Monday, October 11, 2004

Egg Yolk Sponge 

I found something to do with the yolks left over from the Strawberry friands I made yesterday.

What you'll need:
4 egg yolks (I used 5 as that's what I had left)
2 tbsps boiling water
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup self-raising flour
2 tbsps milk
Dash of vanilla essence

Beat the egg yolks with the boiling water until light and fluffy.

Add the caster sugar and beat again until thick and creamy. Fold in the flour, milk and vanilla.

Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for 20 minutes in a greased 8"/23cm cake tin.

Cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

Once completely cool, split if desired and fill. I used fresh whipped cream and chopped strawberries in the middle, put the top back on, then topped it with whipped cream, jelly and more strawberries.

Sponge 2

My first made-from-scratch sponge cake :*)


Saturday, October 09, 2004

Chocolate Heaven Truffle Cake 

From Sunni's recipe site.

as usual, I tinker, and I made only one real change - the addition of a pinch of salt. my comments are in blue.

This cake is a bit complicated to make, but the results are worth it!

All ingredients at room temperature:

16 oz. best quality bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate bars, 60% cocoa)
1 C. unsalted butter (cut into tbs squares for easier melting)
6 eggs
1/4 to 1/2 C. sugar (optional) (I used 1/2 c)
1 t. vanilla or up to 2T. flavored liqueur of your choice (optional) (I used Grand Marnier)

Preheat oven to 425 F. Butter a 9" springform pan (or cake pan with removable side). Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter paper. Coat bottom and side of pan generously with superfine sugar.

Oops...I forgot to buy more parchment paper. And it was 11pm. Crap! My springform pan is non-stick. So I just buttered the pan, sprinkled on some sugar, and kept my fingers cross. The next morning, after warming the sides and running a knive around the edge, no major sticking to report. Whew!

Wrap outside of pan well with a double layer of aluminum foil. You'll also need a roasting pan that the cake pan can fit into.
In double boiler or (carefully!) in microwave, combine chocolate and butter and melt. Stir to blend; if using vanilla or liqueur, stir into chocolate mix and set aside. (I recommend using vanilla unless you're using a liqueur, because it enhances the chocolate flavor.)

I also added a pinch of salt. Chocolate needs salt - I remember this from my truffle making experience.

Place eggs in large bowl set over simmering water, stirring constantly until warm (do not allow eggs to begin to set). Remove from heat and whip until tripled in volume and soft peaks form. If using, add sugar slowly to eggs once they begin to froth.

I was afraid I'd get instant "setting," so I started using the handmixer on the eggs as soon as I put them in the double boiler. Once I was sure they were warmed through, I took them off and contined mixing. I never did get soft peaks. I got to foamy ribbons, and left it at that.

Fold about 1/3 of eggs into the chocolate mixture until almost incorporated, making sure to scrape bottom of bowl well. Gently fold in remaining egg mix just until blended, again being sure to scrape to the bowl's bottom.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Set the pan in the roasting pan, and gently pour very hot water in the roasting pan to a depth of about 1".

Place pans in oven; bake cake for 5 minutes. Cover top of cake loosely with buttered foil and bake 10 minutes more. The cake will look soft.

Remove from oven and carefully remove from roasting pan (watch for the dripping hot water). Cool on wire rack 45 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm (about 3 hours). To unmold, wipe sides of pan with hot, damp towel. Run thin knife around inside of pan and release side. Place plastic-wrapped plate (NOT serving plate) atop and invert cake. Wipe bottom of pan with hot, damp towel and remove. Peel off parchment paper. Reinvert cake onto serving plate.

Frost as desired and chill. Cake may be served chilled, in which case the texture will be dense, rather like cheesecake. If cake is served at room temperature, the texture is soft, quite like the inside of a truffle. Delightful either way! I'm going plain with mine, as icing would be WAY too over the top, and homemade whipped cream won't travel in my car very well.

Suitable frostings include whipped cream, whipped chocolate buttercream, or creme anglaise (flavored with up to 2 T. of the same liqueur used in the cake if desired).

A wonderful combination is to frost with whipped cream and pool raspberry sauce beside each slice.

my results:
flourless chocolate truffle cake


Saturday, October 02, 2004

Cookies: Evil-good and evil-bad versions 

How to make Haystacks

2 c white sugar
1/2 c butter
1/2 c milk
1/2 c cocoa

Boil, stirring, for 5 minutes (or 3 minutes for gooey cookies).


1 T vanilla
1/2 t salt
3 c oats
1 c coconut

Mix well. Drop by the teaspoon onto waxed paper. Cool. Eat. Eat more. Put in an airtight container before you eat yourself sick. Try not to lick out the pot while it's still hot--that stuff is sticky and can really burn. (These are evil-good, because they're easy to make and hard to stop eating.)

How to make disgusting, vile, horrifyingly, traumatically nasty Haystacks

substitute Splenda for as little as half of the sugar.


"Hmm. I'm almost out of sugar," I think. "But here's some Splenda. They talk up how good this stuff is for baking," I think. "How bad can it be?" I think.

You'd think I'd have learned from my brother's Tequila Suicide experience (I'll tell you about it some other time) that if you find yourself asking "How bad can it be?" you usually don't want to know the answer.

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Friday, October 01, 2004

Creamy Peach Pie 

This? Is the recipe for the world's greatest peach pie. Since it's almost peach season (or is it peach season? I'm not really up on these things. heh) I figured I'd share.
Warning: This pie has been known to cause brawls over who gets to eat the last piece. Never say I haven't warned you.

1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter

4 cups sliced fresh peaches
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons All purpose flour
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
For crust, combine flour and salt and cut in butter. Press into a 9-inch pie plate.
For filling, put peaches into a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar and set aside. In another bowl, combine remaining sugar, 2 1/2 tables spoons flour, egg, salt and vanilla. Fold in sour cream. Stir mixture into peaches. Pour into crust. Bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes more.
Prepare topping by combining all ingrediants until crumbly. After baking at 350 for 20 minutes, sprinkle topping evenly on top. Bake for 10 minutes more at 400 degrees.
This recipe serves 6 to 8.
Don't go asking for calorie counts, because this pie is so good it will wipe all thoughts of diet from your mind and you will eat until peach juice runs down your chin.