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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer Goodies

Over the last month and a half or so, I've made some yummy stuff--some repeats from before I had this blog, and one new recipe. The first two I made for a book group brunch in mid-June, and the last in two different iterations for birthday parties: strawberry in mid-June for me and my sister-in-law (our birthdays are three days apart), and raspberry at the end of June for my sister The Laundry Queen.

Strawberries in Lavender Syrup with Crème Fraîche and Lemon Sugar, from Bon Appétit, April 2005. I first came across this recipe when the magazine was new, and we were staying with Mavis's sister's in-laws in Los Angeles. I madly typed it and its companion recipes (notably Bacon-Wrapped Eggs with Polenta) into my PDA for future use at a book group brunch. I did serve them for book group in June 2005, making the strawberries the starter with small, freshly-baked scones, and serving carrot cake for dessert. This time I also served the strawberries as the starter, with fresh scones (with jam and devon cream), and for dessert we had:

Butterscotch Budino with Salted Caramel Sauce. Divine. I had this dessert at Nostrana and was transported. Imagine my delight to find the recipe online. One note--whatever you do, don't look at the version published in the LA Times, which also has the nutrition information. Really, just don't look. You don't want to know. My one quibble with the recipe was the amount of cornstarch. It seemed like a lot, and the pudding seized right up when I stirred the tempered cornstarch-egg yolk mixture into the hot saucepan. Maybe I needed to add more hot pudding to the egg yolk bowl before mixing it into the main pot, or maybe it would work with a tad less cornstarch. I'll try the first possibility before making any ingredient adjustments.

Berry Cream Cake (why type it in when someone else has gone to all the trouble?)

I got the recipe from Cook's Illustrated, but it has a lot in common with the classic Norwegian birthday cake bløtkake (check out the picture!)--maybe why I like it so much. I made it a few years ago with mixed cane berries (raspberries, marionberries and boysenberries), and I think that was my favorite of the three (7 adults polished off the whole cake with no difficulty). One note--don't stick to the weight of berries recommended in the recipe when you're making it with cane berries. I did for the raspberry version I made for my sister's birthday, and the berry : cake/cream ratio was a bit high (and the cake a bit soggy as a consequence).

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Blogger Emily said...

Wow, I'd like to come to your book group! The food sounds fantastic!

July 21, 2010 at 6:57 AM  
Blogger John R said...

Wow! Berry blotcake like. I would love to be there when you make that again.

August 4, 2010 at 1:49 AM  

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