Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mango Carrot Cake with Mango Ginger Pastry Cream and Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

A friend of ours was celebrating her birthday, and the spouse and I wanted to make her a cake. The spouse had found a recipe for a mango carrot cake in the April 2013 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. We followed the cake recipe, but I came up with my own filling and icing recipes. We coated the outside with toasted walnuts.

For the filling, the spouse and I collaborated on a mango ginger pastry cream. It came out very nice. It had a nice light mango and ginger flavor, and wasn't too sweet.

For the icing, I pulverized some candied ginger in my spice grinder, and added that to a cream cheese frosting. It was tangy, with a little ginger bite.

The original recipe had ribbons of plain old carrot piled on the cake by way of decoration. That seemed both lacking in flavor and messy to me. I candied ribbons of carrot in a simple syrup that had candied ginger and orange zest in it. While still warm, I rolled them up. I think it added color to finish the cake, and gave the cake a more professional appearance. And, they were tasty too.

The cake came out a little dense and gummy for my taste. Although, the person we made it for liked the texture. I think it is a fine idea, and some combination of more leavening, less liquid, or more cooking time should result in a better cake. Also considering moving from all purpose to cake flour.


Mango Carrot Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
3 cups shredded carrots
3/4 cups mango nectar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Grease and flour two eight inch cake pans.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, beating until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well each time.

Alternate flour mixture and mango, mix on low after each addition, just until mixed.

Stir in carrots. Divide evenly between pans. Bake 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

(Update: Note that the recipe above should work fine. The original recipe  said 1 1/4 cup juice in the ingredients list, but buried in the text said to add 3/4 cup to the cake. The spouse added the full 1 1/4 cup to the cake.)

Mango Ginger Pastry Cream

2 cups milk
2 2/3 oz. by wt. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. crystallized ginger
1/4 cup mango nectar
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch kosher salt

In a saucepan over medium low heat, combine milk, sugar, vanilla, ginger, salt, and juice. Bring just to a boil. Remove from heat. Slowly add 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture to the egg mixture while whisking continuously. Add mixture back to pot, return to heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Strain mixture, cover directly with plastic wrap, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cool.

Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

12 oz. by wt. cream cheese
3 oz. by wt. room temperature butter
6 oz. by wt. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. crystallized ginger
1 tsp. vanilla

Pulverize ginger in a spice grinder. Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer. Cream with a paddle until smooth.

Candied Carrot Curls

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 large carrot, peeled
zest of 1 orange
2 Tbsp. crystallized ginger

Use a vegetable peeler to make long carrot strips. Set aside.

Place sugar, water, zest, and ginger in a small pan over medium low heat. When syrup comes to a simmer, add carrot strips. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes, until carrots are translucent. Remove from heat. Spread carrot strips out on wax paper. Let cool just enough to be handled. Roll up strips  to make a cylinder. Place on end on wax paper to cool.

To Assemble Cake:

Put one cake on a cake round. Place a 1/2 inch layer of pastry on top. Add the second cake. Using a spatula, place a thin layer of frosting on sides and top of cakes. Refrigerate twenty minutes to set coat. Add a top coat of frosting. Coat outside of cake with ground toasted walnuts. Pipe a ring of rosettes of frosting, add an inner ring of candied carrot curls.

Happy Eating!


Outdoor Wedding Buffet

Last weekend, I was out camping with about 2500 of my closest friends at the Potrero War, a medieval and renaissance re-creation event. At the event, two people I care for got married, and they asked the spouse and I to help with the food. The spouse made pasta salads and desserts, which I may cover in another post, if I can get the recipes from her. She also provided sliced cheese, rolled cold cuts for deli platters, bought melons that were cut up, and cut up veggies for a veggie tray. She did the bulk of the work, because I had to be on site on Wednesday for other duties, and we wanted the food to be as fresh as possible.

I made two dishes. One was a Persian chicken, walnut, and pomegranate stew called fesenjan.  The recipe I used for inspiration can be found here. The stew is sautéed chicken flavored with onion, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, and pomegranate molasses. It uses ground walnuts as a thickener. I prepared this at home, froze it, then it was thawed and reheated at the event.

To go with the fesenjan, I made rice, which I also froze and reheated at the event. For both the stew and the rice, I double bagged them in heavy duty freezer bags to be reheated by placing the bags in a large pot of boiling water.

I like this a lot. The walnuts add a great flavor, and the pomegranate molasses gives it a mildly tart, almost sweet and sour, taste that is quite different from most chicken dishes you'll run into.

