Friday, June 18, 2010

Chocolate Cake & Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate, well... it's chocolate so what else does one need to say?

Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder which doesn't exist here, so I melted chocolate, two bars
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup leben or buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract whish also doesn't exist here so I used powder vanilla, which I have to say isn't that vanilla tasting!
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour the pans.

Melt the chocolate over low heat whisking slowly.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and mixed until combined.

n another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.

Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until well combined, no lumps.

Combine the melted chocolate to the batter.

Add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

I have a teensy tiny oven, it makes me nuts.

Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Make the frosting now.
Chocolate Butter-cream Frosting:
6 ounces good semisweet chocolate
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1-3 tbs of freshly brewed coffee

Melt the chocolate. I melt it with the coffee.

Beat the butter until light yellow and fluffy.

Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, until smooth and creamy.

Add the egg yolk and whisk until well combined.

Slowly add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until creamy and smooth.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal.
With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting.

Place the second layer on top, rounded side down, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chocolate Focaccia

Ready in about two hours.

2 cups flour
1 tbs yeast
1/3 cup sugar
warm water
pinch of salt

Proof the yeast with sugar in about a cup of water, depending on how light or dense you prefer your bread.
Add the flour and mix until all lumps are gone.
Set aside to double, about an hour.

Dump out half of the dough onto a prepared cookie sheet.

Break a chocolate bar in large or smaller pieces over the dough.

Cover with the remaining dough. Preheat your oven to about 400.

Let rise to cover the chocolate, about twenty minutes.
Sprinkle with course sugar and bake until crusty and brown.

Cut into desired shapes and serve warm or room temperature.


Fried Sweet Focaccia Balls

I had made four pies last night, not as in apple pie, but as in the cheesy veggie kind.
I still had dough leftover, so in the fridge it went for tea time the next day. 
First I fried a bit of the dough for the kids, but for us adults I added some dark chocolate and ate it with tea. That was much better for us, and it's on the next post.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Eggplant Caponata

I love Eggplant! Summer time in our home is the time of lots of fresh veggies, put together with lots of flavor!
This is really easy to make,  it is however missing a few ingredients, but still very tasty. If you have capers and celery add them, it makes for a more traditional dish.

Green Olives
Black Olives
Olive Oil

Saute diced and salted eggplant in olive oil until fork tender.

Add diced tomatoes and onions, give them a good stir and let them sweat until they have fallen apart a bit.

Add minced garlic and olives, stir and cover. Cook until thick.

Serve with crusty bread or if you are like me, I make grilled garlic flat bread. A fresh green salad goes great with this!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Grilled Garlic Flat Bread

OK, I have a bread addiction. I just have to have bread with almost everything I eat. This is fairly easy and quick to make, and tastes divine! You can double or triple this recipe, it's not a problem. It makes four flat breads.

2 cups flour
1 cup fine semolina
2 ts powdered milk
2 ts yeast
1 ts sugar
salt to taste
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
garlic to taste

Combine all dry ingredients.

Knead in water and make a soft pliable dough.
Carefully knead in garlic and oil.
Set aside to double.
Cut into equal portions, I doubled this recipe, so it made eight flat breads.
Roll, or press out into a circle.

Heat to medium heat a grill, flat or otherwise, even an outside grill works great. Gently place the bread on the heated grill. I brush my bread with olive oil, but you can spray the grill instead if you like.

Grill until browned and grill marks and nicely on the bread.

I cut mine into wedges mostly to eat with eggplant caponata.