Vineyard Cake (aka Cleopatra Cake)

Vineyard Cake (aka Cleopatra Cake) – Candy Coated Culinista

A gourmet cake that’s so light and unique it’s a absolute must try.

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 60 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh

Ingredients
Cake

• 4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
• 2 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ¾ tsp salt
• 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
• ¾ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• Finely grated zest of 2 lemons (2 tsp)
• Finely grated zest of 1 oranges (2 tsp)
• Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla pod
• 4 large eggs
• 1 ¾ cups Carte d’Or or Muscat de Beaumes de Venise wine, at room temperature
• 3 ½ oz seedless red grapes, washed and halved lengthwise
Sugar Crust Topping
• 5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 3 ½ oz seedless red grapes, washed and halved lengthwise

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 400°F and grease and lightly flour the angel food cake or chiffon cake pan, tapping away excess flour.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment add sugar, butter, olive oil, lemon zest, orange zest along with vanilla seeds and beat for minutes at medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy.
4. Add eggs one by one letting them incorporate before adding the next.
5. Turn down to low speed and add a third of the flour mixture followed by half the wine.
6. Repeat with the remaining flour and wine finishing with the final third of flour continuing to beat at a low speed.
7. Once combined pour into pan and scatter grapes on top.
8. Bake for 20 minutes.
Sugar Crust
1. While the cake is in the oven immediately start on the sugar crust.
2. Place butter and sugar into a small bowl and beat into a thick paste using a wooden spoon.
3. When cake has been in oven for 20 minutes, remove from oven and scatter sugar crust onto cake into small pieces. Then add grapes evenly on top and place back in oven.
4. Immediately lower oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake for 40 minutes, or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
5. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan.
6. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.

Tips
• The cake must be made in an angel food cake or chiffon pan. The cake is so large this is the only pan that can ensure an even bake. A Bundt pan will not work as you want the sugar crust and grapes to remain on top when it is served.
• The cake will keep for 5 days in an air-tight container.
• To make this non-alcoholic add grape juice, like I did.
• I added my grapes to the sugar crust mixture. Either way works out well.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This cake is a total hit and I can’t gush about this enough. Now some wouldn’t think this is a great idea for a cake adding olive oil, grapes or wine; but this cake is sheer magnificence. I subbed out wine for a concord grape juice to make this a non-alcoholic version and it tasted just as wonderful. My taste tester loved it and tucked in upon receiving their slices; which was 10:45 in the morning I might add and my other guest enjoyed it with Sunday dinner. I had to purchase a new cake pan for this recipe as I have never made an angel food cake before. I didn’t think I could make this and then I got lucky and found a cake pan. I will be making this recipe again for sure and I may try a different fruit and juice combination.

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Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon - Candy Coated Culinista

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon – Candy Coated Culinista

I was given a bottle of red wine from a co-worker who had recently gotten marriage. The couple had given all the guests a bottle of red wine they bottled and corked at a winery in the Niagara region. Now since I don’t drink and don’t like wine I said I’d taste a small bit and would cook with the rest. I thought to do coq au vin again; but then thought I should try something else. This is when beef bourguigon came into my head. I also remember that scene from Julie & Julia where Julie says “don’t crowd the beef” and I said to myself this is a good recipe and I have never actually made a Julia Child’s recipe before. I started my prep and had everything ready to go and all that was left was to open the wine (queue the ominous music). Since it’s 2016 I made the assumption that this bottle of wine was going to be one of those twist top varieties and I was so wrong; and believe it or not I don’t even own a cork screw. So here’s where my 30 minute struggle to open a bottle of wine begins. I tried to use a knife and cut away at the cork on a slant, no luck. Then I went to my tool box; because I have a full tool box at the ready; but I don’t own a corkscrew. (I’ve never really been a conventional girl here; and have always been the work on my own car and build my own curio stand and solder this or that) hence I grabbed a screw and twisted it into the cork and then grabbed the hammer to pop it out. Still no luck and at this point I thought I was done, until I did the one thing I really didn’t want to do which was to push the cork in. I did this and strained away any cork pieces that may have broken and then pulled out the cork after the fact and retrieved my screw. Lesson learned here and I will be going to the dollar store to get myself a corkscrew as that was not a fun experience for me at all.

Yield/Serving: 8 – 10 servings
Prep Time: 1 hr.
Cook Time: 3 plus hours
Difficulty level is: Medium, very time-consuming and persnickety

From: Slightly altered from Julia Child

Ingredients
Bouquet Garni

• 1 stalk of celery, cut into three pieces
• A bunch of parsley, stems only
• 4 fresh thyme sprigs
• 5 garlic cloves, whole and peeled
Boeuf Bourguignon
• • 4 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
• 3 pound of stewing beef
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
• 1 bottle of dry red wine
• 1 stick unsalted butter, total use accordingly
• 3 cloves of garlic, whole
• 2 onions, finely chopped
• 4 carrots, cut into ¼ inch slices
• 3 celery, chopped
• 1 pound button mushrooms, quartered if large
• 1 tbsp herbs du provence
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• Parsley, handful rough chop

