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I hope your week is off to a wonderful start
A few fun links from around the web to share today ..
The magic of chilling wine in 7 minutes flat [via Food52]
If you cook at home .. but don't know the name Judith Jones .. you almost certainly still owe her a debt of gratitude. She edited some of the greatest cookbooks of the 20th century .. and shares some wisdom she acquired along the way [via Eater]
7 Reasons to take a probiotic beyond digestive health [via Food Coach NYC]
No wonder my husband is always editing my posts .. Why it's so hard to catch your own typos [via Wired]
Would you ever try an online gym? [via Zuzka Lite]
The Tyranny of Olive oil [via Washington Post]
You're not alone (historically speaking) .. A Brief History of the sad desk lunch [via CityLab]
Loving Elizabeth Gilbert's new book
My favorite read from the week .. Why The best reporter in a generation had to stop [via Esquire]
Food editor .. restaurant critic .. author .. and editor of Gourmet magazine: Ruth Reichl's home in Spencertown, NY started out as a summer-house, but ended as a haven [via NY Times]
A list of all the best accessories for iEverything [via Wirecutter]
A cliff notes of sorts .. for when we're in need of encouragement .. 131 actionable ideas from ten book I wish I'd read ages ago [via Medium]
An interview from Brene Brown .. The Courage to be vulnerable [via On Being]
In need of a bit of decorating? These removable wallpapers caught my eye [via Coco + Kelley]
4 Women You Should Know on Youtube [via Clementine Daily]
7 Ideas for Table Displays that aren't flowers [via Apartment Therapy]
My projects over the weekend involved .. cake(!)
In just a few days .. a very special baby shower .. and I've been put in charge of all things dessert. Out of the 25 or 30 guests .. I'll only know the parents. Maybe it's my bit of type-A showing through .. or maybe it's nerves .. but I've tested more than a few recipes.
As my husband began to taste his way through, we quickly realized there may be a dilemma. The sweet treats we've loved in previous lives .. simply don't taste good to us anymore. Whereas desserts made with natural ingredients .. may not be sweet enough .. for those with a different palate.
Case in point .. a vegan .. gluten-free cheesecake with a filling made from creamed coconut milk and cashews. It's absolutely delicious .. but .. “If you're looking for a sweeter cheesecake .. this one probably won't taste the best”
In the category of chocolate cake .. this recipe is a nice marriage of the two worlds. It's mature in both flavor and texture when compared to something like a Duncan Hines .. offering a bold taste of chocolate .. with just enough sweet that you won't feel deprived
Earthy beets are surprisingly well suited for rich dark chocolate .. and make the cake incredibly moist .. nearly molten. Not to mention the beautiful color .. step aside red velvet. It's chocolatey .. though not overly sweet .. reminding me of a decadent snack cake .. rather than a towering .. frosted dessert.
The author tops the original with a crème fraîche and a sprinkle of poppy seeds. I suspect mascarpone would be interesting .. or perhaps a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside.
For this special event .. I couldn't resist Martha Stewart's Ganache .. which is as easy as it is delicious.
- Chocolate-Beet Cake
- 8 ounces fresh beets
- 7 ounces fine dark chocolate (70%), broken into small pieces
- ¼ cup hot espresso
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 3 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
- 5 eggs
- Scant 1 cup superfine sugar
- 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 1 cup coconut cream (** the original calls for heavy cream)
- ⅛ tsp coarse sea salt
- Chocolate-Beet Cake
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg F
- Lightly butter an 8 or 9-inch springform cake pan and line the base with a round of baking parchment.
- In a pot of boiling, unsalted water, add the beets (whole and unpeeled). Cook until tender (~ 30-40 minutes)
- Drain and rinse them with cool water.
- Slice off their stem, root, and peel them.
- Process the beets in a blender or food processor until they're a coarse purée.
- In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder & cocoa.
- Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a large mixing bowl and the yolks into a smaller bowl.
- Gently whisk the yolks.
- In a small bowl over a pot of simmering water, add the broken pieces of chocolate and allow it to melt. Don't stir!
- When the chocolate looks like it's almost melted, pour the hot espresso over it and stir once.
- Cut the butter into small pieces (the smaller the better) and add it to the bowl with the melted chocolate.
- With a spoon, push the butter below the surface of the chocolate, and allow to soften.
- Remove the bowl of chocolate from the heat and stir until the butter has completely melted into the chocolate.
- Let sit for a few minutes to cool before stirring in the egg yolks. After adding the yolks, mix until the eggs have blended into the mix.
- Fold in the pureed beets.
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff (it's far easier with a stand mixer), adding the sugar toward the end.
- Fold the processed egg whites into the chocolate mix. (A large metal spoon is handy here .. you'll want to work in deep, figure-eight movements, taking care not to over-mix.
- Fold in the flour and cocoa mix.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and put in the oven, decreasing the heat immediately to 325 degrees F.
- Bake for ~ 40 minutes.
- How can you tell if it's done? The rim of the cake will feel spongy, while the inner part should still wobble a little when gently shaken. Test with a cake tester or toothpick too -- if it is still gooey in the center, continue baking just until moist crumbs cling to the tester.
- Set the cake aside to cool (it will sink just a little in the center), loosening it around the edges with a thin icing spatula after half an hour or so.
- The cake will be easiest to remove after it's completely cold.
- Top with Ganache.
- Coarsely chop the chocolate. (A serrated knife is best for the job; its saw-like teeth grab the chocolate, breaking it up)
- Over medium-high heat, bring the coconut cream just to a boil.
- Pour over chocolate, and add salt. Let stand for 10 minutes (don't stir -- as doing so will cool the ganache too quickly, and make it grainy)
- Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny to break up any pieces and emulsify the cream and chocolate.
- Chocolate will often settle on the bottom or sides of the bowl. Scrape the dish with a rubber spatula to incorporate all of it.
- To make a whipped filling or frosting: Let ganache cool to room temperature, stirring often, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Beat it with a mixer on medium-high speed until paler and fluffy (~ 2 to 4 minutes)
- This will yield about 2 cups.
- Spread evenly over the cake
% Protein: 6
% Carbs: 33
% Fat: 4