Supper Club (2021-10-01)

Now that I’m back to school, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve had the chance to do a dinner outside of our regularly scheduled program, which goes something like: Taco Tuesday; food that my parents dropped off; Indian Thursday; Cheese, charcuterie and bread on Fridays… After a few weeks of slowly getting used to our new schedule (back to work with a baby), I’m easing my way back into learning and improving my craft by doing more of these dinners where I try new recipes/techniques.

Foie gras, blackberry and truffle (oil)
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Oma’s Upside Down Cake

Growing up, most visits to my grandparents’ place involved tea time (which really just meant snacks for us kids). I have fond memories of this cake, as it made regular appearances at tea time every summer. I suppose it may not really be an upside down cake in the usual sense…Oma always kept the cake in the tray it was baked in, and simply sliced and served each piece upside down. I’m not entirely sure whether it’s possible to invert the whole cake onto a plate, but I wouldn’t want to mess with tradition, anyway (Royce confirms – yes, it is possible). As it turns out, this recipe comes together quite easily and is a fantastic way to use up plums when in season (Italian prune plums, to be specific – I used another variety of plums once and was promptly notified of my blunder). As fate would have it the Katsumi farm has both (Italian prune) plum and hazelnut trees, and both are starting to produce quite generously.

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Homemade Deep’n Delicious Cake

There’s something really nostalgic about having a Deep’n Delicious Cake. I remember as a kid when we used to order takeout for dinner, maybe from pizza hut or some other fast food establishment, and we would specifically look for the meals that came with a Deep ‘n Delicious cake. Nowadays, you can find this in the freeze aisle of every grocery store. I’m not sure if that was the case back then since I didn’t go to the grocery store with my mom, (unless it was Costco).

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Chocolate (Swiss Meringue) Buttercream

There are many versions of buttercream: American, Swiss, French and Italian. There are subtle differences in overall texture, but beyond that each has its own advantages and disadvantages. With similar ingredients like sugar and butter, it comes down to technique and execution. This recipe is for a Swiss (meringue) buttercream. Swiss meringue buttercream is one of the easier, stable buttercream to execute (compared to Italian and French). Compared to American, it is definitely less sweet and has more of a velvety texture. This recipe adds dark chocolate at the end and is used to top my version of a Deep N’ Delicious cake.

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Secret Butternut Mac & Cheese

This meal came about as the intersection of two lines of thought. We wanted to try out the old fashioned (original) macaroni and cheese recipe, as featured on the Netflix series High on the Hog (recommended, by the way!). And, I’d been wanting to try adding butternut squash to macaroni and cheese ever since we ended up with way too many (is there such a thing) squash last fall. Earlier this week we finally got around to trying a mix of the two…we cooked the macaroni in equal parts milk and water (4 cups and 4 cups), then used the leftover cooking liquid (about a litre) to make the sauce with a roux: melted 5 Tbsp (75g) butter and softened some diced garlic and onions in it; added 1/4 cup (34g) flour and cooked it for about a minute, seasoned with salt and paprika; slowly added the reserved cooking liquid (we were able to use all the liquid from cooking the pasta, so the water and milk didn’t have to go to waste) and brought everything to a boil; added about 2 cups (300g) cubed butternut squash and let simmer for about 45 minutes. After that we added some cheese (shredded, mixed cheddar, about 1 cup) and stirred to combine with the macaroni. We added hot dogs (obviously), divided it into 3 baking dishes (good portions for 2 people), and topped with breadcrumbs and extra cheese before baking (and freezing for later).

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