I also made some stuffed dates. I worked from a recipe by a friend of the brides. There were stuffed
with a mixture of cream cheese, honey, ground pistachios, and cinnamon. I worked the mixture in my stand mixer until smooth and creamy, then placed it into a piping bag with a plain tip with an opening about the same size as the opening in the dates. One thing I will do next time is run the nuts through a colander to remove the largest pieces. I had my pastry tip clog a couple of times on a larger piece of pistachio. I piped the dates full of the mixture.

These turned out really nice. The creaminess of the filling contrasted well with the firm date.


Fesenjan (Chicken, Pomegranate, and Walnut Stew)

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs and breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 medium white onion, diced
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup ground walnuts
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt to taste

Add butter and oil to a skillet over medium to medium high heat. Sautéed chicken pieces until lightly browned on all sides. Chicken need not be fully cooked. Place in a stock pot..

Sweat onions in pan until translucent. Add to stock pot.

Use a little of the stock to deglaze the pan. Add to stock pot. Cover chicken with remaining stock.

Cook at a simmer for 20 minutes. Add pomegranate molasses and spices. Stir in walnuts. Simmer another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over long grain rice.

Stuffed Dates

5 lbs. pitted dates
16 oz. by wt. cream cheese
1/3 cup honey
1 cup ground pistachios
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. sea salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, work cream cheese with a paddle until smooth. Add honey, work again until creamy.  Add sugar, nuts, cinnamon, and salt. Work for five minutes, or until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag with a plain tip that will just fit in the dates.

Pipe into each date until it is just full. Refrigerate dates until serving time.

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Culinary Class: Written Final`

Had my written final for my culinary class tonight. I'm relieved to report that I scored 50 out of 50. I could have missed as many as six, and still had enough points for an A. That is without counting the extra credit I did, and whatever participation points the instructor can optionally give. I'm still holding out hope for an A+. I currently have 189 points. If he gives me a total of seven points for extra credit and participation, that will do it.

The good news on my identification test last week, as well, was that he gave me back two points, so I got 23 rather than 21 out of 30.

I'm now done with class, until my chocolate class starts June 10th. I have a busy three weeks ahead anyway. Starting tomorrow, I will be at Potrero War until Monday. The weekend after that is Coronation and Queen's Champion Tourney. Starting Wednesday the week after that is the World Tea Expo. Whew!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Maple Bacon Popovers

Why don't I make popovers more often? They are easy, delicious, and impressive. It may be because the cabinet in the kitchen that holds most of the less commonly used equipment is ridiculously non-ergonomic. Getting the popover pans out is an enormous pain in the ass.

If you haven't tried popovers, you need to, soon. They are descended from the Yorkshire pudding. They are a thin batter, cooked in a very hot oven, and are dependent on the mechanical leavening of steam. They develop a crisp, chewy exterior, and a soft, fluffy interior. They must be eaten as soon as possible after coming out of the oven.  A cold popover is not pleasant, and don't even try re-heating in a microwave *shudder*.

All the recipes say you can use a muffin tin. I never have, and I'm dubious that the results would be optimal. They would certainly be smaller than ones from a proper popover pan. That would also result in a higher crust to fluffy interior ratio, the cube square law being what it is.

The proper popover pan has a kind of trumpet shaped cup, which is much longer than it is wide.

We are still frantically busy getting ready for Potrero War. Since the spouse is pretty much the anti-morning person, I find doing a special breakfast helps encourage her to get on with the days business.

So today I decided to make popovers. I went with maple bacon, because, well, bacon. The recipe I use as a base is from the famous Jordon Pond House in Maine. The order they do things seemed a little wonky to me, so I changed things around to be more in line with the methods I learned in my pastry class.

To accompany the popovers, I made some Bingo Blueberry tea from the Cobblestone Cottage Tea Shoppe in Alpine California. I thought it continued the New England vibe well. It was very good, just needed a little sugar to balance it out. It went well with the popovers.

Maple Bacon Popovers

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup bacon bits
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder

Pre-heat oven to 425 F.

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs until fluffy and light yellow. Add maple syrup, beat on high until well incorporated. Add flour mixture in three stages, alternating with half the milk. After each addition, beat on high until well incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl after each addition of flour.

Once all the milk and flour mixture are incorporated, beat on high for two minutes.

