Kitchen Liberation Organization's
2000 Valentine's Dinner


Outback Coconut Shrimp & Marmalade Sauce

Marmalade Sauce: Blend all ingredients well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Shrimp: With a mixer combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Use the 1/2 cup coconut in the batter (the rest is for the covering). Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Clean shrimp by deveining and peeling off the shell leaving the tail on. Preheat oil in a deep pot or fryer to 350 degrees. Oil must cover shrimp. Pour remainder of the coconut in a shallow dish. Make sure the shrimp is DRY before battering. Sprinkle each shrimp lightly with paprika before dipping. Dip one shrimp at a time into the batter and coat generously. Drop battered shrimp into coconut and roll it around to coat it well. Fry four shrimp at a time for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Turn shrimp while frying to brown evenly. Drain and serve with marmalade sauce.

Tuxedo Strawberries

Melt the white chocolate and dip each strawberry in the chocolate to cover all of the berry except the green cap. Let cool on wax paper.

Melt the dark chocolate. Dip each strawberry (already covered in white chocolate) in the dark chocolate at an angle; immediately dip the strawberry in the chocolate again at the opposite angle. The idea is to have an berry almost entirely coated in dark chocolate, with a "V" of white chocolate displayed one side, similar to the appearance of a white shirt under a dark tuxedo. Let cool on wax paper.

Melt more white chocolate, and with a fine tip on a piping bag, place three small dots on the dark chocolate, immediately under the white "V". The appearance should be three white buttons on a black coat.

Caesar Salad

Bryan made a salad with Romaine lettuce, homemade croutons (same recipe as 1995), cherries tomatoes, etc. Then he made a Caesar salad dressing that smelled SO nasty we didn't even figure out what it tasted like. This was nearly as bad as the Gorgonzola Dressing of 1995! Given the lateness of the hour, we cheated and substituted a commecial Caesar dressing.

Note to group: In the future, DO NOT let Bryan do anything with salads -- except make croutons!

Beef Wellingtons

Preheat oven to 425 F. Pat filets mignons dry and season with salt and pepper. In a shallow roasting pan roast filets in middle of oven 12 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 110 degrees F for rare, and cool (filets will be baked again after being wrapped in pastry). Chill filets, covered, until cold, about 1 hour.

Thinly slice mushrooms and in a heavy skillet cook in butter with shallot, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste over moderate heat, stirring, until mushrooms are lightly browned. Transfer mushroom mixture to a bowl to cool completely. In a small bowl lightly beat egg to make an egg wash.

On a lightly floured surface roll out puff pastry sheet into a 14" square. Trim edges to form a 13" square and cut square into four 6-1/2" squares.

Put 1 Tbsp Gorgonzola in center of 1 square and top with one fourth mushroom mixture. Top mushroom mixture with a filet mignon, pressing it down gently, and wrap 2 opposite corners of puff pastry over filet, overlapping them. Seal seam with egg wash. Wrap remaining 2 corners of pastry over filet and seal in same manner. Seal any gaps with egg wash and press pastry around filet to enclose completely. Arrange beef Wellington, seam side down, in a non-stick baking pan. Make 3 more beef Wellingtons in same manner. Chill remaining egg wash for brushing on pastry just before baking. Chill beef Wellingtons, loosely covered, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Brush top and sides of each beef Wellington with some remaining egg wash and bake 20 minutes, or until pastry is golden.

Make sauce while beef Wellingtons are baking: In a saucepan boil demiglace and Madeira 1 minute and keep sauce warm. Serve beef Wellingtons with sauce. Serves 4.

Brown Bread

In a bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients. Cool to 110 to 115 F. In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Sprinkle with sugar. Add cooled oat mixture, brown sugar, molasses, and 3 cups flour; mix well. Add enough remaining flour to form soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Divide in half; shape into loaves. Place in 2 greased 9" x 5" x 3" loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake at 375 F for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks. Brush with butter. Yields 2 loaves.

Note: This recipe(s) was taken from The Cake Bible, an absolutely fantastic book if you're going to make magnificent desserts. Although you should be able to make the cake from the recipe(s) that follow, I strongly recommend that you purchase (or borrow) The Cake Bible. It has so much background that it is essential.

Raspberry Maria

  1. Spread a little Strawberry Cloud Cream on a 9" cardboard round to attach the cake.
  2. Sprinkle each side of the cake layers with 3 Tbsp Syrup.
  3. Sandwich the cake layers with 1-1/2 cups Strawberry Cloud Cream.
  4. Spread 1/2 cup Strawberry Cloud Cream evenly on the top, and 1/2 cup around the sides.
  5. Use a large number 6 star tube and the remaining cream to pipe rows of shells on the top of the cake. Start from a middle edge and reverse the direction of the shells for each row.
  6. Pipe the Chocolate Lattice Band and when if just begins to dull, wrap it around the cake, peeling back one end slightly to overlap the ends.
  7. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until the chocolate is firm enough to allow easy removal of the wax paper.
  8. Refrigerate the cake 30 minutes to 3 hours before serving time. Garnish if desired with chocolate-dipped strawberries.

