In honor of No Diet Day ( May 6th) here I present to you a fat free cake. I would be totally lying if I didn’t admit to the truth about that. Of course it’s not fat free, that’s just ludicrous. This is a lemon drip cake filled with strawberries and cream, iced it with frosting sure to give you cavities in the first bite, and chocolate ganache poured over the top. The cake represents an ongoing trend known as “drip cake.” You build a cake that’s impossibly tall to cut and pour melted ganache around the rim to create the “dripping” effect. I absolutely loved building this cake and I encourage anyone who sees this to go and make one too.
2- 7 inch lemon cake rounds cut in half
2 Cups strawberries sliced paper thin on mandolin (macerated with sugar)
1 pint whipped cream
Vanilla Icing (Swiss or Italian Meringue)
White chocolate, colored purple
One of the popular food trends currently is adding an egg on top of everything eaten in sight. I’ve seen burgers with sunny side up eggs placed right on top of the patty, just before the yolk breaks and runs everywhere, and I’ve seen creamy spaghetti with a sixty- two-degree egg nestled right on top. There is something so satisfying about puncturing an egg yolk onto your food. As if hamburger meat and heavy cream didn’t have enough fat in them! And the silkiness of it too, it’s like the way chocolate melts in your mouth.
I was fantasizing about a meal with a fancy poached egg on top and started craving the idea of it too. I was shamefully disappointed when I didn’t find spaghetti in my cabinet (the pasta freak that I am) and soon came up with an alternative plan making polenta instead. So, then this turned into a brunch special at six o’clock in the evening, good ole corn meal and eggs. But, after composing it I really noticed how versatile this dish was. With the addition of seared zucchini and pearl onions, tempura fried artichoke, and parsley oil this meal is great for brunch, lunch, or dinner.
She asked me for a “big” favor since she was stuck without a car for a few hours. “I need flour” aunt Lois said, “I’m experimenting with my lemon cookies.” My great grandmother- nanny- was the pioneer of this family recipe. Aunt Lois was the one to grab hold of that recipe after her passing, so she could continue making them for what is now over thirty years. She told me she wanted to “experiment” in her “test kitchen” to see what the lemon cookies tasted like, by replacing the lemon with lime and orange zest. I was delighted to observe the making of these cookies, watching them transform into something slightly different than before.
I was happy to receive a small baggie of zesty confections later that day! The results of her attempt to change up the flavor profile of the recipe came out as lime being our favorite. So does that mean lime is her new signature cookie?
I would like to take a minute to appreciate the fact that we did experience some eighty degree weather this April. Although, I would rather be drenched in sweat than turning into a life form of an icicle, it was pretty darn hot the last few days! This Spring time, summer heatwave we may have experienced made me want to have a cocktail! Gin and tonic is a classic alcoholic combo, but mixed with Aperol things just get a little interesting.
Back in March when I was in my front of house class at American Bounty my classmates and I had to pull a few different types of spirits and liquors out of a hat. We later used those options to create a new cocktail concoction. I pulled Tanqueray Gin and Aperol and decided I wanted to make a spin off the classic Gin and Tonic. Tanqueray Gin was created by Charles Tanqueray after opening a distillery in London, England around the 1830s. Gin is made from juniper berries but Tanqueray Gin is also known for its “London dry” style with accents of coriander, angelica root, and licorice. Aperol was invented in 1919 and didn’t gain its spotlight until World War II. It’s currently processed by the Campari company and may deem similar characteristics to Campari as well. However, Aperol is lower in alcohol, less bitter, and lighter in color.
I created my drink to include gin and Aperol with rhubarb simple syrup, fresh squeezed blood orange, tonic, and rhubarb sugar on the rim. Aperol contains rhubarb so I wanted to accentuate those bitter sweet notes.
Recipe for Juniper Sunset:
1.5 oz. Tanqueray Gin
½ oz. Aperol
2 fl oz Blood orange
4 fl oz tonic water
¾ oz Rhubarb simple syrup
- 1 stalk rhubarb
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
Rhubarb sugar to coat rim
- 1 stalk rhubarb from syrup
- 1-2 T sugar
- Measure equal parts sugar and water and place into a pot.
- Peel the rhubarb and slice paper thin. Place both the skin and rhubarb into the pot. Let the mixture come to a boil until the sugar has dissolved; strain and cool syrup.
- After removing rhubarb from the pot let dry in a dehydrator or 200-degree oven. Grind in spice grinder with sugar.
- Dip the rocks glass into the rhubarb sugar so there is enough to coat the rim.
- Pour gin, aperol, simple syrup, and orange juice into Boston shaker with ice, and shake until emulsified. Pour mixture into rocks glass leaving ice behind.
- Add the tonic water and stir.