Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Coconut Cake

I love anything coconut.  Awhile back, I had received a Kosher baking book from the publisher to review, Paula Shoyer's The Kosher Baker, and I've enjoyed the recipes from the book that I make them from time to time.  I came across a recipe for a coconut cake with a lime curd filling and a meringue frosting in the book that looked absolutely fantastic.  I really intended on doing the whole thing for no reason (just for fun, not for a particular special occasion that necessitated a large two layer cake) and got lazy.  What I wound up with was a pretty fantastic coconut cake, minus the filling and frosting.  I do intend to make it again for a party sometime with the lime curd and meringue frosting, but it made a pretty tasty coconut cake this time that we enjoyed so I figured I'd share the recipe for the coconut cake that I did make.  The recipe is parve (non dairy), although I don't really keep Kosher, but it was still delicious.

Coconut Cake (recipe from the Kosher Baker) (makes tow nine inch cakes)
2 whole eggs plus four whites
2 cups canola oil
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease tow nine inch cake pans.  Separate the eggs and the yolks and place the two yolks in a bowl.  Add the coconut milk, canola oil, sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla and shredded coconut to the bowl and beat with a whisk until combined, or use your electric stand mixer, like I did.  Set aside.

Add the cream of tartar to the six egg whites and beat using the whisk attachment in your mixer on high until stiff peaks form.  Fold the whites into three parts into the batter until combined.  Pour into the two prepared pans and bake 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before frosting or eating plain, like we did.   It was soft, light coconutty and delicious! Like a bite of the tropics.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter Sauce

I love making ravioli en masse using my ravioli press and pasta maker.  Yes, it's a bit time consuming, but it really doesn't take so long and you get several quick meals out of it in the end as your reward.  So, it's a great activity for a Sunday morning after yoga class.  Being that its fall, I figured it was time for butternut squash ravioli and what's a better way to serve it than a sage brown butter sauce. This meal was a huge success and there's plenty left in the freezer to enjoy for future dinners in a pinch.

Sasha's Butternut Squash Ravioli filling
32 oz cubed butternut squash, roasted and pureed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Sasha's Pasta Dough
5 eggs
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 T cold water
1 tsp kosher salt

Sasha's Sage Brown Butter Sauce
6 T butter
12 sage leaves
2 tsp lemon juice

Roast the squash at 400 until soft.  Puree in a blender.  Mix with the other ingredients for the filling and set aside.  To make the dough, I used my mixer.  Combine the eggs and flour on medium speed and pulse until mixed.  Add 2 T of water until a dough forms.  You may need to use your hands to bring it into four balls of dough.  Wrap the balls of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

Roll out sheets of dough to setting seven on your pasta maker and press using the ravioli press, adding the filling.  Allow to dry for an hour on a drying rack.  Then place the drying rack in your freezer and freeze for an hour before placing in bags.

To prepare the sauce, melt the butter until brown.  Add the sage leaves and cook another minute, before stirring in the lemon juice.  Cook the pasta for five minutes or so in boiling salted water and toss in the butter sauce and serve hot.

In the mood for most pasta? Check out my baked ziti on ShopRite's food blog, Potluck - my newest ShopRite post using their organic pasta.
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