Sticky Toffee and Earl Grey Pudding

Sticky Toffee and Earl Grey Pudding
Photo Credit: Victor Protasio, Food&Wine Magazine, 2019.

 

This classic English dessert features dates which are often found in regular in sticky toffee pudding recipes. In this recipe, Medjool dates are steeped in Earl Grey tea, infusing them with the bright, aromatic lift of bergamot. It is the perfect dessert to serve at the end of a meal.

Adapted From
Merlin Labron-Johnson
Food&Wine Magazine
February, 2019

Serves 9

Ingredients:
2 cups pitted Medjool dates, finely chopped
2 Earl Grey tea bags
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups boiling water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt, divided
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup light muscovado sugar, divided
3/4 cup dark muscovado sugar, divided
3 large eggs
1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 cup heavy cream
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Fresh Sprint Sprigs, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place dates, tea bags, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups boiling water, and let stand 15 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags. Stir mixture with a fork to break apart dates.

Stir together flour, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Combine shortening, 1/4 cup light muscovado sugar, and 1/4 cup dark muscovado sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until no lumps remain, about 1 minute. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour mixture just until incorporated. Stir in date mixture. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan with butter. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of pudding comes out clean, 30 to 32 minutes.

Remove pudding from oven, and immediately prick all over with a wooden or metal skewer, piercing all the way to the bottom of pan. Pour 1 1/2 cups warm toffee sauce evenly over pudding, and let stand until sauce is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Cut warm pudding into 9 (3-inch) squares.

Top servings with ice cream  and  drizzle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup toffee sauce. For a festive touch, garnish with a sprig of mint, if desired.

Cook’s Notes:
Muscovado sugar is an unrefined sugar made from sugar cane. It comes in varieties from very dark to light. The main difference between muscovado sugar and granulated sugars is the moisture content. Muscovado sugar is noticeably moister, and the crystals stick together in clumps. It has a taste similar to fudge or caramel.

Dark or light brown sugar or granulated sugar with molasses or treacle can be used as substitutes for muscovado sugar. For 1 cup of dark muscovado sugar, use 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of molasses or treacle. For light muscovado sugar, reduce the molasses to 1 tablespoon.

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Frieda’s Meyer Lemon Lemonade

meyer lemonade

When life gives you lemons, hopefully  they will be Meyer Lemons. This variety of the citrus fruit has a soft, thin golden-yellow rinds and is sweeter, milder and less-acidic than regular lemon with a light herbal notes.

Did you know that a Meyer Lemon actually a hybrid? Believed to be a cross between a lemon and orange, F.N. Meyer first imported this hearty citrus the USA from China in 1908.

I have been so inspired by this delicious fruit, that I plan on planting a few of Meyer Lemon Trees in my backyard this spring.

Even though it is winter, enjoy a healthy dose of Vitamin C, form a nice tall glass of Meyer Lemon Lemonade.


From
Freida’s Specialty Produce, Inc.

Ingredients:
For the Simple Syrup:
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
2/3 cup water
1 cup mint or basil leaves or 1/4 cup fresh ginger slices (optional)

1 cup freshly squeezed Frieda’s Meyer lemon juice
3 to 4 cups cold water
Slices of Frieda’s Meyer lemon or Pink lemon, for garnish

Directions:
Make a simple syrup: In small saucepan, bring sugar and 2/3 cup of water to boil and simmer until sugar is fully dissolved. For herb-infused syrup, add your choice of herb( i.e. mint, basil or even a spice such as ginger) before boiling. Strain herbs from syrup, if used, and allow to cool.

Combine syrup with Meyer lemon juice and cold water in large pitcher and stir until well mixed. Serve over ice with garnish lemons if desired.


Roasted Shrimp Salad

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Summer cooking is all about keeping cool, and you can do just that with this herbaceous shrimp salad that can be served as an appetizer or as a main course. Feel free to add you own special twist with different herbs and citrus flavors.

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 large seedless cucumber
2 pounds of 16-20 count raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 firm avocado
1 lime, juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh chives, snipped
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 ° F.

Chop the cucumber into 3/4 inch quarter chunks. Place the chunks in a colander and toss them with a pinch of salt or two. Place the colander over a bowl and allow the cumbers to stand for 20 minutes. After salting, remove the cucumbers from the colander and pat dry with clean paper towels, add to a salad bowl and set aside.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the shrimp onto the baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss the shrimp in the oil and spread them out on the baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Roast the shrimp in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until pink. Cool the shrimp on the baking sheet.

Meanwhile, chop the avocado in 3/4 inch chunks. Add the avocado, minced garlic, chopped mint leaves, cilantro and chives into the salad bowl with the cucumber chunks. Pour the lime juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil over the salad and toss well to coat. Taste, and adjust with alt and pepper as needed.

Cover and place in the refrigerator and chill until ready to serve. Garnish with avocado slices and cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Cook’s Notes:
Cucumbers, with their delicate flavor and translucent flesh by nature are very watery. For the most part, it you are planning to combine them with any other ingredients, use the best variety of seedless cucumbers available to you.

Then, you must salt them to draw out as much liquid as possible. If you skip this step, a puddle of near-flavorless liquid will form quickly at the bottom of your salad bowl, your dip or soup will separate like curdled mayonnaise.

But if you can only find the kind with seeds, make sure, you must eviscerate them, cut them open length wise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Why, you may ask? Well, cucumber seeds, tend to springy, and evasive, will ruin the texture of any salad, soup, or dip.

To salt cucumbers, begin by lining a colander with paper towels, add the cut up cucumbers to the colander and light salt them. Allow them to stand for 20 to 25 minutes, then remove from the colander and pat dry with paper towels and you are good to go to use them as you please in your recipes.

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