Génoise au Chocolat

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Prepare a 9"x2" pan or 9" springform pan by greasing the bottom, cutting a piece of parchment or wax paper to fit, greasing it again, and dusting with flour.

Warm the beurre noisette until almost hot (100º F to 120º F) and keep warm.

In a small bowl whisk together the cocoa and boiling water until the cocoa is completely dissolved. Stir in the vanilla and set aside, leaving whisk in bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

In a large mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water heat the eggs and sugar until just lukewarm, stirring constantly to prevent curdling. (The eggs may also be heated by placing them still in their shells in a large bowl in an oven with the pilot light for at least 3 hours. The weight of the unshelled eggs should be 10 oz.) Using the whisk beater, beat the mixture on high speed for 5 minutes or until triple in volume. (A hand beater may be used but it will be necessary to beat for at least 10 minutes.)

Remove 2 cups of the egg mixture and whisk it into the cocoa mixture until smooth.

Sift the four over the remaining egg mixture and fold it gently but rapidly with a slotted skimmer or large rubber spatula until the flour has disappeared. Fold in the cocoa mixture until almost incorporated. Fold in the beurre noissette in 2 batches with a large whisk or rubber spatula until just incorporated.

Pour immediately into the prepared pan (it will be about 3/4 full) and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until the cake starts to shrink from the sides of the pan. (No need for a cake tester. Once the sides shrink the cake is done.) Avoid opening the oven door before the minimum time or the cake could fall. Test toward the end of baking by opening the over door slightly and, if at a quick glance it does not appear to be done, close the door at once and check again in 5 minutes.

Loosen the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and unmold at once onto a lightly greased rack. Reinvert to cool. The firm upper crust prevents falling. Trim the bottom and top crusts when ready to complete the cake and sprinkle the syrup evenly on both sides.

Syrup: In a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lide bring the sugar and water to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Cover immediately, remove from heat, and allow to cool completely. Transfer to a liquid measuring cup and stir in the liqueur. If the syrup has evaporated slightly, add enough water to equal 3/4 cup syrup.

Raspberry Cloud Cream

In a heatproof measuring cup place the gelatin and 1/4 cup fruit puree and allow to set for 5 minutes. Set the cup in a pan of simmering water for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the gelatin is dissolved. (This can also be done in a few second in a microwave on High power, stirring once or twice.)

Remove the cup and stir the gelatin mixture into the remaining puree. The mixture should now be cool to the touch (not warm nor ice cold).

In a chilled mixing bowl beat the cream just until it mounds softly when dropped from a spoon. Add the sweetened puree and beat just until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised. Taste and fold in more sugar if you prefer a sweeter flavor. Use as soon as possible.

Raspberry Puree

In a colander suspended over a deep bowl thaw the raspberries completely. This will take several hours. Press them, if necessary, to force out the juice. There should be close to 1-1/4 cups juice.

In a small saucepan (or in a microwave on High power) boil the juice until reduced to 1/4 cup. Pour into a lightly oiled heatproof glass measure.

In a food processor puree the raspberries and sieve them with a food mill fitted with the fine disc.. You should have 1 full cup of puree. Stir in the strawberry syrup, lemon juice, and sugar. Note: The correct amount of sugar is 1/2 the volume of the puree. If there is less than 1-1/3 cups puree, add less sugar accordingly.

Chocolate Lattice Band

Cut a piece of wax paper 31" long, and fold it so that it has a height 1" taller than the cake.

The piping chocolate must be thickened slightly so that it will fall smoothly from the parchment cone like a spider's web. Although a drop of water will cause the chocolate to seize or clump, a fraction of a drop will thicken it in a more controlled way. Glycerine is the ideal liquid to use because it contains a very minute proportion of liquid. Stock syrup will also work. (Bring an equal volume of water and sugar to a full rolling boil, cover, and cool.) Add only 1 drop glycerine or stock syrup at a time, stirring and testing thickness by allowing the chocolate to drop from a height of 4". If it falls in a smooth string, the thickness is right.

If using real chocolate as opposed to compound chocolate, it should be quick-tempered before adding glycerine or syrup.

Create a cone of parchment, snipping off the end of the cone. If the line is too thin or the chocolate does not flow smoothly, snip the hole a tiny bit bigger.

Pipe a free-form filigree on the wax paper and allow to set until dull. Wrap around the cake, peeling back one end of wax paper to slightly overlap the ends. Chill until very firm and carefully peel off the paper.

* NOTE: See a good dessert book regarding tempering chocolate. The section in The Cake Bible is FAR to lengthy and complicated for me reproduce here. Plus I might be pushing copyright law. Or chalk it up to laziness!