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Lemon Olive Oil Cake With Raspberries And Pistachios

Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Raspberries and Pistachios

I know olive oil cakes are ubiquitous these days, but here’s another one to add to your repertoire, and it’s a keeper.
My dad’s wife Rose made this for me a while ago and I’ve been meaning to post it for a while.
She’s a great baker, and my dad’s a terrific cook, so every time I visit I can be assured of a wonderful meal, including a delicious dessert.
The red raspberries and green pistachios give this cake a particularly festive look.
You might want to remember this one for the Christmas holidays. But try it as fresh, local raspberries start appearing in the markets.
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Lemon Cake with Raspberries and Pistachios
from Bon Appetit magazine
Ingredients
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon plus ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (about 4 oz.)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped unsalted, raw pistachios

PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9” diameter cake pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With mixer running, add vanilla and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, then gradually add oil, mixing just until combined. Fold in lemon zest and dry ingredients.
  • Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Scatter berries over cake, then pistachios and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Bake cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 45–55 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring remaining ¼ cup sugar and remaining ¼ cup lemon juice to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar; let lemon syrup cool.
  • Transfer hot cake (still in pan) to a wire rack and immediately brush with lemon syrup (use all of it). Let cake cool completely in pan.
  • DO AHEAD: Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Store wrapped tightly at room temperature

 

 

Slow Roasted Salmon With Fennel And Citrus

Slow Roasted Salmon with Fennel and Citrus

 I vowed to eat fewer cookies, cakes, etc. after the holidays, but something always interferes — the inevitable weakness when a dessert menu is placed in front of me at the end of restaurant meals, the dinners at friends’ homes or my own sabotage when I decide to bake something sweet (which is more often than I should).

In an effort to counter the effects of those temptations, I’m trying to find dinner entrees that pack lots of flavor and not so many calories. Even though this dish requires a fair amount of olive oil for the poaching, when spread among two pounds of fish for four to six people, there’s no cause for complaint. And two pounds of salmon is plenty for four to six people, especially if a salad or other foods are being served.
Don’t fret if the last of the blood oranges are gone from the markets. You can still use regular oranges and it will be just as delicious. Make sure to slice the fennel very thinly or it won’t cook through in the allotted time. Another option, which I did the second time I made this, is to parboil the fennel a couple of minutes, drain it, then assemble the rest of the ingredients. The jalapeno gives the dish a subtle kick, so don’t omit that either.
Place the fish atop the fennel, oranges and lemon, scatter some dill throughout, season with salt and pepper, and pour the olive oil on top.

Roast it in the oven uncovered at a very low temperature (275 degrees) for 30 to 40 minutes. Don’t worry if the fish isn’t totally immersed in the olive oil. The abundant oils already present in the salmon will be enough to keep it moist. Break the fish into large pieces and pour some of the oil on top when serving. Have some lemon handy to squeeze on top, too. Try it with other seafood if salmon isn’t to your liking. Cod, halibut or similar thick-fleshed fish would be great too.

Slow Roasted Salmon with Fennel and Citrus 

Ingredients

SERVINGS: 6

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 blood or navel orange, very thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 Meyer or regular lemon, very thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 red Fresno chile or jalapeño, with seeds, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs dill, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 2-lb. skinless salmon fillet, preferably center-cut
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 275°. Toss fennel, orange slices, lemon slices, chile, and 4 dill sprigs in a shallow 3-qt. baking dish; season with kosher salt and pepper. Season salmon with kosher salt and place on top of fennel mixture. Pour oil over.
  • Roast until salmon is just cooked through (the tip of a knife will slide through easily and flesh will be slightly opaque), 30–40 minutes for medium-rare.
  • Transfer salmon to a platter, breaking it into large pieces as you go. Spoon fennel mixture and oil from baking dish over; discard dill sprigs. Season with sea salt and pepper and top with fresh dill sprigs. Have extra lemon on hand to squeeze on top.
Banana Cake With Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

 It’s wickedly caloric but wickedly good. I’m blaming it all on a snowstorm and that salted caramel sauce I saw on Stacey Snacks’ blog. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 I had just come in from shoveling the driveway for the umpteenth time this year and although it was cold outside, I had worked up a sweat and was craving ice cream. All I had was plain vanilla, but to dress it up, I could quickly whip up a caramel sauce. Never mind that there are a gazillion calories in caramel sauce (not to mention ice cream). Hey, I deserved it after all the shoveling this season.
Fast forward two days later when I had baked a banana cake for my Italian chit chat group. Not just any banana cake, but really the best banana cake I’d ever tried. It’s from my friend Jan, who gave me the recipe decades ago when our kids were babies. Over the years, I lost sight of it and finally took the time to scrounge through stacks of old recipes to find it. I could have made the buttercream frosting that came with the recipe – delicious in its own right. But with the extra caramel sauce that was too much of a temptation for my weak resolve, I used it instead in a frosting, incorporating a bit of leftover cream cheese too and sharing the caramel goodness (and calories) with a bunch of other women.
Now you can enjoy it too. Just make sure you balance the calories with some jogging – or snow shoveling – which shouldn’t be a problem with a lot of winter still ahead of us.

