Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chocolate Fudge Cake


Chocolate Fudge Cake
Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson
My changes & additions in italics.

For the cake:
2 2/3 C All Purpose Flour (sifted)
3/4 C plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/3 c light brown sugar
1/4 c best quality cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/2 c plus two tablespoons sour cream
you can substitute applesauce, I think it is better.
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 C unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 vegetable oil
1 1/3 C chilled water

For the fudge icing:
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
1 C plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
1 3/4 C confectioners sugar sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter or spray and flour two 8 in cake pans.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl whisk together eggs, sour cream (or applesauce) and vanilla until blended. Using a standing or hand-held mixer; beat together the the melted butter and vegetable oil until just blended, then beat in the water. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix together on a slow speed. Add the egg mixture, and mix again until everything is blended and then pour into the prepared tins.

Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake-tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes,and then turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave, 2-3 minutes on medium should do it. In another bowl beat the butter until it's soft and creamy. Add the sifted confectioners sugar and beat again until everything is light and fluffy. Gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until everything is glossy and smooth. Sandwich the middle of the cake with about a quarter of the icing, and then ice the top and sides as well.
Serves 10, or 1 with a broken heart.

Recipe & photo v. Nigella Bites. Photographer Francesca Yorke

For more recipes visit NOSH

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mustard Roast Beef


Mustard Roast Beef

Recipe courtesy Donna Hay
My changes & additions in italics.

2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1/4 C olive oil, plus one tablespoon extra
4 lb boneless beef rib eye
or just a really beautiful roast.
1/4-1/2 C Dijon mustard depending on taste
1 stick room temperature butter
kitchen string

Remember to take the beef out of the fridge at least 10 minutes before you sear it or put it in the oven, this will ensure even cooking.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place the mustard seeds, salt, pepper and thyme in a mortar and pestle and pound until lightly crushed. Add the oil and pound until combined. In a separate bowl combine butter and Dijon mustard until completely integrated. Combine spice mixture and mustard mixture, set aside.
Brush the beef with the extra oil. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high and cook the beef for 1-2 minutes each side or until brown. remove from the pan. Secure with kitchen string and rub the mustard mixture over the beef. Place on a rack in a baking dish and roast for 1 1/2 hours for medium rare (I use a meat thermometer, and remember that the meat continues to cook after you remove it from the oven.) Serves 4-6 After roasting, cover the meat with foil and rest in a warm place for at least 10 minutes to allow the meat to relax.
I always make a sauce from the pan drippings. Simply put the roasting pan on to your stove top and on medium high heat, add either beef broth or red wine and reduce down a bit and you will have a beautiful sauce to accompany your beef.

Recipe & photo v. Donna Hay Magazine issue 39. Photographer Chris Court
*Donna Hay's recipe measurements have been converted from the metric system.

Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Recipe courtesy Meikel Reece
3 images courtesy Google Images

4 Yams or Sweet Potatoes (there is a difference, see here.)
I generally do a potato for each person I want to serve.
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground pepper
Ceyanne Pepper (optional)
Olive oil

For the Fry Sauce:
Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce
Mayonnaise (I use Veganaise.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel yams and cut into 1/2 inch fries or wedges which ever you prefer. Put on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil until well coated (not dripping just gleaming really) and sprinkle with pepper (not salt, it will pull out the water and make the fries soggy). Place in oven for 20-35 minutes depending on the oven.

In a separate bowl combine equal parts Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce, ketchup & mayonnaise combine and set aside.

Test your fries, they should be fork tender. Turn your oven to broil and watch until golden brown. Immediately salt and serve with your fry sauce.

Double-Coconut Cake

Double-Coconut Cake

Recipe courtesy Cooking Light 2001
3 images courtesy Google Images

I usually insist on making my cakes from scratch, but I almost think this one is better if you use a box mix. There is something about the lightness that comes from a white cake box mix. Just add 1 tbsp coconut extract to your cake mix and split into two nine-inch rounds. I also prefer less coconut on the finished cake and then I serve with a bowl of shredded coconut on the side. I also really like unsweetened shredded coconut. Enjoy!

1 tablespoon cake flour
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup butter -- softened
2 large eggs
1 can light coconut milk -- (14-ounce)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Fluffy Coconut Frosting
2/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes -- divided

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.

3. Combine 2-1/4 cups flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (for about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla.

4. Pour batter into prepared pans. Sharply tap the pans once on countertop to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.

5. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1 cup Fluffy Coconut Frosting. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup coconut. Top with remaining cake layer; spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle 1/3 cup coconut over top of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator. Yield: 14 servings.

Roasted Tomato, Eggplant and Haloumi Burger


Roasted Tomato, Eggplant and Haloumi Burger

Recipe Courtesy Donna Hay
*My changes & suggestions in italics.

2 vine ripened tomatoes, thickly sliced
olive oil, for brushing
4 burger buns, halved, wheat buns are delightful with this.
1 eggplant (abergine), thinly sliced
8 oz Haloumi (or a couple of slices per burger)
You really could use a variety of cheeses, but haloumi is delicious.
Garlic Mayonnaise (recipe to follow)
caramelized red onions (recipe to follow)
Hot sauce for serving

Garlic Mayonnaise
place 1 cup mayonnaise (I use Vegannaise) 2 crushed cloves of garlic (it is delicious with roasted garlic) salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and combine.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tomato on a baking tray and brush with olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes or until cooked. Set aside. Brush the bun halves with oil and place on a baking tray. Grill (broil) under a preheated hot grill for 1 minute or until golden. Set aside.

Heat a char-grill pan or barbecue over high heat. You can also roast the eggplant, just follow same instructions for tomato. Brush the eggplant with oil and char-grill, barbecue or roast until cooked through. Set aside. Brush the haloumi with oil and char-grill, barbecue or roast until each side is golden.

Spread the bun halves with garlic mayonnaise and top with the tomato, eggplant, haloumi, caramelized onions and arugula.
Serves 4

Recipe & photo v. Donna Hay Magazine issue 41. Photographer Chris Court
*Donna Hay's recipe measurements have been converted from the metric system.
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