Strain batter. Stir in bacon bits, distribute batter evenly among the six cups of the popover pan.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to 350F, and bake for another 15 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Happy Eating!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Buttermilk crepes with Sour Cherry - Cream Cheese Filling

Today, and this whole weekend, will be crazy busy while the spouse and I are preparing for Potrero War. Besides all the usual stuff, we are helping cater the wedding of a couple of friends. We also need to help provide snacks for a special event.

To help the spouse get going, I made breakfast. Thinking about what was available, I went with filled crepes.

I cheated for the crepes. I had some Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix. I put about one cup in a bowl, and slowly whisked in milk until I had a nice thin batter.

For the filling, I mixed together cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and sour cherry preserves. I whipped them together until smooth.

To finish the crepes, I made a mixed citrus syrup. I used lemon, strawberry orange, and key lime juice, sugar, and lemon and strawberry orange zest. I simmered it a bit, then strained the syrup and put it in an ice bath to cool quickly. I lightly drizzled the plated crepes with the syrup.

I think these came out well. I love sour cherry anything, and the citrus syrup really helped brighten the flavors.

As a side note, about a tablespoon of the syrup in a tall glass of iced tea is very refreshing.


Sour Cherry - Cream Cheese Filling

8 oz. by wt. cream cheese
2/3 cup sour cherry preserves
1/4 cup Greek yogurt

Place all ingredients in a bowl. Mix thoroughly, until smooth and light.

Mixed Citrus Syrup

juice of one lemon
juice of two strawberry oranges
juice of  3 key limes
zest of one lemon
zest of two strawberry oranges
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Turn down to a slow simmer. Let cook until lightly thickened. Strain into a metal bowl, place bowl in an ice bath until syrup is cool.

Happy Eating!

Apologies for Not Blogging Much

Sorry I haven't been blogging as much this month. I've been crazy busy. The month began with Gaslight Gathering, and will be ending with Potrero War. Recovery from the former, and preparation for the latter have kept me hopping, on top of finishing my culinary class. I helped run the hospitality suite and one of the teas at Gaslight, and I am in charge of running the rapier events at Potrero and, as Captain of the Guard, am responsible for setting up for Court Sunday afternoon.

On top of that, my refrigerator died. We lost a lot of food, pretty much everything in the freezer, and a lot that was in the fridge. While we were dealing with that, I didn't get to do much cooking. The good news is that it is fixed, and we were still in warranty for parts, so we only had to pay for the labor.

Hopefully June will be better month for blogging. We have the World Tea Expo, and I am taking a chocolate class. Those both should be good blog fodder.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Culinary Class: Equipment Identification Test

Tonight was my equipment identification test. I'm a little frustrated. I scored 21 out of 30. Several of the wrong answers were due to getting the wire and piano whisks backwards. Most of the others were of the 'can be used for' questions. I said true to a number of questions because the book says you can use it that way. What he wanted was did we use it for that in class. I wish he'd phrased the question to make that clear.

Currently I have 137 out of 200 points. I can miss three questions on the final next week, and still be in the A range with 184. That's without the points for two days of extra credit, plus optional participation points from the instructor. I was never late, never absent, always had my full uniform when it was required, and really tried to be a good student.

So, I think I'm out of contention for an A+, but an A is still well within reach.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Apple, Pear, and Sour Cherry Compote

I wanted to make an interesting accompaniment for breakfast. I was planning on bacon and Cheddar omelets, but I did want some fruit to go with them. I had a couple of ripe pears that needed used, and plenty of apples. I added some canned sour cherries and raisins. I used some sauvignon blanc and a little of the juice from the cherries for the liquid. I flavored it with a little ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne powder.

I cooked it down until most of the liquid was gone. I served it warm with the omelet.

I liked this a lot. The pears were good and ripe, and the cherries added enough acid to balance it out.

Apple, Pear, and Sour Cherry Compote

2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
2 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
3/4 cup canned sour cherries, drained
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup liquid from cherries
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne powder

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender. Continue cooking until most of the liquid is reduced.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Culinary Class: Hot Wings

For our last lab, we covered poaching. To do this we poached chicken wings until they were tender, then deep fried them until brown and crispy. We made a Buffalo-style sauce to coat them.

Poaching is the process of cooking food in liquid that is just below the boiling point, typically between 165 and 185 F. For the wings, they were poached in water flavored with white wine vinegar, bay, thyme, onion, and garlic. They poached about thirty minutes, then were drained and allowed to cool.

We then dredged them in flour mixed with cornstarch and seasoned with granulated garlic, salt, and pepper. They were then deep fried in hot oil until golden brown and crispy.