Jan’s Banana Cake
printable recipe here

2 eggs
2/3 c. softened butter
1 t. vanilla
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 1/4 c. mashed very ripe bananas (about 2)

crushed walnuts for decorating the sides of the cake

Grease the bottom and sides of two layer cake pans and line with greased waxed or parchment paper. Beat the first four ingredients together until smooth. Combine the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, alternately with the buttermilk and banana. Pour and spread in the prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees until centers are set – about 20 to 25 minutes. when cold, fill and frost with either rich butter icing or the cream cheese caramel frosting. Decorate the top with a little of the reserved caramel sauce, and press crushed walnuts onto the sides of the cake.


Rich Butter Icing  (a delicious recipe, and the original one that Jan uses, but I used the cream cheese caramel frosting instead)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 c. sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 egg yolk
1 t. vanilla extract
1 T. cream

Cream Cheese Caramel Frosting

6 oz. – 8 oz. softened cream cheese (a typical bar of cream cheese is 8 oz., but I had already eaten some, so I used only what was left – 6 oz. – and it was fine)
1/2 cup butter
1 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 cup caramel sauce (below)
Beat the cream cheese and butter until well blended. Add the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and caramel sauce until smooth. Spread on interior layer of cake, then on the sides and top of cake.

After incorporating the 1/2 cup caramel sauce into the frosting, you’ll have enough caramel sauce left over to drizzle over the top of the cake too. Drizzle in concentric circles, then run a toothpick or knife through the circles at equal distances. You might need to reheat the sauce a bit to make it pourable

Salted Caramel Sauce (from Bon Appetit):

1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cream
3 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (not regular salt)

In a small, heavy saucepan, heat the water and sugar on medium boil until turning golden, 8-10 minutes.
You can scrape the brown bits on the sides of the pan down with a wet pastry brush.

 

Take the golden liquid off the heat and carefully add in the cream, it will bubble and boil, so be careful not to splatter yourself.


Place back on the stove and stir for 2 minutes.

Add in 3 tbsp butter and salt and cook another minute or two until the butter and mixture is nice and smooth.

Transfer to a heat resistant vessel, and place in the fridge to cool. You can make the caramel sauce 5 days in advance.
Breton Apple Cake

Breton Apple Cake

 When I saw this cake on my friend Stacey’s blog, I knew it was in my future. The cake alone – so moist and redolent of butter and apples – is worth making. But served with the salted caramel sauce, it becomes irresistible. That’s why it’s best  to wait till company comes or you’ll be eating it all yourself and swiping your finger into the pot to get every last drop of the caramel sauce. (guilty as charged on that last one.)

Normally, I bake with granny smith apples, but this time I used a combination of those and honey crisp, and it was terrific.
You have to sauté the apples in butter first.
Then spread them out in a single layer in a buttered pan.
Cover with a layer of the batter, then repeat the process.
I sprinkled the whole thing with cinnamon sugar.
It will be a huge hit, especially if you drizzle that decadent caramel sauce on the side –
Or pour it all over the top into a puddle of goodness.
 Gateau Breton aux Pommes avec Beurre Salé (adapted from Bon Appetit):

As found on Stacey Snacks’ blog
Printable Recipe here

For the cake:

10 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled, plus 2 tbsp for the apples
1 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt (not regular table salt)
1 cup sugar plus 2 tbsp sugar, divided
zest of a lemon
3 eggs
4 firm apples (I mixed varieties), peeled, cored and thickly sliced

Butter and flour an 8″ cake pan (I used my springform, of course).

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar and 10 tbsp. of melted butter and lemon zest.
Add in the dry ingredients and mix to form a batter.

In a heavy medium skillet, heat the 2 tbsp of butter and add in the apple slices. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp of sugar and cook for about 8-10 minutes on medium heat until the apples are juicy and caramelized. Keep stirring, so the apples don’t stick.

Lay half the cooked apples on the bottom of the prepared cake pan and spoon half the batter over them. Don’t worry if the batter doesn’t seem to cover the apples.

Layer with the rest of the apples, then the rest of the batter. It’s easiest if you have a rubber spatula to spread the batter.

I sprinkled my cake with cinnamon sugar.

Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 35-45 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness.

Salted Caramel (beurre salé):

1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cream
3 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp kosher salt (not regular salt)

In a small, heavy saucepan, heat the water and sugar on medium boil until turning golden, 8-10 minutes.
You can scrape the brown bits on the sides of the pan down with a wet pastry brush.
Take the golden liquid off the heat and carefully add in the cream, it will bubble and boil, so be careful not to splatter yourself.

Place back on the stove and stir for 2 minutes.

Add in 3 tbsp butter and salt and cook another minute or two until the butter and mixture is nice and smooth.

Transfer to a heat resistant vessel, and place in the fridge to cool. You can make the caramel sauce 5 days in advance.