Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Lemon Almond Cake

This is a super simple cake to make that happens to be butter/oil/gluten free. Recipe can be doubled to make a layer cake or made as a single layer and lightly decorated. Let DBD and XBD decorate the cake with sliced strawberries and peaches.

  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1.5 c spooned almond flour
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • splash of almond extract
  • 1/4 c sliced almonds
  1. Beat 4 egg yolks and sugar at high speed for 3 min.
  2. Use a spatula to fold in almond flour, zest and extract. Stir until incorporated.
  3. Wash and dry the mixer beaters. Beat the 4 egg whites until stiff peaks form (about 2 min).
  4. Fold the whites one heaping spoonful at a time into the almond batter.
  5. Transfer to parchment lined 9" cake pan.
  6. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
  7. Bake at 350 for 30 min until top is firm.
  8. Rest for 15 min.
  9. Invert almond side up on plate.
  10. Top with fresh fruit.

Bubble Solution

Warmer weather means it's time to refill all the empty bubble containers. My neighbor told me about the magic of guar gum. Made a 1 liter batch and filled in 4 no spill fubbles, 3 little containers, and 1 glass jar. I tried weighing the guar gum and baking powder but the machine wouldn't register anything until it hit 2 g. Didn't really make the slurry properly so it was a bit clumpy in the end, but still worked great.


  • 1 liter warm water
  • 8-13 t Dawn (40-65 g. Starting point = 50 g)
  • 1/4 t heaping guar gum (too much is ok)
  • 1/2 t heaping baking powder (too much is ok)
  1. Make the slurry. Add in some of the detergent over the guar gum until dissolved (mix longer than you think). Add in enough water to make it pourable.
  2. Pour the slurry into the water. Stir for 30 sec.
  3. Add the remainder of the detergent, gently stirring.
  4. Add the baking powder.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Lemon Sponge Roll

I miss lemon filled jelly rolls, which I grew up buying in Chinatown. However, nowadays I can only find the cream filled ones, not the clear lemon ones. This was fun to make however came out way too sweet. I added all the sugar to the yolks when I realized it was supposed to be split. The cake still came out fine. I didn't roll it tight enough so it was a bit floppy.
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 t cream of tartar
  • 3/4 c sugar (split)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c water
  • 2 T + 1 t icing sugar
Lemon Curd
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 T lemon rind
  • 1/3 c lemon juice
  • 1/3 c cold butter, cubed
  1. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
  2. Beat in 1 T of sugar at a time for a total of 1/4 c sugar until stiff peaks form. [However, if you skip this step and dump it in the yolks, it still turns out ok]
  3. Combine the remaining 1/2 c sugar with yolks and beat until it falls in ribbons (~3 min).
  4. Beat in the vanilla.
  5. Combine the flour and salt.
  6. Fold in the egg whites and flour in alternating pattern of 3 whites, 2 dry.
  7. Spread on parchment lined 10x15 sheet. Smooth the top.
  8. Bake at 375 for 12-15 min until the top springs back when lightly touched.
  9. On a clean tea towel, dust the icing sugar (to prevent cake from sticking).
  10. Invert cake onto towel and peel off paper.
  11. Trim the long edges.
  12. Starting with the short edge and allowing the towel to overlap, roll the cake up. Cool on rack seam side down. [At this point you can put in airtight container and keep for one day at room temperature.]
  13. Bring the syrup ingredients to a boil and then let cool.
  14. Brush the cake with syrup.
  15. Spread with lemon curd [which can be made up to 1 day ahead]
    1. Whisk the yolks, sugar, rind and juice in heat proof bowl.
    2. Set over saucepan of simmering water.
    3. Cook, stirring until thickened enough to coat back of wooden spoon. About 8-10 min.
    4. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, 1 piece at a time until smooth.
    5. Optional: strain
    6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thickened (~2 hours).
  16. Roll up firmly (without squishing)

Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies

These were fun to make.

  • 1 c + 2.5 T flour
  • 1/4 c cocoa
  • 3/4 c butter, softened
  • 1/2 c confectioners sugar
  • 1.5 t vanilla
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3/4 c semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 T butter
  • 1/4 t peppermint extract
  1. Sift the flour and cocoa together in small bowl.
  2. In large bowl, beat the sugar and butter together.
  3. Beat in the vanilla and salt.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture.
  5. Chill until firm, about 40-60 min.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  7. Make 1" balls and place about 2" apart. 
  8. Using your thumb, pinky or circular wooden handle, make a deep well, almost to the bottom of the cookie.
  9. Bake one sheet at a tme 8-9 min until tops of cookies look dry.
  10. Redefine the indentation.
  11. Let cool on the sheet for 5 min, then transfer to wire rack.
  12. FILLING: Heat the chocolate and butter in double boiler (heat proof bowl over simmering water) until almost melted - about 2-4 min. Remove from heat and stir in mint. Cool (stir every 30-40 min). Fill piping bag and fill in cookies.
  13. Store in airtight container up to 1 day at room temperature.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Cocoa Cookies with Raspberry Filling

This was annoyingly time consuming to make. I used the star shape and the elephant shapes for the bases. The holes were the mini star, the baby elephant, or a handcut circle.

  • 3/4 c butter, softened
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 1/3 c cocoa
  • 1/2 t powder
  • pinch salt
  • raspberry jam (~12 t)
  1. Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  2. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Combine the flour, cocoa, powder and salt. Add to wet mixture in 2 additions.
  4. Divide the dough in half. Flatten into discs. Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for 1-24 hours.
  5. Roll out each disc to 1/4" thickness in between wax sheets.
  6. Using large (2") cutter, cut 24 cookies. Using smaller cutter, cut out 1/2" hole. With remaining dough, cut out another 24 cookies, but without the hole.
  7. Place 1 inch apart on parchment lined sheets.
  8. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 min.
  9. Bake 2 sheets at a time, top and bottom thirds at 350. Rotate and switch halfway through. Bake about 12 minutes.
  10. Once cooled, spread ~1/2 t jam on bottom cookie and top with holed cookie.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Chilled Pork Noodles

This can be eaten warm, or chilled and had as a make ahead summer dish. Both DBD and XBD loved this, even with all the fresh herbs. A win!
Aug 2019 Made this again with chocolate mint. And again with ground turkey instead of pork, with garden basil and store mint. Prefer the slightly thinner noodles to the big fat ones.
  • 3 T oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 4 T fish sauce
  • 4 T brown sugar
  • 1 package rice vermicelli (8.8 oz)
  • 4 cucumbers, thinly sliced (optional: soaked in vinegar)
  • fresh mint, chopped
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 c roasted peanuts, crushed
  • 2 limes, juiced [optional]
  1. Heat the oil in pan. Cook the garlic, pork and pepper for 2-3 min.
  2. Add in the fish sauce and brown sugar and cook for 2-3 min.
  3. Remove pork to bowl and save the sauce.
  4. Cook the rice noodles in boiling water following package instructions (based on thickness...about 2-4 min).
  5. Remove noodles and coat with saved sauce.
  6. Stir in pork, cucumbers, mint, basil. 
  7. Serve in bowls. Top with peanuts and lime juice.