Archive for March, 2012

Sweet on grandmothers

When it comes to sweets, even the most adventurous chefs seem to have soft spots for their grandmothers’ homey favorites. When Josh Moore, the executive chef at upscale Italian restaurant Volare (volare-restaurant.com) in Louisville, Kentucky, was tapped to prepare the dessert course at a recent taping of the TV cooking show “Secrets of Louisville Chefs Live,” he decided on his grandmother’s recipe for Kentucky Jam Cake.

“It’s very simple,” he told the studio audience. “Mix the wet ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients. Then combine them.” Moore’s grandmother added applesauce for moistness. She also made a decadent caramel frosting. As Moore beat together the butter, sugar, and cream in a stand mixer, it was all I could do not to stand up and ask if I could lick the beaters.

I did, however, have a chance to sample the cake, which is is firm but moist, with a pleasing texture from the chopped nuts. It stands up well to the rich caramel frosting.

The live episodes of “Secrets” are filmed at the Kitchen Theater at Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies. Culinary arts students hone their skills at Winston’s Restaurant, a fine dining destination on campus. For information on how to obtain tickets to a live taping, see www.newlocal.tv; to learn more about Winston’s, see www.sullivan.edu/winstons.

Look no farther for Moore’s grandma’s cake!

KENTUCKY JAM CAKE

1 1/2 cups black raspberry jam
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup applesauce
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups chopped black walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl by hand until blended. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into a buttered Bundt cake pan or layer pans and bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool and unmold.

CARAMEL FROSTING

1/2 pound unsalted butter
3 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 cups powdered sugar

Cook butter, brown sugar, and cream until it comes to a boil. Let boil for 2 minutes. Put in mixer, add powdered sugar, and stir with paddle attachment until incorporated. Spread hot frosting over cake.

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19

03 2012

What to Eat at the Airport: ATL (Atlanta Hartsfield International)

Back in November, we described how the fantastic tamales at Pappasito’s Cantina had helped to salvage an otherwise tedious delay at the Dallas Fort Worth airport. Since then, we’ve been keeping an eye out for local food specialties to break the monotony of the fairly generic airport experience and at least glean a little flavor of a place that we’re only passing through. We had practically written off Atlanta airport where the nice little food court in Terminal B had a fairly predictable line-up of Sbarro pizza, Popeye’s Fried Chicken & Biscuits, Seattle’s Best Coffee, and even sandwiches from Boston-based Au Bon Pain. But, it pays not to give up too quickly. Away from the food court area, we discovered Café Intermezzo, a coffee shop modeled on those in Germany and Austria. It was first established in the Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody in 1979 and also has an outlet in the Brookwood neighborhood of Atlanta and another downtown. Since December 2009, it has shared space with Buckhead Books in Terminal B at ATL.

The cafe has a full menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, and pastas–and an irresistible selection of European-style cakes and tortes that beckon to harried travelers from a well-lighted display case. Not knowing that one slice would be more than enough for two, we ordered a Golden Chocolate Torte (three layers of buttery golden cake with chocolate butter cream and dark chocolate shavings) and an aptly named Heavenly Lemon Torte (lemon cake and lemon cream cheese icing). Both had light golden cake that was not overly sweet, and both frostings were intense yet fairly light. (Good thing, since the slices were about six inches high.) Our server Tangi also extolled the virtues of the Red Velvet Torte with fresh strawberries and the Strawberry Vanilla Bean Mousse Torte. We’re almost looking forward to passing through Atlanta again.

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03 2012