Today is the day. Today I leave for Buenos Aires to go to college. This all seems too surreal to me. I mean, here I am packing my things, with everything ready, everything went perfectly well and according to the plan and yet, I still cannot believe I am leaving. My friends threw my a surprise goodbye party, then I threw another one, I have had the most fun in the last week then ever, and I’ve also cried my good share. And still, I try to get a sense of reality, to get a grasp of what this actually means and I cannot achieve it.
I wanted this temporarily goodbye post to be about something great and classic, but that I hadn’t posted yet. I can’t believe it took me this long, seriously. These brownies are right there in the top 10 best things I’ve made. And these aren’t even my go-to favorite brownies. These are the ones I go to when I run out of good bar chocolate. Cause these have only cocoa powder, but don’t look down on them for that, these are INTENSE, really rich and decadent. If I hadn’t made them myself I wouldn’t have thought they didn’t have any melted chocolate. Easy and a favorite. I can swear to you, in my goodbye party they were gone in less then 3 minutes. Devoured. I could barely try them.
This post means that I won’t write for a while since I’m moving and everything will get awfully complicated, but I will come back with new recipes, and probably less time to make them when I start studying but still I will try my best and I am really excited to go to all the local bakeries I’ve heard so much about! Tons and tons of them and new exciting ingredients I can’t find here for the life of me (REAL, WHOLE vanilla beans? I think I might die) and create new recipes with DULCE DE LECHE because I will probably have it up my ears there. I am so thankful for everybody that supported me here and that will continue to do so in Argentina. I am sad to be leaving but the happiness overruns the sadness, thankfully 😀
These are easy, gooey, chewy, fudgy, soft and intense! I think I’d die if I had this with ice cream. But I LOVE them cold from the freezer. I know is weird but is easier to cut them that way. I got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen but I think nos is probably everywhere. Mine came out a little different, more like regular brownies rather than just cocoa ones, but I have no idea why. Later on I will post my favorite recipe which is even better if there’s even room for that. Oh, and I almost forgot, I browned the butter, because DAH that makes these go from WOAH to F!#$%&G AMAZING
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
First, melt the butter by itself in a medium sauce pan and let it brown. It will take a couple of minutes and watch it closely so it doesn’t burn. At this point, add the sugar, cocoa, and salt and stir quickly. Take it off the heat and stir a little more to start cooling the mixture. You want it to be warm, not hot, before adding the eggs. It looks really weird and gritty at this point, but don’t fret — it smooths out once the eggs and flour are added.
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges with a few crumbs on it, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. (I go further and throw mine in the fridge or freezer for a while; it’s the only way I can get them to cut with clean lines.)
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into squares.
Thanks for everything you guys! I will be back as soon as possible, meanwhile enjoy 😉 I know I will!
I kind of love the title of this post. Is not the lyric of a song as I usually do, but this time I just really wanted to say how mean butterflies can be. Somehow the words work and are pretty together. Don’t listen to me, I’m a little quirky 🙂
Anyway, I in no way mean real butterflies, I mean the psychological and emotional kind that you feel in your stomach for various reasons. I love it when they show up for exciting good things. But when they strike in a state of anxiety, nervousness and fear is horrible. I have been feeling them all time lately and I hate it. I specially hate that a person can cause you such things. It doesn’t let me sleep (I have at least 2 sleep disorders and this nervousness and anxiety might be the cause or the result, we’re not really sure) and is frightening for me not being able to sleep. I know this has NOTHING to do with the delicious truffles I’m going to show you, but I had to say it. Butterflies shouldn’t do that, they should not be mean. And more importantly,
Tall skinny shadows with rough voices that once meant smiles, now shouldn’t cause mean butterflies.
Well, onto the chocolate. These things are DIVINE. Another word for them would be sinful. Totally sinful and of course, dead easy. You see, I was making the bittersweet chocolate and red wine cake for my aunt who had never tasted it (and in my family, has become my signature dessert, everyone talks about it, and I won’t argue. This in my top 3 favorite cakes ever. I can’t stress enough how GOOD this is and how you have to try it at least once before dying. Slightly warm…swoon…) and I had leftover ganache from the topping of the cake, so I decided to make truffles, but when I saw the tube of goat cheese in our fridge I knew I was on a good track.
