Easy chocolate cake recipe

So I am quite new to blogging and I am looking for ways to be more e-social and for ways to challenge me in my culinary adventure. I saw post of the Burwell General Store recipe swap and I found it quite inspiring. I love the idea of personalizing recipes and I like they are old recipes. I remember when I was a kid my grandmother had one of those old cooking books that she would use when cooking, now that old book is in my mothers’ hands and it is just fascinating to look at it and look at how people used to cook and think about cooking. So I love the idea of reinterpreting old dishes and put my mark on it.

Anyway this month challenge is this “‘Busy Day Wacky Cake”:

I looked at the recipe and I immediately decided that I wanted to bake my busy day chocolate cake. Similar to the one proposed, my recipe is for a chocolate cake and is super fast. If your kitchen is tidy and well organized it won’t take you more than 30 min start to finish, if like me you are scrambling to find all the ingredients and utensils it might take 45 minutes. And this include baking time! So here is how I bake it.

Recipe swap: busy day chocolate cake

Ingredients

  • – 7 oz. dark chocolate
  • – 7 oz. butter
  • – 5 oz. sugar
  • – 3.5 oz. flour
  • – 4 eggs
  • – pinch of salt

Directions

  1. First I melt 7 oz. of dark chocolate in the microwave. I find that it is crucial to choose good quality chocolate . Then in a food processor I mix 3.5 oz. of flour, 5 oz. of sugar, 7 oz. of butter, 4 yolks, 1 pinch of salt and the melted chocolate (I let it cool down a bit so it doesn’t cook the eggs). While the ingredients are in the food processor, I beat the egg whits until stiff. Finally I slowly mix the egg whites in the chocolate mix. I then pour the egg whites in the chocolate mix and carefully mix the two . Then I put everything in the cold oven and turn it on at 380F and let cook the cake for 20-25 Minutes. It is important that the oven is cold because you want the middle of the cake to stay moist and starting with a cool oven allows you not to overcook your cake.
  2. Pay attention in sharing this cake: the last 2 times I made it for friends’ birthdays I was forced to re-bake the cake at all future birthdays…

Recipe swap: deconstructed strudel

So another month has gone by and I am playing again with the fabulous recipes proposed by Christianna for her recipe swap at Burwell general Store. This month we were playing with Ozarkian Taffy Apples. As you can see below the recipe is a version of caramelized apples.

At first I thought about playing with apples ad caramel and make something like a tarte tatin. But then I thought it was not that original, plus there are good tarte tatin recipes everywhere, so I decided to play with the shape. Carmelized apples are apples that are left whole and encased in something, so I thought about baking apples and encase them in puff pastry. And puff pastry plus apples remind me of strudel, so I added a little something to make it more strudel-y.

Recipe swap: deconstructed strudel

Recipe swap: deconstructed strudel

Ingredients

  • 2 apples
  • 1 spoon raisin
  • 1 spoon pine nuts
  • 2 cinnamon cookies
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • marsala for soaking raisins
  • 1 egg for brushing
  • cinnamon for decoration

Directions

  1. Frst I soaked the raisin in marsala and hot water. I washed and cored the apples (easier said than done when you don’t have an apple corer). I blended the raisin with pine nuts and 2 cinnamon cookies and used the mixture to stuff the apples.
  2. Then I took the puff pastry and cut it into stripes that I wrapped around the apples and used the leftover pastry to cut a couple of leaves to decorate the apple. Finally, I brushed the puff pastry with egg wash and sprinkled some cinnamon for decoration.
  3. I baked the apples for about 40 minutes in a 380F oven.
  4. The apples turned out good, but one of the two “unwrapped’ during cooking. I suspect I should have refrigerated the wrapped apples before putting them in the oven so that the puff pastry wouldn’t “melt” down. Here a pic of both apples.
  5. Remember to check out what my fellow blogger did. You can find links to their recipes at Burwell general Store.

Potato dumplings

So another recipe swap at Burwell general Store has come. This time we are giving a try to Potato Donuts. Now I don’t like donuts, nor fried stuff, so I didn’t know what to do with this for the longest time, then at the last minute I had an inspiration. I was surfing on the web looking at random recipes when I stumbled on fruit stuffed potato dumpling.

The recipe is a classic Austrian dish and is pretty close in spirit to donuts, but it’s healthier because you don’t fry it. At the same time the dumplings are tossed in crispy breadcrumbs and that gives it an almost fried feeling, which makes it very satisfying despite the absence of pretty much any sugar. I was not a big believer, but I changed my mind when I tried the first dumpling!
The final result is a not too sweet dessert, that could be used also as a meal for little picky eaters or as the main course of a brunch.

Recipe swap: potato dumplings

Recipe swap: potato dumplings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium potatoes (about 3/4 lb)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 lb flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 apricots
  • 2 prunes
  • 3 spoons butter
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • cinammon
  • sugar
  • salt

Directions

  1. I started out by boiling my potatoes in lightly salted water until they were soft. Then I peeled them and mashed them using a potato ricer. I let the potatoes cool down and then I added in the first 1/2 pound of flour, 2 spoons of butter, the egg yolk and a pinch of salt. I mixed everything up adding flour as necessary. The dough should come together in a smooth and soft mass that doesn’t stick to the cooking surface.
  2. At this point I boiled a bit of water. I cut a cross on my fruits and quickly blanched them in the boiling water. After a couple of minutes I fished them out and I saved the water to cook my dumplings. I peeled the fruits and cut them open to remove the stones.
  3. I divided the dough in 4 parts and flattened out each bit. At the center of each piece of dough I placed one of the fruits and then closed the dough around it to form a ball the size of a baseball ball.
  4. I cooked the dumplings in boiling and lightly salted water (I used the water in which I blanched the fruit) for about 10 minutes.
  5. While the dumplings were cooking, I melted the remaining butter with a bit of cinamon in a pan and then added in the breadcrumbs. When the dumplings started floating, I fished them out and quickly tossed the dumplings with the breadcrumbs.
  6. Finally I transfered everything to a dish and sprinkled with sugar.
  7. Remember to check out what my fellow blogger did. You can find links to their recipes at Burwell general Store.

