Tag Archives: cake

Hot Chocolate Panna Cotta & Soft-Centered Chocolate Teacup Cakes

23 Feb

Yep, you read it right – it’s a two-fer posting! It seems that I’ve been out of town for the bulk of February (nothing like the shortest month to fly like the wind). A week in Las Vegas (for those of you unfamiliar – Vegas has more superbly fine dining in a three-square-mile area than anywhere else on earth) and then Disneyland! (OK, the whole superb dining thing from Vegas had to carry me over to Disneyland, but even their food has improved, somewhat.)

And because of that, I’m preparing both desserts for this Sunday dinner’s dessert(s)! (I only hope no one experiences a chocolate coma!)

Hot Choc panna cotta molten cakeThe panna cotta was delightfully easy to prepare – the toughest part was the clumping of the unsweetened cocoa powder – but that explains the two strainings. The teacup cakes was equally as easy in preparation. I made the cake in the morning and so, it had cooled and fallen (hence the dip in the center). Just before serving, however, I put it back in a hot oven for two minutes – and the center was just as ooey-gooey as I had expected – it merely lacked the puffiness it had freshly baked.

And, the taste? They both were extremely scrumptious! Chocolatey beyond definition! The panna cotta was particularly enjoyed by my eldest son, while the teacup cake was the favorite of my husband and our best friend. As for me? I think I liked the cake the best, but they were/are so rich, it’s hard to eat very much of either one of them.

Now, the big question…will I make either of them again? Oh, yeah, I will – both of them!

 

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Fluted Carrot-Tangerine Cake

12 Jan

OK, so I’ve been away awhile. But, I’m back! (Christmas knitting pretty much ate up all my time – baking had to wait.)

quiche pan
This recipe excited me – a lot! First, it seemed relatively easy and quick to assemble (I’m notorious for not planning ahead!). Secondly, it gave me the chance to use a pan I’ve had for over 30-years (well, I’ve had it only about 25-years, but my mother had it for many years before), that to my knowledge, has never before been used. My sister-in-law made this quiche pan for my mother long ago and mama never used it. She gave it to me, and I always thought it too pretty to use. Dorie’s recipe seemed the exact right one to christen it!

I was right – relatively easy to assemble. If I have a bug-a-boo with this recipe it’s the “one medium carrot”. I hate that measurement – what does medium mean? Medium to a rabbit? Medium to a dieter? (Trust me, a medium carrot to a dieter is very large, indeed!) I would have preferred to have read “1/2-cup finely shredded carrot” – but I digress.

Fluted Carrot CakeAs always, Dorie’s description was spot on, “…an inch high.” I’ll let it rest over night and serve it tomorrow as dessert – won’t my family be surprised to find that Sunday dinner’s dessert has returned?!?

By the way – it is delicious! I passed on the glaze and opted for a relatively heavy dusting of powdered sugar instead. I’m not a real dessert fan – and this was spot on – not too sweet and delicately moist.

Tiger Cakes

13 Oct

Tiger Cakes

Decided that I needed a quick, easy dessert for this evening’s dinner – and this recipe filled the bill.

An easy mix-up. An easy bake! And boy, are they tasty! (Oh, and an added bonus: they look just like Dorie’s photo!)

Brown-Butter-and-Vanilla-Bean Gateau Weekend

27 Jan

Let me first say, that I love, love, love the idea that French home-bakers bake cakes in loaf pans. I know, all you cake¬†aficionados love a beautiful layer cake, but the truth be told, I’m just not any good at them. But a cake in a loaf pan? I am all over that!

My vanilla beans are a little old, so I made mine with the scraped vanilla bean and two-teaspoons of vanilla. My version of compromise! To brown the butter to the shade of honey, I placed my honey bear right beside my stove so I could compare. My butter came out just a slight shade darker, but not black – and I really can see how that could happen if you weren’t paying attention (“…the difference between brown and black is measured in seconds.”). And, I do love the smell of butter browning!

I served this with a little ice cream and raspberry sauce, just to fancy it up a little. And, I have to say, it was delicious!Gateau Voyages

Who knew a burly, 6-foot-4-inch, 225 lb. fitness trainer would know what these are?

16 Apr
Madeleines, ala Proust

Madeleines, ala Proust

Well, I did it again. I decided I’d ‘workshop’ these cookies. And, it’s a good thing! My initial attempt at these made me learn that baking them at 400 degrees at ten minutes was at least two minutes too long. Attempt two (in a different oven) reinforced that 400 degrees was too hot (even at eight minutes they came out black!).

So, it was time to consult the oracle: Google. I found a you-tube video that explained making madeleines perfectly! And, according to the chef in the video, the batter isn’t necessarily as fragile as our recipe made it out to be. His recipe was baked at 350 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes. Rather than piping the batter into the pans, he scooped it, using a #40 ice cream scoop. Oh, and the chef in the video said for more ‘fluffy’ madeleines, use more butter (up to 1/2 cup) but that the madeleines made famous by Marcel Proust were dryer using less butter (better for dunking in tea). I’m thinking these are the ones we made.

Armed with this information, I decided to back off on the temperature (375 degrees), used an ice cream scoop and watched them like a hawk for 8-1/2 minutes! Perfectly done! And, when sampled by my fitness trainer, he deemed them exactly right. And now that I have this information, I will absolutely make them again.