Monday, May 5, 2014

Recipes from Across the Pond

Looking to expand your pallate or take that trip to London, and the thought of the US$/RBP conversion make you cringe? This is for you: Here's our favorite to make. The Pumpkin Spice is quite nice too.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fluffy Coffee with cinnamon goodness

Years ago we stayed at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio studios while passing through Chicago, where in the morningtime his interns made a magical drink called "Fluffy Coffee"—it's a thing of legend that even comes up in this talk between Thurston Moore and Ron Asheton. Haunted to this day by that delicious drink, we finally asked for the recipe, and here it is from Albini himself: So named for the inch or so of firm, marshmallow-like foam the method produces at the top of the drink, the fluffy coffee is the house beverage at Electrical Audio, and every intern is taught to make it on his first day. I am convinced that a certain proportion of our clientele comes here just to drink these. The band Warm Ones recorded a jingle* in its honor, which appears on our outgoing answering machine message. Essentially a large double-shot latte with cinnamon and maple syrup, there are some procedural details that make the fluffy coffee special. First use exceptional coffee. We use Metropolis's Redline espresso, roasted locally and delivered frequently. We grind it in a Rancillio Rocky burr grinder to a fine espresso grind, then mix it with some ground cinnamon. We use regular cheap cassia cinnamon which we buy in bulk at Costco. The proportion is about 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon distributed into enough coffee to fill the portafilter of our espresso machine, which makes two typical shots of espresso. Before you pull the shot though, you need to steam the milk. In the bottom of an imperial pint glass (20 oz), pour enough maple syrup to cover the bottom, about a tablespoon. The maple syrup must be actual maple syrup distilled from tree blood, not pancake syrup or anything else. Maple syrup, the darker the better. Office bear Stephen Sowley makes his with agave syrup for what he calls "health reasons," but the rest of the staff have agreed it's because it reminds him of tequila. Add about 12 ounces of whole milk, then steam until warm and froth using the steam wand. The maple syrup mixes uniformly with the milk and helps to stabilize the fluffy foam, of which there should be a good inch at the top of the glass. When the milk is ready, pull a double-shot and pour it through the foam in one motion. The coffee will make some kind of weird design in the foam, and it is customary when presenting the fluffy to describe it and tell your guest that you've made the design especially for him. "Here you go, I've made a kind of abstract rasta Tweety Bird on top for you," or "I've decorated it with a rendering of Popeye the Sailor in flagrante delicto with a tentacled sea witch." The cinnamon mixed with the espresso grounds allows the flavor of the cinnamon to permeate the drink without the particulate schmutz that comes from sprinkling cinnamon on a regular espresso. In addition to the cinnamon, I occasionally add a crushed dried thai chile to the coffee for extra spiciness, but that's a peccadillo I don't expect other people to be into. There is an iced version for summer months, and to prepare it you dissolve the maple syrup in the cinnamon espresso in an empty glass, then add lots of ice, fill with milk and stir. They are delicious, but nobody remembers who invented the Fluffy.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A lemony Spring joyous treat

Sharing the recipe; overwhelming surprise of massive compliments for this years' Passover nut bread:


1/2 Cup butter
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 Cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 Cup matzo cake meal (on-sale now at Whole Foods)
1/4 Cup potato starch
1/2 Cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
3 Tablespoons lemon juice

Cream butter and peel until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating constantly until thoroughly creamed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously and thoroughly after each addition.
Blend mixture of cake meal, potato starch and nuts. Stir in lemon juice. Turn into a greased
7 3/8x 3 5/8x 2 1/4 loaf pan. (will not rise much so I used a shaped bunny pan with top to creatively improvise)
Bake at 350*F. 1 hour or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan and place on a wire rack until cool.
Slice thinly and serve, try spreading lavishly with butter, infused with lavender for tea parties or jam.
Kids went nuts literally for this bright flavoured nut bread.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Humming Bird Cake -tropical party delight

For the cake:
3 tsp. Butter softened
3 cups plus 3 tsp. flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 1/2cups vegetable oil
3 eggs, well beaten
6 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed
1 8-oz can crushed piƱa
1 cup sweetened flakes coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. Ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. coconut extract

For the frosting:
14 oz. cream cheese
8 Tbsp. Unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. coconut extract
6 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

For the cake:
Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease each of three 9" round cake pans with 1 tsp. butter, dust with 1 Tbsp of the flour, tapping out the excess. Set aside. Combine the remaining 3 cups flour, sugar, salt, & baking soda in your kitchen aid mixer. (mine is named Harley) Add oil, eggs, and mix well. Add fruit, coconut, pecans, cinnamon, extracts and mix well. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Set aside to cool briefly, move cakes from pans, then set aside to cool completely.

For the frosting:
Beat cream cheese, butter, extracts in a mixing bowl with electric mixer on high speed until smooth, then reduce speed to medium-low & gradually beat in sugar.

Assemble and frost cake, spreading 1 1/2 cups of frosting between 2 layers of cake and using the remaining to frost the cake completely.
(smear a finger-full of frosting across your lovers lips)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Celtic Fire Performance (4-10-12) 8PM

Seeking to treat yourself to culture & delightful entertainment- Celtic Fire, Music of Broadway's Michael Londra and many talented artists take stage with fiddles, pipes, accordion & piano, plus, traditional dancing. Listed as a "performance of pure Celtic magic!" You will vicariously travels to lands of 300 shades of green. Great way to celebrate heritage and early Valentine's Day surprise. tickets $38. Great for families!