Roast on Bone

May 18, 2009

Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Cream Filling

Filed under: Cakes — by roastonbone @ 2:51 am
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My birthday cake is always chocolate. That’s just how I roll. When I was a kid, I almost always had a chocolate sheet cake with strawberry cream filling from someplace like Costco. Delicious, but of course I make my own now.

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This cake was not easy to make, but very worth it. The chocolate cake is simply Cook’s Illustrated’s Classic Chocolate Layer Cake, which won the chocolate cake taste test I did a year ago. Sometimes I wish another cake had won, as the protocol for this is quite fussy and requires several bowls. It bakes up moist and fluffy though, which I prefer over denser chocolate cakes. The frosting is also from CI, their Foolproof Chocolate Frosting that is sweet and glossy. The cream filling came from Annie’s Eats (which I love) and it was very tasty. It’s basically a white chocolate-sweetened whipped cream. I would not recommend leaving this cake at room temperature for long though; the cream has a tendency to soften. After spreading a generous amount of the cream filling on one cake round, I sliced some strawberries and laid them on top. I left the cake in the refrigerator overnight and this morning (yes, I had cake for breakfast. Don’t judge me) the strawberry flavor had penetrated deeper in the cake. My birthday’s not for a couple of days yet, so I will be thoroughly enjoying this cake until then.

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Pork-stuffed Tofu

Filed under: Savory,Uncategorized — by roastonbone @ 2:39 am
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I love this dish. It’s easy to make (not quick, but easy), it’s impressive and makes any soup better. If I could have a signature dish, I hope it would be this one. A mixture of pork, green onion, and vermicelli is stuffed into little pillows of fried tofu goodness. I throw an egg in the mix to keep the pork relatively loose when it cooks. You can also mix in tofu or finely minced cabbage to achieve this effect. Extra pork mixture can be made into steamed pork buns (that’s another post), or thrown into almost any stir fry that uses ground pork. B fried the extra up with some scrambled eggs for a simple but protein-filled dinner. These tofus perfect for throwing into a noodle soup or hot pot, as the tofu soaks up the liquid and when you bite into it, you get a juicy, flavorful tofu, chock full or garlicky pork. Yum!

The ingredient list looks really fussy, but it’s not actually. This is how I made it this time, but usually I don’t measure or even use this exact mix of ingredients. It’s a very forgiving dish.

Pork mixture:
1 lb ground pork (I use lean for health reasons, but a fattier pork will make this moister)
1 egg
2 green onions, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
1 bundle vermicelli
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp cooking wine

Other:
1 bag small fried tofu
napa cabbage (optional)

Soak vermicelli noodles in water until soft, then cut into 1/4-inch lengths or smaller. Combine all pork ingredients in a bowl and mix.
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My mother-in-law told me that if you want the pork to stay in cohesive lumps (like in dumplings) to always stir in one direction. But if you want to keep the mixture loose, stir in both directions. I don’t know if that’s true, but she’s been cooking a lot longer than I have, so I went back and forth with the stirring. I should note something about the seasoning: it’s pretty much up to you. I’ve been mixing ground pork with soy sauce and cooking wine for many years, so I know how it should smell after being properly seasoned. Feel free to do what works for you.
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Now comes the fun (or labor-intensive) part. Take a fried tofu and poke a hole in it with your finger. Clear some space in there so you can stuff in plenty of delicious pork. Then get the pork in there! I use a combination or chopsticks and my fingers, but as long as it gets in there, it doesn’t really matter how you do it.
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I pile them in a big glass bowl and steam them in my rice cooker. If I have any napa in the fridge, I’ll put a couple of leaves in the bottom of the bowl for an extra sweetness.
Insides

May 15, 2009

Quick Cheese Bread

Filed under: Bread — by roastonbone @ 3:01 am
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Quick Cheese Bread

Quick Cheese Bread

I bought WAY too much spicy buffalo cheddar cheese when it was on sale and was looking for a good way to use it. I came acroos Cook’s Illustrated’s Quick Cheese Bread. I replaced the parmesan they use (of course) with mozzarella for the top and bottom crusts. The bread came out cheesy and gooey. I had to stash the rest in the freezer before I ate it all.

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