Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Cake

IMG_9666

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup butter
1 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla (or any other preferred flavoring)
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour (sifted before measuring)
3 teaspoons baking powder
White of 6 eggs

DIRECTIONS:
Cream butter and sugar; sift flour and baking powder together 3 times, and add to butter and sugar, alternating with milk. Stir in nutmeats, and beat well. Then fold in the stiffly beaten whites and flavoring.

IMG_9662

 

Pour into a well-greased and floured pan. The old-fashioned, fluted copper pan with a center funnel was probably used originally.

IMG_9663

Bake 1 hour in a moderate (350 degree) oven, or cook until the cake tests done.

IMG_9664

Turn out on a wire rack and cool.

IMG_9665

This makes a large cake. The batter can be cut in half and baked in 2 (9-inch) layers if desired. For a good basic white cake, omit almonds. Frost cake with the old-fashioned boiled white icing, noted here.

You may serve Crème Anglaise Sauce with this cake.  A great way to use up all the leftover egg yolks.

NOTES:

President Lincoln is said to have remarked that Mary Todd’s White Cake was the best he had ever eaten. This confection was originated by Monsieur Giron, a Lexington caterer, on the occasion of Lafayette’s visit to that city in 1825. The Todds got the recipe from him and treasured it ever after.

 

Advertisements

Crème Anglaise Sauce

IMG_9667

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole milk, cream, or half-and-half
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions
1. Warm the milk or cream in the saucepan and remove from heat. Make sure it’s cool enough to touch before adding it to the eggs. (You can skip this step, but warming the milk separately helps cut down on cooking time)

2. In a medium, heat-proof bowl, whisk the yolks together and then whisk in the sugar and pinch of salt. Continue whisking until the mixture turns pale yellow and forms ribbons on the surface.

3. Whisking steadily, pour the milk into the egg-sugar mixture in a steady stream.

4. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir constantly in an “S” shape to make sure the bottom doesn’t scald or the eggs curdle.

5. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens enough to fully coat the back of your spoon and is as smooth as silk.

6. You can also check the temperature with an instant-read or candy thermometer — it should be at least 156°F and not exceed 180&deg. (The higher the temperature, the thicker the final cooled custard will be.)

7. Strain the custard to remove any bits of eggs that may have curdled and stir in the vanilla. Doing this over an ice bath helps stop the cooking process so the custard doesn’t over-cook.

Additional Notes:

• Crème anglaise will keep refrigerated for about one week.

• If you’d like to flavor your custard, you can infuse herbs, spices, or other flavors into the milk in Step 1, or add flavoring extracts along with the vanilla in Step 6.

BACON CORNBREAD STUFFING RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
CORNBREAD
1 1/3 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
CORNBREAD DRESSING/STUFFING
8×8 pan cornbread (from above), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8 slices white sandwich bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 3/4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
For the cornbread: Grease an 8×8 baking dish or pan for the cornbread. Whisk milk, oil, and eggs in a medium bowl. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add milk mixture, whisking until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack. (Cornbread can be made up to 2 days in advance.)
For the dressing/stuffing: Spread cubed cornbread and bread onto two baking sheets and bake until dry and golden, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, and garlic and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in sage and transfer mixture to a large bowl.
Add cornbread, bread, lightly beaten eggs, broth, parsley, salt, and pepper to the bowl and toss until combined. Let sit 5 minutes, then toss again.
If serving as a side dish/dressing and not stuffing the turkey, spoon mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and bake until top is toasted golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.
For stuffing: Reserve 4 1/2 cups for turkey, then spoon remaining stuffing into a 9×9 baking dish. Bake until top is golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.
NOTES
The baked cornbread can be left in its pan at room temperature overnight or up to 2 days before making the stuffing, instead of oven drying (in step 3). You can skip the white bread and do all cornbread if you want, just double the cornbread recipe and bake it in a 9×13 for the same amount of time.

 

Turkey Brine

“This is a tasty brine for any poultry. It will make your bird very juicy, and gravy to die for!! This is enough brine for a 10 to 18-pound turkey.”

Ingredients

1-gallon vegetable broth
1 cup sea salt
1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried savory
1-gallon ice water

Directions
Ready In 8 h 20 m
In a large stockpot, combine the vegetable broth, sea salt, rosemary, sage, thyme, and savory. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to be sure salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
When the broth mixture is cool, pour it into a clean 5-gallon bucket. Stir in the ice water.
Wash and dry your turkey. Make sure you have removed the innards. Place the turkey, breast down, into the brine. Make sure that the cavity gets filled. Place the bucket in the refrigerator overnight.
Remove the turkey carefully draining off the excess brine and pat dry. Discard excess brine.
Cook the turkey as desired, reserving the drippings for gravy. Keep in mind that brined turkeys cook 20 to 30 minutes faster so watch the temperature gauge.

Turkey Brine
This brine infuses your bird with flavor and makes it moist.

