Monday, June 04, 2012

Just make the shrimp and make the cake. The end.

Thirteen people tasted 13 ice creams.
Pretty much the only thing I have been making is ice cream, and lots of it, but that's for a larger project so I can't share insights here. All I will say is: curry powder in chocolate ice cream? Not as horrid as you would think. Beet sorbet? Worse.

Beyond ice cream, not much happening in the kitchen, although I made a few good dishes over the last 10 days.

-fougasse from Bread and Chocolate. It's been impossible to stay "on book" lately, though this week I plan to tear through a bunch of Fran Gage recipes. I did make her version of fougasse, the decorative Provencal bread, that was soft, oily and rosemary-scented. I think it was supposed to look like this, but I failed to slash the bread all the way through and it looked like this:
looked stupid, tasted great
 Both loaves were gone within two hours of being baked.

-steak for a Brooklyn backyard barbecue from The Food52 Cookbook. Meat rubbed with chopped garlic, mint, Spanish smoked paprika, salt, and olive oil, and grilled. Contributed to Food52 by Giulia Melucci, author of the memoir I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti, but more importantly, sister of our  great friend Matt Melucci. Recipe here. We loved.

-spicy grilled shrinp, also from The Food52 Cookbook. These were even better than the steaks, and that's saying something. Super-easy. Made them twice in one week and that is also saying something. You should try this recipe. They are a bit spicy and some people won't like that. Let them eat hot dogs. More shrimp for you.

-Finally, because I have been making so much ice cream, we've had a lot of extra egg whites. Cups and cups of them. It led me to a chiffon cake from Susan Purdy's The Perfect Cake. I love a lot of dishes that I never make again because they are too tricky, too time consuming, too fattening, too expensive, or maybe in the end we just didn't love them quite enough. I've made this cake twice in ten days. It is not a "special" cake, just a delicious, fluffy everyday vanilla cake with the springiness of angel food, but a little something extra. Something extra that has a name: oil.

Chiffon cake, barely adapted from The Perfect Cake

(Purdy says to use cake flour, but you can use all-purpose. She also says to bake for 65 minutes, but I  would start checking at 45.)

1 cup egg whites at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar (10.5 ounces; 300 g)
2 1/2 cups flour (8 3/4 ounces; 250 g)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line the bottom of an angel food cake pan with parchment paper.   Do not grease the pan.

2. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add 2/3 cup of the sugar, beating until  satiny, nearly stiff peaks form. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, sift together the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the water, oil, and vanilla and beat until well blended.

4. Fold the egg whites into the batter, gently so as to preserve the volume. Pour into the pan and bake until lofty and golden. A cake tester will come out clean.

5. Cool in the pan. Run a knife round the edges to loosen and invert onto a rack. Peel off the parchment. Slice with a serrated knife.

49 comments:

  1. No ricotta dumplings? Were they that hated?

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  2. What happened to the ice cream with candied olives?

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  3. Candied olives???!!!! Do tell. I've made olive cherries before but didn't think to put into ice cream.

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  4. I can hardly wait for the full report. I feel like this post is a teaser for interesting things to come. Do tell!!!

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  5. I made the shrimp. Had a very good friend in town and we were out touring for the day. Came home to thawed (Costco) wild shrimp, prepped, tossed in the marinade and relaxed. Excellent, and as advertised. No work!
    Thank you for a winning recipe, and thanks to you and it, a calm, cool evening.

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