Author Archives: entertainingbythebay

Ginger Spice Cake

The taste and aroma of the holiday season is delivered with this easy and delicious spice cake, perfect to add to any menu during the holiday season!  It’s moist from buttermilk and the taste of gingerbread.

From by the bay wishing you ginger filled holiday food memories!

Maryann

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Ginger Spice Cake
From Tyler Florence’s Real Kitchen
(Makes one cake; serves 8)

Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk

 

1 cup whipped cream, for garnish
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the pan bottom and place it inside; then spray the paper. Set aside.

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg, molasses, sugar, and melted butter until thick. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat for 1 minute after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the cake’s structure. Mix until the batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth down the top of the batter until even. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan, and then slice it in wedges. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream.

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Chocolate Fudge with Bourbon Sugar

I love to give the gift of food, this is a perfect gift – chocolate bourbon sugar and if you happen to have bourbon sugar already around it’s even easier to make.  It’s  a combination of sweet and salty , the fudge enhanced with coarse sea salt such as Maldon Sea Salt my favorite! I keep this stored int he freezer over the holidays , not need to defrost , just cut and serve. Perfection!

From by the bay wishing you visions of bourbon fudge food memories!

Maryann

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Chocolate Fudge With Bourbon Sugar

Published December 2014 Bon Appetit recipe by William Werner
The exceptional texture and glossy sheen of this fudge result from the way you mix it. Make sure the chocolate and condensed milk are barely hot.

Ingredients
SERVINGS: MAKES 32
Bourbon Sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cup demerara sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
Fudge
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 72%), coarsely chopped
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine grey sea salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 teaspoon vanilla
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Directions

Bourbon Sugar
Preheat oven to 150° or as low as yours will go. Scrape vanilla seeds into a small bowl; stir in demerara sugar and bourbon. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let dry out in oven overnight, leaving door slightly ajar. Mixture should feel like demerara sugar again in the morning.
Do Ahead: Store bourbon sugar airtight at room temperature up to 2 months.

Fudge

Line an 8×8” baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on 2 sides; lightly coat with nonstick spray. Heat chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let bowl touch water), stirring occasionally, until almost completely melted. Set aside.

Combine condensed milk, butter, bourbon, corn syrup and salt in a small saucepan; scrape in vanilla seeds and add pod. Heat over medium until barely hot (same as the chocolate). Gently stir one quarter of the milk mixture into the chocolate with a rubber spatula. Add another quarter of the milk mixture , stirring to incorporate (it might look broken and greasy; don’t worry it will come back together). Continue with remaining milk mixture in 2 additions, stirring vigorously until fudge is very shiny and almost elastic, about 5 minutes. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle with bourbon sugar and sea salt. Let cool, then cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Turn fudge onto a cutting board and slice in squares.

Do head : Fudge can be made 1 week ahead , wrap tightly and chill or store in the freezer wrapped in foil, no need to thaw.

Hazelnut Crescent Cookies

This delicious cookie is one of those special family recipes shared and enjoyed from generation to generation. I remember my grandmother making this cookie and keeping it in her special tin, bought out whenever someone would visit for coffee. I couldn’t find the recipe and then not too long ago I was able to spend some time with my Tante Hetty, who was kind enough to send me the recipe. So happy to share with you to enjoy this holiday season!

From by the bay, wishing you soft and buttery cookie food memories!

Maryann

blog hazelnut cookie

Hazelnut Crescent Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus extra 1 cup to coat hot cookies
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 1 egg , plus 1 yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Use an electric mixer to beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat well until combined , add eggs one at a time , then vanilla. Gradually add flour and nuts and combine well. Put dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Set aside to silpat lined baking sheets. Remove dough from fridge and  shape into small half moon crescent shapes. Place back in the refrigerator another 10 minutes. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden on bottom. While hot toss gently with granulated sugar and cool. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. Will last for about 5 days.

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Dark Chocolate Bark with Pomergranate and Sea Salt

I enjoy gifting a homemade sweet during the holidays! Here is my holiday take on chocolate bark. The key to the recipe is the quality of your ingredients.  Using the best quality chocolate and sea salt will guarantee a delicious result. Happy Gifting!

From by the bay wishing you dark chocolate food memories!

