Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Today I am very happy... my sweet oldest sister was in a second-hand shop, browsing through stacks of books when she came across Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Not just the original, but also the 2nd volume! She promptly bought the books and came home and surprised me with them. To say the least, I am thrilled!

Although I have no plans at present to attempt every recipe in those wonderful volumes (priceless treasures to me!), I am excited to have them as part of my growing cookbook collection. In order to use some of the recipes, I'll have to find a substitute for wine... any ideas?

Anyway, I am very excited and grateful to Susanna for thinking of me!

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ice Box Cake

The recipe for the Ice Box Cake is very simple, except finding the correct Chocolate wafers - by Nabisco. This is a favorite around here, and it always a hit whenever we serve it, whether at birthdays or having international students for dinner!

Ice Box Cake

I quart Heavy Whipping Cream, chilled

1/2 cup Powdered Sugar

2 boxes chocolate wafers

Strawberries to garnish if desired

Whip the cream with an electric beater, and add in the sugar to sweeten. Keep whipping till soft peaks form. Should be between 5-8 minutes depending on the temperature of the cream and the speed of the beater...

Put a dollop of the cream onto the cake plate to help the 1st layer stick... place one wafer in the middle of the plate, then put 6 in a circle around it. Put 1/2 cup to 3/4 whipped cream over the wafers and spread to the sides evenly.

Repeat until you run out of whipped cream or wafers... whichever happens first! I like to try and arrange the ascending layers so that they don't match up and so it is easier to slice... the second layer should have the wafers rotated so they overlap the layer below - in other words, stagger the layers.

If you are out of the wafers and have cream left, you can "ice" the sides and make it smooth all around.

Chill at least an hour before serving. You can arrange strawberries around the base of the cake or on top of the cake...

Yes, I did get a little carried away with the strawberries! This was a cake to serve 18 at my brother's birthday in February. I apologize for the quality of the pictures... a disposable camera was the only thing on hand.

It can be messy to slice, so just have something to scrape the cake cutter on to get the blade clean...

Yum, yum!