Meringue Buttercream Wedding Cake

Meringue Buttercream Wedding Cake~Chef and a Baker
Wedding cakes are one of my favorite parts of working in the bakery.
I love how I can be an artist.
This is a very simple yet elegant buttercream design, with chocolate cake and vanilla cake on the inside.
For the best looks on the outside and inside of each tier, we assemble them with four layers of cake at 5/8 of an inch and three layers of filling at 1/2 and inch. Adding up to 4 inches tall.
The bottom tier in this cake is a classic vanilla poundcake doused with vanilla simple syrup and filled with vanilla napolean. Finally frosted with vanilla flavored meringue buttercream for the crumb coat and the finish coat.
The top two tiers are made of chocolate cake doused in raspberry simple syrup and filled with stabilized raspberry whipped cream.
They are then frosted with crème de cocoa flavored meringue buttercream for the crumb coat and finished with the same vanilla buttercream as the bottom tier to make for a uniform color and consistency on the outside.

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Salmon Gravlax

Salmon Gravlax~Chef and a Baker
I’ve always been a lover of salmon, a big-time lover of salmon.
I love it pan seared. I love it baked in a light sauce, I love it in fish tacos, I love it smoked, and now I love it when it’s cured to produce Gravlax.
One of Norway’s distinctive dishes, Gravlax literally means “Grave Salmon, ” and it refers to the medieval practice of curing the raw fish by burying it in the sand above the high tide level. Today Salmon Gravlax is raw salmon, cured in salt, sugar, and dill, usually served as an appetizer, sliced thinly and accompanied by hovmästarsås, a dill and mustard sauce, either on bread, or with boiled potatoes.
Salmon Gravlax
 
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One of Norway's distinctive dishes, Gravlax literally means "Grave Salmon, " and it refers to the medieval practice of curing the raw fish by burying it in the sand above the high tide level.
Chef and a Baker:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Norwegian
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • One 2-pound salmon fillet, skin-off
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 red onion, cut juilienne
  • Cheesecloth
  • Gravlax Sauce:
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil or mild olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 cucumbers sliced thin
  • 2 lemons cut into wedges
Instructions
  1. Prepare the salmon: Trim the salmon. Remove all bones with tweezers.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the salt, sugar and pepper.
  3. Place half of the curing mixture in the bottom of a 9x12-inch pan, then place the cheesecloth on top of the curing mix.
  4. Place the salmon fillet in the cheesecloth and then cover it completely with the cheesecloth.
  5. Place the remaining mixture on top of the cheesecloth and press it lightly covering all of the cheesecloth and salmon.
  6. Place it in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. On the next day,take the salmon out of the cheesecloth. Move to a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut into very thin slices.
  8. Prepare the sauce: In a medium bowl, stir egg yolks with the salt until it reaches a thick consistency. Slowly pour in the oil while whisking quickly until the sauce is a consistency similar to mayonnaise (you may need to use a blender or an immersion blender to help this process along). Stir the sugar, vinegar, pepper and mustard into the sauce. Just before serving, add the dill.
  9. Finish with capers, fresh lemon and cucumber.

 

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Thai Shrimp Skewers

Thai Shrimp Skewers with a Fish Sauce Vinaigrette~Chef and a Baker
After my trip to Thailand, I was set on trying to recreate the culinary memories of that fabulous adventure.
This is my interpretation of the way that shrimp was treated with palm sugar and fish sauce. I added some of my own tweaking and plating  to give me this final product.
Thai Shrimp Skewers with a Papaya Salad and a Fish Sauce Vinaigrette.

 

 

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Chef and a Baker
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Yuzu~Citrus Marinated Wild Alaskan Halibut

Yuzu~Citrus Marinated Wild Alaskan Halibut~Chef and a Baker
Late March and fresh halibut is in season and plentiful.
This dish is a yuzu~citrus marinated seared halibut filet. It has a wild rice pilaf, butter basted, grilled Napa cabbage and a ginger mango gastrique.
 The yuzu [YOO-zoo] is a Japanese citrus fruit which is about the size of a tangerine and is quite sour. Yuzu is the most popular of all citrus fruits in Japan and is found fresh in Japan throughout the spring months.
Yuzu~Citrus Marinated Wild Alaskan Halibut
 
