Sansa Stark’s lemon cakes
If you’re not watching HBO’s Game of Thrones, you’re missing out. My favorite series, second only to Lord of the Rings, it has everything you never knew you wanted in a show—hot men, gorgeous costumes, medieval political intrigue, tons of kickass female characters, and dragons. DRAGONS!
In the books, Sansa Stark is very partial to lemon cakes. Sansa’s a really divisive character, but I love her. People’s usual issue with her is that she’s introduced as a spoiled, somewhat bratty teenager- but the fact is, after season/book 1, Sansa does NOT have a good life. Baby girl deserves some dessert.
These were the dessert for a Game of Thrones dinner I made for my sister’s going away. The proportions for the cake recipe are a little crazy since I cut my source recipe in thirds—if you want to, add a tiny bit extra of each ingredient to make just enough for eight servings. The cakes are a simple base to showcase the tart, citrusy glaze.
Sansa’s Lemon Cakes
(makes 7-8 small cakes)
(adapted from a classic recipe for yellow cake)
-2/3 stick (5 1/3 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-5/6 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/8 tsp baking soda
-1/8 tsp salt
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-1/4 tsp vanilla or orange extract
-1 egg, at room temperature
-2 tsp fresh lemon zest
-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon)
-1/3 cup milk (whole is best)
(adapted from Good Housekeeping)
-1/8 cup water
-1/8 cup granulated sugar
-1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
-1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon)
-2 tsp cornstarch or all-purpose flour (to thicken)
-1/2 tbsp butter
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare baking dishes— you can either use eight 2”-diameter ramekins or eight cups of a muffin pan. Spray with baking spray or use butter.
- In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In medium bowl, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes by hand or electric mixer. Beat in vanilla or orange extract, lemon juice, and zest. Add the egg and whisk until just smooth.
- Alternately add flour mixture and milk, stirring until just combined. Start and end with the flour mixture.
- Taste the batter and add more lemon juice, if needed. Scoop into prepared baking dishes or muffin cups (about two large spoonfuls each should do it). Bake in the middle of the oven for 16-18 minutes, or until the cakes’ center are slightly puffed and no longer appear wet, or a toothpick comes out clean. Remove and let cool slightly.
- While cakes are in the oven, prepare the glaze. In 1-quart saucepan, combine water, sugar, lemon zest and juice, cornstarch or flour, and salt.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until glaze becomes thick and comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter. Let cool at room temperature until cakes are done. Invert the warm lemon cakes onto serving plates, spoon the glaze over, and enjoy!
11:14 pm • 7 February 2013 • 35 notes • View comments
Early Holiday Presents… a.k.a. I’ll take any excuse to do math!
I’m sitting here debating whether or not get myself the early holiday gift of a Nespresso single-serve espresso machine. Today, and today only (hey y’all), it’s on sale at Sur La Table’s website, for $98 with free shipping… and it looks like this.
Cute, right? There’s just a lot to consider. A), ninety-eight dollars is still a lot of money. B), I love coffee, but am one of those horrible people who skips breakfast in favor of sleep (and consequently don’t even drink coffee most weekdays). C), an espresso machine seems like an obnoxiously pricey—and showy—thing to get, for someone unsure if they’ll be gainfully employed after graduating this May. D), it also has a significant ongoing cost- espresso for the machine is sold in prohibitively expensive little pods called Nespresso capsules.
I was in France this summer and, like every annoying American undergrad who goes abroad, spent all three weeks pretending I was French. There was a lot of sitting at outdoor cafes drinking espresso and eating croissants. I was even inspired enough to buy this very cute (sale-priced) set of espresso cups.
Clearly, I had high expectations of becoming an at-home espresso drinker… until getting back to the States and returning to my slovenly American ways. C’est la vie. Maybe, though, if I get this machine, I’ll go back to eating like a French person and will be that much more classy and glamorous! (It could happen.)
Still on the fence, I did some research. The lowest available per-capsule price on the market is $1.35, with free shipping via Amazon. Although there are reusable pack-your-own-coffee capsules sold on Amazon, they’re poorly reviewed and look difficult to use (and let’s face it, I’m too lazy to spend a bunch of time carefully perfecting my espresso-packing technique). The best alternative seems to be to reuse the purchased Nespresso capsules as shown in this tutorial, packing in your own ground espresso and sealing with tin foil.
- According to the tutorial, you can reuse each Nespresso capsule 2-3 times.
- One pound of ground Lavazza espresso costs $13.12, and each Nespresso capsule holds five grams of ground coffee. Converting pounds to grams, that means that your pound of espresso will yield about 90 capsules’ worth of coffee, coming out to 14.5 cents per reused Nespresso capsule. (That doesn’t include the price of tin-foil. Since I’m being a Scrooge, I had to point that out.)
- Averaging the prices (1.35 + 2.5 times .145, all divided by 3.5) comes out to 49 cents per Nespresso capsule, overall.
Not bad! I think I’ll get it. Thanks for bearing with my math obsession. Here’s to the holidays! What’s on your wish list?
