we are going to mix all dry ingredients BUT the brown sugar. Reserve.  

3. On a different bowl mix the dark molasses, the rum and the crystallized (and previously chopped) ginger. Mix well and then cover with plastic wrap and reserve.

5. Now we are going to cream the butter: in a mixer bowl combine the brown sugar and the room temperature butter (of course using the mixer…) until we get a light yellow cream (it must be light color). 

6. Add, one at the time, the eggs and keep mixing. Now add the egg yolks and continue mixing for another good 3 minutes so we end with a nice, soft mix. Keep scraping down the mix so we make sure that all is combined and we have no waste.

7. Now, let’s incorporate the dry ingredients mix and the molasses-rum mix: mix first 1/4 of the dry and wet mix alternately, then the second, third and fourth quarters until we have only our final and fabulous scented mix. 

8. Pour the mix into the buttered blunt pan and firmly tap it on the work surface to get rid of air pockets and to make sure that all corners of our mold are filled.

9. Bake for around 45 minutes until you get a dry wooden skewer when inserting it in three different parts of the cake. You will know that is almost ready when the top has raised and has already started to crack open.

10. Remove and allow it to cool down on a wire rack for at least 1 1/2 hours (don’t be impatient!). While you wait, let’s do the icing.

ICING:

1. In a medium bowl sift the icing sugar and add first the rum, then the coconut oil (I used room temperature butter instead), the lemon juice and the lemon zest. Start stirring. At first the mix is going to be heavy and hard to manage. Add a bit of the milk to get it less dense. If you have finished all the milk and the mix is still dry, then add lemon juice bit by bit until achieving the right consistency (which is semi-liquid and semi dense…when it “clings” on a spoon and drips slowly).


PUTTING IT TOGETHER:

Unmold the cake which should come out easily (if you buttered and floured  it correctly) and slowly and carefully distribute the icing mix to decorate (artistic direction not included in this recipe…sorry)

2. Enjoy!




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Chocochristmas !

Even though I am not a fan of Christmas as per say -yes, I am the Grinch!- I do like the music (not Justin Biber please) I do like the original idea behind it. Family, sure why not. Christmas tree...just because the wife likes it, but sure. Nativity scene, for sure...brings good childhood memories, Turkey and Ham...really?

The best thing about Christmas is...food! and more so...treats!

You can eat without guilt anything that the health gurus disapprove.   Buttery cookies?...checked; warm alcoholic beverages?...checked; super sugary cakes?...you bet ; and, the main reason why I still celebrate Christmas is...chocolate! -and sweets-

As I started couple of years to learn how to make chocolates...it is something I really enjoy. During the year I take couple of courses with Master Greg Hook. The classes are expensive for me...so it is a double treat. Last year the chocolate batch was eaten at home with family (the wife) and friends (the wife's). This year I did a slightly bigger batch so I could share with these weird people that are closer to me, or at least annoy me year round.

To crown my Christmas bonanza, the current wife gave me a fantastic Traditional Mexican Candy recipes of an author I like (please don't ask...it's not your business) and after reading some recipes I already do, I realized that the book is good. The first fire test was to make "jamoncillo" which is a Mexican version of  fudge. In my native country you buy them from street candy vendors (I miss them so much!) or high end specialty stores. I love them, the wife does too and, believe it or not...even my Canamex son likes them too!

Today is not a recipe post. It's a sharing post. Sorry...

PS...the name Chocochristmas I just made up...but knowing Starbucks or s huge company like that...sooner than later they will make it theirs.

Chocochristmas! 

After the cooking and baking...the prep mess


From left to right, top to bottom: chocolate brittle with festive colors, dark chocolate with pistachio leaf, salted caramel, candied and roasted peanut cup, dark chocolate corn flakes melange, gingerbread choco guy, Tequila Patron Reposado dark chocolate truffle (absolutely amazing!) and blackberry filled square.

  
Gingerbread shortbread with chocolate booties and "jamoncillo"

The setup in a nice ceramic mini loaf mold

The semifinal lineup

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mustard Bourbon Salmon

The wife and I like fish. She prefers white fish and I prefer salmon...and I am the one who cooks, therefore I cook more salmon than white fish -also the price has to do with the choice-. Where I live salmon is abundant and of great quality. The best season for salmon is Spring, but in reality yo can find it year round -off season is frozen-.

As I have proven before, salmon is one of the easiest fish to cook and most of the times the end result is great. This time around I decided to try a recipe that I have seen somewhere before (can't remember where), so, after deciphering my scribbles, I share the recipe with some modifications I made.

Again, the photo is not mine as I tend to forget the photo when I'm serving... mea culpa. Next time...


Mustard Bourbon Salmon

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes   Makes 6 servings
Ingredients

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup Dijon Mustard

6 Boneless salmon fillets

1/2 Cup Bourbon 

1/4 Cup Lime juice

2 Garlic cloves minced

Procedure

1. Preheat the oven’s broiler, place the rack in the second rack holder -the second from the bottom up- and prepare a broiler pan (one that can take high heat) with some olive oil.


2. Mix together the mustard with the brown sugar and the lime juice until incorporated, then add the minced garlic and mix again (I crush a bit mine so one doesn’t have to bite garlic).

3. When the oven is ready, place the salmon, skin down in the broiler pan.

4. Add to our mustard-sugar mix the bourbon and mix until incorporated, then spoon the mixture on top of the salmon fillets.

5. Cook for about 10 minutes (mine is perfect at 10 minutes…but it depends on your oven) and just check it at the 10 minutes…the salon should flake easily. Don’t over-bake it!!!, nobody likes dry salmon.

6. Serve it with some wild rice or mash potatoes or some steam veggies… your choice. Enjoy!