Lincoln’s Birthday is coming up soon (Feb. 12) and wouldn’t it be fun to make and serve a Lincoln Log Cake for Dessert that night. If you think so, here are step by step directions and photos to go along with them. The complete recipe can be found in the recipe section/cakes/frostings in this blog. Along with the recipe and the photos and directions below you should be able to create your own dessert!
Step 1: Assemble all your ingredients and have them ready to go.
Step 2: Prepare your pan – you will need a jelly roll pan (like a cookie sheet, but has 1/2 inch lip all the way around) Cut a piece of parchment or waxed paper to fit the pan. Butter or spray the pan then fit the paper in. Lightly butter and flour the paper. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Step 3: Make the batter per the directions; it is important that the eggs and yolks are warmed up so that they will become thick when beaten. It is also very important that the warming up is done in a double boiler. If you do not have a double boiler you can make one by placing a small amount of water in a saucepan – 1/4 – 1/2″ (the water must not touch the bottom of the top vessel) and then placing a bowl on the top of the saucepan.
Step 4: Fold the dry ingredients in – if they are beaten in the eggs will deflate and the cake will be heavy.
Step 5: Bake the cake – this will take anywheres from 20-25 minutes; the cake should be firm to the touch when done.
Step 6: Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes; spread a clean dish towel out on a flat surface and sift Powdered Sugar evenly over the surface.
Step 7: Place the pan with the cake in it upside down on top of the sugared towel; remove the pan and then carefully remove the paper.
Immediately start rolling the cake with the towel. Roll it as tightly as you can without breaking the cake. Allow the cake to stay rolled up in the towel for at least half an hour. While the cake is setting prepare your filling.
Fillings can be sweetened & flavored Whipped Cream or Chocolate Ganache. For the Whipped Cream Filling follow the directions below:
Sweetened Whipped Cream Filling
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
1 Tbsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1. Whip the Cream either with an electric mixer or with a food processor. If you do it in the food processor, be sure and remove the small pusher as you want the air to be whipped into the Cream.
2. Once soft peaks have formed, add the Powdered Sugar and the Vanilla; continue beating until the Cream is very stiff.
If desired, sliced Berries can be put in the middle of the roll along with the Cream. Other fruit that can be used is sliced Bananas or pitted and halved Cherries.
Step 8: Unroll the Cake and spread with the filling. If you are using fruit, place it near the beginning of the roll – this way it will end up in the center of the finished roll. Reroll the cake, using the towel to help in the process. Place the rolled cake on a serving platter. If desired, finish with a Chocolate Glaze or a piped on Ganace or Buttercream.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftovers.
Yield: 8-10 Servings
What better way to observe any Holiday than with food. President’s day is no exception and since President’s Day coincides with Lincoln and Washington’s Birthdays, a dessert to observe each Holiday would be perfect. Lincoln’s Birthday is February 12th and Washington’s is the 22nd of February.
Since Lincoln grew up in a Log Cabin, logs are often associated with the 12th President of the United States and a child’s toy was even named after him. ‘Lincoln Logs’ are and were a favorite childhood toy which helped children develop coordination and creativity. Hopefully, even with the electronic era, they are still being enjoyed by children of all ages.
A great dessert for Lincoln’s Birthday would be a chocolate ‘Lincoln Log’ cake roll. The cake roll is made with a chocolate sponge in a very shallow pan and then rolled in a clean cloth dusted with powdered sugar while it is still warm. Once it has cooled down and ‘imprinted’ the roll shape, you can unroll it and spread a filling such as sweetened whipped cream or ice cream on it and then re-roll it, garnish it and serve or refrigerate until serving time. This dessert is best served the same day it is made, but you can save the leftovers for a day or two in the refrigerator. For the recipe, please see the http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/cakes-frostings/lincoln-log-cake/
Cherries are often associated with Washington, not because he cut down the Cherry Tree (he really didn’t), but because he did like Cherries and Cherry Pie was often served at Mt. Vernon, Washington’s home. Another dessert that George Washington liked was trifle, an English dessert. We all know what Cherry Pie tastes like and it is really quite easy to make or you can just purchase one at your local bakery. But think how much fun it would be for you and your children to make something different, such as trifle. Trifle is made with sponge cake, fruit and custard. It can easily be made with purchased sponge cake, canned fruit and an easy to make custard. Or you can go all out and make your own sponge cake and use fresh berries. It is certainly different that the desserts that most of us eat and it is delicious and again, can be a good family cooking project. Try the recipe below and see for yourself.
