Monthly Archives: March 2013

the very toothsomeness of you

fudgy cocoa cake
toothsome /ˈtuːθs(ə)m/

Definition of toothsome
adjective

1.(of food) temptingly tasty:a toothsome morsel
2. informal (of a person) good-looking; attractive: a toothsome bimbo I thought he was toothsome

Derivatives:
noun: toothsomeness, adverb: toothsomely (from Oxford Dictionary).

i thought of this word instantly, as soon as i took a bite of this cake (recipe from King Arthur Flour, “fudge birthday cake”). i wanted to use Dutch-processed or alkalized cocoa because that is my preferred chocolate for cakes: deep, dark, lingering…the taste is almost like a feeling. ha, a chocolate feeling!? corny, but you’ll understand what i mean once you take a toothsome morsel of this.
moist and fudgy and toothsome cocoa cake, iced with dark chocolate ganache…

today was still a frosty day, we even saw some snowflakes walking out of the cinema at 6 p.m. (we watched “Jack the Giant Slayer”, me and #2son), and the James Taylor dude’s “Blossom” will make you really eager for spring, (and that’s the Carole King on the grand piano!).
seems my dreams have frozen
melt my cares away…

Meyer lemon and white chocolate tart

IMG_2106
i found a one and only box of Meyer lemons at my Asian grocery, and i just had to run with it. the season for Meyer-lemon-seeking in New England is virtually non-existent. you have to keep a very sharp eye out for it. then when you see it, you grab it.
Meyer lemons
the box came with a very simple no-bake recipe, aside from the tart shell, and i wondered about the white chocolate part. i had a hunch the white chocolate would be drowned out by the Meyer lemons, which are very strong and floral, but is integral to the recipe to give it body and smoothness. i was a bit doubtful at first, while mixing in the chopped up white chocolate into the lemon curd. no worries, my boys give it a five-star thumbs up. i paired it with a sweet tart dough with almonds (from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking…”). it makes a nice breakfast treat with hot strong Italian espresso.
the zing of the Meyer lemons somehow makes me think of spring, which started yesterday, allegedly.
IMG_2100

3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 Meyer lemons, juiced
(i added a 1/4 tsp. of zest)
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 9-inch baked tart shell (i used a rectangle) with a removable bottom

in a medium stainless steel bowl, beat the eggs until blended, stir in sugar and then Meyer lemon juice. cook over boiling water, stirring continuously with a wire whisk until mixture thickens, resembling pudding. remove from the heat and stir in white chocolate until melted and completely incorporated. set aside and cool at room temperature. cover and chill. whip the cream to firm peaks. fold the cool Meyer lemon mixture into the cream and spoon into baked tart shell. chill 2 hours or until firm before serving.

or would you rather have Meyer lemons in cheesecake? or in lemon bars? i can finally make this citrus berry buttermilk cake with the real deal Meyer lemons!

Danish aebleskivers

ableskivers?
…in the cakepop maker. i’m not so sure about its authenticity, i searched for the recipe in Scandinavian sites and the eggs were always separated, whites being whipped separately into a meringue before being incorporated back in.
this one is obviously adapted for the cakepop maker. i’ll order ableskivers next time i’m in Copenhagen, how’s that? 😆
i made these to welcome home the college kid who opted to stay home instead of going on a road trip with her roommate. woohoo! welcome back college kid!
but now the week is almost over and she has to go back. at least her university is only a few stops away on the train. i loved having all my children together again.

these were so quickly gobbled up, even with the double amount of batter. they kind of taste like a descendant of waffle, pancake, and popover: a bit crusty-crunchy on the outside, and soft and custardy on the inside. recipe is from the cakepop maker website:

1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
powdered sugar, turbinado sugar, jam, maple syrup, nutella

in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. set aside.
in a small bowl whisk together egg, sour cream and buttermilk. pour into dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
preheat cake pop Maker. using a pastry brush, brush each well with melted butter (or spray lightly with non-stick).
fill each well with about 1 tablespoon batter.
bake 2 to 3 minutes or until softly set and golden brown on the bottom. turn aebelskivers and bake 2 minutes or until golden.
generously sprinkle with powdered sugar. ( we dipped them in sugar in the raw, turbinado, maple syrup….you get the idea?)

