Pretty Fruit Curd Trifle

Made a passion fruit curd trifle last night. It was very pretty, but I want to tweak the recipe some — it came out a little too sweet overall for my tastes. Less sugar in the curd, I think, and maybe make the orange jello with some lime juice instead of some of the water — you can do that with jello, right?

Might try this again for our Easter party. 🙂. If I get the recipe down, I can include it in the Serendib Teatime mini cookbook we’re planning to do later in the year…

Rose-Pistachio Truffles

(30 minutes + 1 hr chilling time, makes 35-40)

4 T salted butter
3 c. white chocolate chips
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 T rosewater
pink food coloring
¼ cup shelled pistachios, dry roasted and chopped fine
1 t. rose petals, chopped fine

1. In a small saucepan, melt butter, white chocolate and heavy cream on low heat, stirring, until smooth.

2. Remove from heat and stir in rosewater and food coloring.

3. Chill in fridge for at least 1 hr (overnight is fine).

4. Scoop out teaspoons of ganaches onto a clean plate or cutting board. Roll them between your clean hands into smooth round balls. No need to make them perfectly round! A little irregularity is charming.

5. Roll them in chopped pistachios and rose petals. Chill until ready to serve.

You Know How British Cooking and Detective Shows Are Great?

So you know how British cooking shows are great, and British detective shows are great? Well, I just finished watching an old series, Pie in the Sky (on Acorn), and it’s a British cooking + detective show, and it’s also great. But the one problem is that after pretty much every episode, I kind of wanted to have a pie — a steak & kidney pie, a shepherd’s pie, a fruit pie, etc. and so on. And mostly, I did not have pies on hand. Sadness. Woe.

But a few nights ago, I finally cracked. I remembered that I had some frozen Pillsbury pie crust that we’d bought for something at least a year ago and never used. And there was this chicken soup I’d made the other day, which was really closer to a stew than a soup, with plenty of potatoes and carrots in with the chicken, and that seemed like it was basically a chicken pot pie filling waiting to happen.

So I pulled out the pie crust and let it thaw for an hour, set the oven to 425F, and used a glass to cut out some circles and molded those into a muffin pan. Spoon some chicken stew in each one, stick them in the oven, and about 20 minutes later — slightly messy but yummy open-face chicken pot pies! Very nice with a bottle of rosé cider.

And I still had some pastry dough left, so I asked Kevin to cut up some apple into little cubes for me, and I rolled out and cut out more circles, into the muffin tin, pile in the apples, sprinkle some shredded cheddar on top, bake for 20 minutes again, and yum. Little apple & cheese pies!

My only problem is that we have now eaten all the little pies, I am now out of pastry dough, and I don’t have the patience to make my own anytime soon, I suspect. But on the other hand, I’ve finished watching the series, so it’s probably fine. 🙂 I’ll cook something else!

I Want Cake

This weekend:

Kavi: I want cake.
Me: So have some cake.
Kavi: Do we have cake?
Me: No, but we can make cake.
Kavi: Do we have cake mix?
Me: No, sorry.
Kavi: That’s so complicated.
Me: Not really. [pulls out tea party cookbook and starts paging through]
Kavi, seeing lemon roulade: Oh, I want that one!

Me [not mentioning that I have never made a roulade before and I’m pretty sure we don’t actually have all the ingredients for one]: Sure.

*****

So we made the cake, and we didn’t have heavy cream, but between the lemon curd, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and coconut cream, we got to an approximation of a filling — well, more of a sauce, really. But we spread the sauce on the thin cake, and then we tried to roll it up, and it only cracked a little, which isn’t bad for the first attempt.

And we sliced it, and admired the spiral, and poured more sauce over it, and ate some, and it was just fine. A little claggy, perhaps, but satisfying the immediate need for cake. (Kavi and I did agree that it was not lemon-y enough, as lemon desserts so often aren’t, disappointingly, and we need to come up with our own recipe someday that will be lemon-y enough to satisfy us).

Then today, I had fresh strawberries on hand, and we had a few servings of lemon-coconut roulade left, definitely on the soggy side now, which to me, can only mean one thing — TRIFLE. Or at least, the sort of approximation of trifle that you get when you add fresh berries to cake and pour more coconut-lemon sauce over it. And Reader, let me tell you — it was DELICIOUS.

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins with Cashew and Ginger

This pumpkin muffin recipe adapted from Lovely Little Kitchen — I spiced it up a bit, and added in cashew and ginger.

1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. jaggery or dark brown sugar
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cardamom
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. nutmeg
2 eggs
1 15 oz. can pure pumpkin puree
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. cashews, chopped

1/2 c. candied ginger, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Oil and flour muffin pan (I spray Baker’s Joy into a Nordicware autumn-themed mini cakelet pan).

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and spices.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin puree, oil, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir together until just blended.

4. Stir in chopped cashews and candied ginger, then spoon batter into muffin wells (until mostly full).

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

You Certainly Could

Now I’m not saying you *have* to take my spiced apple cake and serve it for dessert with extra spiced apples sautéed in butter and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, but you certainly *could*…

Chai-Spiced Apple Bread

(30 minutes + 1 hr baking time)

1/2 c. jaggery or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cardamom
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 c. milk
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder

1 cup peeled, cored, and diced tart apples (Granny Smith recommended)

1. Preheat oven to 350F; spray loaf pan with baking spray (mix of oil and flour).

2. In a small bowl, mix the jaggery / brown sugar and spices until combined.

3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and granulated sugar on medium until pale and creamy, about two minutes.

4. With mixer on low, gradually add melted butter, milk, and vanilla, blending until combined.

5. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and mix until combined. Fold in apples by hand.

6. Spoon about 1/2 the batter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle about 2/3 of the spiced sugar mixture on top. Spoon remaining batter over the top, followed by the remaining spiced sugar mixture. Use a butter knife to swirl the layers.

7. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn out onto rack, and let cool before slicing. It should keep for about four days on the countertop under a cover, but ours never lasts that long…