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Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust Hardcover – October 30, 2012
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Cooking in the New Year
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Featured Recipe from Ina Garten: Sticky Toffee Date Cake with Bourbon Glaze
Makes 1 cake
For the cake
- ¾ pound dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¹⁄³ cup granulated sugar
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ tablespoons baking powder
For the sauce
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons good bourbon, such as Maker's Mark
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Sweetened whipped cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 x 2-inch round cake pan.
Place the dates in a deep saucepan with 1¾ cups of water. Bring to boil, stirring a little to break up the dates. Allow to simmer for 1 minute. Off the heat, stir in the baking soda (it will bubble up!). Set aside.
Meanwhile, in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla, scraping down the bowl. (The mixture may look curdled.) Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer still on low, slowly add it to the batter. With the mixer on low, add the hot date mixture in two batches to the batter, scraping down the bowl. The batter will be runny but don't worry! Stir in the baking powder, which will also bubble up. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Meanwhile, combine the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Off the heat, stir in the bourbon and vanilla and pour into a 2-cup heat-proof glass measuring cup. Set aside. As soon as the cake is done, poke holes all over it with a toothpick. Pour three-quarters of the sauce evenly over the cake while still warm and allow it to soak in for 30 minutes. Turn the cake out bottom side up onto a flat serving plate and pour the remaining sauce on top. Cool completely.
Serve at room temperature with sweetened whipped cream.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Foolproof is a cookbook that seems to revolve around mistake proof entertaining. When Ina says "foolproof" she doesn't mean a recipe has only five ingredients or that it has only three steps. Ina means she has an ingredient list with easily obtainable ingredients and steps that appeal to your common sense so that you don't worry about whether the recipe will turn out. She tells you what to look for so that you know when each recipe is perfectly done.
She lists ten foolproof tips for cooking. Other chapters include: cocktails; starters; lunch; dinner; vegetables; and desserts. She also gives you 12 foolproof tips for table settings with photographs which help you out if, like me, making a table setting look polished but simple is something you need a little help with. She finishes the book with a foolproof index of menus for special occasions which cross references with special dishes from all of her cookbooks.
She does repeat foolproof recipes from her previous books such as her standard chicken stock, but the book is mostly comprised of new material. I have seen some complaints that some of her ingredients are just too much of a splurge. I like to look at her recipes from a couple of perspectives. She lives in the Hamptons, and ingredients such as lobster are a local, easy-to-obtain natural part of her repertoire. Also, these recipes seem to mostly have an emphasis on entertaining and many of us don't mind splurging a little for a special occasion.Read more ›
Spanish Pea Soup with Crispy Ham: Made with frozen peas and Spanish serrano ham or prosciutto, it's quick, savory, comfort food.
Endive, Orange & Roquefort Salad: I love good vinaigrette! This one has orange juice and zest, perfect with the roasted walnuts and roquefort.
Lobster Corn Fritters: My favorite restaurant used to serve rock shrimp fritters and in all honesty, I substituted shrimp here because I miss them so much. I can only imagine how amazing these are with lobster. Surprisingly easy. In fact, the most complicated recipe in the book is a two-page Jambalaya.
For the holidays, Ina's included Balsamic-Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Orange-Braised Carrots & Parsnips, Truffled Mashed Potatoes, Mushroom & Leek Bread Pudding (which she recommends instead of stuffing, so it won't get soggy), and what looks like a truly foolproof turkey recipe. A couple of beautiful fish recipes too: Sicilian Grilled Swordfish and Salmon with Melting Cherry Tomatoes.
The desert photos made my mouth water and the classics are all there: Ultimate Pumpkin Pie with Rum Whipped Cream, Pecan Sandies, Perfect Pound Cake, plus something called Chocolate Peanut Butter Globs (too much).
This is just a sampling, so it looks like I'll be in the kitchen this weekend. Can't wait! Based on the book's quality, a complete read-through of all the recipes, and my few try-outs, this just might be my favorite outing of The Barefoot Contessa series.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My wife has been watching more and more of the Contessa on TV. I'm no fool, I ordered this for her for Christmas. Read morePublished 18 days ago by D. Swanson
Quick Delivery, I have a cookbook addition and I love this book.Published 18 days ago by Christopher Polfus
I have made a quarter of the meals from this book and have yet to be disappointed. I get ooh's and aaah's with every meal. Thank you Ina for making me look like a Master Chef!Published 1 month ago by Broderick Bent
I gave this to my mother-in-law for a gift. She loves it- and she uses it!Published 1 month ago by Janna Trammell