Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Darn Good Hurricane Cocktail

Most cocktail recipes are written to make one drink at a time but when you're having several people for dinner I prefer to make a pitcher of "something" for convenience. This cocktail fits the bill and they are delicious. How could you possibly go wrong with several different fruit juices, a happy mix and fresh fruit steeping in the mixture, a combination of tart and sweet that will have your guests coming back for more.

This is my nod to Mardi Gras but truthfully I make these year round. Since Mardi Gras is in full swing in New Orleans I thought it would be the perfect time to share. I found this recipe a number of years ago and have made a few changes along the way. Hurricanes got their start at Pat O' Brian's in the quarter of New Orleans. You don't go to New Orleans without trying one of these but I promise you this recipe is better.
New Orleans Hurricanes
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
1 cup orange juice
1 cup Pomegranate juice
1/2 cup grenadine
1/2 cup simple syrup
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 cups light rum
1/2 cup dark rum
1/4 cup triple sec
a splash or two or three of Grand Marnier
Mix all ingredients together in a tall pitcher. Add slices of one orange and one lemon, cover tightly with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Serve over ice in your prettiest glasses and enjoy.

Serving this cocktail comes with a warning, drink with caution, since it is a stout cocktail. Understandably since there are two different rums, triple sec and I give it a splash or two of Grand Marnier. The combination of fruit juices are amazing and using the best ingredients you can find is important.

Be sure to make your own simple syrup. You'll find that there is a taste difference in what you would buy already prepared. I make mine 1 to 1 but for this recipe I use 1/2 cup sugar to 1/2 cup water stirring constantly so the sugar won't burn and as soon as the sugar has melted take it off the burner for it to completely cool. When adding to the pitcher I add a little at a time and check for taste. You don't want them too sweet but a nice balance of sweet and tart. Most often I use the entire 1/2 cup of simple syrup but I'd rather be safe than sorry. It would be ashame to ruin this cocktail. You'll find that after the mixture steeps for several hours with the fruit the taste will definitely change. Using fresh fruit to steep in the final mixture is essential. It will impart a secondary flavoring, layered flavors. I never slice fresh limes to go in the mixture because I have found that it gives it a bitter taste that I don't like.
These are oh sooooooooo good. A perfect combination of flavors and they will keep in the refrigerator for several days if they last that long.

If you try this cocktail I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do. My family thinks they are terrific too and request them often. I will be sharing this recipe this week at Foodie Friday where other many talented people share their favorites also.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Almond-Blueberry Coffee Cake

Normally I would not bake anything that would be considered out of season. However, we have a farm in S GA and during the summer months we have an abundance of blueberries. I think we have about eight blueberry bushes on our property, lucky me. We didn't plant them but they were there when we purchased the property and we always have a plethora of blueberries unless of course my husband forgets to fertilize in the Spring.
This past Summer was a good one in terms of the amount of blueberries we were able to get. I freeze them which enables me to enjoy our blueberries year round. I found this magazine while in the grocery store. After thumbing through it this recipe caught my eye.
You may have seen it and it may still available. This was the Jan/Feb issue of Bake magazine and I think this may be a new publication on the market now. It was filled with numerous recipes that I would like to try.
I couldn't wait to try this particular recipe and it did not disappoint. The almond flour gave it a nutty taste and the sour cream made it very moist. It also keeps for several days but in this house it was gone after one day, it was that good.

This was just before placing it in the oven for baking.

Almond-Blueberry Coffee Cake


1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sliced almond


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
2 teaspoons coarse sugar

Preheat oven to 350* F. Spray a 9-inch round deep cake pan with baking spray with flour.

For the streusel: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Stir in butter until mixture is crumbly. Crumble with your fingertips until desired consistency is reached. Stir in almonds.

For the cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir extracts.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Stir in sour cream. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1 1/4 blueberries, and top with remaining batter, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Top with remaining 1/4 cup blueberries, and sprinkle with streusel and coarse sugar.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edges of cake to loosen sides. Invert onto a plate, and then invert again onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
This was a simple little cake and one I will make time and time again. It's rich, moist, buttery and quite simply delicious. Instead of using a 9" round cake pan I used a fluted pan with a removable bottom. Only because of presentation but thought it would be easier to remove. It worked perfectly.
This little cake is not only a wonderful little breakfast cake but I think an excellent dessert as well. It can be finessed with additional blueberries, a dollop of freshly whipped cream and additional fruit.
I simply couldn't wait to dig in so I ate it all by itself, it was amazingly delicious.
It's Friday and I am sharing this post at  Foodie Friday.