I had added a little red wine in the ganache to enhance the flavor of it in the cake (a pair made in heaven as it is) so these had another layer of flavor and were amazing. I did have to add a little extra sweetener since the chocolate was 73% bittersweet, the goat cheese is salty and tart and the red wine is a little bitter and strong-tasting as well. I used honey because I didn’t want a gritty texture, but I’m thinking you could use powdered sugar instead with good results too. These were on the softer side since they already had a bit of heavy cream besides the goat cheese, but in the end they worked.
I should warn you that these are INTENSE. They have a very mature and grown up taste. Personally, I love them, and my little cousin did too (but he’d like ANYTHING with sugar) but these should be better received among adults, foodies and die-hard chocolate lovers, as well as those who like food adventures. I’m a sucker for weird flavor combination…
Goat Cheese and Wine Chocolate Truffles
Recipe by me
6 1/2 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped
5 ounces fresh goat cheese, brought to room temperature
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey (or other sweetener you like)
2 tablespoons of red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon which goes well with chocolate)
1/3 cup cocoa powder, for dusting.
Heat the heavy cream and chocolate together over a double boiler (or in the microwave, in 20 seconds intervals as I did) but don’t over heat, just enough to melt the chocolate. Add the goat cheese and honey at this point and turn off the heat (or, heat for 20 more seconds, might take a little more of the cheese is cold) and stir vigorously with a whisk, When everything is blended, take off the stove and add the wine, whisk again until everything is smooth and shiny.
Let the ganache cool down before sticking it in the fridge for at least an hour and a half. You can also make this the night before and leave them overnight, covering it with plastic wrap.
When you are ready to make them, roll heaped teaspoons of the refrigerated mixture into small balls with your hands (yum, chocolate!), then roll the balls in the cocoa powder. Either eat right away or let chill on a sheet pan until ready to serve. Truffles will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
I likes these photos a lot! I only got to snap a few cause it was getting dark, But I think they turned out really good! I love truffles and hope you give these a try 😉
Hey, I’ve been featured in Food Porn Daily again! I love that site and I’m so happy they likes my picture, go check it out here.
Good afternoon, cooks, bakers, foodies and other humans 😉
I have developed an obsession with grains! Specially now that I know the amazing world of they’re savory counterparts. Just like the savory oatmeal I was used to eat barley for breakfast and sweet. Mostly, I mixed it with oatmeal, but this time I ran out! What’s a girl to do? Get creative in the kitchen of course!
I don’t know why I called this a risotto…it really isn’t. Just play along with me, won’t ‘ya?
This is SO easy, I mean I can’t stress enough how important I think it is for a meal to be easy and fast. What’s the point if you’re going to be making something that takes longer to cook than to eat? Specially if it’s something healthy, you want it to be quick, otherwise you’d rather pick up a burger on your way home! Nop Sir, this is too easy for that.
And ever since I told you the savory oatmeal would go great with tomatoes and cheese, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I created this Capresse Barley Faux Risotto with some of the homemade pesto my brother had made. This dish is filled with whole grain fiber, delicious vitamin rich tomatoes and super healthy fats!
If you don’t have (or don’t want to make) pesto you can easily just add chopped fresh basil leaves. I would throw in a little minced garlic for good measure. And more olive oil since the pesto has a lot. Anyway you make it, this is perfect for a quick lunch that leaves you feeling great. I adore the texture of barley. I had this alongside a veggies and tuna salad. Let’s see how you make this!
Capresse Barley Faux Risotto
Serves one on its own, or two if you serve it as a side-dish.
1/2 cup of raw barley
1 cup of water (more if needed)
Large pinch of salt
One large tomato
1 heaping Tablespoon of pesto, OR
1 handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 clove of garlic minced (optional, if not using pesto)
1/3 cup of chopped mozzarella cheese
Lots of black pepper
Olive oil, to drizzle at the end.
Place barley, water and salt in a medium pan and cook over high heat. once it boils, lower to medium heat and stir every once in a while. If its drying too much, add more water and cook until desired consistency. You want it to be soft but still a little firm, it will take about 15 minutes. While you wait, dice the tomato (larger or smaller depending on personal preference), chop the basil leaves (if using) the garlic (if using) and the cheese. Once the barley its done, let the remaining water evaporate over high heat and throw in the tomato and garlic (if using) and stir. The tomato will release its juices and flavor the barley. Quickly stir and cook for no more than 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add basil leaves (if using), cheese and black pepper. Stir to combine and melt the cheese. Adjust the seasonings and serve. Top with pesto if you have it and a drizzle of olive oil.
