Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Recipe: Lemon Passion Cake -- Macaroni Grill

So, I've been searching for the recipe for Lemon Passion Cake from Macaroni Grill. I found the TSR version (Top Secret Recipes) and I'd give it a 6 out of 10. It's yummy, but seems sweeter than the real deal. I don't remember having a sugar rush hit so fast and furiously at the restaurant...though I do usually share mine with Randy, and then take half of it home with me.

***News Flash***24 hours later, having spent the day in the fridge, this cake jumps up to 8 out of 10. Yummy enough that I'd definitely make it again. In fact, I was going to take it up to my folks to share, but it's rapidly disappearing around here. It must be a hit.

This cake is similar to Tres Leche cakes. Here are some pics and the recipe for your viewing enjoyment:



No way is that all going to sink in....

Hey! It sank in!


Spreading with lemon mousse...



Et voila! If only I had a mint leave and could find my lemon zester... The whip cream lost its oomph in the fridge, but it was yummy.

The taste testers....

Yummy but sweet and Justin thought the cake tasted like corn bread. It doesn't. But it was an interesting critique.


Recipe:

Top Secret Recipes® version of Romano's Macaroni Grill® Lemon Passion
By Todd Wilbur

Menu Description: "Citrus cake soaked in a sweet cream, topped with lemon mousse and finished off with our fresh Italian whipped cream and caramel."

When creating this delicious dessert, chefs at Romano's must have been thinking about the Tres Leches Cake that is popular throughout Latin America. The traditional Mexican recipe describes a dense vanilla cake that is soaked with three types of milk: Whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk. This creates a very moist and rich dessert that is an excellent finish to pretty much any meal. Romano's twist on the traditional favorite is the addition of citrus juices to the cake, a creamier soaking liquid, and a tangy lemon topping. I first tried recreating the cake with boxed mixes, but they all produce cakes that are much too light and moist, and therefore turn to mush when soaked in the sweet liquid. The final solution is a scratch cake recipe that yields denser, yet still moist citrus cake that holds up to the inevitable drenching. Still, you will want to eat this dessert with in a day or two of the soaking or it may start to get all gooey on you. And be sure to store any leftovers in the fridge.

CAKE


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice


LEMON MOUSSE TOPPING

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 drop yellow food coloring
1/3 cup heavy cream

SWEET CREAM

1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk


WHIPPED CREAM

1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


GARNISH

Caramel
Mint leaves
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Sift together the flour and baking powder into a medium bowl. In a separate larger bowl, beat together softened butter and sugar for 1 minute. Add eggs and beat until mixture is a light yellow color. Mix in vanilla and juices.

3. Combine flour with wet mixture a little at a time while beating until batter is smooth. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl while mixing. Pour this batter into a greased 9x9-inch baking pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top begins to brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool.

4. As your cake is baking make the lemon mousse topping by beating the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer in a medium bowl until smooth. Add powdered sugar a little at a time while blending with the electric mixer on low speed. When all of the sugar is incorporated, add lemon juice and a drop of food coloring. In a separate bowl, beat 1/3 cup heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold this whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until completely combined, then cover and chill.

5. Make sweet cream by combining half-and-half with sweetened condensed milk in a 4-cup measuring cup with a spout or a small pitcher. Cover and chill this as well.

6. Make whipped cream by combining 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Cover and park this in the chiller, too.

7. When the cake is completely cool, slice it down the middle once, then across twice, creating 6 rectangular slices. Run a knife along the edges of the cake as well. Poke holes in the top of each slice of cake with a fork - one poke in the center of each piece will do the trick.
8. Pour the sweet cream mixture over the cake while its still in the baking pan. Frost the cake with the lemon mousse. Serve each slice on a plate that has been drizzled with caramel. Top each slice with whipped cream and a garnish of a couple mint leaves stuck into the whipped cream.

Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Me n' Jordy

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Kids are too funny

This is a great video by Jairen.


video

Knitting Progress


The Shalom Cardigan...I've hit a snag with the lower half....I don't like how the leaf pattern is coming out...so I'll have to get creative when I'm feeling more creative.


The Cabled Baby vest. It's turning out cute except seems to be more wide that it should be. Maybe I'm a wide knitter?


The Beaded Cami (Camisole, for skunkle Zeke). Again...WIDE. The pleats will help, but now I've taken then off the needles...I'm thinking of making pleats the old fashioned way, sewing style. Then I still need to knit the back of the top. It's pretty material though.


The Juliet Cardigan. Happily, seems to be coming along as it ought to...surprise, surprise. Which makes me think it must not just be me and my knitting.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Sculpting Progress





It's nice to finish some projects I've been working on.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Progress....


The Stripey Sock....this yarn creates stripes as you use it. Fun, huh? And what wild stripes they are! I have to be careful now, because my last sock with this pattern was huge. Maybe just another stripe and I'll start closing it off.



A Rugged something or other...it's a gift so I have to be mysterious here...



This will one day be a cardigan. Can you believe it?


The one day to be Beaded Cami. I like the lace design on the bottom. Now it's just a bunch of stockinette stitch...which can get boring, but it's great for movies (where lace is not).


And Vanessa is coming along...She's all baked, sanded, and patiently awaits her hands and feet. And hair, and wings, and clothes....we'll get there. She's not getting cold though...it's plenty warm in these parts. They are coming to fix the a/c tomorrow! The boys have been melting up in their loft room.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cardigan finished...baby not....



Hmph.....well, it wasn't supposed to fit me when I was pregnant, so all I can say is anyone trying to make this cardigan....use the smallest size! I picked my normal size and it was huge, but still...not bad for a first real project. I actually might knit this one again sometime, once I learn how to alter patterns better and have a better idea for how big something might turn out.

