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Spanish Bar Cakes

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Faye 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Sunday, October 31, 2004 8:11 PM
  Subject: Request Recipe

  Please find the recipe for Jane Parker Spanish Bar cakes that 
  were sold at A&P grocery stores in the 1960s.  These cakes were 
  a delightful treat.



Hello Levon,

See below.


  A & P Spanish Bar Cakes
  This makes one 9 x 13-inch cake. It can be cut into bars by 
  running a fork lengthwise across the icing to make it like 
  the A & P Spanish Bar Cakes.

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan.

  Dry ingredients
  2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  1 teaspoon baking soda
  1 teaspoon baking powder
  1/2 teaspoon salt
  2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1/4 teaspoon ginger
  1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  Sift the above ingredients together and set aside.

  Next ingredients
  1/2 cup butter
  1/4 cup solid shortening
  1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  2 large eggs, beaten
  1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1 cup chunky applesauce
  1 cup plump raisins (soak the raisins in warm water to plump them
       up while mixing the other ingredients-drain before adding to batter)
  1/2 cup rough cut toasted walnuts

  Cream the butter, shortening together, add eggs and beat well. 
  Turn mixer on low speed and add vanilla extract and applesauce. 
  Add raisins and walnuts-keeping the mixer at low speed start 
  adding the dry ingredients. DO NOT over-mix. Just make sure the 
  flour is all in, then stop mixing. Pour into the pan and bake in 
  the middle of the oven for 45 minutes or until the center tests done.

  Cream Cheese Frosting
  8 ounces cream cheese softened
  4 tablespoons butter
  2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  1/3 cup milk
  1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  Beat well, adding more milk or confectioners' sugar to make it 
  smooth and easy to spread. 

Brik Pastry

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Pat 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2004 1:43 PM
  Subject: Brick Pastry

  Hi Uncle Phaedrus . . . Could you give me directions for making 
  brick pastry please . . . thanks!


Hello Pat,

The actual pastry itself is called "warka". Making this pastry is very difficult. Most chefs say that if you can't buy it ready-made, use phyllo or spring roll wrappers instead. If you feel up to the task, though, see below for a recipe.


  Serves 6-8
  300g strong white bread flour 
  3 teaspoons sunflower or olive oil 
  3 teaspoons wine or malt vinegar 
  300ml tepid water, plus 2 tablespoons 

  'Warka' is the crisp, paper-thin pastry from North Africa that 
  is used to make the famous Tunisian 'briks' (stuffed parcels) 
  or the classic Moroccan 'bisteeya' (sweet, spiced pigeon pie). 
  A few tips on making Warka:

   Good flour is important. 

   The warka dough must sit in the fridge for 45 minutes for the 
   gluten in the flour to develop. 

   Making warka is very messy.

   The pan that the sheets of warka are made on is as important 
   as the dough itself. In Morocco they use what looks like an 
   upside-down tray or paella pan made of copper. In this country 
   you will have to be resourceful. A non-stick frying pan that 
   just fits snugly on top of a saucepan is ideal. At home we put 
   a non-stick pan on top of the saucepan and tape both handles 
   together to stop them moving about. If the surface is not 
   non-stick then it must first be cleaned very well and lightly 

  Sift the flour into a large bowl. Mix the oil, vinegar and the 
  300ml water together in a jug. Slowly start beating the liquid 
  into the flour (a third at a time) using your fingers. Try to 
  beat out the lumps as they appear. Once all the water in the jug 
  is incorporated, beat well with your fingertips for 3 minutes 
  (as if whisking egg whites). Relax in the fridge, covered, for 
  about 45 minutes. 

  While the warka dough is resting, get your warka pan ready. 
  Fill your saucepan with water to just over half-full and bring 
  to the boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer, and cover with the warka 
  pan. Never let the water run dry. 

  Remove the dough from the fridge and beat in the additional 
  2 tablespoons water. The dough should look glossy and smooth. 
  Wash and dry your hands, set a large plate beside you with 
  four pieces of greaseproof paper on top. Briefly beat the warka 
  one more time (this will momentarily strengthen the gluten and 
  make it easier to handle). Pull off a piece of dough the size 
  of a golf ball in your hand, and take a little time to get the 
  feel of controlling it in the palm of your hand. Dab the dough 
  on to the hot warka pan and keep dabbing until you have formed 
  a complete circle with no gaps, of about 25cm in diameter. With 
  the other hand, peel off the pastry and place on a plate in between 
  the paper. There is enough dough for the first two or three sheets 
  to be testers. Continue until you have eight proper sheets. Every 
  now and then give your arm a rest before beating the warka dough 
  and picking up a fresh piece. You can make warka a few hours in 
  advance, but be sure to wrap the plate in clingfilm, as it can 
  dry out and crack. The very best of luck!

