Since Chris was home for spring break we celebrated my birthday early and had a nice meal at lunch time just before he left to head back to the grindstone. The cake was a bit of a rush job and the frosting was still a bit soft but it tasted lovely. This is from the May 06 Fine cooking.
Fancy layer cake
2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces room temperature unsalted butter
3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 large eggs, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two round cake pans, tapping out any excess flour. Sift together the dry ingredients into the bowl of a mixer. Cut the butter into 1 tablespoon pieces and blend these into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the vanilla and milk and beat on medium-high for 60 seconds until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and mix a few seconds more. Divide batter into each of the two prepared pans. Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool ten minutes in the pans then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
5 large egg whites
1 pinch salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
With a mixer set to medium-high, whisk the egg whites and salt until foamy. Sprinkle in 6 tablespoons sugar and beat until almost stiff peaks but not quite. In a small saucepan, bring remaining sugar and syrup just to a boil. Remove from heat and turn mixer on again. Stream in the sugar syrup at the edge of the bowl, and continue to beat another 5 to 7 minutes or until just above room temperature. With the mixer still running, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until it is all incorporated. Beat in the chocolate. Chill in the refrigerator until it’s a spreadable consistency, stirring from time to time.
To assemble the cake:
Mix 1 cup seedless raspberry jam with enough Grand Marnier to get a spreadable consistency, about 1/4 cup. Press through a sieve if desired. Cut both layers in half horizontally. Place bottom layer onto cake stand, spread with jam, spread with frosting and repeat for next two layers. Place top layer on and then frost outside of cake. Chill 3 or 4 hours before serving.
For the meal Jason grilled some broccolini that was absolutely delicious. We had salmon mousse on cucumbers for an appetizer and the main course was this yummy stuffed pork roast I’d seen on Martha earlier in the week.
Fennel stuff pork roast
1/2 cup light miso
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup orange marmalade
salt and pepper
center cut pork loin roast, butterflied
1/4 pound slab bacon
1 medium bulb fennel, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 sprigs fresh tarragon
1 clove minced garlic
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons sweet vermouth
juice of a lemon
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed fennel seed
zest of an orange
Preheat oven to 475 F. Stir together miso, 1/2 cup lemon juice and marmalade in a shallow baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve 1/2 cup for later. Add the meat to the baking dish and marinate for 15 minutes, turning to coat. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until fat is rendered. Add fennel and onion and cook about ten minutes or until fennel is softened. Add tarragon and garlic, cook another 60 seconds. Discard tarragon sprigs. Stir in sugar and vermouth. Cook, stirring, until liquid is nearly gone. Add juice of a lemon, red pepper and fennel seeds and cook until liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat, stir in zest.
Remove pork from marinade and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper and spread filling mixture over the meat. Roll up tightly and tie with kitchen twine every inch or two. Rub roast with olive oil and bake until brown, 20-25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F. and continue baking until internal temperature reaches 130 F. Increase heat to 500 F; brush roast with reserved marinade and cook another 5 to 8 minutes or until glaze is dark brown. Remove to the stovetop and allow meat to stand 15-20 minutes before carving.