Tag Archives: cake

A French Table Feast

My mother-in-law was out of town for Christmas and well into the new year, so we did not get a chance to celebrate Christmas with her.  This past weekend we had her over for dinner for a mini post-Christmas celebration.

Tapenade Batons

Tapenade Batons

I decided to make the entire meal from Around My French Table.   My mother-in-law spent a good couple of hours pouring through it last week, so I knew she would be up for a French feast.  Also, I am still excited about my new cookbook and there are so many recipes I want to try.

We started off with Tapenade Bâtons, a variation of Mustard Bâtons.  Delicious and so easy to make!  I had leftover puff pastry in the freezer and tapenade in the fridge, so this one was a no-brainer.

Roast Chicken

Just Out of the Oven

For the main course, I made Roast Chicken for les Paresseux (Roast Chicken for Lazy People) and Brown-Sugar Squash and Brussels Sprouts en Papillote.  The chicken was fabulous with crispy brown skin and tender meat.  My husband especially loved the garlic that roasted along with the chicken.  My mother-in-law and I both enjoyed “the bread trick” (the chicken is roasted on top of a piece of bread which soaks up the cooking juices and gets wonderfully carmelized).  The squash and Brussels spr0uts were also a big hit – even my seven year old daughter ate her share.

The grand finale was also this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe: Michael Rostang’s Double Chocolate Mousse Cake.

Mouse Cake

Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

I had a few issues making this cake.  The biggest issue was that I did not have the right size pan.  The recipe calls for an 8-inch springform pan.  The pan I used measured 9½ inches.  I also have a 6-inch springform pan.  In retrospect I wish I had used the smaller pan and put the extra batter in a ramekin or two.  There was also a problem with the egg whites that are folded into the mousse.  I’m not sure if I over-whipped them or if I folded them in too vigorously, but the resulting batter did not seem “light” enough and kind-of seemed to “liquidy”.  When baked, the cake did not rise as much as the recipe described.  Finally, the recipe has you place the pan without its bottom on a baking mat or parchment paper.  I noticed some pretty big gaps under my pan, and my batter was fairly thin, so I decided to use the pan bottom to prevent seeping.  The cake would have been difficult to move to a serving platter, but luckily I did not care about that.

Despite the few issues, the cake was delicious!  It was met with rave reviews.  The recipe provides three ways to serve this dish.  The first night we went with the warm option: part of the batter is baked and then cooled, then the rest of the batter is poured onto the chilled base and baked again, then served warm.  The next night we had the baked and chilled option.  While I enjoyed both versions, I preferred the texture of the chilled one.

I will certainly be making this one again.  I’d love to resolve my egg white issues and I like to track down an 8-inch springform pan or try it with my smaller pan.  This cake is definitely worth perfecting!

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Macaroon Cake

Macaroon Cake

For Christmas Dinner this year I made Macaroon Cake.  I normally like to make something a little “grander” for Christmas Dinner, but this year it was just the three of us and I had a lot of other cooking I wanted to do, so I settled on this cake.  It is quick and easy to make and not too big.

One thing I love about this recipe is that it was my great-grandmother’s recipe.  I love the idea of a recipe being enjoyed and passed down from generation to generation.

There are a lot of other things to love about this recipe.  As I mentioned already, it is quick and easy to make.  The cake is nice and moist and keeps for several days.  Although I made it for Christmas, it is a good everyday kind of cake.  I love the crunchy, chewy, sweet macaroon topping and the flavor of the vanilla cake underneath.  Oh, and did I mention the coconut?  This is a cake for coconut lovers only!

Macaroon Cake

Click here to print.

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • milk, if needed (I always add 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350°.  Prepare an 8×8 inch cake pan by greasing lightly.

Cream butter and sugar together.  Mix in two egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the bowl if necessary.  Mix together the sifted flour and baking powder in a separate bowl.  Add  to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.  Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Add a little milk if the batter is too stiff.  Spread batter in the greased cake pan.

Beat 2 egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Gently stir in 1/2 cup sugar, coconut and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Spread on top of the cake batter.

Bake for 30 minutes.

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