Monday, April 26, 2010

Doing it by the book

My newest mini resolution is to cook one recipe from a cook book each week.

I usually cook from the hip, as it were; putting together what sounds good to me from what I have available at the time.
Oh I love cookbooks, I enjoy reading through them but I tend to take ideas for dishes from them but prepare them in my own way.

For these I want to follow the recipe as written: well, mostly anyway. I can't help but tweak a little.

Last week I made Momofuku pork buns. They were fun to make and came out delicious.
I was having so much fun in fact that I never bothered to pull out my camera.

Tonight I made Molly Stevens Soy Braised Chicken Thighs.

I stayed pretty close to the book on this one although I did add carrots to the braise & served them with a cous cous.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sweet Respite

Those who know me are aware that the past few months have been ungodly hectic for me. I don't care to get into details here. Suffice to say that being a small business owner can be demanding.

One of the things I've been missing is cooking at home, cooking for pleasure. The hours I've been keeping have left me far too few opportunities to play in my home kitchen, so when I did get some "me" time I wanted to indulge.

Some weeks back I had a few hours free one evening and I decided I was in the mood for something sweet.

In keeping with the theme of the blog, I should mention my policy on desserts.
You should make your desserts at home when possible and try to never eat store bought sweets from a cellophane wrapper. Also, desserts are a treat they should be enjoyed as such, don't make a daily habit of them.

So, it was treat time for me and I decided to try something from what is quickly becoming one of my favorite recipe sources, Lorna Yee's Cookbook Chronicles blog.
I'm a sucker for a good coconut dessert so I had to try her Triple Layer Coconut Custard Cake.

Lorna Yee's Coconut Custard Cake

This is definitely a keeper recipe. It had a rich coconut flavor and a nice, light balance of sweetness. This cake didn't even hint at needing ice cream to prop it up.

One of the things that's nice about this recipe is that it gives you plenty of custard filling and frosting. Too many recipes seem to give you just barely enough frosting and/or filling to assemble the cake. As you can see, this give you plenty of custard to fill between the layers and enough frosting to give the cake a "healthy" coating.

The only change I'll make next time is raising the bake temperature.
A 325 degree bake on my home oven wasn't quite hot enough, next time I'll try 350 on convection setting.
I'm also considering cutting back a little on the cornstarch in the custard and adding a couple egg yolks.
It's not that I think it needs it, I'm just curious how that will effect the product. I enjoying playing with my food and I can't help tweaking recipes sometimes, even when they work.

Coconut Cake Slice