triple chocolate mousse cake, and we are snowed in today.

my snowman
“it’s March already and the snow likely will not pile up…”
what do i know? i’m just a silly agoraphobic chick. this is as far outside as i got, hovering near the cellar doorway with my camera, anxiously awaiting my #2son who gallantly went outside to try and shovel us out. all 20 inches !!! did we really get that much snow?
it was too deep, and he couldn’t even find the shovel, buried under all that.
never mind, it’ll all melt away this weekend. or not. 😆
triple chocolate mousse cake
if you’re ever in need of cheering up, or you’re snowed in and have some time on your hands, why not try this toothsome chocolate, no make that, triple! chocolate treat?
the last time i made anything triple chocolate was a cheesecake of dark, semi-sweet, and milk chocolate layers, years ago when blogging wasn’t in my life yet. i remember it was quite a lot of pots and pans involved but it was truly memorable. so when i saw this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, i just had to try it again. guess what? still a lot of pots and pans, but well worth the effort.

first mousse over the cake base
bake the dark chocolate cake base, then smooth out the milk chocolate mousse over that.
smoothing out the mousse
triple choc. mousse cake
white chocolate mousse on top of all that, then chill,…then go over the top literally with chocolate shavings.

chocolate amaretti puddings

chocolate amaretti pudding
snow is steadily falling outside, and there’s a pleasant peaceful hush, the sound of snow. i’ve had to lower our thermostat though, the harsh reality of oil price always looms over my head and the visual provided by husband who said, “it’s like burning money” makes me don another layer and warm up with a portable electric heater. it’s March already, the snow likely will not pile up, and just looking at pictures of summer scenes makes me hopeful.
meanwhile i make a pot of tea and bake bake bake. this pudding is from BBC Good Food. it pairs truly wonderfully with a hot drink. it has almonds in the batter, an amaretti cookie inside, and with a splash of heavy cream, you can sink back into that cozy armchair and throw an afghan over your shoulders (i’m using that electric blanket myself), and watch the snow fall.

*i have had to edit some old posts, the tags and memes mostly, due to dead, outdated, and even more menacingly, malware-directed links. i don’t really know the mechanics involved but i had to delete them.
amaretti cookie inside
recipe for chocolate amaretti puddings follows:

200 g. butter, plus extra for the molds
200 g. plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
4 eggs (at room temperature)
200 g. dark brown sugar
140 g. ground almonds
25 g. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
4 tbsps. Amaretto liqueur
10 amaretti cookies

heat oven to 390°F. bring a kettle full of water to the boil.
have a large roasting pan ready (i used a large pyrex dish).
butter and flour 10 6 oz. ramekins or other mini pudding tins. line with parchment paper, cut to fit the bottoms.
cut ten squares of foil each big enough to cover the ramekins, butter one side of each foil cover. set aside.

melt the butter and chocolate on top of a double boiler, heating gently and stirring now and then. let cool. meanwhile, put the eggs and sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk with electric beaters for 10 minutes, or until thick and foamy and forms ribbons when you lift up the beaters.
in a large bowl, mix the ground almonds, flour and baking powder together. splash 1 tbsp. amaretto over the cookies and gently toss. fold the cooled chocolateinto the egg and sugar mixture, then fold in the flour mixture gently, followed by the remaining 3 tbsps. amaretto. mix until well-combined.

fill the ramekins one-third full, then drop in an amaretti cookie and top up with mix, leaving a 1 cm. gap between the top of the mix and the edge of the ramekins. loosely cover with a foil square over the top, put them in the roasting pan and pour hot water all around (the water level should be about halfway up the sides of the ramekins). bake for 30 minutes then insert a skewer into one; a few damp crumbs should cling to the skewer. cool 15 minutes.

to serve, loosen sides of puddings with a thin sharp knife. invert into individual serving plates. pour heavy cream on top.