Tuesday, March 21, 2017

TCS March 2017: Mandarin, Polenta and Macadamia Cake

It is now the 22nd of March, meaning I am late! Apologies!

The members at TCS are baking from the following cake selection for March!

Thierry Busset's Ten Layer Coffee Chocolate Cake,

Greek Coconut Cake, Banana Loaf, and Mandarin, Polenta, and Macadamia Cake
My first choice was the Greek coconut cake cos I simply love coconut and I have
had great results with all the coconut themed cakes I baked with TCS books,
but decided to try something different:
Mandarin, Polenta and Macadamia Cake from page 107
 We have been experiencing some problems with the current book,
in terms of oven temperature, length of baking times, and
measurements of baking pans, but the members managed to overcome them
(by baking seconds!) not something novice home bakers would do, but
only for the die hard bakers from TCS!!
So 'Warning' this book is not for the inexperienced bakers, me included;
but because of the number of years I have been with the TCS group,
I managed to learn a lot from the other more experienced (and amazing!)
members of this lovely group of bakers.  Thank you! 
I have never had to boil citrus fruits for use whole in cakes before,
hence my choice for March.  The Australian mandarins I bought
were not too small or large (around 130gm each) and instead
of four pieces, I used only three.  I boiled them and drained them twice
immediately upon reaching boiling point (from cold water start) and then
on the third time (from cold water again) - let them simmer for 45 mins
~this step is to rid the citrus fruits of the bitterness~
And I managed to overcome my fear of grinding nuts into meal, and I did it!
I toasted the macadamia nuts and ground them with some icing sugar
to prevent them from clumping together!  Success!
This recipe uses only macadamia meal, cornmeal (I used extra-fine),
eggs, butter, fine sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, and pulped mandarins.
I did reduce the sugar from 1 cup to 2/3 cup and it was just nice!
And finally I managed to make an 'upside-down' cake, two in fact!
These popped out of the various mini pans without a hitch!
I used a 4" spring form pan, two rectangle pans, two scalloped pans,
and two small ramekins - all buttered and parchment lined where needed!
And oh! I baked them for only 35mins instead of one hour!
I dare say - this was a great success as the cake was amazing warm
from the oven (last night!) and room temperature (this morning)
with a strong cup of Vietnamese coffee!
And I did baked my February 2017 but was very late for the reveal date,
so here it is!
The Cake Slice is baking from
"World Class Cakes" by Roger Pizey, for our new season! 

The Cake Slice Badge

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cookbook Countdown#15: Stuffed Portobello with potato patties

Got some lovely Portobello mushrooms on Sunday,
and made these for a light dinner. Instead of baking the stuffed mushrooms,
I steamed them and then grilled them for a couple of minutes.
 with a mushroom based soup with some greens
that needed attention.
  Recipe from pages 68-69 of Flavours magazine
dated Sept - Oct 2007!
I'm co-hosting Cookbook Countdown together with Joyce of Kitchen Flavours. If you are like us, who love to collect cookbooks and have an overcrowding bookshelf (or bookshelves!), yet most of the books have not been used at all, now is the time to change that. Join us at Cookbook Countdown
Cookbook Countdown has a new website :

We are happy to inform everyone that Cookbook Countdown has it's very own website blog, which you can find here. Effective from May 2016, please link your posts at the Cookbook Countdown new website, in the linky provided. We hope to see you there! Thank you!

Friday, March 17, 2017

CtBF ~ MPK ~ Caramel pork ribs

My power breakfast this morning:
ribs, mash, crunchy jicama salad, and some greens.
Made the ribs last night, on the stove top in one hour.
I kept the pot covered throughout the cooking process,
turning the ribs frequently.
Tender and not too sweet (cos I reduced the sugars!) 
Hope hubby likes it (even though he said 'no' when I asked him
earlier in the week if he wants ribs...
(he is only back from out of town later today!)
let's see if this packed lunch is appreciated.
Started on Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air this week,
after finishing The Cross Gardener by Jason F Wright
(which took me three nights to read!) 
are cooking from My Paris Kitchen,
David Lebovitz's latest book.
Caramel pork ribs - pages 187 to 189
A Big Thank You to KatieBetsy and Mary
for putting everything into order and making it happen!
my collection of David's books:
and newly acquired copy of this
Ready for Desserts
made possible by this lovely lady!
Do check out CtBF and see the results of our members
Note: We do not publish recipes at CtBF,
but certain recipe links are available at Amazon,
better still - get the book, and join us at CtBF.