Maryann

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Dark Chocolate Bark with Pomergranate and Sea Salt

Adapted from Ina Garten’s White Chocolate Bark from “Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?” published 2010

Ingredients

16 ounces very good dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried pomegranate arils or dried cranberries
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt ( or more to taste), such as Maldon

Directions

Place 3/4 of the chocolate in a microwave safe glass bowl. Place in microwave for 30 seconds, remove and stir with a rubber spatula. Repeat in 30 second intervals stirring in between each until chocolate is melted. Add remaining chocolate and stir until it melts. You may need to place back in microwave for another 10 seconds or so to melt the remaining chocolate.

Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a 9 by 10-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper facedown on the baking sheet.

Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread to form a rectangle, using the outline. Sprinkle the cashews, apricots and cranberries over the chocolate. Set aside for 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark in 1 by 3-inch pieces and serve at room temperature.

 

Bourbon Spiced Cider

Kick off your holiday season with the perfect cocktail , this bourbon spiced cider will keep you warm through the holidays! Start with an easy spicy simple syrup, I use my favorite mulling spices to infuse lots of flavor into the simple syrup – then it’s just warm a little cider on the stove top or mircrowave oven , mix with bourbon and the syrup and serve!

From by the bay, wishing you warm spiced holiday memories!

Maryann

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Bourbon Spiced Cider

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. Apple Cider (hot)
  • 1 oz. Bourbon
  • 1 oz. Spiced Simple Syrup recipe below

Directions

Combine everything in a heat-safe glass or mug and give it a good stir. Garnish with cinnamon stick. For a non-alcoholic version, mix 1 oz. Spiced Simple Syrup with 4 oz. hot cider and stir.

Spiced Simple Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon mulling spices
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Directions

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes until sugar has completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and let the syrup cool. Strain syrup into a clean jar; discard solids. May be refrigerated for a week.

Turkey Cobb Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Here is a perfect use of your leftover turkey and cranberry sauce by making a cobb salad. This salad uses layers of flavor – starting with cubes of turkey meat, tomatoes, avocado, blue cheese, bacon, boiled eggs and lots of fresh lettuce. I use some leftover cranberry sauce to make the perfect vinaigrette – that is both slightly sweet and acidic at the same time. The best part is this meal is light and healthy after the excesses of Thanksgiving Day. Look forward to this meal the day after Thanksgiving – there is nothing leftover about it!

From by the bay, wishing you turkey leftover food memories!

Maryann

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Turkey Cobb Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of you favorite assorted greens, such as romaine, boston, baby lettuce leaves
  • 4 slices of lean bacon, chopped fine
  • 2 ripe avocados (preferably California)
  • 2 cups diced turkey
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1/2 hard-boiled large egg, separated, the yolk grated fine and the white grated fine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons leftover cranberry sauce
  • 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Roquefort

Directions

In a large salad bowl toss together assorted greens. In a skillet cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until it is crisp and transfer it with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Halve, pit, and peel the avocados and cut them into 1/2-inch pieces. Arrange the turkey, the bacon, the tomato, and the avocado decoratively over the greens and garnish the salad with the grated egg and the chives. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, the mustard, cranberry sauce and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a slow stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified. Stir in the Roquefort. Whisk the dressing, pour it over the salad, and toss the salad well.

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting and Caramel Filling

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Here is the ultimate pumpkin cake! It’s the cake that will make your holiday unforgettable! It’s a delicious, decadent , over the top dessert! Spicy pumpkin cake in four layers, caramel layered between the cake, then topped with a cream cheese buttercream frosting.  On top of the cake are shards of pepita ( pumpkin seed) brittle. The cake stays moist so you can make it a day in advance and keep covered in the refrigerator. It’s sublime!

From by the bay wishing you, pumpkin food memories!

Maryann

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Cake
Butter for coating cake pans, at room temperature
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons canned unsweetened pumpkin purée
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Caramel Filling

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar or until thick enough to spread

Directions for the cake

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch sides. Line the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper. Sprinkle the pans with flour, tap the pans to evenly distribute the flour, and then shake off the excess flour. Set aside.
To make the cake, in a large bowl, sift together the 2 cups flour, the granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and allspice. In a electric mixer using the paddle attachment combine the pumpkin, sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in orange zest. On low speed add the flour mixture to the flour mixture until just combined. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, spreading it evenly. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a tester inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Transfer to wire racks and let cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Run a table knife around the edge of the pans to loosen the cakes. Invert the cakes onto the racks and peel off the parchment paper. Let cool completely before frosting the cakes.