Hey, so there is the salty (and slightly bitter pesto) right there but, where’s the sweet. Hum..Want to see what I had for dessert today? You’re warned, this is some serious food porn ahead…
Delicious, scrumptious, whole wheat toast with homemade hazelnut-coconut butter (make hazelnut butter and stir shredded coconut at the end, ta dah!) topped with chopped bittersweet chocolate, under the broiler for 5 seconds. This made my week. It felt like slightly bitter nutella with coconut. And I HEART whole wheat bread I don’t even like white anymore and people think is because I’m being a health nut, but this is serious, white bread lacks the yummy chewiness and hearty wholeness (?) that whole wheat delivers. Is this weird? Do you like white bread better?
Finally, do you like it when I post healthier recipes? I appreciate feedback anytime of the day! Thanks for stopping by 😉
As you can see, I decided to start writing the name of the food in the actual title of the post. I found that even I get confused when I need to organize the blog and I don’t even know what foods are under what name! So yes, I love weird and long titles, but now they will be alongside the name of the recipe I’m giving you! Which, this time, happens to be a savory recipe! How odd right? Well, even I can’t live only with sweets (though, sometimes I feel like I could I highly envy those people who don’t crave sweets!) and this time I decided to go for something healthy, but by no means less delicious. This is real comfort food my friends, and even if it sounds a weird combination for you, try it! You’ll be surprised.
And is so easy to make! I had it for lunch today and it was ah-ma-zing. And so versatile, you can choose different toppings and never get sick of it! So filling and creamy and decadent, you’ll never feel like you’re eating oatmeal! In fact, I kinds felt like I was having a fancy risotto, made in less than 15 minutes. This time I decided to use caramelized onions and red peppers, crumbled goat cheese, grated Parmesan, freshly grated black pepper and olive oil as my toppings, but you can go any route! Try it with other veggies, cheeses, meats, butter or sauces. The world is your bowl of (savory) oatmeal.
Caramelized Onions, Bell Pepper and Goat Cheese Oatmeal
1/2 cup of oats (You can use any kind, but steel cut are recommended)
1 -1/2 cups of water
Large pinch of salt
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/3 of a red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 TBSP olive oil, for cooking
2 TBSP crumbled goat cheese
1 TBSP Parmesan cheese
Plenty of black pepper to taste
Olive oil to drizzle
Cook the water, oats and salt in a medium sauce pan, like you would with traditional oatmeal, until it thickens and reaches a consistency you like.
Meanwhile, cook the sliced onions and red bell pepper in a pan with the olive oil, over medium to high heat. You can add sugar to help caramelize them, but I find them sweet enough without it. Cook until slightly browned and soft.
Combine the oatmeal and vegetables. Top with the crumbled goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper and olive oil to finish. Dive in when the cheese begins to melt.
See? That easy! remember to season well and come up with new combinations! may I interest you with a few ideas?
Gooood morning everybody (: I can’t believe we’re so into January already! It feels like just yesterday was New Year’s Eve. Yet, I am so happy that we’re moving fast, at least until february…
And now, you see, I was awarded with the Stylish Blogger Award yesterday! (Me? Stylish? yay!) What a lovely surprise! A big shout out and many thanks to the, also lovely, Meredith from Pretty. Good. Food. for passing the award to me and for the lovely words about me and the other bloggers in her wonderful blog!
So, it works like this,
1. Make a post and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers so we can share the love
4. Contact these bloggers and bright up their day with the awesome news 😉
I guess is my turn then, to tell you 7 things about me! Oh jeez, where to start…
1. I think the most important thing to know about me right now is that, the 1st of February of this year (meaning, in 22 days!!!) I will be moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to start my college studies in Cinematography. I just can’t wait to start them already, but at the same time, I’m immensely sad because I’m leaving all my friends and family behind. I know for fact that I will see my family again of course, and some of my friends, but as we all know, after high school most of those friendships get lost. I love my class, I loved each and everyone that was in that classroom and made me once laugh. 2010 was the best year of my life thanks to them and I’m gonna miss them so much I don’t think I’ll be able to handle it.
It feels weird to put up a picture of myself here!
