Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lemon Bundt Cake

Lemon Bundt Cake

Makes 12 slices (the shop I sell to cuts it into 16 and the customers are happy)

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest and 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger (optional but YUM!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting cake

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 12-cup bundt pan with butter and dust with flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, lemon zest, ginger, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Beat butter and granulated sugar on medium-high with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time; mix in lemon juice.

Set mixer on low and alternatively add flour mixture in 3 parts and sour cream in 2 parts.  Mix just until flour and sour cream are incorporated, making sure not to over mix.

Spoon batter into bundt pan and smooth top with spatula.  Firmly tap pan on counter to level the batter.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre of cake comes out clean.  If cake browns too quickly, cover pan loosely with aluminium foil.
Let cake cool for 30 minutes in bundt pan.  Then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Store for up to 3 days, wrapped tightly in plastic and keep at room temperature.

K (D)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Old Fashioned Homemade Chocolate Pudding

When you absolutely, positive, NEED chocolate NOW!
This is a cornstarch (cornflour) based chocolate pudding.

Serves:  um....4?

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 1  tablespoon margarine or butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (sometimes I use half almond extract and half vanilla extract)

  1. In a saucepan, stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Place over medium heat, and stir in milk. Bring to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat, and stir in margarine and vanilla. Let cool briefly, and serve warm, or chill in refrigerator until serving.

 K (D)
Notes -  This is a quick and easy dessert and a favourite of children.  You may use a non-flavoured milk substitute.  Always use the best cocoa you can buy!  Use non-wheaten cornstarch/cornflour  Enjoy!  Can also omit the cocoa and make this plain vanilla - but I have no idea why anyone would want to do that :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Salmon Wrapped in Phyllo with Spinach and Mushrooms

Salmon Wrapped in Phyllo with Spinach and Mushrooms

Serves 4 as a main dish, can be doubled or serves 8 as an appetizer.


4 (6-ounce) centre cut salmon fillets, skin removed (equal size pieces)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 cups washed, dried, and loosely packed fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup sour cream
2 frozen puff pastry sheets, defrosted
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Brush both sides of the salmon with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Warm 2 tablespoons oil in 2 separate skillets over medium-high heat. Add half of the onion and half the garlic to each pan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and thyme into 1 pan and the spinach, lemon zest and remain lemon juice in the other pan. Stir the spinach until it wilts, then transfer it to a bowl and set aside. Sauté the mushrooms until they are reduced and tender, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream. Set aside.

Unroll a pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. With a rolling pin lightly seal the seams and lengthen the dough slightly. Cut the pastry sheet into 3 equal strips, using the natural seams as a guide. Roll out the second puff pastry sheet to get 1 more strip. Save remaining puff pastry for another use. Lightly prick the 4 strips with a fork. Put 1 heaping spoonful of mushroom mixture on 1 half of each pastry, top with salmon, and then layer with a heaping spoonful of spinach mixture. Wet the edges of the pastry with water and fold over the other half, pressing lightly and folding to seal the edges. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling. Cut 2 vents on the top of each pastry packet and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake until the pastry is golden and fish is just opaque in the centre, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Garnish with chives or parsley and serve with the sauce below, if desired:

  This is a simple lemon-butter sauce made with
3 Tbsp dry white wine or Vermouth
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup butter, cut in small cubes  (Use margarine for a Pareve sauce)
 a pinch of salt -
In a saucepan put the wine, lemon juice - cook, watching carefully, and reduce until it is about 2 Tbsp.  Add pinch of salt.  Slowly, over low heat, add the little chunks of butter until you have a fabulous sauce.
I usually double this sauce - it is sooo good!

Delicious with this dish or asparagus or Artichokes or broccoli or...well, anything!

K (D) unless you use margarine and Tofutti better than sour creme - then it is K (P)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pistachio Dukkah - yum!!!

1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds (optional but delicious!)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 cups pistachios, roasted in your oven.  (other nuts, such as hazelnuts, can be substituted but this is traditional for me)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
* I add crushed red pepper flakes as I like a bit of spice in my food
Paprika - for a bit of colour and of course, extra flavour!

Taste with a bit of bread and olive oil to check for seasoning.  

Rustic bread cubes  - I use stale toasted challah, stale toasted sourdough bread or homemade, warm, soft pita               
High-quality extra virgin olive oil

Place sesame seeds in a small skillet. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from heat and repeat with coriander, fennel, and cumin seeds. Let cool, then place in a blender or food processor with pistachios and crushed red pepper flakes, if used; process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add paprika if you want a bit more colour.

Transfer to a decorative bowl and serve with bread cubes and olive oil. Dip bread cubes into oil, then into dukkah. May be stored for up to one month in a tightly covered container.

Salad Dressing
To use this in a yoghurt-based salad dressing - use 1 cup plain, good quality yoghurt.  Add finely chopped mint, a bit of lemon juice and add some of the dukkah above.  Especially delicious if the salad has cucumber and tomatoes in it!