Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fudgy February

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge. When I saw the challenge I knew that I wanted to make it when I went home. You see, it was my dad's birthday, and he loves chocolate cake! I was a little leery of making ice cream. I mean, it's February and it's cold...but I decided to try it anyway. How glad am I that I's the first time that I made ice cream and I now know that I can do it! I decided to do all semi-sweet chocolate. Most people will tell you that you MUST use a high quality chocolate...I say, Toll-House morsels work great! Not to say that high quality chocolate probably does have a smoother taste, but this does not have to be a high budget dessert. For me, the hardest part was melting the chocolate. You see, I was unwise in the bowl I chose for the double boiler and it was too small, making the process take a lot longer than it should have. However, this is a fairly straight forward recipe that results in an impressive, delicious, fudgy cake. My dad appreciated the dark taste of the cake. I paired it with a cinnamon ice milk, which I changed a bit...nope, no cream here. The frozen confection ended up being VERY cinnamony...the intensity of the flavor could easily be decreased by reducing the enormous amount of cinnamon used. If you were aware of the intense flavor, it was delicious. I don't think my brother would agree as he nearly choked when he ate it. However, the rest of us and a guest really enjoyed it. Being that it is simply ice milk, it has a very light texture. I felt like I was eating snow!!! The cinnamon really complemented the chocolate nicely. For more results, check out the Daring Bakers here! Chocolate Valentino
Preparation Time: 20 minutes

16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter (I only used 1/2 cup)
5 large eggs separated

1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter. {link of folding demonstration}
8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C.
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

Cinnamon Ice Milk adapted from Gluten-Free Desserts
3 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons Cinnamon - VERY cinnamony...use less if desired
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
original recipe calls for 1/4 cup can use this to make it chocolate flavored, I just didn't want more chocolate!


Just place all these ingredients into your mixer's bowl, and mix on low speed until the sugar dissolves and the cocoa and cinnamon are distributed nicely (feel free to alter the blance of cocoa and cinnamon to your liking). Then pull your pre-frozen ice-cream maker bowl from the freezer, placed it in the ice-cream maker machine, and fill the bowl with the mixed ingredients and turned the machine on for 20 minutes or until it is done.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's a Wrap!!!

Tomorrow, I finish my ethics course. It's been interesting, concerning, and enlightening. I hope that I will be able to put into practice what I've learned and the things I'm convicted of. With spring on the horizon, here is a light and healthy lunch that my mom and I enjoyed over Christmas. It was based off of a sandwich that she had from Panera bread. It was the veggie sandwich. Her sandwich had a pesto on it, but we just used hummus instead. I used a La Tortilla Factory wrap (which I love!) but this would also be delicious on any other tortilla, focaccia bread, or beer bread...of which I will be providing a recipe soon!!! Veggie Wrap
1 tortilla
hummus (see "recipe" below)
red onion
olive (not on this one but would be GREAT!)
goat cheese

Spread hummus on one side of the tortilla and goat cheese on the other side. Place lettuce on one side. Top with tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and olives. Roll and enjoy!

Hummus (this is how I make it about once a week)
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 Tablespoons olive oil
garlic or garlic powder
1/2 cup water

Place all ingredients (except water) in food processor. Process (!). Gradually add water until processor runs smoothly. Taste and season as desired. Be careful not to add too much salt! I did this time and the only way we could eat the hummus was on this wrap!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras!!!

Before I show you an easy recipe for King Cake, I want to tell you about a contest at Southern Plate. Christy is giving away an AWESOME Wilton cupcake set. This is a sacrifice to tell you about this contest because I really want to win this...but telling you about it gets me extra entries, so I'll be nice. Drop by here and enter!

I guess I celebrated today a bit early...I had my pancakes on Saturday when I went home! However, the pediatric chief resident's wife, Maggie, gave me a recipe for King Cake that I was excited to try. Overall, this is a very simple recipe. The first proof is only an hour long and the second probably about the same, though I wouldn't know because I accidentally missed that you were supposed to let the formed ring rise! Ooops...wonder if that had anything to do with it being underbakes....ooops again! This was REALLY good. It tasted just like a store bought (which in MS is good) King Cake. The recipe had a simple cinnamon-sugar filling, but on request of my friend Sarah (the one who just had the baby) I did a sweetened cream cheese filling. Makes me wonder if the filling is the reason it was underbaked. The cream cheese certainly added moisture and thickness, so maybe I should have cooked it longer to start with...hmmmm. Overall, I highly recommend this recipe. It's quick and easy and makes TWO to keep and one to give away!