2.I am OBSESSED with online movies. I spend the entire day just watching movie after movie online and I don’t see it stopping any time soon. The worst part (or best?) is that I don’t feel guilty about watching so many movies because I actually feel like I’m doing homework by “analyzing” the plot and execution of the movie, or “criticizing” the actor’s performance. Yeah right, but I don’t think I’m wasting my time either! I just have to start reading more…Hmmm…
3. I’m about 13 years late, but right now I’m starting to get so obsessed with Harry Potter! I know, I know but it never called my attention until the very last movie! and now, let me tell you, this story is amazing! I don’t know how Rowling could think of such an intricate, detailed and perfectly rounded story that leaves you breathless. Seriously, I was never the “Fiction” books, or movies kind of girl, but this story took me in and it won’t let me go. I ask all skeptical like I was, to give it a try, even if it’s just with the movies first (Confession, I watched them all in a 2 days. I barely left the couch)
4. I really, really, don’t like to cook, let alone bake, when people are watching me. I don’t know what’s up with that, but it makes me really uncomfortable. I’ve gotten over it a little, but only if making something simple or that everyone is familiar with, but when I’m making something new and weird (which, I’m a sucker for, say, Popcorn Ice Cream? that was weird) I can’t stand people in the kitchen and I feel is rude to tell them to go take a hike, right? And also, sometimes I hate the question “What are you making?” cause the answer might scare them off (“Chickpea Blondies” “WHAT?!”) So I really prefer it when they try it first, like it and THEN I tell them “Oh you know that cookie you’re eating, it has olive oil and a lot of salt in it!”
5. I am slightly jealous and a lot proud, of my little brother (little meaning, he is 15 and taller and stronger than any other 15 year old I’ve seen) because he wants to be a chef. I would love to be a chef but I don’t think is where my passion reeeally lies and I don’t know if I could do it anyway because I’m not much of a cook. He cooks amazing savory food, main courses, sides…I’m just the salad and dessert girl, thank you very much. I could teach him about desserts and I’m sure he will learn a lot! But I’ve tried to replicate some of the things he does and Is not nearly the same. I’m gonna miss so much those lunches when I go! D:
Those are my best friend ever, M, and her mom. I love them both so much and they are in the top 5 people I will miss the most.
6. I might not look like that type of person, or even act like it, but I really do love fashion. I love specially “Old school” fashion, vintage dresses, retro outfits, lace, knitting, and all of that maybe qualified as “romantic”. As a kid I used to draw and draw women with clothes and pretty dressed. I used to think I would become a designer but I can’t really draw that well and then I figured, as a movie maker I can choose the clothes my characters will wear so yay!
My favorite (and perhaps not so typical) fashion icon, gotta be Scarlett Johansson. Love the curves, love the perfectly fitted dresses and how she rocks each one of them…
7. I loooooove nerds. Scientists, or plain nerds. Seriously I don’t now what’s up with that either, but I do and also I love musicians. Better yet if they’re music nerds. I’m sure this whole thing must have a weird psychological meaning, specially since cute nerds don’t come ANYWHERE around me. All the wrong, contrary guys. Until I find out what it means, I guess I’ll just keep baking alone and reading harry potter in my pretty vintage dress…right? 😉
Noooow, you know a little but more about me, so I get to choose 15 other wonderful bloggers and shaaare the love (:
1. Heavy Sifting I love this blog, it has such creative and yummy ideas! It doesn’t have much time around in the internet (pretty much like me I think?) but is gorgeous and the pictures are so pretty! Look out for this girl, she’s up to some great stuff 😉
2. joi de vivre Not only food, but also, fashion, poetry and life. This is so lovely to look out. Simple, beautiful recipes that you can usually make in a pinch, comforting and healthy all at the same time. I love the simplicity that separated this blog from any other! Well deserved Molly!
3. kiss my spatula Woah. This is one of the firsts blogs I visited and I fell in love. I was so inspired, I think it was this blog that made me create my own. I wanted to have a blog like that one! I mean the pictures, THE PICTURES, you have to go right now and check them out. The recipes and basic and delicious, with great tips and reccomendations!
4. milk and honey cafe Sarah, created this great food blog, mostly a bake blog though, and ever since I saw it I want to make every single recipe she has. Clean, minimalist and beautifully assembled, almost like a small piece of art, that even though is to pretty to eat, you can’t help it anyway!
5. Not Without Salt I’m sure this blog must have been nominated already like a thousand times, but I can’t avoid naming it. This is a blog of experience, combined with great photography and creativity. You HAVE to try her recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. Talk about best. Beautiful, blog indeed.
6. See Girl Cook A girl teaching herself to cook (much like me!) and showing you everything she’s done and learned so far. Incredible progress! her recipes and not complicated but fancy and delicious enough to serve to anybody! I adore the font in her header and the pictures she’s been taking!
