Cooks Corner

Bake a cake that’s elegantly homemade

Super-Light Lemon Coffee Cake may take longer to bake if you’re not using a convection oven.
Super-Light Lemon Coffee Cake may take longer to bake if you’re not using a convection oven.

I’ve been waiting for the English translation to become available for Dutch author Yvette van Boven’s Home Baked (Abrams, $40), and finally last week it hit bookstores.

I became a fan of her work with Home Made, Home Made Summer and Home Made Winter. All are part cookbook, part travelogue and part art book, with lots of photographs and whimsical drawings, and a delightful style that reflects her eclectic life.

She has been a restaurateur in Amsterdam, lived in Ireland and Paris, and traveled often all over Europe, yet embraces the joy of making food that is simple and traditional but fresh, with ingredients that emphasize homemade but are beautifully presented.

Her take on a lemon poppyseed cake is a case in point — it has the flavors of your grandmother’s lemon poppyseed poundcake, but the texture is airier, the lemon more pronounced, and yet it is made with the simplest of ingredients.

There are so many wonderful sweet and savory recipes, all with distinctive touches, such as cinnamon rolls made with sweet potatoes and snap cookies made with almonds and five-spice powder. My next party, I’m going to make her chili made with black and kidney beans and chorizo and corn, spooned into canning jars and topped with cornbread batter you bake and serve.

One note: van Boven does say in the introduction to the book that she tests using a convection oven, but you have to be a careful reader to know that, and not everyone will be comfortable with her note that, “Your oven may take longer or shorter than I have indicated.”

I tested this recipe in a regular oven and my cake did not test done until a full 12 minutes extra in baking time

Eclectic find

Pasta Vino, in a strip mall in North Bay Village that has seen a lot of restaurants come and go, is not what you’d expect. In addition to Italian specialties and Neapolitan-style pizzas, there’s a hint of French, a bit of Japanese, and a definite nod to the raw with a popular salmon tartare.

Chef Yiannis Divert shared the recipe with us for his seafood linguine. You can find Pasta Vino and other restaurants on a recent Thrillist list of most underrated restaurants in Miami.

Think pink

Barry’s Bootcamp’s Fuel Bar in Miami Beach is donating 50 percent of the proceeds from its $10 pink workout shake to the Save the Tatas organization this month.

You can make the shake at home with the recipe here, and make your own donation in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Linda Cicero: LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com, @TasteMemories. Write to Cook’s Corner at Food, Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172.

Save the Tatas Shake

From Barry’s Bootcamp

1 cup almond milk

6 strawberries

1/2 banana

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pink crystal salt

1 tablespoon agave

1 1/2 tablespoons almond butter

Combine ingredients in a blender and puree.

Per serving: 298 calories (46 percent from fat), 16 g fat (1.7 g saturated, 7.8 g monounsaturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 7.3 g protein, 35.6 g carbohydrates, 8.6 g fiber, 2533 mg sodium

Yield: 1 serving

Super-Light Lemon Coffee Cake

From “Home Baked” by Yvette van Boven (Abrams, $40)

1 3/4 cups butter, at room temperature

Scant 1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

4 egg whites

Juice of 2 lemons

About 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Make the cake: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place the rack just below the center of the oven. Grease a 10-inch round cake pan or a 1 1/2-quart loaf pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit. Grease the parchment as well.

Beat the butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until the mixture is creamy and soft. One by one, beat in the eggs and continue beating until they’re fully incorporated. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and poppy seeds and mix thoroughly.

Combine the flour with the baking powder and a pinch of salt. Sift the mixture over the bowl with the batter and fold it in until it’s nice and smooth.

In a perfectly clean bowl, using a clean whisk, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. (They have the right stiffness if you can turn the bowl upside down without dropping the egg whites on the floor). Carefully fold one portion of the egg whites into the batter. After that has been incorporated you can fold in the rest. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake the cake for about 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then turn it out onto a rack to cool further.

Make the glaze: Pour the lemon juice into a bowl and add the sugar, stirring until the glaze more or less has the consistency of thin yogurt. Pour the glaze over the cake. Allow the glaze to dry for 1 hour before cutting the cake.

Per serving: 440 calories (57 percent from fat), 28.4 g fat (17.4 g saturated, 7.3 g monounsaturated), 102 mg cholesterol, 4.6 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 286 mg sodium

Yield: 12 servings

Pasta Vino’s Seafood Linguine

From chef Yiannis Devert

4 garlic cloves

1/4 pound calamari

1/3 pound shrimp

8 mussels

12 baby clams

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup white wine, divided

1 bunch fresh thyme

Pinch (or to taste) crushed red pepper

4 ounces (cooked weight) linguine, cooked al dente

2 scallions, green part only, sliced thin

2 tablespoons butter

2 bunches finely chopped Italian parsley

Slice the garlic cloves thinly. Rinse the calamari and slice into rings and tentacles. Rinse, peel and clean shrimp. Scrub the mussels and clams.

Place the oil in a deep large skillet over medium heat and add the garlic, stirring as it colors lightly. Add the calamari and shrimp and sauté, stirring, just until shrimp start to turn color. Splash in half the wine, stir, then add the thyme. Add the mussels, clams and red pepper to the pot, along with the remaining wine. As soon as the clams and mussels open, add the linguine and scallions. Toss and mix for 2 minutes. Add the butter and parsley, remove from stove and let stand, covered, for 1 minute, to allow the butter to melt. Toss and serve.

Per serving: 1,205 calories (43 percent from fat), 57.6 g fat (19.8 g saturated, 27 g monounsaturated), 510 mg cholesterol, 68 g protein, 62.6 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 2,111 mg sodium

Yield: 1 generous serving

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