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White Wine Sangria

White Wine Sangria With A Twist

Even though Fall is officially here we still have some wonderful warm days left here in Virginia and a White Wine Sangria is still a refreshing choice for a Saturday evening with good company. Here is my favorite Sangria! Instead of a regular glass of white wine, which can sometimes be a little strong, this Sangria is light and refreshing with a citrous touch. The White Wine Sangria is the perfect alternative, if you like me, prefer to avoid red wine and I’m confident that you’ll really enjoy it 🙂

White Wine Sangria With A Twist (makes 8 serving)

Ingredients:

1 bottle Chardoney

1/4 cup super fine sugar (50 gram)

1 lime, sliced thin

1 lemon, sliced thin

1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced thin

1 cup apple juice

pinch of salt

12 oz seltzer water

ice cubes

Directions:

In a large pitcher combine wine and sugar, stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Add lime, lemon, apple, apple juice and salt, mix well. Refrigerate pitcher and at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. Just before serving add seltzer and ice cubes. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Brian Boitano

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Flagkage - Danish Flag Cake

Flagkage – Danish Flag Cake

Dannebrog is the name of the Danish flag and it is the oldest flag in the world. According to legend, the flag had fallen from the sky during the Battle of Lyndanisse in 1219 and the flag was first recorded on a seal in 1397. Still today, the Danish flag is treasured by the Danish people and is displayed freely at any given occasion, or at no occasion at all. It was very fitting when I made this cake because it just happened to be on my fathers 75th birthday and today that I am posting this, it is my mothers birthday as well. And so “Tillykke med fødselsdagen Far og Mor”!

Making Lime Cream

Making Lime Cream

On Danish TV there is a show called Den Store Bagedyst and it’s almost exactly like the British show The Great British Baking Show, which you may have seen on American TV. Every week the show posts a challenge to the viewers to recreate a particular baked item and this Flag cake is from that challenge.

After baking, cut top of cake off to make it level, cut cake horizontally into two. Trace a 14 cm and 17 cm circle onto parchment paper. I used plates as guides.

After baking, cut top of cake off to make it level, cut cake horizontally into two. Trace a 14 cm and 17 cm circle onto parchment paper. I used plates as guides.

The biggest problem I encountered with this cake, was without a doubt, the gelatin. First, I didn’t have the gelatin sheets which the original recipe called for, so I used gelatin powder instead. Nothing wrong with gelatin powder, but it is always better to use the recommended ingredient whenever possible. As far as the conversion from gelatin sheets to gelatin powder, it is not an exact science and a controversial subject. So I did a little research and came up with this: approx 3 1/2 sheets of gelatin = 1 envelope (7 gram/envelope) gelatin powder. So in the original recipe they called for 7 1/2 sheets and I used 2 envelopes gelatin powder which I figured was close enough. The result was actually good, it was not the intended outcome, but good nonetheless. In the original recipe, after cooling the lime cream they took it out and beat it with a hand-mixer until the cream thickened up. After cooling, my cream was the right thick consistency but I still took a hand-mixer to it, and on low speed I gave it a quick mix just to loosen it up a little. Also, the process I used to dissolve the gelatin powder is not the typical way of doing it, but again, it turned out fine. And one more thing, I left the Lime cream overnight in the refrigerator.

Cutting and assembling cake.

Cutting and assembling cake.

The Flagkage was a challenging and fun project. I thought the Lime cream had a wonderful flavor and a really nice creamy consistency, I loved it. The cake was moist, yet firm enough to hold up to the cutting involved. The only complaint I have is that the cake itself could have had a little more flavor, but the Lime cream made up for it. All in all, if I was to make this cake again, I would replace the cake recipe with a Red Velvet cake recipe and then I think the overall result would be excellent.

Dannebrogskage (Flagkage) – serves 12-16

Ingredients:

Lime filling:

14 gram unflavored gelatin powder (2 envelopes or 0.5 oz)

300 g white chocolate (10.5 oz)

2 vanilla beans

4 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 liter heavy whipping creme (51 fl oz)

3 limes, organic (zest and juice)

Cake:

1 vanilla bean

250 g sugar (8.8 oz)

10 g red food coloring, paste (0.4 oz)

250 g unsalted butter, room temperature (8.8 oz)

7 eggs, room temperature

275 g all-purpose flour (9.7 oz)

10 g cocoa powder (0.4 oz)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 deciliter whole milk (3.4 fl oz)

Directions:

Lime filling:

Chop white chocolate finely and place into large mixing bowl. Cut vanilla bean open lengthwise and scrape seeds out onto a cutting board. Sprinkle the 4 teaspoons of sugar over vanilla seeds and using the flat surface of your knife, press the sugar into the vanilla to separate the seeds. Place vanilla/sugar mixture into chopped white chocolate.