7. Shared Sugar Two friends share their love for baking and their story together with great recipes and artistic pictures that look like they should be in the front cover of a magazine! They first got my attention with that gorgeous German Chocolate Cake! Check them out and you’ll too be hooked!
8. The Island of Dr Gateau. I can’t explain how much much I love this blog. I wanna marry it and live with it forever. Not only pretty, let’s put the fact that is GORGEOUS, aside, and focus on how ingenious, clever and creative. It combines molecular gastronomy, recipes experimentation, artistic food styling and incredibly interesting facts about the brain on food perception. Maybe is my love for all things science, but this blog is SO worth visiting, you’ll learn and drool all at once.
9.Sticky, G0oey, Creamy, Chewy The name basically says it all! but this blog isn’t just about desserts (though, the dessert part is amazing! Love all the cookies recipes) but also about great dinner and lunch ideas that make me seriously wish I was there. The pictures are so special.
10. toasty biscuit. Hellooo, food porn. It this is about style, this blog definitely has it! I need to find a way to make my pictures look like THAT. Huge, bright, perfectly balanced and focused. I just love how huge they are, I could stare at them forever, fighting to look away just to go to the kitchen and make the recipes, which are great, easy and delicious.
11. Cosmic Cupcakes. Yep, you heard right, this girl combines her two loves, baking and astronomy into one very interesting blog! I actually love this one because it reminds me of my father who theoretical physicist and works a lot with astronomy, so ever since I was a kid I’ve heard about this stuff and I am very intrigued by it. Plus, CUPCAKES.
12. Curvy Carrot I just love the name of this blog! just like she says, healthy and indulgent meals and treats, all in one place. Don’t think this is all carrots! she has some serious desserts to share that deserve to be looked at! (and devoured!)
13. Bakingdom I’m sure everybody knows this blog right? I had to mention it, because is one of the prettiest blogs around. Her decoration skills are seriously remarkable and she can make EVERYTHING look amazing. I need to take some cake decoration lessons with her. Bonus, she writes a post nearly everyday! I admire her so much and appreciate her work.
14. Guilty Kitchen Adorable incredible blog. Really rustic, just the way I like it, with down-to-earth recipes that make my heart flutter! I wish I was as good of a cook as her (or my brother) to try the more savory recipes! But she also has some amazing baking ideas, so try it out!
15. Finally, I’d like to give this award to Mónica from Lick The Bowl Good. She is also one of the firsts blogs I visited and that commented on my blog. Beautiful homemade recipes paired with great pictures that just get better and better!( Just look at that header!) Thanks for all the support and continue with the great work!
This is a sweet and short post to show you what I made with that popcorn ice cream and the caramel sauce. Well, cake sundaes of course! who doesn’t love that? And what’s more, the cake is a beautiful, moist, flavorful but subtle, Brown Butter Pound Cake. Yumm.
Just so you know, this cake es perfectly amazing on its own, but who would pass up pairing it with ice cream, caramel and toasted almonds?
I dud had one tiny problem with the cake though…it kinda sunk in the middle D: I really don’t know what I did wrong, this is one of the few times when I actually do everything the recipe says, even using cake flour and sifting before measuring…anyway, it still tasted amazing and I just cut it in individual pieces to plate with the ice cream and everyone was happy 😀
The room-temperature cake, cold Popcorn Ice Cream and warm caramel (or chocolate) sauce and gorgeously chopped toasted almonds for a little texture. It all worked together great, and I hope you give it a try!
Brown Butter Pound Cake
Adapted from Gourmet
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tsp bourbon (optional, I had none)
Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in middle. Butter and lightly flour an 8 1/2- by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.
Heat butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until milk solids on bottom are a dark chocolate brown. Transfer to a shallow bowl and chill in freezer until just congealed, about 15 minutes.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Beat together brown butter and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and then the bourbon, if using. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just incorporated.
Transfer batter to pan, smoothing top, then rap pan on counter to settle batter. Bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan 30 minutes, then invert cake onto a rack and cool completely, right side up, 1 hour.
Caramel. Caramel, caramel, caramel, caramel. I love caramel more than life itself. If you can tell me who invented this thing and I will devote my life to admiring them. Yes, that much. Since I’ve discovered how EASY is to make caramel sauce, I like to pour it on everything. It has become a huge problem, its starting to disturb the neighbors… Any dessert will benefit from a shot of caramel sauce. Fruit. Cake. Tart. ICE CREAM. Crepes. Hands. Hair. Dress.