Footnotes
Tip
Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

 

Easy, No_Fail Method to cook a Turkey by Pillsbury.com 

 

IMG_9476

Pumpkin Pie in a Pumpkin

Pumpkin Pie in a Pumpkin

 

INGREDIENTS
1 small pumpkin (4-5 inches in height and 18 inches in diameter, sugar pumpkins work great)
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs plus 4 egg yolks
½ TBS vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon of cornstarch
Pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS
Prepare your pumpkin by scooping out the seeds and pulp, place it on a baking sheet, do not put the top of the pumpkin (stem) on the sheet just yet.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a mixing bowl combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until combined.
Add the heavy cream, cornstarch, and salt and whisk until fully combined.
Pour mixture into your prepared pumpkin (allowing about ¾ of an inch space between the filling and the top of the pumpkin and begin baking it.
Bake at 400 degrees uncovered.
After 15 minutes, cover the top of the pumpkin loosely with foil (don’t let it touch the top of the custard or it will stick and “ruin” the appearance) and bake another 15 minutes.
Lower oven temp to 375, place the top of the pumpkin on the tray and continue baking for 15 minutes more. Remover the foil and bake an additional 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the custard comes out mostly clean.
Turn off the oven, allow the pumpkin to cool for an hour, then place it in your cold garage (loosely covered with wrap or foil) or your refrigerator and allow the custard to set 6 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, scoop out custard into small dishes (you can scrape the sides a bit as you scoop it out if you choose to scrape off some of the cooked pumpkin for additional flavor, I am sure the Pilgrims wasted nothing).

This makes an impressive dessert offering, one of these will serve 4-5 people so you could make a few to run down the center of your dessert table.

Dirt Brownies

Ingredients for 16 servings

1 ¼ cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
10 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
½ cup flour

Optional: raisins

Preparation
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
In a large bowl, combine sugar, cocoa powder, and butter. Stir using a spatula or a wooden spoon. It will be gritty.
Combine vanilla and 1 egg. Mix until the egg is fully incorporated. Then mix in the other egg.
Add flour and salt, and mix into the batter.
Transfer into a baking dish, add raisins if you wish and bake for 20 minutes and let it cool completely.

Spread the chocolate frosting and then the gummy worms, followed by the cookie crumbs.  If you are using Oreo Cookie crumbs like I have done below,  make sure you mix 2/3 of the crumbs with the frosting and sprinkle the rest on top.  This way the crumbs will stick together better.

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Ingredients
6 tablespoons salted butter
2 cups small-cubed ham
1 1/4 cups grated Swiss cheese
1 1/4 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
4 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter.

Put the ham on a paper towel-lined plate and microwave for about 3 minutes to reduce the moisture content. Mix together the Swiss and Monterey Jack cheese in a bowl.

Put about a third of chicken in a layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with half the ham. Sprinkle over 1/4 cup of the mixed cheese. Repeat 1 more time, then finish with a layer of chicken.

Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Put the panko in a bowl, pour in half of the melted butter, mix well and set aside.

Add the flour to the remaining butter in the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking out any lumps. Whisk in the milk, broth, Dijon and cayenne and let it cook until it begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheese until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the sauce over the casserole. Sprinkle over the remaining 1 cup cheese, then the panko mix. Bake until the top is browned and the casserole is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes.

Brezel

brezel

Laut alten schwäbischen Geschichten entstand die Brezel aus der Not heraus: Graf Eberhard im Barte verlangte von einem frevelhaften Bäcker in Bad Urach, ein Gebäck zu erschaffen, durch das drei Mal die Sonne scheint. Nur so konnte dieser der Hinrichtung entgehen. Der Bäcker wurde schließlich von seiner Frau inspiriert, die mit verschränkten Armen vor ihm stand. Nach diesem Vorbild formte der Bäcker die Brezel – und wurde freigesprochen.Die Brezel ist traditioneller Snack in Schwaben und wird zu jeder Tageszeit gerne gegessen: ganz einfach pur, mit Butter, lecker belegt oder als Beilage. Das salzige Laugengebäck bekommen Sie bei jedem Bäcker. Besonders lecker sind die Brezeln frisch aus dem Ofen!

Ingridients

80 gr Hefe
600 ml lauwarmes Wasser
2 TL Zucker
1 kg Weizenmehl Typ 550
2 TL Salz aus der Mühle
30 gr Butter
4 Liter Wasser
40 gr Natron
4 ELgrobes Meersalz

ZUBEREITUNG

Laugenbrezeln
1 Hefe mit dem lauwarmen Wasser und Zucker verrühren und mit Mehl, Salz und der weichen Butter verkneten. Auf eine bemehlten Arbeitsfläche zu einer Rolle formen und in 6 gleiche Stücke teilen.
2 Die einzelnen Stücke etwa 40 cm lang ausrollen und zu Brezeln formen. Zugedeckt 12 Minuten gehen lassen. Den Backofen auf 225°C vorheizen.
3 Inzwischen das Wasser mit dem Natron aufkochen und die Brezeln 30 Sekunden eintauchen. Mit dem Schaumlöffel herausnehmen und auf ein mit Backpapier ausgelegtes Backblech legen.
4 Brezeln m,it grobem Salz bestreuen (kein Fleur du Sel, das ist zu schade) und mindestens 20 – 30 Minuten kalt stellen. Anschlißend im vorgeheizten Backofen bei 225°C etwa 20 Minuten backen. Lauwarm oder kalt genißen