Category Archives: 1 Recipe of the Week

Recipe of the Week

Hazelnut Cake

Hazelnut Cake

Platina, in his 1474 Renaissance cookbook, On Right Pleasure and Good Health, writes on sugar – Sugar comes not only from Arabia and India but also from Crete and Sicily. Pliny calls it the honey collected from cane. The whiter it is, the better. It is good for the stomach and soothes whatever discomforts there are. By melting it, we make hazelnuts and many other things into sweets.

¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup ground hazelnuts
1 stick butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup milk, at room temperature

Butter and flour an 8×2 ½-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and ground hazelnuts together until well combined. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time, fully incorporating each into the mixture and stopping to scrape down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.

Slowly add the flour in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with a spatula.

Bake for about 28 to 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let the cake rest for about 10 minutes before unmolding. Remove the parchment and cool completely. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve with fresh blackberries or raspberries.

Serves 8 to 10

Recipe of the Week

Wild Mushroom Galette

wild mushroom galette

Wild Mushroom Galette

In medieval England mushrooms were considered excrementa terrae, or excrement of the earth, because of their mysterious growth and the fact that they lack visible roots. Modern European cultivation of the mushroom goes back to 1600, when French agriculturalist Olivier de Serres suggested a method in his work Le Théâtre d’agriculture et mesnage des champs (The Theater of Agriculture and Tending for the Fields), the textbook for French agriculture of the 17th century. A standby in French homes, a galette is a sweet or savory flat, freeform tart. 

For the dough:
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1/3 cup ice water
1 cup flour
¼ cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 to 8 pieces

For the filling:
1 pound assorted mushrooms – shiitake, oyster, porcini or Portobello
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup onion, diced
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
salt and pepper

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir the buttermilk and 1/3 ice water together in a small bowl and set aside.

Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir with a fork to mix. Drop the butter pieces into the bowl and using fingers work the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Sprinkle the cold buttermilk mixture over the dough, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork to distribute evenly. Gather the dough together and chill.

Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 1/8-inch think circle and transfer to the baking sheet.

Meanwhile, wipe the mushrooms and thinly slice. Heat the oil in a wide skillet of medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Raise the heat, add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs and season with vinegar, salt and pepper.

Spread ¾ of the cheese over the dough, then the mushroom mixture, then top with the remaining cheese. Dip a pastry brush in water, giving the edges of the crust a light coating and bake for about 35 minutes, or until golden and cheese is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6

Recipe of the Week

Dates Stuffed with Mascarpone, Pistachios and Pomegranate Seeds

Dates

Dates Stuffed with Mascarpone, Pistachios and Pomegranate Seeds

Hades fell head over heels over Persephone, and she was tricked into eating pomegranate seeds so she’d have to spend a portion of each year as his queen in the underworld. A deceitful maneuver, yet some would see an element of dark romance in the story. Some say that a pomegranate was the original forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.

12 Medjool dates
1 tablespoon pistachios, toasted and chopped
seeds from ½ pomegranate
2 tablespoons mascarpone
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest

Remove the pits of the dates by slitting each open, keeping the date whole. Mix the pistachios, salt and pomegranate seeds with the mascarpone and the lemon or orange zest. Make sure you leave at least two tablespoons of pomegranate seeds for garnish. Using a teaspoon, carefully stuff each date with a little of the mixture. Place on a platter and garnish with pomegranate seeds before serving.

Serves 6