Monday, July 27, 2009

Flourless Chocolate Birthday Cake

                 Birthday's are my favorite event of the year!!! Especially when it is my hubby's birthday. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Also, I love feeding him. Making a special birthday cake that is just for him, fills me with joy. I am so corny right? Well, I can't help it. This is who I am, a corny baker, who loves to bake for her family. Speaking of which, this is where I got the idea for this recipe. My husband has a wonderful Aunt whose food is to DIE FOR! She passed over this recipe for Bete Noire, and I "reshi-fied" the cake with whatever ingredients I had handy. Ok!!! now less talking, more gawking at the delicious cake.  Review the recipe, drool over the pictuers and decide to make this for your chocolate desert wish. Decadent. Rich. Smooooottthhh...... and oh so fabulous!!!

P.S: Ganache goes beautifully with this cake, but I chose confectionar's sugar and Raspberries instead to decroate. Berry Nice!!!!

Flourless Chocolate Cake
adapted from: A Mingling of Tastes
2/3 cup sugar
2 tblsp. cocao powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 stick butter
8 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp orange peel
1/2 cup ground pistachio's ( I made mine by putting shelled ones in the food processor)

Confectionars Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the base of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, cut to fit the pan. Butter the parchment and the sides of the pan.

Coat the top of the parchment paper with butter, and add the ground pistachio's to make a small layer of nuts. Combine the sugar, orange peel, cocoa and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs with the vanilla and add to the bowl. Stir to combine. In medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the chocolate and whisk constantly until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate to the sugar-egg mixture and whisk until completely combined. Batter should be thick and fairly smooth. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The cake will be firm and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely in pan. Garnish with Sugar and surround with raspberries.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Grill Me Baby! Sharon's Chicken and My Salsa

Tell me, what are beautiful summer days like? For me, its the perfect temperature, there is a slight breeze, the food is scrumptious and the company is great!!! We visited our friends over the July 4th weekend. to enjoy a swim, conversation and relaxation. There is nothing better than sitting by the pool eating some salsa and enjoying your delicious meal. I believe that particular Sunday to be especially wonderful because my friend Sharon sizzled the yummy chicken and veggies over the grill. I couldn't stop eating. You know you are eating some goooooooood stuff when people start coming up to you and say "wow that smells delicious!" Of course, I had to have the recipe!

I couldn't just eat and not tell others how to make this. I need to tell you all about this simple recipe... but before I do so, I want to add that I made some kick-ass salsa and it was the perfect compliment to her mouth-watering chicken. This recipe is so simple that I am almost ashamed to tell you: but I will, because I am all about easy cookin'.

Basic Salsa
1 Onion
1 Tomato
1/2 bunch of cilantro
One fresh lime
Salt to taste
Chop everything up. Dice it nice and tiny. Mix in the fresh lime and add salt. Blend well and eat with chips. Oh and you can add jalapeno for some extra pep!!!

Savory Chicken & Vegetable BBQ
So now that you guys have a fabulously easy recipe for a summer appetizer, I am going to pass you over to Sharon. She is a wonderful writer & a podiatrist. Sharon blogs about many things such as, movies, restaurant reviews and podiatry (though more recently the food she cooks!) She calls this Savory Chicken and Vegetable BBQ. Though for me, its going to be the best damm grilled chicken I have ever had. Truly. No biases.
Her other blogs include:

One gorgeous photo of her chicken... make it for your next BBQ and don't forget to tell me about it!!!! Oh, and how did you all celebrate your 4th of July, did you have a beautiful summer day like I did? ;)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Red, White and Blueberry-Cherry Crumble Bars

What is your favorite thing about Summer? What Resh loves most about summer are the fruits. Wow! As soon as summer rolls around, the super market gets packed with all different varieties of delicious colorful fruits. Sometimes, I don't know which fruits to put in my basket and which to ignore. Kiwi's, pineapples, oranges (a billion different types of oranges), blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, apricots, plums.. and on and on and on. So I grabbed some blueberries (packed with anti-oxidants by the way) and some cherries. I had decided that I will use the blueberries for my morning yogurt shakes and the cherries to snack on in between lunch and dinner (instead of the chocolates, because I could gobble those up in a day hehe). Anyway, yogurt shakes and plain cherries weren't cutting the mustard for my enormous sweet tooth. I need something crumbly, moist and and gooey. These were gooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey and I LOVE GOOEY!! I think these could be made with any type of berriers you have lying around. Just mix and match!!!!

Red is for the Cherry, Blue is for the berry , and white is for the dough- even though there is nothing sweeter than Freedom, these sure do come close.

Blueberry-Cherry Crumble Bars
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: I cut these into 36 smallish rectangles

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh berries (2 cups blueberries/2cups cherries, pitted, chopped)
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg.(TIP: fork doesn't work as well, pastry cutter is best, but I didn't do either- I used my hands to mix in the dough & butter together so that it got crumbly) Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries & cherries. Sprinkle the blueberry-cherry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. (This took an extra 10 to 15 minutes in my oven.) Cool completely before cutting into squares.