Wednesday, September 12, 2007

For Wesleigh's birthday last week, I made him a flourless chocolate cake with an intense dark chocolate glaze (80% ). I use a recipe that I took off Epicurious Sometimes I add a bit of orange liquor or orange zest to the recipe. Sometimes I don't make the glaze and serve the cake with fresh raspberries or strawberries on top.

The recipe calls for:

For cake
12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate,
chopped 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
6 large eggs, separated
12 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For glaze:
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
9 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Make cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper or waxed paper; butter paper. Wrap outside of pan with foil. Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, stirring often.
Using electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 6 tablespoons sugar in large bowl until mixture is very thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Fold lukewarm chocolate mixture into yolk mixture, then fold in vanilla extract. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, beating until medium-firm peaks form. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake cake until top is puffed and cracked and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack (cake will fall).
Gently press down crusty top to make evenly thick cake. Using small knife, cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Remove pan sides. Place 9-inch-diameter tart pan bottom or cardboard round atop cake. Invert cake onto tart pan bottom. Peel off parchment paper.

Make glaze:

Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.
Place cake on rack set over baking sheet. Spread 1/2 cup glaze smoothly over top and sides of cake. Freeze until almost set, about 3 minutes. Pour remaining glaze over cake; smooth sides and top. Place cake on platter. Chill until glaze is firm, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; store at room temperature.) Garnish with chocolate shavings or leaves. Serve at room temperature.
Serves 10 to 12.

Its a wonderful recipe, so decadant!

Its getting chilly in the evenings here, so comfort food is on our minds. I stoked up a fire in the fireplace yesterday to ward off the rainy blues. I cleaned out the fridge of all the veggies and potatoes we had and decided to make a shepherd's pie. Sauteed leeks and onions, garlic, fresh rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Added ground pork while I put on the "green" potatoes to boil. I sometimes cannot believe how short a time it takes for potatoes to grow legs here!
Anyway, after the pork was done, I added diced red peppers, red pole beans from the garden, peas, and asparagus. While the mixture cooked, I made a roux with chicken broth, white wine and chedder cheese. Put the vegetable mixture in the cassarole and added the cheese sauce. Made the mashed potatoes by smashing them, adding lots of butter, some fresh chicken broth, and garlic, salt and pepper. Spread this over the top and popped into a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are crusty.

We then read books by the fire and watched the rain pour down.

I love this recipe because it is hearty enough and tasty enough that it'll keep you coming back for more. My recipe makes for about 6 servings, so for two people its perfect to make on a Thursday, have leftovers Friday after work before going out on the town and then have some for lunch on Sunday. Thats three meals made from leftovers from the that!


Monday, September 10, 2007

We had dinner at the Waterfront in Camden a few weeks ago. The Waterfront used to be one of our favorite places to go take people to eat, my dad loves it; Greg's dad loves it, so we couldn't go wrong there, right???
We were a bit disappointed. My meal was a 50/ 50 split between really good and really awful. I had the roasted pear salad which should have just been my was awesome and at $12.00, a great value. The salad was HUGE and had roasted pears instead of raw, so it tasted a bit heartier than the salads you get with raw pears. The raspberry vinegrette was perfect, not too much, but just enough to add the perfect flavor to the greens, goat cheese, pear and pine nuts. Very delicious. We were guests for dinner and so I didn't want to order a steak for over $20 bucks, so I ordered the chicken alfredo...BIG mistake. You know a dish is the pits when you can't put enough salt on it to bring out ANY flavor. I left most of it uneaten.
I heard the crabcakes were soft and not great and Greg said the Fisherman's platter was filled with filler seafood and not terrific the way it used to be.

I love the atmosphere of the Waterfront, it is pretty condusive to being cozy and watching the boats, but we were shoved over in a corner table (there were 7 of us with a baby) and so we didn't get the full effect. I won't condemn the place yet cause we like it so more try and thats it though.