So, this is me 6 months pregnant. 3 to go. Phew....I need to take this thing off. Is it hot everywhere these days, or is it just me?

Well, that's it...no real news. Happily I'm doing better these days, and not on bed rest so much. See how happy this makes me? Okay...off to knit something else I for sure can't wear while I'm pregnant. (I don't have the patience to knit something that will only last a couple more months.)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A mom's best friend...& some cool photos (photos first)





Just some cool photos I found. The one at the top is a 12 yr old Afghan girl. It was on the cover of National Geographic. When I first say it, the lady at Albertson's said that her eyes were amazing, but that actually she had some disease that made them that way. Well, that was inaccurate apparently, because this same gal is now a mother of 3. So I thought that was cool. Neat eyes just because God gave them to her.

This is the best thing for a pregnant lady...I'm living proof. I've had much less pain since wearing this. Would have been nice to know for the other 5 pregnancies, but better late than never.

Some songs don't really make much sense, but they sure are fun. This one is from Dumb & Dumber. Crash Test Dummies.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

3 hours later....


I gave the baby some poutier lips and more of a button nose. That's better. I also did its ears, and those take a while. Sculpting is slow going, but the results fascinate me. Maybe I'll get to the legs tomorrow, but one of the arms is giving me some grief, and those hands will take a while to detail, but it sure is fun.



Sculpting is a lot like drawing in that you "rough-in" the body first. You go for basic shapes and the general idea, then move on to detailing. At this point, only the head is detailed, and one arm more completed than the other. If you detail everything as you go, you may find out the shapes are all wrong, and waste hours of work. Isn't that a cute little pose?



Some of the latest endeavors. The poor large baby head and fairy face have been waiting here forever, but the sleepy baby is brand new--my latest wip (Work in Progress).

Here's a better shot of the baby. I think I'll rework him a bit though.


The big sock. It's too big for my foot, so I don't know if I'll knit another or not. I'm hoping the stripey sock fits better.

Aren't those fun colors?

And lastly, the progress on the eyelet chemise sweater. The skirt part is done, now I'll be working on the top of it. Not that it's a skirt...it just has a empire waist on it, and this is the...well, below the boobs part. (Can I make it any more clear?) =)


Saturday is a Special Day...



Saturday I get to check off another week of keeping this baby inside, growing safe and sound. Today I completed week 23. I was thinking it probably helps knowing this is my last baby...because I still have another 13 weeks to go to be in the clear for the most part.

I have to admit, I am making good use of the downtime, and sometimes outright enjoying it. I've read a lot, knitted a lot, and usually have a great book going on my iPod. It also makes time for lots of great insights about life in general.

The kids all went swimming for the end of school party yesterday, and it was a little sad to miss that. But I was able to go out and help celebrate our 8 yr old's birthday at Chuck E Cheese's. Heck, I even brought my knitting along. Check out this cutie:


Yeah...I forgot my camera. But at least they have the picture drawer there, so I got shots of all the kids, but Steph (no surprise there).

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Baby vest...this is so cute!



I've been looking for a good baby project, and isn't this the cutest??? I love this little vest, and what's more, the pattern and instructions are online here. What a gem!

Other news...I am now 22 weeks along, which incidentally is the age of the youngest preemie to survive--at least according to one website. Not that I'm planning on letting this guy out a moment too soon, but with all my contraction trouble and hospital stays...I did find comfort in that random tidbit.

It is very strange to have much of each week simply reduced to checking off a number (like Week 22!), and THAT is the week's big accomplishment. But, I know it means a lot to Jordan, the little kicker inside me. =) It has been good to slow down and do a lot of journaling and pondering life in general. Somehow my other children have become that more precious.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Glad to have a girl...

Just in from San Francisco...







Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Wilmot Clan


So, these are my Dad's children, photo taken at his funeral. I'm the pregnant one in the while, then came Zeke, the handsome guy in the back row middle. Then Lani, my sis in red (who was also just barely pregnant at the time (congrats!) . Next came Nick, far left back row, John, far right back row, and last, Megan, far left front row. That's the Wilmot Clan.

Here is Megan with her son, my nephew, Talon. He is so cute and fun to play with!

It's weird how you are all kids together...and then you grow up into these big adults. It just is.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Yea! My Yarn Order is Here!



Wow--that bag of 10 is for a sweater I'm going to make, minus the tummy showing. (Stretch marks just aren't sexy!) Have to admit all those balls are a bit daunting, but the yarn feels great, so it should be fun. The colorful kind is Felici Patina, and with make some funky, self-striping socks. I grabbed a color chart as well, because it was crazy trying to decipher what was what on the website. Well, off to cast-on I go.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

More Food Stuff...

Do you ever shop for a bunch of recipes, come home with a ton of groceries, get them all put away, and then wonder what's for dinner? Or "What was I going to make again?" I didn't want that to happen, so I armed myself with my camera. Pictures say a lot to me!


We did the Eggplant Parmesan...the kids loved it. No, we didn't add pickles. (how'd they get in this photo?)



This was for some Raspberry muffins from Marie's recipes I mentioned last post. Very tasty.


This was the best for coming home ready with a snack. Fuji apples are my favorite, and this caramel is the best!


We did a whole oven-fried tofu meal with lots of goodies from Marie. The family all like this one as well. I didn't know which Tony seasoning to buy, so we grabbed both. That's an English Cucumber up front.


And for a yummy smoothie.

Hmmm....I need to head to the kitchen find some more goodies. I think we have the caramel...but not apples. How did I manage that with the kids? Hiding the caramel, of course. Should have hid me some apples too! =)