Monthly Archives: June 2011

Chocolate Drip Cake

What an amazing and simple cake to make and one defiantly for us chocolate lovers. I love the simple yet sophisticated look of this cake. It literally drips chocolate hence the name. Some beautiful painted chocolate mint would adorn this cake perfectly.

Unsalted butter, softened, for pans
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup warm water
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 pound good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 1/3 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup corn syrup

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans (2 inches deep); dust with cocoa. Sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, water, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.

2. Divide batter between pans. Bake until set and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Turn out from pans. Transfer, face up, to wire racks. Let cool completely.

3. Spread 2 cups chocolate frosting onto top of 1 cooled layer. Top with remaining layer; frost top and sides with remaining 2 cups frosting.

1. Place chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup just to a simmer over medium-high heat; pour mixture over chocolate. Let stand, without stirring, until chocolate begins to melt.

2. Beginning near the center and working outward, stir melted chocolate into cream until mixture is combined and smooth (do not over stir).

3. Refrigerate, stirring every 5 minutes, until frosting just barely begins to hold its shape and is slightly lighter in color. Use immediately (ganache will continue to thicken after you stop stirring).

Yields: 1 cake

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Japanese Steak Bowl

Japanese meals are often served together in one bowl just as this easy dish is. The flavors pair perfectly together pleasing even those picky eaters with its light yet flavorful taste. If you happen to have any Japanese spices by all means use it. I was able to pick some up at a Japanese grocer while in Malaysia and its amazing with almost anything.

1 small white onion
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 sirloin steaks
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 cups cooked white rice
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Grill steaks until no longer pink. Meanwhile, thinly slice onion and pepper.

2. In a small 9-inch skillet on medium heat add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add onions and peppers, cooking until tender, about 5 minutes. Place onions and peppers and on a plate reserving skillet for later use. When steak is no longer pink cut into thin slices.

3. For the sauce in a small bowl add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and water, mix well. Add sauce into the 9-inch skillet on medium heat, add steak slices and mix well.

4. Mix butter and parsley into hot rice. Divide the rice into bowls, add steak with sauce on top with onions and peppers.

Yields: 2-3 servings

Coffee Shop Chocolate Muffins

This was the third recipe I used from my small batch cookbook and I would have to say my favorite as well. This made 5 perfect muffins which were just right for me to bake last night to leave out for my husband’s breakfast. With three leftover my son and I devoured the rest and they were simply irresistible. I used Nestle Menier baking chocolate which has been the best that I have tried.

1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons well-beaten egg
8-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped baking chocolate

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. In a medium size mixing bowl add sugar, flower, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix well.

2. Add buttermilk, vanilla and butter, mix well. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine chocolate well. Line 5 cupcake cups and evenly fill. Bake 15-20 minutes until done and a toothpick comes out clean.

 Yields: 5 muffins

Adapted from Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers

Fish Kabsa

Fish kabsa is a dish coming from the cities that border the sea and gulf in Saudi Arabia. Any white fish fillet that you may like would work well in this recipe. I used Najil which is a common fish in Saudi that came from the Persian Gulf. I also used Uncle Bens rice instead of the regular Basmati. This is my new favorite rice because it is clean and does not need to soak. And I have found that it does just as well if not better in my Middle Eastern and Eastern dishes.

1 kg (2 pounds) fish fillets, cut into small large pieces
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 large white onion, diced
2 cups rice (I used Uncle Bens)
3 cups water
1 vegetable bullion cube
1/2 tablespoon Arabic spice mix
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup pine nuts, fried
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1. In a large saute pan on medium heat add butter, onions and garlic; cook until tender. Add Arabic spice mix, mix well. Carefully add fish and allow to cook halfway on each side until lightly pink-white. About 1 minute or less on each side. Set fish aside.

2. Add rice, water, tomato paste and bullion cube to saute pan. Carefully place fish into sauce. Raise heat to high and allow to come to a full boil, cover and reduce to low. Allow to cook until rice and fish are thoroughly cooked. About 30 minutes. Arrange fish kabsa on a serving platter and decorate top with cilantro and pine nuts.

Yields: 4 servings