Lemon Honey Triple-Layer Cake
Start to finish: 1 hour and 20 minutes (40 minutes active), plus cooling. Serves 12.
For the cake:
AP Photo - - Lemon Honey Triple-Layer Cake
AP Photo - - Raspberry Lemon Trifles
AP Photo - - Orange Pistachio and Goat Cheese Crusted Pork Chops
AP Photo - - Griddled Corncakes with Cinnamon Honey Yogurt
2 cups sugar
1 cup honey
Zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 cups ginger ale
For the filling:
1 cup water
1 bag Earl Grey tea
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 eggs yolks (reserve the whites for the frosting)
2 tablespoons butter
For the honey meringue frosting:
1/2 cup honey
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the sugared flowers:
1 egg white
Pinch of salt
Edible flowers or petals
Heat the oven to 325 F. Coat three 9-inch cake pans with baking spray, then line the bottom of each with a round of parchment paper.
To make the cakes, in a large bowl use an electric mixer to combine the sugar, honey, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and salt. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the butter and beat again.
In another bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder.
With the mixer on, beat the ginger ale and flour into the honey-sugar mixture in 2 additions, alternating. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
To make the filling, in a small saucepan over medium-high, combine the water, tea bag, lemon juice and honey. Bing to a simmer then remove from the heat and steep for 3 minutes. Discard the tea bag.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the 3 egg yolks. While whisking, add a small amount of the hot lemon water to the egg yolks. Continue to whisk while adding small amounts of the liquid until half the lemon water is incorporated. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan and whisk to combine. Continue to cook until the mixture returns to a simmer and thickens. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate until cold.
Once cakes and filling have cooled, assemble the layers.
Use a large, serrated knife to carefully slice the top dome off each layer horizontally to create 3 level layers of cake. Be sure to remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cakes. Place one layer of cake on a serving platter, then spread half of the filling over the cake. Add a second layer and repeat with the filling. Top with the third layer of cake, overturning the final layer so the bottom is up. Set aside.
To make the meringue, in a small saucepan over medium, heat the honey until simmering.
In a large bowl use an electric mixer to beat the 4 egg whites and the cream of tartar until very foamy. Slowly add the hot honey while continuing to beat. Continue to beat the whites until they form stiff, glossy peaks. Frost the cake with the meringue, swirling it with the back of a spoon.
To sugar the flowers, in a small bowl beat the egg white and salt until frothy. Using a small, clean paintbrush, paint the flowers with the egg white. Sprinkle with sugar. Decorate the cake with the flowers.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 679 calories; 255 calories from fat (38 percent of total calories); 29 g fat (17 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 226 mg cholesterol; 100 g carbohydrate; 10 g protein; 1 g fiber; 325 mg sodium.
Raspberry Lemon Trifles
Start to finish: 30 minutes. Serves 6.
Half (about 7 ounces) of a store-bought angel food cake
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
10-ounce jar lemon curd (3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 pint fresh raspberries (2 cups)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Fresh mint sprigs, to garnish
Using a wet serrated knife, cut the angel food cake into 3/4-inch cubes. Set aside.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form.
In a small bowl, stir together the lemon curd and orange juice.
In another small bowl, toss the raspberries with the granulated sugar. Slightly crush the raspberries to release a bit of the juice.
To assemble the trifles, divide the cake cubes, whipped cream, lemon curd and raspberries evenly, layering them (starting with the cake cubes on the bottom) in 6 large glass goblets or tall sundae glasses. They can be refrigerated for up to 6 hours.
Garnish with mint just before serving.
Orange Pistachio and Goat Cheese Crusted Pork Chops
Start to finish: 45 minutes. Serves 4.
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
4 ounce log soft goat cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Four 6-ounce bone-in or boneless pork chops
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the oven to 375 F.
In a small bowl, combine the orange zest and juice, the pistachios, goat cheese, allspice, salt and pepper.
Arrange the pork chops in a small metal roasting pan. Spread a quarter of the pistachio mixture over the top of each chop. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chops reach 155 F at the thickest part. Transfer the pork chops to a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm while preparing the sauce.
Place the pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. In a small glass, mix the orange juice and the cornstarch, then add to the pan, stirring until thickened. Strain the sauce through a mesh strainer, if desired. Adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper. Serve the sauce with the pork chops.
Griddled Corncakes with Cinnamon Honey Yogurt
Start to finish: 30 minutes. Serves 6.
3/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups skim milk
1-1/4 cups plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, plus more for the griddle
4 egg whites
1/4 cup honey, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, both flours, baking powder, sugar and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, 1/4 cup of the yogurt and the oil. Add the dry ingredients and stir until blended.
In another medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Lightly oil a large heavy nonstick skillet or griddle. Heat the skillet or grill over medium. Working in batches, use about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake to make 12 pancakes. Cook until browned and puffed, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.
Meanwhile, to make the topping, in a small bowl, whisk together the honey, cinnamon and remaining 1 cup of yogurt. Serve the pancakes with the yogurt topping spooned on top.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 269 calories; 50 calories from fat (19 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 2 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrate; 10 g protein; 3 g fiber; 344 mg sodium.