6 Half Inch Slices Pound Cake ½ cup Toasted, sliced Almonds
4 Tbsps. Seedless Blackberry Jam 1 cup Whipping Cream
1 16 oz. can Fruit Cocktail 2 Tbsps. Powdered Sugar
1 batch Custard Sauce (Recipe below)
- Toast Cake slices under the broiler or in a toaster oven until lightly browned.
- Spread each of 4 slices with 1 Tablespoon of Jam.
- Cut each jam covered slice into 4 pieces; cut the remaining Cake slices into 8 pieces.
- Drain the can of Fruit Cocktail; spoon one fourth of the Fruit over the Cake cubes in each of the dishes.
- Spoon ½ cup of Custard Sauce over the Fruit Cocktail in each dish.
- Sprinkle 2 Tbsps. Toasted Almonds over the Custard in each of the dishes.
- Whip the Cream until soft peaks form; add the Sugar and continue whipping until stiff.
- Spoon the Cream into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe rosettes on top of the Trifles, or spoon dollops of Cream on top.
Yield: 4 Servings
1 cup Milk 2 Tbsps. Sugar
1 large Egg ¼ tsp. Vanilla
- Heat the Milk until steam starts rising.
- Beat the Egg and the Sugar until well blended; slowly add the Hot Milk to the Egg Mixture.
- Pour the Custard into the top of a double boiler; set the pan over gently simmering water. (Water should not touch the bottom of the top pan)
- Cook the custard, stirring constantly until it coats the back of a metal spoon; remove from the heat immediately and place the pan in a bowl of Ice Water. Stir until the Custard is cool and add the Vanilla. Refrigerate until ready to use.
YIELD – 1 ½ Cups
My third venture with tomato powder was to make Lemon/Tomato/Herb Scones. Scones are the English version of our American Biscuits. They are usually more rustic in appearance and hearty with more flavor. In recent years there has been a wave of popularity over scones and they have been made in many different ways. The Lemon/Tomato/Herb Scone goes well with soup, salad or as a ‘stand alone’ snack. The ones that I made were served with Seafood Bisque. The scones themselves need nothing added to them when eating them, but if you like you can spread on some softened butter or some herb honey.
Scones are fairly simple to make, but the one thing you want to remember is that like Biscuits, you do not want to ‘over mix’ them. You are going to mix only to get the ingredients moistened enough to form into a circle. In this and the previous Tomato Odyssey articles, I keep talking about Tomato Powder. The Tomato Powder I have was purchased ‘on-line’ from King Arthur but today upon checking their website I did not find Tomato Powder. However, there are many other companies that do sell it on ‘on-line’ and you might even be able to find it in Health Food Stores. If you do not want to purchase Tomato Powder, you can substitute a tablespoon of tomato paste for each tablespoon of tomato powder in the recipe. You may have to decrease the liquid by 1 tsp. for each tablespoon of tomato paste that you use.
If you wish, you can even leave out the tomato powder altogether. Follow the recipe below and you will have a delightful snack or accompaniment for your next luncheon or supper.
1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
1 ½ cups Cake or Pastry Flour
2 Tbsp. Baking Powder
½ tsp. Baking Soda
¼ tsp. Salt
2 Tbsps. Brown Sugar
2 Tbsps. Tomato Powder
½ cup unsalted Butter, softened
¼ cup Sun-dried Tomatoes, diced
2/3 cup Candied Lemon Peel or 2 Tbsps. Lemon Zest
2 tsps. Fresh Basil, minced
1 cup Sour Milk*
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees; grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper or silpat.
- Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3. Cut the Butter up into small pieces and cut or rub into the dry ingredients.