Crostata recipe

And it is again the time of the month where we come together from different blogs to reinterpret one the recipes proposed by Christianna at the Burwell General Store. This month lovely Christianna has chosen once again a cake. Christianna, Dennis, Toni, Sabrina, Lora, Lindsay, Mari, Mary, Jennifer, Crissy and Lauren, Jamie, Claire, Shari, Joy, Monique, Linda, Priya, Rachel, Alli, Katy, Lana, Emily, Jaclyn and I have come up with some sort of creative reinvention of the jelly cake.

I have been doing quite a bit of thinking and finally I settled on crostata. Crostata is a typical cake from Italy made with a sort of shortbread crust and filled with jam. I love it and hate it the same time. Love it because it is a memory of my childhood and one of the first things I learned how to bake. Hate it because good dough is super crumbly and it frustrate me to roll it out and move it around. Using plastic wrap to unroll the paste helps quite a bit, but I’d work with pie crust over this dough any the time. Anyway after screaming out in frustration a couple of times I usually get it done and the excellent result makes up for the frustration.

By the way don’t let me discourage you, this dough is simple and not that frustrating for anyone with average patience, I just have no patience in me…

Recipe swap: Crostata

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. flour
  • 5 oz. butter
  • 5 oz. sugar
  • 2-3 yolks (depending on size)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • your favorite marmelade or jam
  • 4-6 graham crakers

Directions

  1. In your mixer, mix the fridge cold butter with the flour. Combine quickly until you get a blend of flour “crumbs”. Stop the mixer and transfer the crumbs onto your kitchen counter. Make a well at the center of the crumbs and put in the yolks, add the sugar and mix the dough without overworking it. As soon as the ingredients are well combined, make a disk, wrap it in plastic and set to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  2. While the dough is resting, prepare a spring form pan by buttering it or lining it with parchment paper.
  3. Place the rested dough on a large plastic wrap sheet and cover the dough with some more plastic wrap, you will use the wrap to facilitate rolling and moving the dough.
  4. Roll out the dough between the two plastic foils until the dough is about 1/2 inch thick. Place the dough in the pan and cut out the excess dough.
  5. Crumble the cookies and spread them on the bottom of the cake, then cover with the jam. I used gooseberry jam, but any jam, marmalade or jelly would work. I like using more acidic ones to counterbalance at least a bit the sweetness of the dough.
  6. Roll out the leftover dough and use it to decorate the top of the cake. If you still have leftover, use them to bake some shortbread cookies.
  7. This cake is perfect for breakfast and o use up leftover jam from canning.

Recipe swap: Molasses cake

Incredibly a month is already gone and we are again posting for the fabulous recipe swap led by Cristianna at Burwell General store.

This time we are revamping Molasses Cookies. I was not sure what to bake, but then I started surfing around the internet and found a great molasses cake and I thought why not? It had exactly the ingredients I had in the fridge and pantry and it had molasses! Perfect right?

So that is what I baked. Mine is a bit more “rustic” looking than the original, but it stills smells delightful! I haven’t tried it yet, because I was super late for this post, so it is still cooling down (actually who am I kidding is still in the oven… I will post the pics as soon as I take the cake out of the oven…).

UPDATE: the cake is out and (bad) pics are up!!

UPDATE 2: the cake tastes good, the filling is a bit licorice-y the crust is buttery and crumbly.

Do not forget to check out what my fellow bloggers made with this recipe! They are all very creative and you won’t be disappointed! Dennis, Toni, Shumaila, Alex, Lora, Lindsay, Mari, Crissy and Lauren, Christianna, Jamie, Claire, Shari, Joy, Monique, Linda, Priya, Rachel, Alli, Katy, Emily, Krissy and Jaclyn all have done great thing!

Recipe swap: Molasses cake

Recipe swap: Molasses cake

Ingredients

  • For the crust:
  • 10 oz. flour
  • 5 oz. sugar
  • 5 oz. butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 yolk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • For the filling:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups molasses
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4.5 oz bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. orange or lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon or 1 orange

Directions

  1. Start by making the crust. To make the crust simply quickly mix all the ingredients together like you would do for a pie crust. Be quick to work the ingredients so you don’t overheat the butter. Once the ingredients come together form a disk and wrap in plastic. Let the dough rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  2. While the dough rests turn on the oven at 375F and prepare the filling. To make the filling, just mix together the molasses with the bread crumbs and the heavy whipping cream partially whipped. Then add the lemon or orange juice and zest.
  3. Now mount the cake starting out with the crust. Roll the dough into a 3/4 inch thick disk and line a pan with the dough. Pour the filling on top of the dough. Use the leftovers from the dough to decorate the top of the cake.
  4. Put in the oven at 375F and cook for about 40 minutes. Take out and let cool completely before enjoying. If the molasses is not enough, you can serve it with some whipped cream or custard cream.