Directions for the cream cheese buttercream frosting
To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed for about 3 minutes until smooth. Add the butter and beat for about 2 minutes until combined. Add the pumpkin purée and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat for about 3 minutes until fluffy.
Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate or platter. Using an offset spatula, spread half of the frosting over the top of the first cake layer. Spread the frosting right to the edge of the top without frosting the sides of the cake. Carefully place the second cake on top, lining up the edges. Spread the remaining frosting over the top of the cake without frosting the sides. Swirl the frosting to decorate the top. Refrigerate the cake to set the frosting. Remove from the refrigerator 30 to 40 minutes before serving.

Directions for caramel filling

In a medium sauce pan add brown sugar and butter and cook for two minutes on medium heat, melting butter. Add mild and bring to a boil. Take off heat add vanilla, mix and cool. Once cool whisk confectioner’s sugar until good consistency to spread and smooth. Add more sugar until thickened if needed.

To assemble cake :

Cut each cooled layer of pumpkin cake in half with a serrated knife. Place first layer on cake stand and using an offset spatula spread on top of cake. Spread the frosting right to the edge of the top without frosting the sides of the cake. Carefully place the second cake on top, lining up the edges.Repeat with the remaining 3 layers.

Spread  cream cheese buttercream frosting over the top of the cake and sides. Swirl the frosting to decorate the top. Refrigerate the cake to set the frosting. Remove from the refrigerator 30 to 40 minutes before serving.Spread the top and then sides with the cream cheese buttercream frosting. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Let come to room temperature.

Optional : garnish with pepita/ pumpkin seed  brittle recipe follows below

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Pepita Brittle

Adapted from “Craft of Cooking” by Tom Colicchio and Smitten Kitchen Blog from 11/1/2008

Makes one 12 x 16 – inch pan


Canola -oil spray

2 cups sugar

1/4 pound unsalted butter

6 tablespoons corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 pound  or 1 1/2 cup shelled raw unroasted pepitas ( pumpkin seeds)

1 1/2 tablespoons Maldon sea salt 

Directions

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with Canola oil. Take a large non-stick pot and add sugar, butter, corn syrup and 1 1/3 cups water. Place on high heat melting sugar until the caramel turns amber color, stir occasionally as this is cooking. This might take awhile, it will thicken as it boils before it finally turns amber. At this point add the baking soda and salt, then remove from heat and add the pepitas. Stirring well, then quickly pour onto the baking sheet and spread out evening with a spatula. An alternate method for a smoother brittle is slide the parchment paper out of the baking pan and onto a smooth counter top. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and use a rolling in, to smooth the brittle and roll it out thin. Once the brittle is rolled out you can remove the top sheet of parchment paper and  let the brittle cool and then break into pieces. If you can resist eating this , store in an air tight container.

Mushroom and Melted Leek Dressing

I love this dressing! The base starts with toasted rye cubes mixed with assorted wild mushrooms, leeks and herbs. These ingredients combine into this tasty savory dressing, the perfect side to your Thanksgiving turkey or for any of your holiday celebrations.

From by the bay wishing you wild mushroom food memories!

Maryann

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Mushroom and Melted Leek Dressing

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

2 rye bread boules, cut into ½ inch cubes with crust

1 ½ pounds assorted mushrooms, sliced

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large leek, sliced in rings

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1 fennel bulb, finely sliced

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

3/4 cups grated parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

2 tablespoons dry sherry

2 to 3 cups low sodium chicken stock

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Place bread cubes in a single layer on two rimmed large baking sheets. Bake until toasted about 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a large skillet add 4 tablespoons butter and saute the mushrooms until they release their liquid and start to brown about 10 minutes. Place mushrooms into a large mixing bowl. Add remaining butter to the same skillet, melt butter and then add fennel, thyme and rosemary, when fennel begins to soften add the leeks. Saute together until softened about 10 minutes, separating the leek rings. Add chili flakes and saute another minute. Remove from heat and add to the bowl with the cooked mushrooms. Add the toasted bread cube, cheese and parsley to the bowl. Add 2 cups of chicken stock. Mix the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. If dressing is not moist add the additional cup of stock. Mix well. The dressing can be made up to this point one day in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake. To bake the dressing, remove from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes, until dressing is heated through the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Basic Turkey Gravy

Here is your go to recipe for gravy. I love it because you can make most of it in advance, the key to a well planned Thanksgiving, doing as much of the preparation as you can in advance.

From by the bay wishing you easy gravy food memories!