Just before serving, they were tossed with a Buffalo-style sauce made with butter, Frank's Louisiana Hot Sauce, vinegar, onions, and garlic.

These were really good wings. The sauce was hot enough to get your attention,. without being so hot you couldn't taste anything.

As always, all recipes courtesy of Chef Joe Orate.


Chef Joe's Poaching Liquid for Chicken Wings

1 Qt. water
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. whole thyme
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Chef Joe's Flour for Chicken Wings

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup corn starch
2 Tbsp. granulated garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Chef Joe's Spicy Wing Sauce

1/8 onion, minced
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 oz. + 3 oz. by wt. butter
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 cup Frank's Louisiana Hot Sauce

In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt 1 oz. of butter. Sweat onion and garlic until tender in butter. Add vinegar and hot sauce to pan, bring just to a simmer. Remove from heat, while continuously whisking, add remaining 3 oz. of butter a little at a time. Continue until butter is completely incorporated.

Happy Eating!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup and Buttermilk Dry Jack Biscuits

Monday was a little wet and drizzly. So, it was a perfect day for soup. I had some cooked chicken left over from Gaslight Gathering, and some  three color rotelle, which would work just fine for the noodles. I added some diced carrot and white radish. I flavored it with a little thyme, oregano, and basil.

I always like a little bread with soup to help sop up the juices.  I decided to make biscuits. I thought the dry jack from Springhill Cheese would add a great flavor. I still had buttermilk that needed used up.

These biscuits came out light and fluffy, with a rich, deep flavor from the cheese and buttermilk.


Chicken and Rotelle Soup

6 cups chicken stock
1 cup diced cooked chicken
3/4 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced white radishes
1 cup tri-color rotelle noodles
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried time
salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan, heat stock over medium heat. When it comes to a simmer, add carrots, radishes, and dried herbs. Let simmer gently until vegetables are tender. Add noodles, increase heat until liquid comes to a boil. When noodles are al dente, stir in chicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Buttermilk Dry Jack Biscuits

1 cup all purpose flour
3/8 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup grated dry jack cheese
1/4 cup butter, cold, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt

Pre-heat oven to 450 F.

In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cream of tarter, and baking soda.

Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in dry jack cheese.

Add buttermilk, stir until dough comes together.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly, adding flour as necessary, until dough is  not sticky.

Pat or roll out to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into six biscuits.

Place biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 - 12 minutes, or until biscuits are firm and golden brown.

Happy Eating!

Gaslight Gathering: Saturday Tea and Port of Call

Saturday at Gaslight Gathering was a very hectic day. Like at most cons, it was the busiest day, so lots of people came through the Observation Lounge looking for a beverage or light snack. We also were responsible for an afternoon tea in another part of the building, plus two special events in the Lounge itself.

This is the third year we have run the steampunk Saturday tea. This year, in keeping with the nautical theme of the convention, each table was named for a famous shipwreck or ghost ship of the 19th or early 20th century. We got to do the center pieces. Each table had general nautical ephemera, plus photos or paintings of the ship. Each table also had place cards with the name of the ship, and a unique trivia question about the ship inside. Everyone also got a goodie bag, containing a handmade medal, some white chocolate sea shells, and a card with nautical knots and some cord to practice with.

For entertainment, we went intimate this year. We had a magician, Dino Staats, doing close up magic, and a couple of friends as sea hags, telling fortunes. From all accounts, both acts were marvelously entertaining.

After getting the room set up and everyone seated, I rushed back to the Observation Lounge to supervise the Port of Call. The port of call for Saturday was the Island of Santorini. To celebrate that, I made a lemon chicken rice soup, and a ricotta honey pie. I made the little cheesecakes as individual one bite desserts. They have a pine nut crust. Unfortunately I do not have any photos of the food from this event. If  you are willing to let me use, let me know.

Finally, in the evening, we had a birthday party for the Artist Guest of Honor, Brian Kesinger. We had cake, including a lovely one with the head of Boba Fett, made by another fan.


Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

12 cups chicken stock
1 cup lemon juice
1 bunch celery, finely diced
1 1/2 lbs. carrots, finely diced
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
4 lbs. precooked chicken, diced
3 cups cooked rice
salt to taste

Place stock and lemon juice in a crock pot. Simmer on high for one hour. Add garlic, celery, and carrots. Let simmer one more hour, or until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Ten minutes before serving, stir in chicken and rice. Add salt, and additional lemon juice as needed.

