Monday, March 21, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Nut cake

Gluten free, dairy free chocolate cake?  Gotta try it then! It was a fantastic recipe to bake.  All those egg whites make the cake rise, even though it doesn't have any flour or leavening!  I got this recipe from King Arthur Flour 


Ingredients: 
10 large eggs, separated
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar (to mix with the egg yolks)
2 cups finely chopped pecans, or pecan meal (I used some finely ground walnuts too)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar (to mix with the egg whites)


Directions:

1) Lightly grease a 10" tube pan or angel food pan. For best results, cut a piece of parchment or waxed paper to fit the bottom of the pan, and grease the paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2) Separate the room-temperature eggs, putting the whites and yolks in separate large bowls.
3) Melt the two chocolates together, stirring till smooth, and set aside.
4) Beat the egg yolks till smooth and lemon-yellow. Add the salt and 2/3 cup sugar, and beat again till thickened and lightened in color.
5) Stir in the melted chocolate.
6) Stir in the nuts. They should be processed as fine as possible; they'll probably be a bit pasty.
7) Beat the egg whites and vanilla till foamy.
8) With the beater going, sprinkle in the 1/4 cup sugar, beating till soft peaks form.
9) With the mixer at low speed, gradually fold the whites into the yolk mixture, mixing gently till no streaks show.
10) Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.
11) Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, till a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove it from the oven, and set it on a rack. Loosen the edges, and let it cool in the pan for 1 hour. Loosen the edges again.
12) Invert the cake onto the rack.
13) Make your favorite ganache recipe*, and pour over cake.  Serve chilled.
*I tried to make ganache by using equal parts hot milk and chocolate.  It didn't work so well.  I guess for every part milk you'd need at least two parts chocolate?  I just heated my (very soupy) ganache back up and kept adding chocolate till it was thicker.  The original recipe Flourless Chocolate Nut cake gives instructions for a glaze, which I think would work out well! So maybe give that a try!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd

And then a few weeks ago, I saw a recipe for microwave lemon curd, on a site I follow, mybakingaddiction.com
I didn't want to use the microwave though, so I used a recipe from finecooking.com.
And well, you can eat lemon curd on lots of things: toast, biscuits, crepes, pancakes...but those are all full of carbs, so I made sort of a lemon parfait with my lemon curd.  Vanilla greek yogurt, lemon curd, strawberries, and whipped cream (Raw cream sweetened with a little Truvia..)   Delicious!



Ingredients:

6 T butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar for about 2 minutes.  Add eggs and egg yolks, beat for 1 more minute.  Stir in lemon juice.  (Mixture will look curdled but it will cook away, and end up smooth.)
In a medium, heavy based saucepan heat mixture over low heat until smooth.  Increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  Temperature should reach 170F  The mixture should not boil (Well now things didn't go so well, and lo and behold, my curd started bubbling away while I was deciding if it was done or not.  I decided it was done, and quickly took it off the stove.  Didn't seem to hurt it. :)
Its yummy!

Flourless peanut butter cookies

Flourless Peanut butter cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

(plus granulated sugar for rolling dough)

Mix first 6 ingredients with a mixer, on medium/high.  The dough should be sorta fluffy.  Roll into tablespoon sized balls (yes, it will be sticky, just try your best :)  Roll each ball in sugar.  Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes, until bottoms are lightly brown.










So I've made these before, but I couldn't remember what the recipe was exactly..I looked it up online, and found a bunch of recipes calling for baking soda, and bunch calling for baking powder, and a bunch more not asking for any leavening at all...hmm
So Emily and I did an experiment.  One batch with baking powder, one without.  On the pan, the cookies on the right have baking powder; in the other picture, the cookie on the bottom had baking powder.  Definitely go WITH baking powder, the cookies looked better, were softer, and just overall better.