Archive for April 23rd, 2009

Strawberry Banana Gateau

April 23, 2009

strawberry-gateauI just entered the Berry Bonanza Recipe contest sponsored by Simple & Delicous.  Berries are jewels of nutrition.  We should eat lots of them, in every color.  You know what they say, “eat the rainbow!”  The recipe I entered is for a gateau – a sponge cake imbibed with strawberry cordial or Chambord  and filled with strawberries, bananas and whipped cream.  This is so simple to make with a sponge cake from the bakery, any fresh berry and fresh or canned fruit, any small quantities of liqueur or brandy on hand, and whipped cream.  If you’re really energetic and have the time, you can make your own sponge cake.  The recipe is included below.

A gateau is simply filled layers of a light cake, usually a sponge cake.  The layers can be filled with anything from chocolate mousse to jams and almond flavored whipped cream.  The cake makes a WOW! presentation and is just delicious.

Ingredients to fill a 3 layered gateau 

  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 6 ripe and firm bananas, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 pint whipping cream, whipped to medium firm peaks
  • 3 Tbsp Strawberry Cordial (or any liqueur or brandy on hand)
  • 2 8-inch round sponge cakes, split in half horizontally

To assemble:

Place one layer of sponge cake on a plate, cut side up, drizzle liqueur over, cover with 1/3 of the whipped cream, top with 1/2 of the berries and bananas.  Repeat layers ending with remaining sponge layer and whipped cream.  Decorate the top with whole fresh strawberries.  You can also pipe whipped cream around the base and top edges for more dramatic presentation.

Basic Sponge Cake

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup flour

Method

Preheat oven to 325°.   Separate the whites and yolks of the eggs, beat the yolks until thick and lemon colored, add the sugar gradually, then add the lemon juice and zest. Fold in the sifted flour, then fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. 
Divide batter between 2 (8-inch) ungreased cake tins. Bake until the cake is puffed, has lost its shine, and springs back when gently pressed.  Remove from tins and cool on cake racks.

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Kahlua Pork Chops

April 23, 2009

pork-chopsMy neighbor in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, served this dish at a small dinner party I attended.  The pork chops were moist and tender with a caramelized nutty flavor from the coffee liqueur and just seasoned  enough from the soy sauce.  I’ve added a few more ingredients to give this marinade an Asian tweak.  This also works well with chicken.  You can grill or bake instead of broiling, or use the marinade to baste a roasted chicken,  baked ham, or grilled kebabs.  For an island style meal, serve with boiled green plantains  in coconut milk, fresh mango salad with onion, cashews and bib lettuce dressed with a mandarin orange vinaigrette.  Recipe is for 4 servings of pork chops  3/4 inch thick.

Ingredients for Marinade:

  • 1 cup Kahlua (coffee liqueur
  • 1 cup soy sauce (light or regular)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 inch nub of ginger root, peeled
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 inches of lemon grass stalk, or zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Thai chili or Serrano chili, seeded

Method:

Place onion, garlic, ginger root, lemon grass and chili in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Add Kahlua and soysauce and whirl for 2 seconds to combine.  Pour marinade into a glass pan large enough to hold pork chops in one layer.  Marinate pork chops for 20 minutes on each side.  Broil chops 6 inches from flame for 5 minutes, turn, baste, and broil for additional 5 minutes.