Ricotta Honey Cheesecake with Pinenut Crust

For the crust:

8 oz. by wt. pine nuts
1/3 cup sugar
16 oz. by wt. all purpose flour
8 oz. by wt. butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch salt

In a heavy skillet, toast pine nuts over medium heat. Transfer to a food processor. Pulse several times. Add flour, sugar, and salt, process until nuts are finely ground.

Transfer nut mixture to a mixing bowl. Add butter, egg, and vanilla. Work by hand until ingredients are well mixed. Divide into balls, wrap balls in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least ten minutes.

One ball is enough crust for one batch of cheesecake.

For the cheesecake:

4 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
16 oz. by wt. ricotta cheese
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

In a bowl, mix together ricotta and thyme, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Slowly beat in flour, sugar, and salt until eggs are medium stiff peaks. Beat in honey, until fully incorporated. Fold ricotta into egg whites until well blended, with no lumps of egg white or ricotta remaining.

Line mini-muffin pan with paper cups. Place about 1 teaspoon of pinenut dough in the bottom of each cup, pressing it down to form a thin layer on the bottom of the cup. Spoon in batter to about 2/3 full. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until cheesecakes are resilient to the touch, and lightly browned.

Remove from oven. Lightly dust with cinnamon powder. Place on cooling rack to cool. Refrigerate until serving time.

One batch makes about 35 miniature cheesecakes.

Happy Eating!

Gaslight Gathering: Friday Port of Call

Last weekend was Gaslight Gathering, a major steampunk event in San Diego. The spouse and I, with another couple, were in charge of running the hospitality suite and one of the teas. The four of us, along with all our staff, were responsible for providing food and drink for the attendees, who probably numbered around 1200.

We kept the bathtub full of sodas and bottled water on ice, provided coffee and hot water for chocolate and tea, and kept up an array of snacks, including chips, veggies, dips, humus, cookies, and candies.

One thing I very much like about this convention is that it explicitly contains a LARPish element. The conceit is that the convention takes place on a giant luxury airship, the Gaslight. In keeping with that theme, we like to refer to the hospitality suite as the Observation Lounge. We also do various 'ports of call', were we say the airship is docked at some city, and we are providing a taste of the local cuisine.

This year, we wanted to keep to the nautical theme, so went with two very different islands. Friday's port of call was Rapa Nui (Easter Island). For that, I made a Polynesian pulled pork, and a fruit pudding called po'e. The pork was slow cooked with liquid smoke and sea salt. The pudding was made from banana, mango, and papaya, and served with a dollop of coconut cream and a sprinkling of brown sugar. To make my life easier, I made little individual puddings in mini-muffin liners, rather than a big pudding that would have to be shared out.

Unfortunately, I did not get any good pictures of the food at the ports of call either day. If anyone else did, and would be willing to let me use them, I'd greatly appreciate it.


Polynesian Pulled Pork

20 lbs boneless pork shoulder
1/2 cup coarse sea salt
1/4 cup liquid smoke
1/2 banana, split lengthwise

Trim excess fat from pork. Thoroughly rub liquid smoke over entire surface of pork shoulder. Do the same with the sea salt. Place pork in a crock pot. Lay banana half on top, cover. Turn on to high, until pot comes up to temperature, about 3 hours. Turn to low, cook another 16 hours. An hour before service, remove banana. Shred pork, return to crock pot. Let cook in the juice uncovered for one more hour.

Po'e (Tahitian Fruit Pudding)

4 cups banana puree
3 cups mango puree
1 cup papaya puree
1cup brown sugar
4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups corn starch
1 cup coconut milk
brown sugar to garnish

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Mix together fruit purees, sugar, vanilla, and corn starch. whisk thoroughly to remove any lumps of cornstarch.

Line a mini-muffin tin with paper liners. Carefully fill liners about 2/3 full with pudding mix. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until pudding is firm and springy to the touch.

Remove to a cooling rack. Let cool, refrigerate until serving.

To serve, poor a little coconut cream over each pudding. Sprinkle lightly with brown sugar.

One batch makes about 70 individual puddings.

Happy eating!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Culinary Class: Knife Skills Test Results

So I found out how I did on my knife skills test last week. I scored 48 out of 50, tying for the best score in the class. I am so relieved. I was exceedingly nervous; the test was nerve-wracking. I guess the three hours I spent cutting up carrots that morning paid off.

So, even though I lost a couple of points, I did do two days worth of extra credit. So, If I can ace both the tests the next two classes, I can still finish with more than 100%.