6:51 pm • 28 November 2012 • View comments
filmfood2012 asked: HI! We here at Film Food really enjoy your blog! You have some great recipes and some really informative stuff on here! We especially love the Food In The Movies posts, as it's exactly what we focus on. Keep up the awesome work, we'll definitely be keeping up with your blog and sharing your posts with our followers!
Thank you so much! I’ll do my best :)
5:00 pm • 28 November 2012 • View comments
how to make homemade Twinkies
And here’s a recipe for DIY Twinkies: because the only way to get a Hostess fix once America has finished ransacking stores for the closing company’s products will be to make Faux-stess cakes yourself. Maybe the apocalypse really is around the corner- at least for this particular part of American life.
3:50 pm • 17 November 2012 • 3 notes • View comments
“For me, a child of Vietnamese immigrants growing up in Michigan in the 1980s, Twinkies were a ticket to assimilation: the golden cake, more golden than the hair I wished I had, filled with sweet white cream. Back then, junk foods seemed to represent an ideal of American indulgence.
Yet maybe that’s exactly why the Twinkie has continued to fascinate: it is already a relic. When I opened one, the smell of sugary, fake, buttery-ish vanilla took me back to my elementary school and the basketball lines on the floor of the gym that doubled as our lunchroom. The underside of the cake had the same three white dots where the cream filling had been punched in, and it tasted like what it was, a blend of shortening and corn syrup, coating the tongue. I didn’t think the Twinkie would thrill the way it used to, and it didn’t. But it tasted like memory.”
Bich Minh Nguyen, on the Hostess company’s demise in “Goodbye to My Twinkie Days,” published in the New York Times, Nov. 17, 2012.
Nguyen wrote the incredible 2007 memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, which chronicles her experiences with assimilation through her childhood relationship with American food. Food is just one facet of this powerful, visceral book; it’s one of the best memoirs I’ve read. Check it out.
(Source: The New York Times)
3:34 pm • 17 November 2012 • 1 note • View comments
It’s cooled off here in Minneapolis, but could very well get hot and humid again in these last weeks of August! After making classic mojitos for the first time a few days ago, I tried out another famous variation. I know this isn’t reinventing the wheel, but when you’re 20 like me, making any drink with a recipe more complicated than vodka + mixer + Solo cup feels like a big step.
Not only do these mojitos feel grown up, they bliss you right out. White rum is so smooth, you barely taste it. Mojitos are all about the fresh ingredients, and what you get after muddling is this refreshing blend of tart lime, clean sharp mint, and basic, bubbly club soda. Two tablespoons of sugar might seem like a lot, but it’s all that’s needed to push this drink out of sour territory and just into the realm of fizzy perfection. It’s very hard to be in a bad mood (read: impossible) while drinking one of these!
Ingredients (makes one)
1/2 small lime, in wedges
12 mint leaves
2 tbsp sugar
4 ice cubes
1” (about 2 oz) Bacardi Superior or other white rum
Stack lime wedges, strawberries, mint leaves, and sugar in a highball glass. Muddle well with a wooden spoon, making sure to crush the strawberries and limes to release lots of juice.
Add ice cubes, top with about one inch Bacardi Superior, and fill to brim with club soda. Serve immediately and relax.
3:00 pm • 16 August 2012 • 21 notes • View comments
London 2012 Olympians tweeting about food, part two.
Man, do I miss the Olympics :( Do you think that Olympic athletes would accept edible fan mail? Like, if I sent Nathan Adrian funfetti cupcakes, would he be able to eat them, and then consider marrying me? This is a serious question.
2:52 pm • 16 August 2012 • 51 notes • View comments
London 2012 Olympians tweeting about food.
Of course not everyone gets as philosophical as U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte, but these are all pretty endearing.
12:32 am • 14 August 2012 • 174 notes • View comments
Beet, blueberry & mango smoothie
To celebrate a red velvet cake-loving friend’s birthday recently, I tried out a natural cake recipe using beets in place of artificial food coloring. Red velvet cake grosses me out— though flavored with cocoa powder, it usually just ends up tasting like the whole bottle of red food coloring most recipes call for!
The cupcakes were a hit, with a mellow strawberry-like flavor playing off the traditional cream cheese frosting (and really, aren’t cupcakes all about the frosting?). With all the gorgeous magenta beet puree we had left over, my sister suggested making a smoothie in the healthy spirit of summer.
About 1/2 cup beets, roasted and cut in chunks
1 cup blueberries, frozen
1/3 cup fresh mango, chopped
Juice of one small orange, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup strawberry or other flavored yogurt
4-5 ice cubes
Agave nectar, to taste
We used organic beets- there’s a few ways to roast them. The boiling/roasting method utilized in Sophistimom’s recipe yielded a perfectly soft, fine puree; the Kitchn’s roasting method of loosely wrapping beets in foil took longer and gave more solid end product.
Beets have a distinct, earthy taste- and the color is magnificent. Packed with folate, magnesium, potassium, and the antioxidant beta-carotene, this smoothie is gorgeous and good for you.
3:11 pm • 7 August 2012 • 1 note • View comments