Saturday, May 27, 2017

Layered Tres Leches Cake

Easy but fancy dessert. Perfect for summer dinner parties and potlucks.

5 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk (2% or whole)
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk

 1 cup heavy cream
2-3 tablespoons sugar, to taste
fresh chopped strawberries (or other berries)

Preheat oven to 350. Generously spray 2 - 8 or 9 inch round cake pans with cooking spray (I use silicon pans). Beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form, set aside. Beat egg yolks and sugar on high until pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla.

Stir flour, baking soda, and salt together and add to the yolk mixture, stir to combine. Gently fold in egg whites to rest of batter until just combined. Gently spread into the two pans. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and inserted toothpick is clean. Remove from oven, let cool, and poke holes all over each cake with a fork.

Combine evaporated and sweetened condensed milk in a pourable measuring glass and stir. Pour half of it over each cake (about 1 1/4 cup for each cake). Let cakes sit for about 20 minutes or until all the milk is absorbed. At this point you can also cover the cakes with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to one day.

Meanwhile, beat heavy cream and sugar on high until stiff peaks form. Spread layer of whip cream between the two layers of cake and on top. Sprinkle chopped strawberries over the whip cream. Serve immediately (room temperature is preferred).

Adapted from

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Pad Thai

This baby of mine has been a long time coming, but I finally have it perfected. This is one of my favorite Thai dishes and now I can make it at home! It requires a good amount of prep work but it only takes a short time to put it all together at the end. Most of the ingredients can be obtained from any grocery store. You may have to go to an Asian store to find the tamarind concentrate or order it online. I use a food scale to measure some of the ingredients in this recipe, but I put the approximate volume equivalents in here too for those that don't have one yet. Serves 2-4 people. Adapted from

Prepare Noodles

7 oz Thai Kitchen Brand Stir-Fry Rice Noodles (½ of box, can find at Walmart) or other Thai brand pad thai style rice noodles

Bring large saucepan of water to boil. Remove from heat, add noodles, cover with lid and let soak for 2 minutes. Drain off hot water and cover noodles with room temp water. Cover with lid and let soak for 20 minutes. Drain off water, rinse noodles with cold water, and set colander of noodles aside. Cut noodles with kitchen scissors to shorten to make stir frying easier in the end. Noodles should be soft but not mushy.

Sauce - makes ⅔ cup (or use equivalent a jarred sauce that you like (Double Golden Fish Brand is Good!))

60 grams Kikkoman soy sauce (reduced sodium is best) (¼ cup)

80 grams white sugar (5 ½ T)

40 grams brown sugar (3 T packed)

50 grams tamarind concentrate (2 ½ T) (I use this brand)

Bring to boil in small saucepan, stirring until sugars are dissolved. Cover and set aside. 

Prepare ahead or while noodles are soaking, and set aside:

4 tablespoons canola oil

1 large carrot, julienned

¼ small onion, minced or grated, or roughly chopped (big pieces for flavor but can easily be removed at end)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1-2 cups chopped broccoli florets

2 eggs, scrambled and chopped (optional, I usually leave out)

8 oz super firm tofu cubes prepared as below*) or 4-8 oz of cooked cubed or shredded chicken

How to Prepare Crispy Baked Tofu

Dry block of tofu with paper or kitchen towels. Cut into cubes. (Most blocks come in 16 oz, so you can freeze half of the cubes for a later time: just lay cubes on cookie sheet to freeze and store in a freezer safe ziptop bag.) Whisk together 1 T oil, 1 T cornstarch, 1 T soy sauce, and 1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce or Go-Chu-Jang sauce. Stir 8oz of cubed super firm tofu into sauce. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake on nonstick baking mat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet at 375 for 15 minutes. Set aside until ready to add to recipe. 

Toppings to Garnish When Serving (optional)

large handful freshly chopped cilantro

large handful of chopped or crushed peanuts

lime wedges or lime juice

Final Steps

Add 4 tablespoons of canola oil to deep nonstick skillet (mine is 3.5 quarts) or wok . Heat over medium heat until piece of onion sizzles. Add onion, garlic, and carrot, and any other vegetables and reduce heat to medium low or low (if garlic starts to burn), stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Onions should be tender and carrots and broccoli should be at least half cooked (can spray with water to steam and speed up cooking).

Raise heat to medium and add noodles, sauce, eggs, and tofu/chicken. Stir frequently over medium heat for 3 minutes. Serve immediately. Garnish individual servings with chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts, and a squeeze of lime juice (optional). 

*Optional - increase amount of sauce to serve extra on the side.