Is no secret that Ice Cream is my faaaavorite thing to make and eat (next to caramel?). Specially when it comes to unusual flavors or ice cream. I’m a sucker for all weird and, for a lot of people, gross flavors. So of course, when I read about Popcorn Ice Cream by the fabulous Almost Bourdain I knew I would make it the next chance I got. Well, the chance is here! Hello New Year’s Eve dessert! Well, part of it, I will show you tomorrow the whole thing, but I thought the ice cream deserved a post all for itself. This Ice cream is as good as it sounds, and if it doesn’t sound good to you, call me and I’ll make you some 😀 you’ll be a convert too.
When my family saw I was making dessert, they all came to watch, excited. “Oh cool, you’re making popcorn for us to eat while we watch you!” they joked. Needless to say, when they saw me pour 4 cups of sugared cream and milk over it, I lost my audience and probably (though, temporarily) their faith in me. But I carried on ’till the end! And by end I mean, the leftover soggy, mushy popcorn. I ate it. All. With a spoon. Does that make me naughty? I loved every single part of it. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away and I’m glad I didn’t.
Mmm…can you say creamy? I mean CREAMY. It could have used being a little less creamy actually. But I don’t mind ;). Also, I didn’t used an ice cream machine but a much easier method. After the mixture was ready, I poured it in the metal (or glass) bowl of the stand mixer and stuck it in the freezer. When the edges of the mixture started to freeze, I would pull it back and place it on the stand mixer with the whisk attachment and give it a good beating, and then stuck it back in the freezer. This was the best method I’ve tried so far, is so easy and produces a texture really similar to store bought ice cream but faaar better.
Also, while you’re assembling the ice cream for the photo shoot, don’t miss a chance to do this…
Best thing ever. Also, don’t miss a chance to do this either…
I know. I might have overreacted just a liiiiiittle bit (: But I have no willpower around Sour Cream Brown Sugar Chocolate Ganache. Though, I do admit it’s better with just the salted butter caramel sauce 😉 But I trust you to make both and use your own criteria! Or eat it on its own, it’s subtly sublime and delicate, creamy, salty, buttery and super creative. Watch everybody’s eyes light up as they taste this luscious ice cream and wonder what’s that familiar flavor lingering around…and then you reveal the truth. Popcorn. Heaven.
1 cup full-fat milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup caster sugar (less if you don’t have a sweet tooth)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup prepared buttered popcorn (I will use more next time)
Heat the milk, cream, popcorn and half of the sugar in a saucepan until it’s just below the boiling point and starts to bubble. Remove and sit for 30 minutes until the popcorn has thoroughly infused its flavour into in the cream mixture.
Strain through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.
Whisk together the other half of the sugar, vanilla and egg in a bowl to a ribbon stage. Still whisking, pour the cream mixture into the egg mixture and pour this back into the cleaned-out pan and cook till a velvety custard. When it’s thickened, take it off the heat.
Pour into a bowl and let it cool. Churn in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve with salted butter caramel sauce (recipe below), or sour cream chocolate ganache 😉
Salted Butter Caramel Sauce Recipe Adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Sweet life of Paris, via Almost Bourdain
Makes about 2 cups
2 cups sugar
1 2/3 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp salted butter
1/4 tsp fleur de sel or coarse sea salt (or to taste)
Spread the sugar in an even layer in a large metal Dutch oven or casserole, at least 6 quarts (6 L). Set over moderate heat and cook without stirring, until the sugar near the edge just starts to liquefy.
Using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, begin gently stirring, encouraging the melted sugar around the edges toward the center and delicately stirring up any sugar melting on the bottom as well. The sugar will start to look pebbly as it cooks, but keep going; it will melt completely as it turns amber.
Continue to cook until the sugar turns deep brown and starts to smoke. (Don’t worry about any large chunks of caramel.) The darker you can cook the sugar without burning it, the better the final sauce will taste. It’s ready when it’s the colour of a well-worn centime, or penny, and will smell a bit smoky. Remove from heat and quickly stir in about a quarter of the cream. The mixture will bubble up furiously, so you may wish to wear an oven mitt over your stirring hand. Continued to whisk in the cream, stirring as you go to make sure it’s smooth. Stir in the butter and salt. Serve warm.
Finally, how about some jazz? This little girl is amazing, she was just 11 years old in this video, a concert in paris! Her voice is out of this world and this song is gorgeous.
