Today’s prize package is a doozy – it includes a copy of the 2014 IACP Cookbook of the Year “Stone Edge Farm Cookbook”, a set of 11 of Gourmet Garden Stir-in Pastes and a collection of their new Lightly Dried herbs and spices to help you create magic in your kitchen, and from Microplane their newly released 5-in-1 Elite Box Grater to help us grate hard cheeses, vegetables, chocolate and much more with ease, including lemons for today’s recipe! There is more detailed information below the recipes.
Make sure you are in the running for all the upcoming prize packages by entering the contest below. The next drawing will be on Monday, so get cracking on those entries! 🙂 And remember, all the entries from earlier drawings are rolled forward so enter each of the remaining giveaways for the maximum number of chances to win!
And now for today’s recipe with Gourmet Garden’s Lemongrass! …
Last spring Chef Shannon Kinsella of Gourmet Garden, brought the most amazing Lemongrass Lemon Bars to the Big Traveling Potluck in Southern California. She baked them in Chicago, flew across the country with them, served them three days later, and they were still magnificent – that is one incredible recipe!
From the moment I took my first bite of those bars I have wanted to create something with a lemongrass-lemon curd. I could have gone really over the top and fancy, but I decided to use it as a component of parfaits, a simple and beautiful dessert that everyone will crave long after the party is over.
The flavor of lemongrass is addicting, but working with the tough stalks can be time consuming and tedious. Enter the brilliance of Gourmet Garden! They have lemongrass in a tube that has all the flavor and none of the work! I keep my stash of tubes in the freezer and have fresh herbs and seasonings at my finger tips whenever I head to the kitchen.
The fruit curd is cooked on the stove and can be made in advance. You can have all the components made ahead and assemble the parfaits a couple of hours before serving. That gives you time to spend with your guests at your next party!
If you happen to have any curd left over, you can bake it into individual tarts, serve it over ice cream or frozen yogurt, use as a topping for cookies, or simply eat by the spoonful – nope, I’ve never done that in my life. 😉
Honestly, The Artist and I have gotten so spoiled having a ready supply on hand (I do recipe development for Gourmet Garden), that he reaches into the fridge on his own now to dress up the simple snacks and lunches he makes for himself!! I swear, Gourmet Garden herbs and spices make even the simplest meals taste like a professional chef prepared them!
You can make your own pound cake from scratch (and likely will if you are making this a gluten-free dessert) but if you are in a hurry or not much of a baker, you can use a store-bought cake. Because it is only one component and not the star of the dish, a prepared cake works just fine. If you are looking for a great shortcut and time saver, this is it!
If you want to make your own (gluten-full) pound cake, try this Cream Cheese Bundt Pound Cake recipe from Barbara Schieving of Barbara Bakes. Barbara is one of the most talented bakers I know and her recipes are foolproof. I know you will love her creations! If you need to make it gluten-free, use my GF version of Buttermilk Pound Cake below.
If you eat the individual components on their own, the curd may be too tart and the cake and whipped cream a little on the sweet side. That is intentional because when you put them all together and take that first bite, you will understand how perfectly they go together and complement each other. The sweet cake balances the tart curd, creating an amazing dessert that is perfect all year long. If you are serving these during the summer months, you can keep them chilled a little longer so that everyone enjoys a cool dessert after dinner.
When The Artist ate one of the parfaits I had assembled for the photographs, he gave me a wonderful compliment. He said it tasted like the lemon tarts we used to get at one of the best French restaurants in San Francisco. Wow! I scored on this one, LOL.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone – see you back here for Chocolate Monday and the next prize announcement!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
When you are making the curd, using a saucepan with straight sides will cook the mixture faster than one with rounded or sloped sides. Take note of this when estimating how long it will take to fully thicken the mixture and you’ll have an idea how long you will be stirring the mixture at the stove.
In recipes that call for a number of eggs added one at a time, break them all into a bowl or measuring cup with a spout. Then you can add them one yolk at a time with whatever whites come with it. If you happen to get two yolks at the same time, don’t worry, it won’t ruin the batter. You will usually beat the batter between additions until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one.
The curd will last several days in the refrigerator, so make it ahead and have one less things to worry about on the day of your party. I love having homemade curd on hand to use with a variety of treats. You may want to double the amount you make or whip up a second batch while you’re at it because it is that good! 🙂
Bake your own gluten-free pound cake using the recipe I included or buy a gluten-free mix at the store. Angel food cake (gluten-free) also will work well in this recipe. All Gourmet Garden herbs and seasonings are gluten-free!
