Monday, March 7, 2011

Cherry Creme Tart with Sugar Crust

Yesterday was my birthday, and I am attempting not to feel too old by reminding myself I am still in my 20's. In celebration I did what I do best: spent all day cooking, invited some friends over, ate way too much food, and drank just a little too much Yamayuzu Shibori sake.

I made all sorts of yummy treats: two types of cashew "cheese," sweet potato and kale enchiladas, bean enchiladas, toast points, and a cherry creme tart with pears. Friends brought cupcakes, artichoke dip, fruit and a soysage chard medley that was delish. It all made for a great birthday. I'll post all the recipes, but wanted to start off with the dish that ended the night, the creme tart. I passed on the traditional cake and veganized Julia Child's sugar crust recipe (oh, how she must be spinning in her grave) and modified the ppk's berry creme tart recipe. The result was a filling that was cream and smooth, not to sweet, and a crust that was like a rich buttery, flaky sugar cookie. 

Cherry Creme Tart

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cardamom Scented Banana Bread with Strawberries

Well, Lindsey has been in DC for the last few weeks, and seeing as my cooking slags when she's gone (I am just not motivated to cook for one...) Mostly I've been listening to terrible pop music and rap and quilting (which I will post pics of once they are done... don't fret). There's something about listening to Rihanna and Diddy-Dirty Money* while ironing blocks of fabric that really takes the whole mundane factor out of the routine. 

I have however made a few things, including an awesome coconut curry, which I will get around to posting the recipe for in the next few days, and a totally awesome banana bread. I've made the banana bread recipe from the PPK a few times, and it really is my favorite. The bread is dense, smooth and sweet, but not in a "sugar-shock that sends one into a coma" way. It's da bomb. In fact, this banana bread makes me have love like woe for Isa.

I threw in 1/8 tsp of ground cardamom with the cinnamon and allspice, and once I had mixed the wet ingredients with the dry and the batter was smooth, I added in 1 cup of dried strawberries (sweetened with apple juice). You could, I suppose, add fresh strawberries, but I like adding the dried ones because it keeps the moisture level down and biting into a concentrated strawberry flavor surrounded by warm banana bread is heavenly. 

Ghetto picture of the last bit of banana bread. 
*Actually, I don't consider Puffy terrible (though maybe I should... but that's another rant), but once Usher and Pitbull start coming through the speakers there's no turning back on that road of musical armageddon. At least Cee Lo agrees to ride shotgun and keep me company...