  This recipe can be found in 'Moro - The Cookbook' by Sam and 
  Sam Clark, published by Ebury Press, ISBN: 0-09-187483-1, 25.00 

Shallot Vinaigrette

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Linda" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2004 4:35 PM
Subject: Salad Dressng

> Rockfish Grill makes a shallot vinaigrette any help would be 
> appreciated.

Hello Linda,

Sorry, the Rockfish Grill recipe doesn't appear to be on the web. Take a look at the recipes below.


Shallot vinaigrette:

2/3 cup (4 glugs) extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
3 tablespoons (3 splashes) red wine vinegar
Coarse salt and black pepper

For the vinaigrette: Pour olive oil into a microwave safe dish. 
Add shallots to oil and place oil in microwave. Heat oil and 
shallots for 30 seconds on high. Remove from microwave and let 
stand 5 minutes. (Oil and shallots may be heated over low heat 
on the stovetop in a small pan for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from 
heat and let stand until cool.) Reserve 1/3 of a cup of the 
shallot oil for the crostini. Pour oil and shallots in a bowl 
and whisk in 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar.
Shallot Vinaigrette

1/2 cup chopped shallots
6 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar*
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
*Also known as sushi vinegar; available at Asian markets and 
in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets.

Whisk shallots, rice vinegar and Dijon mustard in small bowl 
to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with 
salt and pepper.

Per tablespoon: calories, 22; total fat, 2 g; saturated fat, 0.5 g;
cholesterol, 0

Makes 3/4 cup.

Bon Appétit
April 1998
Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette

1  cup shallot, about 8, peeled
4  cloves garlic, peeled
3/4  cup olive oil
1/4  cup balsamic vinegar
1  tablespoon soy sauce
1  tablespoon Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place shallots and garlic in medium 
glass baking dish. Add 1/2 cup oil and toss to coat. Cover with 
foil and bake until shallots and garlic are tender and golden, 
stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Cool.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots and garlic to processor; 
reserve oil in baking dish. Puree shallots and garlic until smooth. 
Transfer puree to heavy medium skillet. Add remaining 1/4 cup olive 
oil and stir over medium heat until liquid evaporates and mixture 
is brown, about 3 minutes. Return mixture to processor. Add vinegar, 
soy sauce, dijon mustard and oil reserved from baking shallots and 
garlic; process until well blended. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper. (can be prepared 1 day ahead. 
Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours before 

World's Best Cookies

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Colleen 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 7:42 AM
  Subject: World's Best Cookie Recipe

  Dear Phaedrus,
  In the 1980's I lived in Chgo and one of the local news stations 
  had Mr. Food demonstrate recipes.  He did the "World's Greatest 
  Cookie" and it was a choc chip with nuts and oats.  Delicious!  
  I have bought Mr. Food's cookie book but that recipe was not in it.  
  Can you help?


Hi Colleen,

See below.


  World's  Best  Cookie-Chocolate  Chip  Oatmeal

   Ingredients : 
   3 c. sifted flour
   5 tsp. soda
   1 tsp. salt
   2 c. shortening
   1 1/2 c. brown sugar
   1 1/2 c. white sugar
   4 eggs, unbeaten
   2 tsp. hot water
   4 c. oatmeal
   2 tsp. vanilla
   3 c. chocolate chips
   1 1/2 c. chopped nuts

   Preparation : 
     Sift flour, measure, add soda, salt and sift.  Cream shortening
     until fluffy.  Add sugars, cream well.  Beat in eggs, add hot 
     water, and sifted ingredients.  Mix well.  Add oatmeal, chocolate 
     chips and nuts, if desired, and vanilla.  Drop by spoonfuls onto 
     greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.  
     For a healthier cookie, use Promise oleo, 2 egg whites and 2 whole 
     eggs and raisins in place of chocolate chips.    


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Daniel 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Monday, November 01, 2004 9:17 PM
  Subject: what is the difference between frangipane & almond cream?

  And what is it that gives each one of these items structure?

Hello Daniel,

After checking dozens of websites and the few print references that I have, here's the gist:

The terms "almond cream" , "marzipan cream", and "frangipane" are used interchangeably as names for almond flavored creams used for filling pastries. There is no consensus. However, a few references say that "frangipane" is almond cream with a little pastry cream added. This is by no means a widely accepted view, but if I were asked the difference between the two on a cooking school examination, that's what I would say.

"Frangipane" has come to be not only applied to the almond cream itself, but to some pastries made with almond cream ,including Italian "frangipane", which is almond cream mixed with macaroons to form a cake.

As I say, there is no consensus of opinion. Even "The Oxford Companion to Food" cannot resolve the issue.



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