Saturday, February 22, 2014

James Beard Awards - Best Chef Southwest

We always dreamed of this moment but never thought it would really happen.  I mean, how can anyone find a restaurant as remote as ours.  We're 3 hours to anywhere and no airport in site.  We're not on the way to anything!

But somehow we got on the semifinalist list for Best Chef - Southwest.  Honored.  Humbled.  Proud.

Curious Kumquat

James Beard Awards

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Recipe: Russian Medovic Cake

63 g                 Honey – the bolder the flavor the better
6.5 g                Baking soda
200 g               Butter flavored Crisco (haven’t tried butter yet*)
260 g               Sugar
2                      Eggs
530 g               AP Flour

In sauce pan, warm the honey and soda.  Once dissolved add the Crisco and warm til fully melted.  Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.  Transfer to the bowl of a mixer and when at room temp add eggs one at a time paddling just until incorporated.  Add the flour gradually and paddle just until homogenous.

Divide dough into seven equal portions of 160 g each, cover with saran.

On silpat or parchment, rollout each dough to desired shape (it doesn’t have to be perfect because the cake will expand as it bakes.  I did three rectangles of 4”x10” on each baking sheet.  Cover the dough with a second Silpat or parchment and set a second baking sheet on top to weigh them down – this will give you uniform flat cake layers.  Bake at 350º for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.  When all six layers are baked and cooled to room temp, bake the final dough darker than the first about 18 minutes.  Pulse that into decorative crumb.

260 g               Superfine sugar
500 g               Sour cream

Combine both in mixer and whisk on high until soft peaks.  Spread 125 g of cream mixture on each layer and top with next layer of dough, repeating until stacked finished with the cream.  Sprinkle the decorative crumbs on the top layer.  Rest all in fridge overnight to allow soaking.

*My concern with butter is that margarine or Crisco will leave the cake softer than butter, and I’m not yet sure how much soaking from the filling will effect the dough.

**My variations – a splash of vodka in the cream; fresh blueberries