4. Add the diced Sun-dried Tomatoes, the Lemon Peel or Zest and the minced Basil to the Flour mixture.
5. Add the Milk and mix gently with a fork until all the ingredients are well-combined.
6. Divide in half and form each half into a circle, one on each baking sheet.
7. Cut the circles into eight portions but do not separate.
8. Bake for 20 minutes; remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
9. Re-cut the scones, separate and return to the oven for 5 minutes.
10. Serve immediately.
Yield: 16 Scones
*To make Sour Milk, squeeze half a lemon into a 1 cup measure; add milk to equal one cup; mix and let stand for 5 – 10 minutes until the milk curdles. Buttermilk may be used in place of sour milk.
Friday night, 11/13 was our Teen/Preteen ‘Winter Comfort Food’ Class.
Twelve young people between the ages of 10 & 16 gathered together to learn how to prepare and cook a menu for cold Winter nights.
Creative Vegetable Soup
Jeweled Meat Loaf
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
The students were divided up into groups depending on their skill level. Four students who had never made yeast dough before were put in charge of the Foccacia with of course, a supervising adult to guide them through the process. They made the Dough and then set it aside to rise. The actual Foccacia was made from a risen dough that had been made before the class started. Once the Dough was fitted into the Baking Pans and topped with Olive Oil, Herbs and Tomatoes, and Cheese the Bread went into the oven for baking.
The Dough that the students made was divided up and given to the students that made it to take home and finish. They were told that they could make either Pizza, Foccacia or Breadsticks with it.
Two of the girls made the Apple Crisp. This involved peeling, coring and slicing about 10 Apples and combining them with spices and other ingredients. A streusel topping was made to go on top of the Apples. This dish was baked while the rest of the food was being made.
Two other students started the Soup. This is a wonderful Vegetable Soup that can be made with most any kind of Vegetables and Beef, Chicken or Vegetable Broth. Even though we generally advise the students to mise en place their recipes before they start cooking, the rule was changed for this recipe so that the soup would be done in time for the students to eat it. The Onions and Mushrooms were prepared first so that they could start sautéing them. While the Onions and Mushrooms cooked, the other Vegetables were prepared. After the Onions and Mushrooms were sufficiently cooked to start caramelizing them, the Stock was added and the whole mixture was allowed to simmer for about 45 minutes. Then the seasonings were added along with the remaining Vegetables. Once the Vegetables were almost cooked sufficiently, the tiny pasta was added.
While all this was being done, the Meatloaf was prepared by two different groups of students. One group put all the Vegetables into their Meatloaf and one group who preferred not to have Bell Peppers, put all the Vegetables, except for the Bell Peppers into their loaf.
While the Meatloaf was baking in the oven, the Cheesy Broccoli Casserole was prepared and baked. This dish does not take too long to bake. Once the students were done cooking, the tables were cleared and set with placemats and dinnerware and the soup and Foccacia were served. After the first course, the Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli was also served and of course, dessert finally came at the end.
The beverages for this meal were fruit juices and water. All in all, everyone had a good time and learned how to make several different dishes. Everyone took home recipes so that they could practice at home on family members. Keep an eye out for our next Teen/Preteen Class at Let’s Get Cookin’. February will be a Dim Sum Menu to celebrate the Chinese New Year ‘The Year of the Dragon’.
The Lunar New Year or ‘Chinese New Year’ as it is known in many cultures, usually occurs in January and/or February. This year, 2012, Chinese New Year’ falls in January and is ‘The Year of the Dragon’. The date on Western Calendars is January 23rd. The Dragon is the Chinese Zodiac symbol for the years 1904 – 1916 – 1928 – 1940 – 1952 – 1964 – 1976 – 1988 – 2000 – 2012, so if you were born in any of these years, the Dragon would be your zodiac symbol.
This is a wonderful holiday to enrich your children’s lives with by exposing them to some of the events that may be taking place in your area and by making the preparation of some Chinese Food a Family Event. Chinese New Year is one of those Holidays where food is important and there are many things that are symbolically served during this celebration.
The Chinese New Year is celebrated with parades, dancing and food. Families get together and enjoy the time with each other. If you live near a China Town, visit it when the New Year parade is scheduled. There will be colorful clothing and floats which will most likely include a Dragon Float. One of the colors that is used during these celebrations is red, so that you will see many of the participants clothed in red.
Tea Eggs, Bean Cakes, Fish Salad, and whole Chicken to name a few.
Eggs for good reason are a symbol of fertility in most cultures around the world and therefore the Tea Eggs represent fertility and life.
