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Things eaten

The weekend's culinary highlights: "Chocolate clouds", which I baked with a fair amount of olive oil and were lovely, if I do say so myself; tart-and-sticky apple cake; and deeply chocolately muffins topped with a dense chocolate ganache, otherwise named "Dirty, dirty porn cakes" - the apple cake and muffins were baked by sushidog and consumed in proximity to tea, flaming amaretto cookie wrappers, and lots of very pleasant people.

This weekend's culinary lowlight: I dropped a heavy cookbook on my bare foot and it still hurts.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 16th, 2007 12:04 am (UTC)
The chocolate clouds were excellent; may I have the recipe?
Jan. 16th, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
Chocolate Clouds
Of course!

Preheat the oven to 190° C. Grease your cooking container even if it's nonstick and has never before stuck to anything you've tried baking in it. The original recipe recommends flouring as well. (And indeed, it may well help as very few of mine came out cleanly.)

Sift or whisk together in a reasonably large bowl:
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt

Combine in a smallish saucepan until thoroughly melted and combined:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
100g good dark baking chocolate

Pour the hot mixture over the dry ingredients and stir together until just smooth.
Whisk together, then stir into the batter:
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup double cream
a decent splash of vanilla

Ladle or pour the batter into your baking container(s) of choice and bake until a toothbook comes out cleanly. For mini-muffins, it took just shy of 10 minutes.

Makes 3-and-a-half dozen mini-muffins.

The original recipe was called "Texas Sheet Cake" in The Joy of Cooking and involved twice the volume, buttermilk, and cocoa, none of which I could be bothered with.
Jan. 16th, 2007 11:28 pm (UTC)
P.S. I would love the recipes for the apple cakes and dirty, dirty porn cakes.
Jan. 16th, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)
Vegan Apple cake;

Peel and core about 1lb cooking apples (I used a couple of decent-sized Bramleys). Chop roughly (chunks rather than slices), and put in a pan with a splash of water. Put a lid on it, and cook very gently for 20 minutes or so, stirring now and then, until it has cooked to mush. Allow to cool a bit.
In a bowl, cream together 4oz margarine (you could use butter if you're not bothered about making it vegan) and 4oz brown sugar (I used demerara), then add the apple puree and beat again. Add 6oz dried fruit (I used about an ounce each of cranberries and blueberries, about two oz apricots, chopped, and about 2oz sultanas) and stir in. Mix 2 level tsps Bicarbonate of soda with 1 tbs boiling water and add to the bowl, followed by 8oz plain flour (the original recipe calls for wholemeal; I only had a tiny bit of wholemeal, so I used mostly white) and some spice; I think I used about half a teaspoon cinnamon and about the same of ginger. Fold in thoroughly, then pour into a well-greased cake tin, and bake at GM 4 (180oc) for 45-60 minutes, until a skewer comes out cleanish.

Dirty Dirty Porn Cakes;

Prehat oven to gas mark 4, 180oc
Set 12 muffin cases in a muffin tin (or grease a cake tin, if you prefer!)

Using a hand beater, or a wooden spoon and brute force, cream together 4oz soften butter and 4oz sugar until light and fluffy.

Add two eggs and mix in. Add 1oz cocoa powder, 3oz self-raising flour, and 2oz ground almonds (or you can leave out the almonds and puree a small banana and add that; sounds odd, but it works!).
Mix this all together, and then add a little milk so that the
consistency is still fudgy, but quite soft.
Add 2oz cadbury's chocolate buttons and stir in.

Plop into the muffin cases (or cake tin) and bake for about 34-45 minutes for a cake, or about 20-25 minutes for cupcakes/muffins. They should be fairly firm and starting to crack on top, but don't overcook them, they should be slightly moist and squidgy in the middle.

For chocolate ganache, melt 250g decent quality dark chocolate. Beat
in 250ml double cream (hand beaters are great for this). Leave to
stand for 20 or 30 minutes, then beat again, and spread on the
cupcakes/cake. Top with crystallised rose petals and violets, or sugar
flowers, or maltezers, or whatever! :-)
(Actually, I use this amount of ganache for a double batch of cupcakes, so halve it if you're just making twelve, unless you want them to be really truly _filthy_ dirty triple-X-rated porn cakes!)

Jan. 17th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! (Alas, after all your hard effort slaving over a hot keyboard, I apparently asked for one of the wrong things. It was a pale yellow tart bar cake with threaded bits on top (candied lemon peel?). I don't even know at this distance if you made them.

I would never have guessed that Cadbury's chocolate buttons were the Secret Ingredient. The pureed banana sounds easier than the ground almonds for a first attempt.
Jan. 17th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
Ah, the lemon drizzle cake; the one on the two-tiered china cakestand?

In a saucepan, melt together 6 oz brown sugar (the darker the better, so while demerara is fine, muscovado will give a deeper flavour) and 6oz butter, along with the grated zest of a lemon and a lime. (I actually did double this amount, in a large roasting dish, but unless you're doing tea and cake for 20, you probably don't need such a vast quantity!) Don't let it boil, but when the butter has melted, give it a very thorough stir to combine it; it won't combine perfectly, but do what you can!
Let it cool a bit, then add 6 oz self-raising flour (or substitute a couple of ounces of flour with ground almonds and a teaspoon of baking powder; this makes it moister and more fabulous, without making it taste almondy) and two eggs. Mix thoroughly, then pour (it's more like a thick batter than a cake mix) into a well-greased tin. Bake at GM 5 (180oc) for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Meanwhile, mix together about 4oz icing sugar with the juice of the lemon and lime (if there are bits of pulp in the juice, so much the better!). Add a bit of extra juice if the sugar won't all dissolve.
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, stab it all over with a skewer, and then slowly pour the lemon/sugar mix over the top, allowing it to sink down into the holes; pour it as evenly as you can, and try not to let it all go to the middle and the edges (as it will try to do), as that tends to result in some bits being soggy and some dry). Let it cool completely in the tin.

For the dirty porncakes, I would say the almonds are easier than the banana, because if you use banana it must be _very_ well pureed and mixed in; otherwise you get odd little tough leathery bits in the cakes, which are odd. Mind you, the ground almonds are a bit pricey!
Jan. 17th, 2007 12:28 pm (UTC)
Yes! I don't know why I thought it tasted of tart apples as well. It was very good. Thank you.

Ground almonds: buying is most sensible, but this reminds me yet again that I really need to get a better mortar and pestle. Perhaps it's also something my shiny new food processor can create.
Jan. 16th, 2007 12:37 am (UTC)
I dropped a frozen package of puff pastry on my foot several weeks ago and it still hurts too.

I hate small bones of the foot injuries.

I am laughing way too hard the phrase: "dirty, dirty porn cakes"
Jan. 16th, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC)
If we're lucky, sushidog will provide the recipe, and then we can make them too!

Puff pastry is dangerous stuff.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )