Saturday, May 19, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cake

You know what's good about gluten-free eating? You can always have flourless chocolate cake.

Do you know what isn't flourless? Wedding cakes.

Excuse me while I disappear for the next week in preparation for making my first wedding cake.

Fasten your seatbelts. I'm a little scared but mostly determined and very excited. See you next week!

Flourless Chocolate Cake
adapted from Martha Stewart

6 tablespoons salted butter, plus more for pan
8 ounces 60% cocoa chips
6 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

- Preheat the oven to 275 and place a rack in the center. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch spring form pan and set aside.
 - Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until completely melted. Let cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolks.
 - In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add granulated sugar, and continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then gently fold in remaining egg whites.
 - Pour batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and is set in the center, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack; remove sides of pan. Serve at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar. Serve with whipped cream or raspberry reduction or your choice of toppings!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pecan Sticky Buns with Julia


This week's Tuesdays with Dorie : Baking with Julia post is brought to you by five sticks of butter.

That's right, I said five.

Although Julia Child did say that "If you're afraid of butter, use cream," that wouldn't quite work in this recipe, (although I do love that quote.)

I stuck to the recipe to a T, every step, every measurement. That's kind of a tricky thing for me to do as a blogger. Afterall, we live to adjust recipes so that we can post about them, right? And I gotta say, this was the absolute easiest dough I have ever worked with. Don't worry about the fact that my poor little Martha Stewart blue artisan Kitchen Aid almost crapped out, it was worth it. I've never rolled out such a beautiful dough. Did I mention it calls for brioche? Too good.

But next time, I think I'll cut the butter that's folded into the dough and the butter in the bottom of the pans. I'm a big fan of butter being from the south, but it was even a bit much for me.

If you're striving for baking excellence and tradition, definitely give these a try for your next special brunch. Allow up to three days for prep, though! Although not actively time consuming, there is a lot of waiting!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lobster Kielbasa Paella

Happy Mother's Day!

It's the perfect spring day in Delaware and we enjoyed our lunch outdoors in my Mom's gazebo. How cute.

This was my maiden voyage in paella-making and it is hands down one of the most simple and quick dishes that has more complex flavors then some multiple-hour dishes. I am excited to add this to my collection of go-to meals! I can't believe I've waited this long to make it myself. Don't be like me - get it done for your next meal, no special occasion required - it comes together in one hour tops! Serve it with an avocado and tomato salad topped with lime mojo and you've got one delicious meal.

Tune in tomorrow for my hopefully successful flourless chocolate cake (which is in the oven now!)

Lobster Kielbasa Paella
serves 6-8
adapted from Ina Garten

1/4 c olive oil
1.5 c chopped yellow onion (about 2 small)
1.5 c thinly sliced red pepper (1 large or 2 small)
6 cloves of garlic minced, at least 2 tbs
2 c basmati rice
5 c chicken stock
1/4 tsp saffron threads, partially broken
1/4 tsp red chile pepper flakes
1 tbs sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1.5 lbs cooked lobster meat
1 lb kielbasa, thinly sliced
1 package frozen peas (10 oz)
1 tbs parsley, chopped
2 lemons, cut into quarters for placing on the side of the skillet

-Preheat the oven to 425. Get out a large dutch oven, creuset or iron skillet. Heat oil in your pot, add onions and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low. Add red peppers and cook for another 5. Add in the garlic, cook for one minute and then stir in the rice, stock, saffron, pepper flakes, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and place in the oven for 15 minutes. At this point, gently stir the rice with a wooden spoon and return it to the oven uncovered for the rice to finish cooking (check after 10 minutes.)
- Once the rice is done, bring the pot out of the oven, stir in your proteins and peas very gently to incorporate. Cover with the lid and allow to sit for 10 minutes then serve. Garnish with the parsley and lemon.