Cracked Hard-cooked Eggs are soaked in a Tea Leave/Soy Sauce Mixture until they absorb the pigment from both. These Eggs will pick up the flavor of the Anise and the Cinnamon, making for an interesting dish. They make really good Egg Salad Sandwiches.
Yu Sheng, the Chinese Fish Salad is important because the raw ingredients symbolize the renewal of life and what is the New Year all about if not that? Yu Sheng is often made with fresh melon, sesame seeds and raw fish which is dressed with Lime Juice, Olive Oil and White Pepper.
The whole Chicken represents the bond of family and is usually prepared by simmering with vegetables. Chicken in a pot would be representative of this dish.
Bean Cakes are favored for their sweetness which symbolizes a rich, sweet life. while the round shape signifies family reunion.
In addition, Noise Poppers and other related items are employed during the celebrations.
To make Tea Eggs follow the directions below:
1 teaspoon Salt
2 Tbsps. Soy Sauce
1/2 cup brewed Black Tea
2 Star Anise, broken up
1 Cinnamon Stick
- Place the Eggs in a saucepan and cover with Cold Water; there should be at least 1/2-inch of water above the eggs.
- Cover and bring to a rolling boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the Eggs stand in the hot water for 15 – 20 minutes covered with a lid. Remove the Eggs and run them under cold running water to cool. (Reserve the water in the pan).
- Tap the hard-boiled eggs gently with the back of a spoon, to make a series of cracks all over the Eggshells, while making sure the shell remains intact.
- Bring the water in the pan back to a boil; add the Salt, Soy Sauce, brewed Black Tea, Star Anise pieces, and the Cinnamon Stick.
- Add the eggs. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot liquid until ready to serve.
You can make up your recipe for the Fish Salad and if raw fish doesn’t sit well with you, you can always substitute smoked or canned fish. Shredded Napa Cabbage would be a good balance for the sweetness of the fruit in the dish.
To make a whole chicken, pull out a pot large enough to hold the Chicken along with Vegetables, Cilantro (coriander or Chinese Parsley) a Bay Leaf or two and other herbs of your choice and enough water to cover all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and then simmer until the Chicken is tender. (At least 1 ½ hours or longer) Taste for seasoning and add Salt and Pepper or Soy Sauce, if desired. Cut the Chicken up into serving portions and serve in individual bowls along with the Vegetables and Rice on the side.
Bean Cakes can be purchased at an Asian Market or Bakery.
For additional recipes please see the Appetizer Section under recipes on this blog.
Happy and Healthy Chinese New Year everyone!
One way to teach your children about the different cultures in the world is through the food associated with each particular culture and the holidays observed. There is not one month in the year when there is not a holiday, observance or celebration of one kind or another.
In the United States, Martin Luther King Day is observed on the 3rd Monday in January although his actual Birthday was January 15th. Dr. King was the chief spokesman for peaceful activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
Although Martin Luther King Day is not necessarily a holiday associated with food, we can still come up with food items that Dr. King particularly liked. Southern cooking comes to mind, so any of your favorite Southern dishes would be appropriate. My favorite of course, is Southern fried Chicken and I have no doubt but that Martin Luther King would have like it too. So get your children into the kitchen and prepare a Southern Menu for this holiday.
Menu suggestions are:
Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes
Collard Greens or Okra
Sweet Potato Pie
Try this recipe for Fried Chicken and add your favorite side dishes; and don’t forget to get the children involved in helping to make the side dishes!
2 Frying Chickens
2 cups Buttermilk
2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tbsp. Paprika
¼ tsp. Cayenne (optional)
Oil for Frying
- Cut Chicken into serving size pieces; wash, remove any pin feathers and dry.
- Place the Chicken in a baking dish and pour the Buttermilk over it; refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes.
- Place the Flour, Salt, Pepper, Paprika and Cayennein a large paper bag; add a few pieces of Chicken at a time and shake gently so that each piece of Chicken is covered with the Flour mixture.
- Heat Oil in a deep fryer; the Oil should be deep enough to completely cover each piece of Chicken.