King Cake from Maggie

1/4 cup Butter
1 16 oz. carton Sour cream
1/3 cup Sugar
1 teasp Salt
2 pkg Yeast (or four teaspoons)
1 tbsp Sugar
1/2 cup Warm water
2 Eggs
6 1/2 cups Plain flour (six cups directly stirred in, 1/2 cup kneeded in)

1 cup Granulated sugar
4 teasp Cinnamon
2 teasp Flour
1/2 cup Butter
2 Token plastic babies
OR (per king cake)
1 block cream cheese
1/2 cups sugar

3 cups Powdered sugar
3 tbsp Butter, melted
3 to 5 tbsp Milk
Colored sugar for garnish

Mix first 4 ingredients in a saucepan. Heat until butter melts. Let mixture cool.
Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.
Add butter mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour; beat 2 minutes. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour.

For filling, combine sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Set aside with butter. OR cream together cream cheese and sugar.

When dough has risen one hour, punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn one portion of dough out onto a floured surface, and roll out to a 28 by 10 inch rectangle. Repeat with remaining dough portion. Spread butter over each rectangle and sprinkle with filling or spread with cream cheese mixture. Roll up each rectangle jellyroll fashion, starting at short side. Place a token plastic baby inside each roll. Gently place each roll of dough seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends of each roll together to form an oval ring of each roll. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until double in bulk.

Bake at 375 F 15 to 20 minutes (probably 30-40 minutes if using cream cheese filling). To prepare frosting, mix powdered sugar, butter and milk. Decorate each cake with frosting; sprinkle with colored sugars. (Makes 2 King Cakes)

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Importance of Fat

I went home this weekend, and we all know what that means...banana bread of some sort! Well, this time, it didn't work as I wished. I pulled the muffins out of the oven and decided to check the inside of one. It just wasn't quite right, why? Oh my goodness! I realized that I had totally forgotten to put in any form of fat (or fat substitute)! I had hopes that they might still be good, but when I got up in the morning my mom told me that they had to "punt!" Oh, well! Over Christmas I DID have a very delicious new banana bread recipe, though. This is a gingerbread banana bread that I found at Baking Bites. It ended up with a VERY moist crumb...almost gummy but not quite. I honestly kind of like that texture! I highly recommend this recipe if you want a flavorful bread to go with least, I assume it would be good with tea! The addition of sugar on top of the batter makes for a lovely change in texture and appearance, my mom even noticed! And for those of you who want to redeem something has whole wheat flour AND bananas in it! There you away! Banana Gingerbread
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup banana, mashed (about 2 large)
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 tbsp vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, banana, molasses**, buttermilk and vegetable oil. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just ombined. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Makes 1 loaf, 8-10 slices.

**Hint - to more easily get the molasses out of the measuring cup, spray the cup with cooking spray before measuring. It just slides right on out...slow as molasses, but out! :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Meal for You

I feel like such a blog slacker! I totally have recipes to give y'all but just haven't done any posts. So, today I'll give you an entire meal! It's really pretty easy and, except for the fact that it cooks for longer than 30 minutes, could be a 30 minutes meal. :-) Over Christmas break, my brother and his girlfriend decided that they wanted to make dinner for all of us...he made it a big surprise as to what he was making. They ended up doing pork loin, creamed corn (from the tube!), and garlic mashed potatoes (from the bag) and I added a salad. It was all very good. The pork loin was SOOO good. He just used an A1 marinade and instead of marinading the meat, cooked it in the marinade. I don't remember exactly how long but I think it was about 1.5 hours on 350...he followed the instructions on the meat package and then tested with the meat thermometer. Great job, Philip!!!

I provided the dessert (ooops, not at this meal but earlier that week!). After seeing so many rave reviews about the Levain Bakery, I decided to try Anna's recipe for the copies. I made four cookies instead of two. I don't know if I did something wrong, but they pretty much turned out like your typical chocolate chip cookie, though still good.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies from Cookie Madness

2 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 3/4 tablespoons beaten egg (that’s half an egg)
3/4 cups BREAD flour (3 1/4 oz) – weigh if possible. If no scale, scoop and sweep
1/8 plus 1/16 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter and both sugars just until they come together. Don’t over-beat. Add the egg and beat just until incorporated. Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. When thoroughly mixed, add to batter and stir just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. The dough should be neither sticky nor dry. Divide dough into four freeformed mounds. Bake on ungreased insulated cookie sheet or an upside down rimmed cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes at 350. Cool on sheet for about 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Philip and Kenna shared one with some ice cream.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Steak and Apples