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This dish is a yuzu~citrus marinated seared halibut filet.It has a wild rice pilaf, butter basted, grilled Napa cabbage and a ginger mango gastrique.
Chef and a Baker:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Fresh Halibut filet 5-7 ounces
  • 2 Cups Wild rice
  • 1 Napa Cabbage, cored, quartered and outer layers removed
  • Yuzu Marinade:
  • ½ Cup Yuzu juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Gastrique:
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped mango
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Mariner
Instructions
  1. Roll Halibut in the yuzu marinade, season liberally with salt and pepper and hard sear halibut filet.
  2. Steam cabbage for a few minutes until pliable, brush with brown butter and season with S&P.
  3. Put on grill and get a colorful char.
  4. Make wild rice in rice cooker, when completed mix rice vinegar and scallions into rice.
  5. Make gastrique by combining all ingredients into pot, reduce and intensify flavor, when you've reached your desired flavor, slurry the gastrique until a thick consistency.

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Brined Corned Beef and Cabbage

Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage~Chef and a Baker
It’s time for the St. Paddies day celebration and feast to begin.
This is a twist on a traditional corned beef and cabbage. The pickling brine gives the corned beef an added layer of flavor, and when you roast the veggies and corned beef together this brings the entire dish to life.
Brined Corned Beef and Cabbage
 
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This is a twist on a traditional corned beef and cabbage. The pickling brine gives the corned beef an added layer of flavor, and when you roast the veggies and corned beef together this brings the entire dish to life.
Chef and a Baker:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds corned beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1½ cups water
  • 14 oz chicken stock
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 head cabbage, broken apart
  • 2 cups Orchard Sauerkraut
  • Hot pickle brine:
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
Instructions
  1. Bring vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns, mustard seeds, and 2 cups water to a boil in a medium pot over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and bring to room temperature.
  2. Rinse the corned beef and cut off excess fat, place in brine for 5 hours.
  3. Add water, chicken stock, carrots, onion and cabbage, bring to a boil and then shock in cold water.
  4. Add vegetables, corned beef and broth into a baking pan, cover with aluminum foil and cook corned beef and vegetables at 275 degrees until meat is tender and veggies are nice and roasted.
And that’s it, super easy and incredibly delicious. This pairs really well with a Guinness stout and some Irish soda bread.

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Apple Orchard Sauerkraut

How to Make Apple Orchard Sauerkraut~Chef and a Baker
Amazingly simple and super healthy, fermentation takes advantage of beneficial bacteria by turning sugar into lactic acid. This sauerkraut has a mellow sour flavor with a crunchy and crisp texture. This style also known as lacto~fermentation provides all of the probiotic benefits for stomach health, and they taste great!
Orchard Sauerkraut
 
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This sauerkraut has a mellow sour flavor with a crunchy and crisp texture
Chef and a Baker:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds Napa cabbage, shredded with Cores and outer leaves removed
  • 2 tart or granny Smith apples finely sliced with skin on
  • 3 tablespoons of sea salt or real salt
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pink peppercorns
  • ½  cup of beet juice
  • 2 grape leaves
Instructions
  1. Mix the cabbage, apple, sea salt, caraway seeds, peppercorns, grape leaves and beet juice in a large bowl
  2. Mix well, working the salt thoroughly into all the cabbage drawing out all of the moisture of the cabbage
  3. Once the cabbage begins to wilt, squeeze out all of the excess liquid, repeat as necessary several times
  4. Add the contents to a large ceramic container and press down packing everything firmly, keep pressing down until the cabbage is completely submerged by the liquid
  5. Cover and set out at room temperature for at least one month tasting it every few days, removing any scum or film that has formed on the surface
  6. Once the sauerkraut has reached a great flavor remove from the crockpot and transfer to a container
  7. It will stay delicious and edible for six months!
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Blackened Opah with Tempura Fried Okra, Scallion Rice and Remoulade Sauce

Blackened Opah with a Remoulade Sauce~Chef and a Baker
Opah or moonfish is a colorful, delicious and fatty fish from Hawaii.
In this preparation we’re highlighting Mardi Gras and something we would find in New Orleans Cajun style cuisine.
Lightly fried okra and two different versions of remoulade sauce with some scallion rice, round out this plate.
Blackened Opah with Tempura Fried Okra, Scallion Rice and Remoulade Sauce
 