- When the Oil reaches 375 degrees, fry a few pieces at a time; there should be at least an inch of space between each piece. Cook until each piece is thoroughly done or measures 170 degrees on a meat thermometer. (It will take about 20 minutes to fry, depending on the size and the piece – white meat cooks faster than dark meat)
- Drain on paper towels or brown paper bags turned inside out.
- Serve hot.
- Heat about ½” of Oil in a large skillet or sauté pan; quickly brown each piece of Chicken (use high heat). Transfer to a platter until all the pieces are browned.
- Return all the Chicken to the pan; add 1 cup of Water or enough to come up at least half an inch.
- Turn heat to high; when the water starts boiling, reduce heat to simmer, cover the pan and slowly cook the Chicken until tender. (about 30 minutes)
- Remove the lid and let the Chicken fry slowly until crisp or place on a baking pan and put in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
NOTE: ½ tsp. Garlic Powder may be added to the flour mixture as well as poultry seasoning, if desired.
Yield: 8 Servings
For the recipe for Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/vegetables/mashed-potatoes-with-caramelized-onions/
For a recipe for Pecan Pie please see http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/deserts/pecan-pie/
We all want our children to be well-rounded and aware of other people throughout the world. What better way to introduce your children to the variety of cultures than through Holidays and the food associated with them? Every culture in the world has their holidays and customs and food is almost always a part of them. A Holiday or Celebration occurs in almost every month of the year starting with January.
Chinese New Year’s usually occurs in January although sometimes it does occur in February. This year, 2012, it starts on January 23rd and is the Year of the Dragon. There are 12 Zodiac signs that signify each of 12 years in the Asian Culture. In addition, the Dragon has five different elements that are associated with it and give an added dimension to the Dragon personality. They are Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Metal.
In February there is Valentines and Groundhog Day. For most of us, Valentines is a day for Romance and anything with hearts on it is usually part of the celebration along with sweets and roses.
March brings in St. Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras in some cultures throughout the world. Easter also sometimes falls in March, though most of the time it comes in April.
April is the month in which Passover occurs in the Hebrew Calendar and is also usually the month in which Easter occurs. Passover and Easter are usually both around the same time and often overlap each other.
May brings in May Day which is still celebrated in some areas of the world. In Hawaii, May 1st is Lei Day. The second Sunday in May in the United States is Mother’s Day. In Mexico, the 5th of May is celebrated as Cinco de Mayo which is the day that the Mexican Army defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla. May is a wonderful month and is full of flowers and promises of summer to come.
June is the month of weddings and the third Sunday in June is Father’s Day.
July of course is the celebration of the Independence of the United States. Wonderful celebrations occur on the Fourth of July with picnics, festivals and fireworks. Bastille Day which occurs on July 14th in France is also a cause for celebration.
August is a wonderful summer month with vacations, picnics and beach outings. On August 12th in Thailand Mother’s Day is celebrated. The manufacturer’s make T-Shirts which are purchased by many people in Thailand. The theme for these shirts is ‘Love Mom’ and I am fortunate to have several of them which I received from my Thai based son and wife. August 12th has been chosen as Mother’s Day because this is the Queen’s Birthday. Someday when a new Monarch is reigning then Mother’s Day will change accordingly.
September in the United States is Labor Day which for many signifies the end of summer and the beginning of another work or school year. September 16th also Mexican Independence Day. Late September or early October is also the observance of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
October brings in All Hallows Eve or Halloween as it is known in Western Countries. The Day after Halloween is known as the ‘Dia del Muerte” or the Day of the Dead in many Latin based countries.
November brings in Veteran’s Day in the United States and of course Thanksgiving which is represented by Turkey Dinners and the pilgrims who created the first Thanksgiving Day in the United States.
December is probably the month most waited for by many people, especially children. During December we have Chanukah, The Festival of Lights and Christmas and Kwanza.
There are many more holidays celebrated throughout the world and in this series I will do
my best to cover them all. Most holidays are cause for celebration and celebration means food for at least 90% of the holidays or observances throughout the world.
Look monthly for our coverage of current holidays and the food customs that accompany them. The first one to look for will be the Lunar New Year which is observed in most Asian countries and is recognized
even in Western countries.
You can also read about the Year of the Dragon and gain a couple of recipes by going to http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Year-of-the-Dragon&id and reading my article on The Year of The Dragon.