Place heavy whipping creme into saucepan and heat to 80 degrees C (176 degrees F), remove from heat. Pour half of creme into white chocolate and stir until chocolate in completely dissolved. Add the remaining half of the creme and stir. Sprinkle gelatin powder over the surface of warm creme and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir gelatin into creme and continue to stir for another 2 minutes, then allow creme to sit for another 3 minutes. Stir in lime zest and juice. Pour creme into a large Ziploc bag, seal and place in in refrigerator. Creme must cool down to at least 5 degrees C (41 degrees F) before assembling cake.

Cake:

Spray a 23 cm (9 inch) round spring-form baking pan with baking spray. Cut out a round circle of parchment paper and place it in the bottom of pan, set aside. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C (330 degrees F).

Cut vanilla bean longways, scrape out seeds, sprinkle with a small amount of the sugar and press vanilla and sugar together to separate vanilla seeds. Place vanilla/sugar back into bowl with remaining sugar.

Beat butter, sugar/vanilla sugar and food color until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at the time, making sure to beat very well in between each egg.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Gradually fold in dry ingredients, alternating with the milk until batter is homogeneous. Pour batter into baking pan and spread out evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes. Test cake for doneness by using a wooden skewer. Skewer should come out clean when inserted deep into center of cake. Let cake cool down completely before continuing with assembly.

Assembly:

While cake is cooling, cut out two circle of parchment paper measuring 14 cm (5 1/2 inches) and 17 cm (6 3/4 inch).

Once the cake has cooled, cut off the slightly curved top of the cake to level the cake surface out. Then cut the cake horizontally into two even layers. We will call these two layers A and B.

Wash and dry the spring-form pan, set aside.

First take cake layer A and place it back into the clean spring-form pan. Place the 17 cm paper circle onto the center of the cake and using a small sharp knife, cut down through the cake all the way around the circle. Now place the 14 cm circle onto the center of the same cake A and cut down through the cake all the way around the circle. Remove the cake which was in between the two circle, this will form an open “ditch” or space which will later hold the lime cream. You should now have an outer ring of cake and a solid center of cake.

Leaving cake layer B on your work surface, repeat cutting out the circles and removing the excess cake to create the “ditch”. This is done the same way we did cake layer A.

Remove cold Lime cream from refrigerator. Using a hand-mixer, give Lime cream a quick little beating, careful not to over-mix. Over-mixing will cause cream to separate. The cream should have a piping consistency. Load cream into two large piping bags, one of which is fitted with a piping tip of your choice. Place bag with piping tip back into refrigerator.

Using the bag without the piping tip first, cut off tip of bag. Start by piping enough cream into the “ditch” or space between the circles of cake layer A. Then pipe a layer of cream out over the entire surface of cake layer A. Using an offset spatula, smooth out cream to the edges of spring-form pan. Carefully place the outer cake circle of cake layer B on top of cream, this forms the outer circle. Then place the center cake circle on top of the cream. Again pipe cream into the “ditch” or space between the two circles. Then pipe a thin layer of cream over the top of the cake. It is fine if you see crumbs through this layer. Place cake back into refrigerator for at least 60 minutes.

Once cake has cooled enough to where it can be moved, release spring-form and move cake to your serving platter. Using the piping bag fitted with the piping tip, start decorating your cake in whatever fashion you please. Keep cake refrigerated. Remove cake from refrigerator 20 minutes prior to serving.  Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Den Store Bagedyst

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Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie is one of my husband’s favorite desserts and I have been wanting to make this pie for the longest time. And since we are now, well through the holidays and with the anticipation of Spring (yes, I know it’s still a little far off) this particular pie says spring to me. It is tart and sweet, and it has a real freshness about it and it makes me fall in love with the sunshine all over again.

Making Graham Cracker Crust

Making Graham Cracker Crust

Now this is a Key Lime Pie, short of actually having any Key Limes in it. Key Limes, which is associated with the Florida Keys, was nowhere to be found around here, so my delicious Key Lime pie is made with plain-old Limes and it’s still taste fantastic to me.

