01 February, 2011

Sooo Worth The Penance Due In Sweat

On Saturday I decided to treat Babe to a li'l home cooking...

I started bright and early with Mel's recently posted (via Camille Styles via Martha Stewart Living) recipe for Clementine Vanilla Bean Cake...

Makes one 5-by-9-inch loaf

10 clementines
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
2 cups sugar
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan. Zest 4 clementines to yield 1 tablespoon zest. Juice 2 zested clementines and 6 remaining unzested clementines to yield 3/4 cup juice. Cut pith from 2 remaining zested clementines. Slice fruit along membranes to release segments (tutorial on segmenting here) into a bowl; discard membranes and any seeds.

Combine 1/4 cup clementine juice, the cream, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl.

Beat zest, butter, 1 cup sugar, and the vanilla seeds with a mixer on medium speed until combined, about 4 minutes. With machine running, add eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low, and beat flour mixture into butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour.

Fold clementine segments into mixture, and pour into pan. Gently smooth top using an offset spatula.

At this point Babe suggested I stick the pan of batter into the fridge and call it a day rather than risk the inevitable outcome of burnt cake. Undeterred, I snubbed him by NOT giving him the beater to lick and continued on to, as predicted, overcook the cake...

Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Meanwhile, bring remaining 1/2 cup clementine juice and cup sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat, and simmer for 3 minutes.

Remove bread from oven, poke top all over with a skewer, and brush with half the clementine syrup. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool for 15 minutes. Invert pan to remove bread. Let cool completely on wire rack, top side up.

Brush remaining clementine syrup onto sides and again on top of bread. (Bread can be stored, wrapped, at room temperature overnight or refrigerated for up to 5 days.) Ahhh, between us, my sister and a friend, it never had a chance of lasting 5 days...

Later in the evening, I returned for round two and set to work making Housewife Bliss' recently televised recipe for Pasta Cabonara...

2 cups of heavy cream
1 clove of garlic grated or finely chopped
1 dash of pepper
6 slices of bacon cut into bite size pieces

Linguine pasta to serve 4 (she suggests Whole Foods fresh dried pasta)
1 tbsp of butter
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese finely grated

Fill pasta pot full of water and sprinkle with salt, turn on high heat.

Grate cheese, dice garlic and cut bacon.

Add garlic and butter to a sauce pan and cook on low heat until garlic softens.

Add bacon to frying pan and cook on med heat.

Ask the Sous-Chef where she was when you were segmenting Clementines and sounding a lot like Muttly cursing Dick Dastardly...

Add all the cream to the butter and garlic, while adding gradual amounts of grated cheese, keeping the sauce on low heat. Recruit loitering hungry Sous-Chef number two for constant whisking.

Stir the bacon in the frying pan.

Remove bacon from heat, continue to stir the creamy sauce until the cheese is fully melted, then add a dash of pepper.

Strain pasta, add pasta, bacon and sauce to a large serving bowl and serve with crusty Italian bread.

Finish the meal off with a slice of (slightly overcooked but, yummy nonetheless) Clementine Vanilla Bean Cake topped with homemade whipped cream. Annnd, if you don't have room for more than a couple bites like moi, it's even better the next morn with tea...

Kindness of Melissa C Morris and Coryanne Ettiene for inspiring such a fabulous meal. Can I tell you Babe was nearly doing cartwheels for the Pasta Cabonara. My gymnastics performance was performed for dessert...XXOO


  1. I have made that Clementine vanilla bean cake twice and it has won accolades from the hungry men.
    Mel always posts such lovely recipes for treats, drinks and wasp-gastronomy.
    Anything with b a c o n is better...I will make this tonight,

  2. Cream in your Carbonara!!! They'd kick you out of Italy for that crime.

  3. Oh, that looks like a 7 miler meal to me! Yum.

    Hmm, cream but no eggs in the carbonara....we may have to rename it Pasta Summernara.

  4. I've suffered a mini heart attack just reading this!!

  5. yes, cream with pasta, federal crime in Italy, but a passable offence in England.....your hips will surely to the time either way. So pleased that you enjoyed it. I am off to make that yummy cake....looks like pure heaven!

  6. Mmmmmm. Can't wait to make this pasta for my hubs. He used to be in gymnastics in college, so he will be ready to burn up all those calories! Oh, wait, we are old now.

    Have you seen Mel's new recipe today? Hoooooo-weeeeee. Another winner!

  7. have you ever wondered why the recipes states unsalted butter, and then add salt?

  8. Notice that the ingredient list states 1 1/4 cup sugar; check the directions and in the batter 1 cup sugar is used and in the clementine syrup another cup of sugar is used, It is that way in all versions of the recipe. Only noticed because I'm making this right now! Smells heavenly.

    FYI, segmenting Clementines produced lots of less-than-pleasant muttering.

  9. Merci for the heads up on the sugar discprepancy. And yeah, segmenting those li'l buggers was sumthin else...XXOO

  10. I made Mel's clementine cake this weekend as well! Soooo good :-) (And I even cheated and used orange juice instead of juicing all those clementines...)

  11. will try both once i lose the 5 i need to!!! looks amazing.. xx

  12. I need to make that cake! Sounds so yummy!

  13. Love Entertaining Mom's comment, LOL! But yes, they both look h-e-a-v-e-n-l-y.....

  14. all I can say is Yum! bookmarking for when I can enjoy...in the throes of a three day cleanse BPC Cleanse - first time ever and feeling like I'm going to eat my arm at the moment, but hopefully I'll feel great and radiant and back to pasta and desserts in no time. Hope you faring well in this weather. xo tamara