Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Glazed Chocolate Cake

May 13, 2010

I hosted book club a couple weeks ago. We read the Great Gatsby so it seemed appropriate that we had a cocktail party. So I made some horrible cocktails that just did NOT work out. Probably not enough booze. I need to work on that. I always have my cocktails made for me. Anyways, luckily for me, the cake turned out. It was very chocolatey and rich.

First, you coat the cake pan with cocoa powder:

Then mix all the dry ingredients:

I read somewhere once that you should bake with room temperature eggs so if I remember I take the eggs out early and pour warm water over them so they’re warm when it’s time to use them.

Then you mix together the butter, sugar, and eggs. Of course, I forgot to take the butter out early so I had to microwave it. I’m forgetful like that.

Then you mix in the dry ingredients and the sour cream. I never said this was healthy.

Pour the batter in your pan and smooth it out with a spatula. Also, tap it on the counter a couple times to get rid of air bubbles.

Don’t forget to lick the batter – it was quite tasty!

The final cake without the yummy ganache:

The chopped chocolate for the ganache: (Is it just me or is chocolate a complete headache to chop? Is my knife not sharp enough?)

Then bring your cream to a boil. This always makes me nervous because I don’t want to scald it, but it somehow worked for me.

Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and voila!

Just pour that deliciousness over your cake and you’re done!

Full Recipe:

Serves 10 to 12

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for whipped cream (optional)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Chocolate Ganache Glaze:
  • 1 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • Chocolate shavings, for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-round cake pan; line bottom with a round of waxed or parchment paper. Butter paper; dust bottom and sides of pan with cocoa, tapping out excess.
  2. Sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour.
  3. Spread batter in prepared pan. Tap pan firmly on countertop once to eliminate large air bubbles. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely (bottom-side up). Set rack with cake over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over cake, letting it run over sides; spread gently with an offset spatula or table knife to coat. Let set, about 30 minutes.
  4. If desired, whip cream and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Serve cake with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
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Pork Tournedos

April 27, 2010

Over the weekend I tried out a new recipe: Pork Tournedos with Sage and Prosciuttos from Sara Moulton’s cook book “Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals”. Overall, I would give it a 2 out of 5 in difficulty and a 4 out of 5 for tastiness.

First, take a pork tenderloin and cut it into 8 even pieces. Emphasis on the EVEN. I kindof messed that one up..

Yummm…raw meat. So…as you can see here I failed to cut these evenly, which is why I had issues with this recipe. At least it’s an easy fix! Basically, the meat didn’t cook evenly so there were some pieces that ended up being overcooked.

Cook the pork by sauteing it in a pan with EVOO. I always have difficulty with this because it gets insanely smoky and I usually end up finishing them in the oven once they’ve got a nice crust, which is exactly what I did this time.

Next is the sauce:

I did a few things different from the recipe. First, I forgot to buy some fresh sage at the store…so I left that out. Second, the recipe called for lemon slices, but I just used lemon juice. Lastly, I increased the amount of butter because that is always a good idea.

The first step of the sauce is to saute the prosciutto:

After it’s sauteed for only around 30 seconds add the broth, capers, and lemon juice. After the chicken broth has reduced down start adding the butter bit by bit.

Then you get the final product:

I might need to work on my presentation skills, but it really was tasty! Here’s the full recipe:

One 1-pound pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into 8 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce prosciutto di Parma, cut into strips (about 1/3 cup loosely packed)
1/2 lemon, peeled, cut into sections and the sections chopped
1 tablespoon drained, bottled capers
1 tablespoon rinsed, dried, and chopped fresh sage
2/3 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or Chicken Stock (See Episode 103)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced

Season the pork on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot; reduce the heat to medium-high; add the pork and sauté until well browned, about 4 minutes. Turn the pork and sauté until browned on the other side and the temperature has reached 145°F on a meat thermometer, about 4 minutes. Transfer the pork to a serving platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Reduce the heat to medium; add the prosciutto di Parma to the skillet and sauté 30 seconds. Add the lemon, capers, and sage; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Return the heat to high; add the broth and cook until the liquid is reduced by 1/3, stirring to incorporate the browned bits from the pan. Stir in the butter and any juices from the serving platter. Bring the sauce to a boil and serve over the pork.