I have had a yummy food week. On Tuesday, our pediatric department hosted a dinner for all the M4's. It was at a really nice place and our menu consisted of roasted corn chowder (which was more like a sweet tasting potato soup), autumn salad (with field greens, apples, blue cheese, and a vinegarette), a choice of filet or mahi mahi (I had mahi mahi!) with broccoli and roasted potatoes, and bread pudding. It was SO good! Then tonight I was invited to stay and eat with my friend Sarah. I had been visiting with her, baby Luke, and her mom all afternoon and was helping with him while she dealt with a dog issue as it neared supper time. We had steak and salad. It was VERY good! Although, my recipe tonight isn't as elegant or excited as the eats described above, it was a yummy breakfast option...or snack! I found this recipe for muffins on Cook, Craft, Enjoy. I made a few changes that turned out to be really good. I used whole wheat flour which lended a really wholesome and satisfying taste to these. If you're looking for something to satisfy your tummy, taste buds, AND body...try these!

Apple Muffins

2 cups whole wheat
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 apple, cored and chopped
2 eggs
1/2 oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with paper cups.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in apple.
  3. In another bowl, mix together eggs, oil and buttermilk mixture. Add this to the flour mixture all at once and mix until just combined.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Birthdays All Around

I don't know if you remember, but last year I had a friend who had a miscarriage. Well, Thursday she gave birth to her little boy, Luke! I spent about 2 and a half hours visiting with them yesterday. He is so cute and precious! Makes me want one of my own but I'm going to have to wait on that...gotta have a husband first! :-) I told her that she was supposed to wait until today to have him, as it's my birthday today, but I guess I'll let her keep being my friend even though she didn't wait! Anyway, at the end of December I hosted a baby shower for her. It turned out quite well even though we didn't have a big turn out. It is quite difficult to get a lot of fourth year medical students together at one time...except for three days: Match Day (March 19), Long Coat Ceremony (May 21), and graduation (May 22). I decided to serve my Polynesian Chicken because it's easy, yummy, and makes a lot for not a lot of time. For dessert, I pulled out a delicious recipe from Southern Sideboards. It has quite an impressive name...Pineapple Cake...but really is delicious. I decided to decrease the oil in the cake, as I knew that the mandarin oranges would add extra moisture (see the yummy oranges?). The end result was still very moist...not quite as moist as the recipe as written but more moist that a regular cake. It's such a fresh tasting cake and isn't overly sweet. I had some extra "icing" leftover and highly suggest using it for a fruit dip. It's perfect! Pineapple Cake adapted from Southern Sideboards
1 box butter recipe golden cake mix
1-11 oz can mandarin oranges with juice
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups (I used 1 cup) cooking oil
1 (15.5 oz) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 box vanilla instant pudding mix (I used sugar free)
1 (13.5 oz) carton Cool Whip

Beat the cake mix, oranges, eggs, and oil together until well blended. Bake in 3 9-inch cake pans at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely. Meanwhile, mix together pineapple and pudding mix. Fold into Cool Whip. Spread over one cake layer, top with another cake layer. Proceed to top second layer with cool whip mix. Top with the last cake layer. Spread over the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate overnight. Will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Lemonade and Pumpkin

No, these two don't really go together. Typically, lemonade makes me think of summer and pumpkin brings thoughts of autumn. However, I was given an award a few weeks ago by Jane and Loves To Eat called the lemonade award. If you are not familiar with the Lemonade Award, it is given by a previous winner to 10 people who have shown a great attitude or gratitude this week. It’s a great way to show these people that you appreciate them. are my awards:
1. Jenna at Eat, Live, Run
2. Deborah
at Taste and Tell
3. Ashley at A Year in the Kitchen
4. Laura at The Dawkins Narrative
5. Kaytie at Tiny Biscuits
6. Kristen at Dine and Dish
7. Erika at Tummy Treasure
8. Casey at Blog a la Bradshaw
9. Peabody at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
10. Megan at The Johnsons

I hope all of you ladies enjoy your award! Now on to the Pumpkin!
I made this bread from Jenna's site MANY months ago, but it was so good I just have to share it with you. Jenna is a baker at Greenwise, so you know it has to be good! I halved the recipe and it still turned out well.
Spiced Pumpkin Bread by Jenna (halved with a slight alteration)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 CAN pumpkin
1/3rds cup warm water
1 cups chopped, toasted pecans

Per Jenna, just dump everything except the nuts into a mixing bowl, mix with a paddle attachment for about 2 minutes (or until everything has come together…do NOT over mix!!!!!), fold in the pecans and bake for 50 minutes at 350.