How did everybody spend their Christmas? I hope you had a lovely time. We ate the most wonderful dinner of Roast Pork, Chicken Salad, Pan de Jamon (a Venezuelan tradition, I’ll show you later) and Hallacas (another tradition). And for dessert, I made the world’s best Pistachio Sandies (I can’t WAIT to show you) and this lucious…creamy, dreamy and light Mocha Mousse.
I figures we would need something light after a heavy dinner. So this mousse totally filled the bill. And you can have it firming up in the fridge in just a few minutes. You probably have all the ingredients there in your kitchen. I adapted the recipe from wonderful and talented La Tartine Gourmand. So this is a mousse, the french way. Meaning, raw egg whites. We are not concerned about that (besides there were no pregnant women or anythign like that) but if you are, you can use pasteurized eggs.
I just changed a few things, I changed the cream for milk and butter (all I had, besides who doesn’t love the flavor of butter on chocolate?) and the addition of coffee. I think everyone should have chocolate mousse on their repertories, is great for parties and I don’t think anyone would turn down Mousse au Chocolat (Yes I love saying that, why?) Make this. Is pure love.
Chop the dark chocolate coarsely and place in a bowl along with the milk, coffee and butter.. Melt over a pot of simmering water. Stir to combine everything and then let it cool down in the counter top for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime, whisk the eggs firm with a pinch of salt. When they start to form soft peaks, add gradually the sugar, never stopping to beat.
Fold carefully the egg whites into the chocolate, making sure to keep the preparation light. Divide the mousse between glasses and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Decorate with chocolate shavings or powdered sugar.
Now let’s talk some music! Have you heard of Regine Spektor right? my goddd she is AMAZING. Not only is her voice out of the world, but her lyrics are one of the most inspirational things I’ve always read. I adore to write and people like her make it a pleasure to feel inspired.
“And history books forgot about us
And the Bible didn’t mention us
The Bible didn’t mention us, not even once…”
-Samson by Regina Spektor.
Thanks for everyone who stops by and just looks at the pictures. I am so thankful for each one of you.
Here we are! the last day of the making of this cake. I kid you not, for somebody not so experienced like me, it took me quite a while to get this done. I stress too much when I have to frost a cake cause I’m not very good at it. But this SMBC was very forgiving. Anyway…onto the cake! I made Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake. I had read raved reviews about it, and is so simple I could not pass it up. I didn’t have Hershey’s cocoa powder, but I used natural cocoa and it worked. The batter is very very thin and the recipe said it would be enough for 2 9-inch cakes. I don’t know what is it with me, but the recipes yield me ALWAYS too little. Be it dough, or batter, is never enough even when the recipe says it would be. I had to double it! I had my doubts when I read 1 and 3/4 cups of flour. For 2 9-inch cakes? really? I should have doubled it right away and follow my instinct, but I decided to trust the recipe. Only to double it at the end.
I guess the lesson is to follow your gut always. But despite that, this cake is AMAZING. Is the moistest chocolate cake I’ve come across, and I have to agree when they say is the cup of boiling water (I did half water, half coffee) I will do this again in a pinch, and turn them into cupcakes as well. I did not, however, try the frosting recipe that came with the cake cause I needed a white frosting, but the cake is really great and I recommend it. I divided the 2 cakes in half to make a 4 layer cake, and filled it with the coconut cream I made earlier on. I have to say it again, this cream is the BOMB.
Then I made a crumb coating for the cake and let it set a while in the fridge. After that it was just frost away (I still got come crumbs in) and make the chocolate decorations (those ones I didn’t make before hand) and stick them to the cake. I made the owl I told you about, and also some pine trees. Of course I got the idea from the beautiful Dessert for Breakfast (even though her’s is a million times prettier) and some adornments around the owl. I think it looked very pretty and I was very pleased with the results. My friend LOVED her cake and so did everybody else. The cake was gone in seconds.
I swear that literally, everybody in the party congratulated me on the cake! actually, I got not ont but two (!!) marriage proposals thanks to this cake. And one of the guys has a girlfriend. Is just how good this cake was, the combination with the moist cake, the sweet coconut cream and the smooth and not so sweet icing was perrrfect. I will make this entire cake again, and I do not regret the little work it required, it was worth it. Each element was great on its own, but better together.
I followed the recipe exactly, except I double it to fill my 2 9-inch cake pans and I used another brand of natural cocoa powder.
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water (Or half water, half strong coffee, which I recommend)
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
Notes: To make frosting the cake easier, pop them in the freezer for a while so they’re easier to handle.