Assembly
1. Using a frying pan, fry bacon, drain, crumble and set aside.
2. Pat dry all beef pieces and season with salt and pepper.
3. Divide flour and beef into four portions. Place batch one into a ziplock bag and coat beef.
4. Place two tablespoons of oil into a heavy bottomed pot and brown beef on all side. Don’t crowd the meat. Once the meats is browned transfer to a bowl and continue with the next batch of beef until all is browned.
5. Pour off any excess oil from the pot if necessary and then pour wine into pot to deglaze for about 1 minute. Ensure to stir and scrape up brown bits and then pour over the beef.
6. Make the bouquet garni and set aside for the moment.
7. In the pot put butter and oil over medium-high heat and put in the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms along with the crumbled bacon and sauté until browned.
8. Add in the herbs du provence, tomato paste and parsley and continue to stir.
9. Pour in the wine and the beef along with the bouquet garni and gently simmer partially covered until the meat is tender; about 3 ½ to 4 hours and occasionally stir.
10. When beef bourguignon is ready remove bouquet garni and serve.

Tips
• Have kitchen string/twine on hand for bouquet garni
• Serve with baby potatoes or a baguette.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I didn’t add the pearl onions to this recipe as I didn’t really want all of those onions in the dish. I found this recipe to be so persnickety and yes I get the whole “don’t crowd the meat”; but this recipe had a lot going on and was so finicky and Mise en Place. Maybe it’s because I have always found myself to be a more instinctual cook who doesn’t like to follow a recipe in its entirety and yes I even slightly altered a Julia Child’s recipe as sacrilege as that probably is to most; but that’s just who I am. It was still an amazing recipe with its richness the smell the wine aroma and those perfectly chopped vegetables. I can see what all that fuss was about; but in the end this recipe is still way to fussy for me and this isn’t the way I like to cook. I didn’t even have kitchen twine for the bouquet garni and I had to use a cheesecloth that I use for my almond milk. It was really quite an experience to MacGyer my way through some aspects of this recipe. I have always loved MacGyer so in some ways I got to try my hand at working with what I have on hand; but next time I will try this is a slow cooker recipe.

Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin - Candy Coated Culinista

Coq Au Vin – Candy Coated Culinista

This recipe has been on my “to-do list” for a year now, and I was only recently reminded by a fellow blogger Maiu at Toronto Cooks that I need to finally make a coq au vin. We both are a part of a couple cooking clubs and this is how I stumbled upon and now follow her blog. This classic French dish is chicken braised in a red wine sauce giving the chicken a purple “wine” stained colour.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 25 baby red skinned potatoes, halved
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
• 3 bacon slices, thinly sliced
• 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp rosemary
• 2 bay leaves, crushed
• 1 tsp parsley
• 1 tsp thyme
• ¼ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper
• 8 chicken pieces (thighs and drumsticks) skin on
• 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 20 pearl onions 284g (10 oz)
• 3 celery stalks, chopped
• 3 small carrot, peeled and chopped
• 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
• Button mushrooms, sliced
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 cup chicken stock
• 2 cups red wine
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 2 tbsp flour

Assembly
1. On high heat boil at pot of salted water and fill with the baby potatoes and sweet potato. (Cook until they are firm as they will be cooked more later on).
2. In a large frying pan, on medium-high heat, fry the bacon.
3. Pour all the herbs and spices into a pessel and mortor and grind.
4. Rub Dijon mustard over chicken and pour half of the herbs and spices over the chicken and rub in.
5. In the frying pan with the bacon fat add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and mushrooms and brown, about 5 minutes stirring frequently.
6. Remove from pan set aside in a bowl.
7. The potatoes should be done at this point, strain in a colander and set aside in another bowl, and place pot back on the stove. (it will be used in a moment)
8. Using the same frying pan place in the chicken along with the olive oil and sear and brown, about 5 minutes on each side.
9. Using the large pot on medium-high heat pour in the chicken stock, red wine, butter and whisk in the flour.
10. Finally place chicken on the bottom of the large pot and place the potatoes and sweet potatoes over top and then all the vegetables and bacon.
11. Add the remaining spices on top.
12. Stir occasionally, but try not to disrupt the chicken below.
13. Serve

Tips
• Make sure baby potatoes and sweet potatoes are cut to the same size to ensure they cook at the same rate.
• If your bacon is salty, adjust the salt content accordingly.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Coq au vin seems to be peasant’s dish to me with its simple and humble ingredients. I had a theory when I thought of placing the chicken at the bottom in my assembly. The chicken was only partially cooked so they needed to be closest to the heat, then the potatoes as they were a little hard and finally the veggies as they were pretty much cooked. The potatoes stayed firm, the veggies were crunchy and the chicken was great. I wish I could get the chicken to be more wine stained, but that would entail me marinating it for 4 hours or more. As I made this on a whim thanks to Maiu, I didn’t really have any for-thought to making this and i still think it turned out and looked scrumptious.

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