- Sweetened Chantilly Cream:
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar (use more if your lemons are extra tart)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste
- Buttermilk pound cake, cubed (recipe below) or other cake you like
- Lemongrass-Lemon Curd, (recipe below)
- Sweetened Chantilly Cream (from above)
- Fresh mint sprigs
- Fresh lemon slices
- Prepare the Sweetened Chantilly Cream: Attach the bowl and whisk attachment to your standing mixer. Pour in the cold cream and beat on High for about 3 minutes or until the cream is frothy and starting to expand. Stop the machine and add the sugar and vanilla. Continue whisking on High until the cream is thick with medium to firm peaks. Taste and add more sugar or vanilla if needed.
- Lighten the Curd: This step is optional. If your curd is heavy or too strongly flavored, you can stir in about 1 cup of the whipped cream to lighten it. Stir and fold (scooping the curd from the bottom of the bowl up to the top) until the cream is completely incorporated into the curd and there are no streaks left.
- Assemble the Parfaits: Cut the slices of pound cake into small bite-sized pieces. Have the lemongrass-lemon curd, whipped cream, and serving dishes ready. Spoon a little of the curd in the bottom of your serving dishes - clear glass lets you see the layers - set a few pieces of the cake on top. Add another dollop of the curd and a second layer of cake cubes. Repeat the layers until the dishes are nearly full. The parfaits can be made to this point up to an hour or two ahead, covered and chilled.
- Chill remaining whipped cream in the mixing bowl, covered, until ready to serve. Remove from the refrigerator and whip (by hand) using the whip attachment or a whisk to lighten the mixture and incorporate any liquid that may have separated. If it has deflated, put it back on the mixer and whip it again.
- To Serve: Remove the parfaits from the refrigerator about 20 to 30 minutes before you plan to serve them. Uncover the serving dishes, set the parfaits on the counter and spoon a dollop of whipped cream onto the center of each one. Garnish the dishes with a sprig of mint and set a lemon slice on the edge. Serve immediately.
- 1-1/3 cups (2 sticks + 5 tbsp) butter, softened to cool room temperature
- 2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature *
- 3 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- Pinch kosher or fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- Set the racks in the lower center of the oven with enough space to hold your bundt pan. Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour a 10-inch (12-cup) bundt pan. Remember to use gluten-free flour to dust the pan if you are making a gluten-free version of this cake.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Stop the mixer and scrape the butter back into the bottom of the bowl. With the mixer running on Low, slowly pour the sugar over the butter until completely added, then turn the speed up to Medium and cream together until light and fluffy,about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.
- Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, (see hint above) beating until blended before adding the next egg. Add the flour to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat on Low until blended after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix in. Scoop the batter (it will be heavy) into your prepared pan. Run a knife through the batter in the pan to release any trapped air bubbles. Place in the hot oven.
- Bake for 65 minutes to 70 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then flip the cake out onto the rack to finish cooling. Cool thoroughly, about an hour, before cutting. If you are making the gluten-free version, I think it tastes better on the second day.
- Eggs beat to a higher volume when they are at room temperature than straight from the refrigerator. Your cakes will be lighter and higher with a more tender texture.
- 4 to 5 lemons for zesting and juice, washed and patted dry + 1 for garnishing
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp of Gourmet Garden Lemongrass, or to taste
- 5 large egg yolks
- 5 tbsp butter, cut into small cubes
- Working over a clean cutting board, use a rasp-style/Microplane grater to take just the yellow portion of the peel off of the lemons. The white pith is very bitter so avoid it when you are zesting the lemons. You will need about 2 tbsp of zest. Move the zest to one side of the board.
- When you are done zesting, cut the lemons in half and using a reamer, squeeze the juice through a strainer into a bowl. Cut and squeeze more lemons as needed to get 3/4 cup of juice. I took 4-1/2 lemons for me. Set the juice aside.
- Place the sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the lemon zest and lemongrass paste; pulse until zest and lemongrass is finely ground and blended into the sugar. The sugar will turn a pale yellow. Taste it and if you want a stronger lemongrass flavor, add more of the paste and pulse to combine it.
- Transfer the sugar mixture to a medium saucepan and add the lemon juice and egg yolks. Whisk together until smooth. Turn the burner to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly. Once the mixture is warm, start adding the butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking until melted and fully incorporated before adding more.
- Whisk or stir constantly, until thickened and the mixture coats the back of a spoon. This will take about 10 to 20 minutes. Don’t walk away from the stove - the mixture needs to be constantly moving to get the creamy luscious curd you are looking for! The mixture will darken as it cooks turning a deep gold. To tell how thick it is getting, pull it off the heat, let the bubbles subside and stir. When the whisk starts leaving a trail as you move it around the pot (you can see the bottom of the bowl for a little bit before the mixture blends together again), you know you are almost there.
- When done, remove the pan from the heat and pour the curd into a clean glass bowl. Set aside to cool to room temperature; it will thicken as it cools. The curd can be made up to 2 days ahead. If made ahead, press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.