Make a crumb coat for the cake, specially if your frosting is white.
To avoid ruining your cake plate with frosting, put the cake over several sticks of parchment paper before frosting, that way you can take them out when you’re done.
Make sure your frosting is not too cold when you’re putting the chocolate decorations, or else they won’t stick properly.
I’m sorry I didn’t get any pictures of the inside, it was very dark and it disappeared too fast! But trust me here, if you know a coconut fan, this cake will melt their hearts. And yours too!
oh boy, do I have some wonderful traditional holiday recipes for you coming up! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends! Thanks for reading! 😉
For the frosting of this cake I decided to make a beautiful Swiss Meringue Buttercream (or SMBC) because honestly, I hate regular buttercream and I needed something white and beautiful. And my girlfriend hates whipped cream (I know, woah…) so I decided to give this a try. I had never made one but I read wonderful things (“Best frosting ever!” “Perfect texture!” “Favorite of everyone!”) Also, I loved the fact that it isn’t just made out of powdered sugar and butter. Specially because I almost never have the powdered stuff around. But it still just need egg whites, sugar and butter. Plus, the flavoring, that can be something from chocolate or vanilla to caramel and coffee, lemon…possibilities are endless.
I know It kinda looks like mayo (sorry for the revolting image) but its nothing like!
I wanted vanilla, but I needed this frosting to be perfectly white, and the only vanilla extract I own, is the really dark one and that would stain my frosting. So I let it be like that and didn’t use any flavoring. It didn’t need one anyway, turns out…and Apperently SMBC is intimidating and is easy to get it wrong. Needless to say I was scared to death when I mas making it. Scrambled egg whites! Curdling! Frosting soup! Oh my god, I just couldn’t stand see 1 and a half cups of butter go to waste! I had to do this right. I read a bunch of tips around and I was really confident.
It frosted and spread like a dream!
I patiently did what I was told and waited for the frosting to become a mess and my head to explode, but continue beating until it came together. Okay, I know this sounds like it was a disaster, but this was totally the other way around. My frosting came together in mere minutes, and it didn’t even went through the weird soupy stage. I was surprised how easy this was! even I couldn’t screw it up! So if you’re scared, don’t worry, the first step is to be calm because, trust me, this isn’t hard at all, you just need to get everything at the right temperature (no need for thermometer) and you’re done.
1 1/4 cups butter (2 and a half sticks), at room temperature (you want them to be cool but soft)
1 tsp vanilla extract (Use a clear one for a perfectly white frosting)
Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl** over a pan of simmering water. Whisk frequently, keeping it over the heat, until the mixture reaches 160F/ 70C and the sugar has dissolved***. Transfer the mixture to a mixer with a whisk attached and beat on medium-high for 8 minutes, until stiff peaks have formed and the mixture has cooled to room temperature. Turn down the speed to medium and start adding small chunks of butter, checking that it has incorporated before adding more. Just keep beating and eventually it comes together, after about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract.
*This frosting is not very sweet, but that’s how I needed it. You could add a full cup, or even 1 and a half cups, but make sure they melt in the whites.
*Use the metal bowl of the stand mixer over a pan of simmering water and you’ve got an instant double boiler.
**You don’t need to know the exact temperature, it just needs to be hot enough to dissolve the sugar, and you can check that by rubbing the mixture between your clean fingers and feel if it’s still grainy. Whisk constantly.
-Also, some recipes tell you to change to the paddle attachment after the whites and whipped. I don’t have that attachment and the frosting worked wonderfully by leaving the whisk attachment on and beating in medium-high speed.
-Never add the butter if the whites are still hot or they will melt and become soupy.
-Mine didn’t curdle, but it could happen, and if it does, just don’t panic and beat the life out of the frosting. It WILL come together. Believe.
And you know what? everything they say about the frosting is true! is the smoothest frosting ever, so shiny and pretty. It spreads beautifully, it doesn’t crust, you can refrigerate it days before you need it, or even freeze it. Just remember to thaw it and then whip it back into consistency. The flavor is excellent because is not too sweet, it’s light and not too strong to overwhelm the cake. I will definitely make this again and i encourage you to try it. You will never go back to canned or shortcut frosting again!
Ps. Sorry for the delayed post. I’ve had a rough couple of days, going to bed at 4 am and waking up at 8, doing a little working and a little partying too. Thanks for being here. Tomorrow I will present the whole cake and reactions.