Skip to comments.Monthly Cooking Thread - June 2021
Posted on 06/02/2021 1:58:41 PM PDT by Jamestown1630
Tarta de Santiago – or St. James Cake – is a traditional Spanish cake from Galicia made with almonds and flavored with cinnamon, lemon zest, and sometimes sweet wine or brandy. I found it on Albert Bevia’s YouTube channel, ‘Spain on a Fork’ (lots of nice recipes here):
Underneath the video, ‘Show More’ includes the full recipe and a link to a pattern for a St. James Cross stencil that you can make for the powdered sugar top decoration -
or you can buy a nice birch wood stencil on Etsy that comes with recipes:
Another very nice website for Spanish food is Spanish Food.org. Under ‘tapas’, they have a version of a classic potato and tuna tapa salad – 'Ensaladilla Rusa' (o 'Olivier'):
When my brother and I were small, every birthday my grandfather baked and brought us the most delicious lemon cake I’ve ever had – really strong lemon flavor, thick lemon icing, and with those silver dragées (very bad for your teeth :-) sprinkled over. I always assumed it was made from scratch – his wife didn’t cook much or very well, and he really liked to cook – but I have never been able to reproduce that cake.
In fact, I’ve only been successful at cake baking with a couple of recipes. But recently I found directions on how to make a box cake mix taste like a from-scratch home made cake. There are slightly different versions of this, but basically you take a boxed cake mix, and follow the directions; but ADD an extra egg; replace the water with MILK in the same amount; and replace the oil with DOUBLE the amount of melted butter.
I’m wondering if anyone has ever tried this, and how it turned out.
One of two cakes that I have always had good luck with is the Chocolate Ganache cake from the authors of the ‘Loaves and Fishes’ cookbook by Devon Fredericks and Susan Costner (which book is extremely expensive now, if you can even find a copy. I don't own it, but the cut-out copy I saved in my recipe binder looks like it came from a magazine.).
You can make this ahead, keep in an airtight container in fridge, and glaze with the ganache on the day you serve.
Chocolate Ganache Cake Makes one 8-inch cake
1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 16-ounce can Hershey's chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
For the ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the chocolate syrup and vanilla. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Don't overbeat, or the cake will be tough.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Don't overbake! Let cool thoroughly in the pan.
For the ganache, cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
Place the cake upside down on a wire rack and pour the glaze evenly over the top, making sure to cover the entire cake and sides. You can tilt the rack to smooth the glaze. (I would chill this in the fridge to slightly harden the glaze; bring to room temp shortly before serving.)
This month: Cakes!
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and I was going to post about the brisket I smoked on Memorial Day.
I almost always use cake mixes, and have found that Duncan Hines mixes are a notch above the others available. I also always use 3 eggs, but will need to remember and try your suggestions of milk and melted butter.
There are no rules regarding a monthly ‘theme’ here. Post whatever you like to cook and eat and want to share.
My grandmother always preferred Duncan Hines.
As someone born in 1890 who had to learn everything from the VERY old-fashioned way, she really became enthusiastic about new ‘convenience’ foods as they came along.
On the first: Yes, it works awesome with the extra egg and milk and butter (real unsalted butter). I am the executive chef in this household (and dishwasher, but I wash as I go instead of letting things pile up unlike someone I know).
On the second: That reads easy-peasy and yummy!
Do it anyway, I am interested!
I like to rub the usual salt/pepper on my brisket + dump a jar of pickled jalapenos (minus the juice, save that for later) on top. I do a 12 hour session on the usual on oak, always get a nice smoke ring. I am getting older now, and I am looking into auto-pellet or electric smokers.
Have you ever heard of a Tornado Cake? I make the best.
I separated the point cut from the flat which brought the time down to 8 hours. I used mostly hickory with a little oak to keep the heat up and because it doesn't burn up as quick as hickory.
Yes, set it and forget it would be nice but I'm thinning out forest oak/hickory here anyway. My neighbor had a bunch of wild cherry so I got a small truck bed load of that. I like using it on ribs. Gives it a nice sweet flavor. He's got an apple tree that died that he's saving for me as well. I'm thinking that would be good for salmon. He'll get some in exchange for the wood and I do a Boston Butt for him on occasion. He buys them sometimes.
My smoker I made from three water heater tanks.
PLEASE post the recipe (unless it is a super secret family recipe that cannot be given out by penalty of death sort of situation) :)
That is an awesome beast you got there! I would say she does it all. I will decline posting pics of mine, lol.
You can look it up on googly or bing, but mine involves pecans, coconut, choco chips, sweet cream milk, brown sugar, and, *Mexican Vanilla* (that’s the secret).
Fruit cocktail with light syrup works best with a yellow cake mix.
I have tasted Tornado Cake with a choco base, but yellow cake is best IMO.
It is scary rich.
Also, make sure the fruit cocktail has extra cherries in it.
Yes, please. I’ve never heard of it.
*PING* to Spanish Cakes. Got any local bakery favorites? :)
I wish I could train a certain person in this household to ‘clean up as he goes along’. My husband is a very....exuberant cook...
Not a ‘bakery’ cake; but the old A&P grocery used to have something called a ‘Spanish Bar Cake’.
It was WONDERFUL. You can’t buy anything like it anymore in a store; but there are lots of ‘copycat’ recipes on the Internet:
My Mom and favorite Auntie made this cake quite often because we ALL loved it. It’s still a favorite of mine to this day. It’s a perfect balance of sweet and tart and the cake is SO moist, it’s surreal. Also, it’s cheap and easy to make and extols the virtues of adding a box of Jell-O pudding mix to your baked goods. ;)
Lemon Poke Cake
Exuberance. It fits. She rocks it.
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