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Opah or moonfish is a colorful, delicious and fatty fish from Hawaii. In this preparation we're highlighting Mardi Gras and something we would find in New Orleans Cajun style cuisine. Lightly fried okra and two different versions of remoulade sauce with some scallion rice, round out this plate.
Chef and a Baker:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 5 or 6 ounce Opah filet
  • Cajun Blackening spice
  • Fresh okra
  • Tempura batter
  • Freshly made sushi rice
  • Remoulade sauce
  • Turmeric spice
  • Green onion (scallions)
  • Rice vinegar
  • Pea shoots
  • Lemon and lime wedges for garnish
Instructions
  1. Blacken Opah and hard sear in a cast iron pan.
  2. Fry okra in a tempura batter
  3. Make sushi rice, finish with rice vinegar and scallions
  4. Make remoulade sauce, take one cup of finished sauce and put blender with 1 teaspoon of turmeric for smooth texture and bright color
  5. Spoon remoulade sauce on plate, center rice, place fish on rice, pile okra on sauce. Put blended remoulade sauce in squirt bottle and lattice top of the fish. Garnish with pea shoots, lemon and lime wedge.

 

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Candied Orange Peels

Fast and Easy Candied Orange Peels~Chef and a Baker
A great way to add add intense citrus flavor and bright sweetness to savory dishes or a smooth blending of tasty sweet oranges to your dessert. This is a powerful tool to add to your culinary quiver.
Candied Orange Peels
 
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A great way to add add intense citrus flavor and bright sweetness to savory dishes or a smooth blending of tasty sweet oranges to your dessert. This is a powerful tool to add to your culinary quiver.
Chef and a Baker:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 10 Florida or Valencia oranges
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 cups water
Instructions
  1. Top and tail the oranges and cut the skin into quarters.
  2. Peel the skin and remove the pith (the white part), cut the skin into julienne strips about a quarter inch wide
  3. Put the strips of peel into a large sauce pan or a rondeau and cover with cold water
  4. Put on the stove and bring to a boil, once boiling drain the water from the peels and  repeat this process three times (to soften the skin)
  5. In a small bowl whisk together the sugar and water and put  sugar water or simple syrup into a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer
  6. Let the simple syrup cook for 15 minutes at a simmer, then  place the peels in and cook for one hour or until the peels are translucent adjusting the heat to maintain a simmer and do not boil
  7. Swirl the pan to make sure that all the peels are covered with the simple syrup and  drain from the peels and set aside ( base for a citrus sauce?)
  8. Place the peels out a sheet pan or a rack and let dry for 6 hours
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Crispy Duck Breast with Orange Beurre Blanc

Crispy Duck Breast with Orange Beurre Blanc~Chef and a Baker
Spring is here and duck is now in season.
This dish features pickled, grilled asparagus, duck fat roasted fingerling potatoes and a orange beurre blanc over a crispy seared well-seasoned duck breast.
Cracked mustard and a crème de cassis reduction finish out this plate.
Crispy Duck Breast with Orange Beurre Blanc
 
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This dish features pickled, grilled asparagus, duck fat roasted fingerling potatoes and a orange beurre blanc over a crispy seared well-seasoned duck breast.
Chef and a Baker:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: French
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Locally sourced duck breast
  • One bunch of asparagus peeled and cut half inch keeping the tips
  • Pickling brine for asparugus
  • 1 pound of fingerling potatoes
  • Whole-grain cracked mustard and a squirt bottle
  • Reduce 1 bottle of crème de cassis with a little bit of sugar into a thick reduction and put into a squirt bottle
  •  Orange beurre blanc:
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 3 oranges juiced
Instructions
  1. Score duck breast and salt liberally
  2. In a cold cast-iron pan place duck breast on very low heat, keep skin side down for three quarters of the way of cooking
  3. Peel asparagus and cut into half inch using mostly just the tips of the asparagus
  4. Cut fingerling potatoes in half and then on a sharp bias cut cut in half again
  5. Take seared duck breast and place in oven and cook to approximately 135° or medium rare with fingerling potatoes roasting next to them in the duck fat,  take duck out and let rest
  6. Take asparagus out of pickling brine and put on grill for nice char
  7. Plate fingerling potatoes, asparagus, and cut duck breast into a fan,  ladle beurre blanc  on top of duck
  8. In a squirt bottle place dots of whole-grain crack mustard and creme de casis reduction, using toothpick, run dots together
  9. Make beurre blanc:
  10. In a small heavy saucepan, simmer wine, vinegar, shallot, garlic, orange juice until reduced to about 2 tablespoons.
  11. Add cream and simmer until liquid is reduced by about half.
  12. Strain liquid into separate pan
  13. Add butter all at once and cook over moderately low heat, swirling pan constantly, just until creamy and butter is incorporated. (Sauce must not get hot enough to liquify. It should be the consistency of hollandaise.) Remove pan from heat and stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
 
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