Making Pie Filling

Making Pie Filling

Key Lime Pie (makes 1 pie)

Ingredients:

Graham cracker crust:

125 grams Graham crackers (4.4 oz or 8 1/2 sheets)

30 grams sugar (2 tablespoons)

85 grams unsalted butter, melted (3 oz or 6 tablespoons)

Pie filling:

3 large egg yolks, at room temperature

395 grams sweetened condensed milk (14 oz can)

2 teaspoons lime zest (approx. regular 1 lime)

120 milliliter lime juice (4 fluid oz or 1/2 cup) (approx. 2 1/2 regular limes)

Pie topping:

240 milliliter cold heavy whipping cream (8 fluid oz or 1 cup)

30 grams sugar (2 tablespoons)

1 handful sweetened coconut

Directions:

Graham cracker crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Spray or butter a 9 inch (23 cm) pie dish. Place butter into small saucepan and melt over low heat. Place Graham crackers in a food processor and process into fine crumbs. (If you do not have a food processor, place crackers into a sealed plastic bag and break-up crackers by beating them with a rolling pin). Add sugar to crumbs and pulse to combine. While food processor is running, pour melted butter into crumbs. Place moist cracker crumbs into pie dish, press crackers up along side of dish and then out over the bottom of dish. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until set and golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

Pie filling: Beat egg yolks until thickened and pale yellow (3 min). Gradually add sweetened condensed milk and continue beating until light and fluffy (3-5 min). Scrape down sides and add lime zest and lime juice, beat until fully incorporated. Pour filling into pie crust and bake for 10-15 minutes or until filling is set. Allow to cool down to room temperature and then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Pie topping: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Place coconut in a single layer on a small baking sheet and toast for 4-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on them. Remove toasted coconut from oven and set aside.

Beat whipping cream and sugar until cream is starting to thicken (almost stiff peaks). Place mounds of whipped cream onto pie filling and top with toasted coconut. Can be stored in refrigerator for a few days. Enjoy!

Key Lime Pie without topping

Key Lime Pie without topping

Source: slightly adapted from Joy of Baking

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Shrimp And Lime Cocktail

Guess what time it is? It’s Secret Recipe time!

This months assignment for the Secret Recipe Club was for me to go sneak around A Spoonful of Thyme’s food blog. The site belongs to Kate who is a seasoned traveler (I’m a little jealous here) and her lovely food blog is filled with many, many delicious savory and sweet recipes. Usually I am tempted to go for the sweet recipes but Kate has numerous wonderful shrimp dishes and shrimp is what was on my mind that particular day. And so I pondered for a while over the shrimp dishes and finally settled on this Shrimp and Lime Cocktail.

This shrimp cocktail is a zesty little dish and it’s quick and very easy to prepare. The combination of the tangy lime, sweet ketchup with a little heat from the hot sauce is delicious. The only thing I did differently was to serve it on a bed of baby spinach or even better you could also use finely shredded lettuce. Thanks Kate for sharing your wonderful recipe with all of us 🙂

Ingredients:

1 lb large peeled and deveined shrimp

1 teaspoon grated lime peel

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup ketchup

a dash of hot sauce (optional)

baby spinach or shredded lettuce

Directions:

Cook peeled and deveined shrimp for 3 minutes or until pink, careful not to over-cook. Place in refrigerator to cool.

Using a microplane, grate the green outer layer of the lime and place in a small bowl. Juice the lime and pour juice over the grated peel. Add wine, ketchup and hot sauce (if desired) to lime juice/peel, stir to combine. Pour liquid over shrimp and stir to cover shrimp. Place shrimp back into refrigerator and marinate for at least 3-4 hours, preferably overnight. Serve shrimp cold on a bed of baby spinach or shredded lettuce. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from A Spoonful of Thyme

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Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

This is an absolutely delicious chicken dish; I just can’t stress that enough. Truly, this is one of my favorites. You can make it with or without the whipping cream or you can use half and half instead, I have made it either ways and it’s equally delicious. This dish is also great to make ahead of time, as a matter of fact, the flavors are more intense the following day. Try serving this with Jasmine Rice if you can find it at your local grocery store.  Also, I cut back on the amount of butter. Come to think of it, should we still call this Butter Chicken then?

Ingredients:

4 pieces Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

5 Garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground Coriander

1/4 teaspoon Cumin

1/4 teaspoon Cardamom

1 whole Lime, juiced

1 whole Onion, diced

2 tablespoon Butter

2 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 can (14.5 oz) Tomato Sauce

1 can (14.5 oz) Diced Tomatoes

a pinch of Crushed Red Pepper

1/2 cup Whipping Cream

1 bunch chopped Cilantro, to taste

Serve with Jasmine Rice

Directions:

Cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces and place in a large zip lock bag or bowl. Add first 8 ingredients to the chicken and mix it up well. Marinate 12-24 hours in refrigerator.

Saute onion in butter and olive oil until soft. Add marinated chicken and cook 8-10 minutes over medium heat. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and crushed red pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes over medium-low heat with the lid on. Add whipping cream and cilantro just before serving over Jasmine Rice.

Source: The Pioneer Woman, originally posted on Tasty Kitchen by lillieknits

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