Maryann

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Basic Turkey Gravy

Gravy Base

6 cups chicken stock

Giblets and neck from turkey

1 bouquet garni

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 carrot, chopped

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Gravy

6 tablespoons flour

6 cups gravy base

4 tablespoons butter

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoons fine grey sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

½ cup chop parsley

Optional : Giblets – chop giblets braised in the gravy base and add to gravy

Directions for gravy base

Combine into a soup pot chicken stock, bouquet garni, onion, celery, peppercorns, giblets and neck from turkey. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 1 hour. Cool and strain broth and keep refrigerated until ready to make gravy. This can be done one day in advance.If you like giblets in your gravy , save and refrigerator.

Directions for gravy

Place seasoned broth into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Melt butter in a bowl and then add flour , whisk until it is a smooth paste. Take one cup of hot broth and whisk into flour mixture until smooth. Pour this back into the broth and whisk to blend. Add bay leaves, honey, salt and pepper and whisk again. You can have this prepared as the turkey is roasting. Once the turkey is done and removed from the roasting pan pour pan juices into a measuring cup. Spoon off fat and discard. Add remaining juices into broth in the saucepan. Place roasting pan back on heat and deglaze with the 1/2 cup of seasoned stock. Scrap pan to get all brown bits, let reduce to half , about 2 minutes. Add to the gravy. Whisk together and let simmer until reduced to a sauce consistency. Remove bay leaves, mix in parsley adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with turkey. 

 Optional : Giblets – chop giblets braised in the gravy base and add to gravy

Citrus Herb Roasted Turkey

Your turkey is the main event for your Thanksgiving feast. I suggest buying a fresh turkey. Order one in advance so you don’t find yourself with out a turkey the size you want. I’ll never forget the first time I cooked for Thanksgiving for my family in New York City. I didn’t order a turkey in advance and there were no fresh turkeys available. My mother had to strong arm the guy behind the counter to find one in the back to sell us. Lesson learned the hard way! I like to brine my turkey. I find it’s more juicy and tender. I change the favors up year to year. This year it’s the bright taste of citrus using lemons and oranges, mixed with herbs, lacquered with honey and butter. It’s delicious!

From by the bay, wishing you wonderful turkey food memories!

Maryann

blog citrus turk

Citrus Herb Roasted Turkey

1 16-18 lb. turkey, preferably organic
Brine
16 cups cold water , or more to cover turkey
8 cups chicken stock
1 cup fine sea salt
1 cup fine granulated sugar
2 Meyer lemons , quartered
2 oranges, quartered
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 cup orange blossom honey
2 onions , peeled and quartered
3 fresh bay leaves
To roast turkey
1 Meyer lemon, quartered
1 orange, quartered
1 bunch fresh rosemary and 1 bay leave
2 tablespoons fine grey sea salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
To baste
8 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
zest of one orange and one lemon

¼ cup orange blossom honey

Note: if Meyer lemons not available use lemons

Garnish with oranges, lemons , rosemary and fresh bay leaves
Directions
Prepare brine by combining water, sea salt, honey, sugar, onions, rosemary, thyme, bouquet garni and peppercorns. Cut 2 lemons into wedges, squeezing juice of lemons into the brine along with the wedges. Repeat with oranges and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Clean turkey with cold water removing any giblets and or neck. Keep giblets and neck in the refrigerator to use later for gravy base. Place turkey and brine into a resealable plastic bag or into a large non reactive bowl covered with plastic wrap. The turkey should be covered with the brine, if not add more water. Refrigerate over night. The next day remove turkey 40 minutes before planning to place into the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degress F. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels inside and out. Season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon and orange juice into the cavity and add the quarters along with rosemary. Tie turkey legs together and place into roasting pan. In a small sauce pan melt butter. orange zest and honey together on a low heat. Use this to baste turkey once before placing into the oven. Roast the turkey at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes then lower the oven to 350 degrees F. For an 18 lb. turkey cooking time will be approximately 3 hours. Use a meat thermometer to check that the meat registers 175 degrees F at its thickest part of the thigh. Baste the turkey about every 30 minutes with the butter and honey mixture. If the turkey browns too quickly tent that part with aluminum foil. When ready, remove from the oven. Take turkey from the roasting pan and place on a cutting board to rest before carving, at least 20 minutes. If you are serving later then 20 minutes from removing from oven tent turkey with aluminum foil until ready to serve.

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