- If you have leftovers it is wonderful baked in miniature tarts, served with scones and tea, or heck, just eat it with a spoon like I do! 🙂
Now, for today’s Prize Package …
We have a wonderful prize set for you today – the IACP Best Cookbook 2014 to inspire your kitchen adventures, a collection of fresh herbs and spices that make your meals extraordinary, and a brand new kitchen tool sold exclusively at Williams-Sonoma. You are going to be the envy of all your friends when they see what you won!
I was thrilled when the Stone Edge Farm cookbook won the IACP award – it is so deserving. It tells the story of Sonoma Valley and its beauty, showing readers the area that we locals love so much. It has more than 100 recipes from Chef John McReynolds who teaches all of us what it really means to cook farm to table. This book is truly a work of art, but it is also a cookbook that will inspire and delight you.
When you head to the kitchen with no idea what to make for dinner, the herbs and spices from Gourmet Garden will inspire you to create delicious memories. It is always astonishing to me how adding a touch of this spice and a pinch of that herb can transform a boring dish into something truly remarkable. If you haven’t already discovered their line of products, you are in for a true treat. And if you do know them, you will understand the true value of this prize. I love their products and am so lucky to be working with them.
And from the wonderful folks from Microplane, you are getting their spanking new and improved box grater, a 5-in-1 tool that will make every task a joy. Microplane revolutionized grating tools by re-engineering a rasp commonly found in a carpenter’s toolbox. No one had ever seen anything that grated so finely, creating a pile of feathery hard cheese with no effort. And it is the perfect grater to get the zest off the lemons for today’s recipe! Microplane has packaged five of their tools into one, making it simple to grate and measure at the same time. I can’t wait to get one for myself!
Enter the Rafflecopter drawing below. The more Facebook pages you like, tweets you send, and Pinterest pages you follow, the more chances you have to win. Good luck!
This cookbook is the 2014 IACP Cookbook of the Year, the equivalent of winning a Tony for a Broadway play. It is so beautiful that you will be booking a trip to Napa as soon as you thumb through the pages! You will be inspired by Chef McReynold’s approach to ingredients, a conversation about food and wine pairing, and the philosophy behind Stone Edge Farm in Sonoma. With more than a hundred heirloom vegetables plus olive groves, fruit trees, ornamental plants, herbs, chickens, and beehives, in addition to their grapevines, the farm is a wondrously diverse and productive organic garden on a large scale. The book is filled with over a hundred recipes and stunning photography and can be considered a coffee table book, but don’t let it waste away in the living room. Bring it into the kitchen and cook from it!
Gourmet Garden herbs make me a better cook. I don’t have to run to the store to buy a bunch of fresh herbs for one recipe I am developing, I can use theirs without “wilt guilt”, the frustration we all feel when we can’t use all the fresh herbs we’ve bought before they go bad. Gourmet Garden’s herbs are organically grown, washed, chopped, & prepped within hours of harvest. They are gluten-free and made without artificial flavor or color. It’s like having an herb garden at your fingertips. Find their products in the refrigerated produce aisle of the supermarket. Thank you Gourmet Garden for donating a full set of their Stir-in Pastes and the five Lightly Dried herbs available in the US. Your meals are going to be magical! For inspiration and recipes go to GourmetGarden.com.
Just announced, the new Elite Box Grater is a space-saving 5-in-1 grating tool sporting five made-in-the-USA stainless steel Microplane blades: Fine, Coarse, Ultra Coarse, Ribbon, and Large Shaver. The Elite Box Grater features a contemporary ergonomic design that is both stylish and durable for long-lasting use. The non-slip handle and rubberized bottom provides maximum comfort, leverage, and stability when grating a myriad of ingredients on any of the five blade surfaces. For added convenience, the Elite Box Grater includes a removable bottom tray to catch grated ingredients and eliminate messy clean up, as well as a clear window on the sides with measurement markings up to 2-1/2 cups capacity for accuracy when following recipes. Thank you Microplane for sharing this latest grater with us – I’m heading over to Williams-Sonoma to get one of my own!
This contest has ended. Congratulations to Winner Sharon S.!
After each drawing, the non-winning entries will be added to the next prize set so that each entry makes you a candidate for all the giveaways! Apologies to my wonderful international friends, but these giveaways are limited to USA and Canadian readers. Each entry period will last 10 days. Winners will be randomly picked and notified by email. The winner has 48 hours to contact me with their shipping information. If I do not hear from them, another winner will be picked and contacted. Prizes will be shipped out about 10 days after we receive your address. All cookbooks provided by The Heritage Cook.
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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received compensation and products for recipe development. Two of the prizes were donated for this giveaway.
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