Monday, July 16, 2012

Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake

For my friend's birthday I made a decadent flourless chocolate cake that's so rich it epitomizes the "sinful" dessert. Here's the recipe I devised:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (For half I used a low-fat non-butter substitute)
4 eggs
6-7 ounces high quality (60% cocoa or higher) dark chocolate - I used Godiva dark chocolate with sea salt (I say 6-7 oz. because I started with 7 but undoubtedly ate some ...)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
3/4 cups granulated brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Chambord or other raspberry liquor
Powdered sugar for dusting
Fresh raspberries
Will Need:
Medium saucepan
9 inch round baking pan
Wax or parchment paper

1. Melt  butter and dark chocolate in saucepan over low heat, stirring with wooden spoon.
2. While butter and chocolate are melting, mix dry ingredients together - unsweetened cocoa powder, espresso, and both kinds granulated sugar.
3. Add eggs to dry ingredients and whisk together.
4. When the butter/chocolate mix has cooled enough to ensure that its heat won't scramble the eggs in you dry ingredients/egg mix, temper the butter/chocolate mix into the dry ingredients/egg mix and whisk the two together until they are completely blended. Add Chambord.
5. Cut a piece of wax or parchment paper to fit the size of the pan, and lightly butter it.
6. Place it into the baking pan, buttered side up, and pour the cake mix into the pan.
7. Place into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Don’t over bake it!
8. Remove from oven, allow to cool and remove from the baking pan. Place on a serving plate.
9. Grate fleur de sel over top to bring out the notes of sea salt in the cake. Then sprinkle with a little sifted powdered sugar and garnish with fresh raspberries on top.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Swiss Chard with Raisins and Almonds

It's farmer's market season, and what does that mean? Fresh squash, kale, and a rainbow of chard! (Yes, that was a lame vegetable joke. I couldn't help myself.) Here's a tasty swiss chard recipe:

1/2 onion, chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil (good quality!)
1 tablespoon smoked paprika (I had Hungarian but Spanish would be ideal)
1 bunch Swiss chard, center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins (I may have used more, but I really love these jewels)
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup almonds, mix of both slivered and coarsely chopped with skins

Cook onion with pinch salt in olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat, stirring, until softened. Sprinkle with paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chard in batches, stirring frequently, until wilted, then add raisins and water. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add almonds and cook in until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir almonds over chard. Serve immediately - this hearty veg dish is a meal itself!