Archive for April, 2008

Jack’s Birthday Cake

Here is the old fashioned chocolate cake as an old fashioned chocolate cake. See previous blog entry for recipe. Nigella’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

Old fashioned chocolate cake

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It’s absolutely glorious outside! Spring is finally here. I am just so happy! I have been riding my bike to work for the last 4 days! It’s a little nippy in the morning, but warms up throughout the day. It really is lovely!! Everything is in bud-mode. The bushes I really cut back last year seem to be doing well too! I can hardly wait for everything to flower!

We’re having Kim and Michael for dinner tonight and poor old Kim is going through another allergy diet so my repetoire is very very very (did I mention, very?) limited. No dairy, no soy, organic where-ever possible, no tomatoes, no beef, no wheat, no potatoes no blah blah blah. So JT and I went down to the St. Lawrence Market this morning to pick up the fixin’s for dinner….I had intended on getting organic chicken breasts, I had four picked out…$66.00 !!!! (not the entire chicken, just chicken breasts!!!) So, we went to Loblaw and I bought antibiotic free, animal by-product free chicken breasts (still expensive in comparison, but certainly not $66!!!!)

We will have a crudite plate, bacon wrapped dates for Michael – he just loves them! Then, Herbs en Provence coated chicken breasts on the BBQ, roasted cauliflower puree with roasted garlic, and a quinoa pilaf and garlic bread. Dessert for Kim is fresh strawberries and mango. Michael and JT will get the chocolate souffle below.

Epicurious Chocolate Souffles

These are really lovely AND they look like you’ve really spent a lot of time making them!!!

These soufflés may be made several hours in advance and kept in a refrigerator until just before baking. If refrigerated, bake an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Alternatively, the soufflés may rest at room temperature for up to 1/2 hour before baking with no effect on cooking time.

Servings: Makes 6 servings. I have successfully cut this recipe down to 3!


1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
10 1/2 ounces (10 squares) extra-bittersweet chocolate (Eva’s note: add a pinch of cayanne for depth)
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large egg yolks, room temperature, lightly beaten
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar (may be cut down without affecting souffle); more for soufflé ramekins


1. Heat oven to 400 F. Butter and sugar six 6-ounce souffle
ramekins. Place on a rimmed baking sheet; set aside.2. In a double boiler over medium heat, melt the chocolate until smooth. Remove from the heat and keep warm. (you may also do this in a microwave, about 5 minutes on 30% power)

3. In a medium heavy-bottom saucepan combine milk and cornstarch. Stir well with a wooden spoon to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously, until thick.

4. Remove milk mixture from the heat and stir in warm melted chocolate. Let cool slightly. Add lightly beaten egg yolks and stir until well combined.

5. In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, whip egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Slowly add sugar and increase speed to high. Whip until shiny and stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.

6. Using a whisk, lighten the chocolate mixture with about 1/3 of the beaten egg whites. Stir until well-combined. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in remaining egg whites until just incorporated.

7. Spoon mixture into prepared souffle ramekins; the mixture should come up to the top of the ramekin. Transfer filled soufflé ramekins on rimmed baking sheet to oven. Bake until risen, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Nigella’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake (I made Cupcakes!)

The easiest chocolate cake you’ll ever make (and icing…fabulous!)


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup best-quality cocoa
1 1/2 sticks soft unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons good-quality vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream ( I used low fat yogurt, plus 2 tbsp mayo)

Special equipment: 2 (each 8-inch diameter) layer tins with removable bases, buttered – or 12 piece muffin tin

6 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
3/4 stick unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup sour cream ( I used low fat yogurt, plus 2 tbsp mayo that makes up 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract
Sugar flowers, to decorate, optional

Take everything out of the refrigerator so that all ingredients can come room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Put all the cake ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream into a food processor and process until you have a smooth, thick batter. If you want to go the long way around, just mix the flour, sugar and leavening agents in a large bowl and beat in the soft butter until you have a combined and creamy mixture. Now whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, vanilla, and eggs and beat this into your bowl of mixture.

Divide this batter, using a rubber spatula to help you scrape and spread, into the prepared cup cake tins and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, which should be about 25-35 minutes, but it is wise to start checking at 25 minutes (cup cakes were done at 25 minutes in a convection oven) . Also, it might make sense to turn the tins around in the oven halfway through cooking time. Remove the cup cakes, in their tins, to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of their tins. Don’t worry about any cracks as they will easily be covered by the frosting later.

To make this icing, melt the chocolate and butter (on the second time I made this, I actually only melted 1/2 cup of the butter with the chocolate, and the other 1 cup I whipped with the icing sugar – it made for a thicker less runny icing) in a good-sized bowl either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water. Go slowly either way: you don’t want any burning or seizing.

While the chocolate and butter is cooling a little (I would reco cooling a lot…otherwise the icing is runny), sieve the confectioners’ sugar into another bowl. Or, easier still, put the icing sugar into the food processor and blitz to remove lumps.

Add the corn syrup to the cooled chocolate mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla and then when all this is combined whisk in the sieved confectioners’ sugar. Or just pour this mixture down the funnel of the food processor onto the powdered sugar, with the motor running.

You may need to add a little boiling water, say a teaspoon or so, or indeed some more confectioners’ sugar, depending on whether you need the frosting to be thiner or thicker. It should be liquid enough to coat easily, but thick enough not to drip off.

Spoon about a generous amount of the frosting onto each cup cake and spread with a knife or spatula until you cover the top of it evenly. Add your decorations

I set these in the refigerator to cool the frosting a bit, but you may enjoy directly! YUM!

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Lazy is all. Lazy lazy lazy. I’ve been cooking, just too damn lazy to write about it. Here is a wonderful fish stew recipe I made yesterday (made it up on the fly, actually, so the measures are a little loosey goosey! Whichever way you make it, these flavour combos will not fail).

Fish Stew (serves 3-4)

1lb firm white fish (Cod, Haddock, Tilapia or a combo of, the more the merrier)
1/2 lb of uncooked shrimp with shell on
1/2 large Mayan onion chopped coarsely, or 1 cooking onion
2-4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped, minced finely
1-2 finely sliced Cubano peppers (sweet not hot, but it’s your choice)
1 tsp White Miso Paste in 2 cups of hot water (this is intentionally not strong)
1/2 tsp saffron
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (I used sweet, but it’s your choice)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste (note that the miso is salty, so you may wish to salt at the end)

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan (I used a well seasoned cast iron pot, so I needed only 1 tbsp).
  2. Add onion and sauté until soft.
  3. Add saffron and smoked paprika, heat through gently being careful not to burn the paprika.
  4. Add cubano peppers (don’t overcook, they still need to have a bit of a crunch).
  5. Cut fish into 1-2 inch cubes, add to onion and sauté.
  6. Add shrimp, shell on (this adds flavour).
  7. Add garlic and gently sauté (if you add it sooner, it may burn)
  8. Add miso stock and cover and simmer until fish is done (10-15 minutes, depending on how thick you sliced them). The shrimp should be pink.
  9. Remove shrimp and let cool slightly. Remove shells completely and return to pot, heat through.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a crusty French loaf or something heavier like sour dough bread….really really yummy.


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