Thursday, April 30, 2015

Double-Baked Chocolate Cake
½ lb. bittersweet chocolate, cut up
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4C unsweetened cocoa powder
7 large eggs, separated
1-1/3C sugar (2/3C, 2/3C)

1/2C cream beaten with sugar and vanilla to taste

Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter a 9-inch spring form pan and line with parchment.  Butter the paper.  Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over simmering water.  Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder until smooth.

Beat the yolks with 2/3 cup of the sugar until pale and light.  Beat the whites until soft peaks form, add 2/3 cup of sugar and beat until firm and glossy.

Fold the chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture until barely combined.  Fold in the whites just until no white streaks remain.  Spoon 2 cups of the batter into a medium bowl and refrigerate.  Scrape the remaining batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.  Bake 45 minutes or until firm.   Cool completely on a wire rack.  Remove the side from the spring form pan and spread the reserved cake batter over the top of the cake, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge.  Refrigerate the cake for at least one hour.  (Note:  you can also bake all the batter at one time if you like.)

Preheat oven to 425F.  Bake the cake for 10 minutes, or until a thin crust forms on top and the batter is soft and creamy beneath the crust.  Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve with vanilla cream.
MAKES:  8 – 10 servings

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Shrimp with pesto-style salsa verde
24 jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 tsp. spice rub of choice
2 Tbsp. olive oil

salsa verde pesto
1/4C toasted blanched almonds
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1C packed Italian parsley leaves
1/2C packed fresh basil leaves
1/2C packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/4C packed mint leaves
2 Tbsp. garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
¼ tsp. dried red chile flakes
1/2C olive oil or more as necessary
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

Put the almonds, salt and pepper, Italian parsley, basil, cilantro, mint,  garlic and red chile flakes in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped.  With the machine running, add enough olive oil to make a thick puree.  Pulse in the white wine vinegar and set aside.

Toss the shrimp with spice rub and olive oil and broil until tender and let cool to room temperature.  Or, cook in boiling salted water, drain and toss warm into the salsa verde.  Toss the shrimp with the salsa verde and place on a platter with toothpicks.
MAKES:  6 servings

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tres Leches
4 eggs plus 2 yolks (save whites for the meringue)
1/2C sugar
3/4C flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. vanilla

1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1-1/2C heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla

1C sugar
1C water
2 egg whites
zest and juice of one lime

fresh berries (optional)

For the cake:  Preheat oven to 425F.  Butter a 13 x 9-inch glass dish.  Beat yolks and half of the sugar until pale and creamy – about 5 minutes.  Add the vanilla.  Beat the whites until soft peaks, add the remaining sugar and beat until fairly stiff.  Gently fold whites into yolk mixture alternately with flour/baking powder.  Spread evenly in the prepared pan and bake 10 to 12 minutes or until just colored on the top.  Let cool completely.

For the leche:  Mix all ingredients together in the food processor.

Lift the cake up and pour half of the elche under the cake in the pan.  Press the cake back into the pan and prick the top.  Pour all but ½ cup of the leche over the cake and let soak in.  Cover lightly with a tea towel white preparing the meringue.

For the meringue:  Heat the sugar and water in a covered pan until it comes to a boil.  Cook, without stirring, to the soft ball stage.  Meanwhile, beat the whites until fairly stiff.  With the machine running, pour the hot syrup over the whites and continue to beat 5 minutes.  Fold in the lime zest and juice and let cool.  Spread over the cake and chill well. 

Spoon the reserved leche among plates and spoon some of the tres leches on top.  Garnish with fresh berries, if desired.
MAKES:  12 servings