Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

The Cake

Posted: March 13, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

On the second of march I turned 14. Now that I am older and wiser I pretty much know everything about anything to do anything. Ok, not really, to be honest I feel relatively the same, just another notch on my belt. I got to have a totally awesome party in Vancouver with a bunch of my friends so I had an outstandingly awesome time. One of the coolest features of my party, and there were many (such as ice cream floats and a bowl of m and m’s), was my cake, made by Tracy of cake conspiracy. This is a picture of it.

cake

Aside from the fantastical taste of every aspect, this cake had fondant demon ice creams on it. Just look at them, staring deep into your gullet with those angry little teeth, just waiting to take a bite of your unsuspecting uvula. Sounds deadly? Good. Because it reminds us that behind every scoop of ice cream is an untold story and if you don’t treat that ice cream with respect, it might eat you before you eat it! I know your thinking I’m crazy sticking up for the demon ice creams, but without true ice cream advocates like me, protecting the world from inferior brands than who will I ask you? Who will?

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This Valentine’s day I spent with my Mom. I personally have a fantastic Mom, she is truly the greatest, always knowing what to do to make one feel better and funny and is just a really good person to hang out with! So, this Valentine’s day I decided to surprise her with a clean kitchen (running the extra mile) and chocolate molten lava cakes. She loved the cakes (and the kitchen, mind you). They were super gooey, chocolate and just an all round great treat making my mother very happy, and she deserves it too for all the work she does! So here’s to all the fantastic mothers out there (I realize that it is not mother’s day but they need our love all year round)!

You’ll get about 8 lava cakes.

Ingredients
2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for the ramekins
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting (optional)
6 large eggs plus 6 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter eight 6-ounce ramekins and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Combine the butter, cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. Whisk the flour, confectioners’ sugar, eggs and yolks, vanilla extract and almond extract in a bowl until creamy. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Divide among the prepared ramekins.

Bake the cakes until the tops are stiff and the edges darken, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cakes with a small paring knife and transfer to plates while warm. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

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On Saturday, February the ninth, I made the decadent, the… the rapturous olibole. How did I get an authentic recipe for such a thing? It is simple really. One of our friends came over who grew up with this treat since she was a girl. She came over with her: husband, her baby and her mother (the olibole master). Our house was packed! It was then that we learned the secret behind the olibole.

What is an olibole? Good question. The olibole is a spherical Dutch doughnut (it translates literally to oily  riddled with currents that act as delicious flavour bombs. Traditionally this treat is only made the night before new-years. I know what you’re thinking, ‘but Max, why did you make them and February the ninth?’ well I’ll tell you why! If you recall, Chinese new-year was on February the tenth, February the ninth is one day before February the tenth so therefore the day before new-years and since I made the doughnuts the ninth no tradition was broken. And that’s just how we roll round these parts!

I had great fun making these Dutch doughnuts. They truly are a force to be reasoned with. For all of you die-hards out there, in need of something new and exotic the olibole is absolutely perfect! It is for these reasons I have decided to let loose the confidential recipe for the one, the only… olibole! Just don’t tell ANYONE! Because they would have my head if they were to know I let out the recipe, so… shhhhh.

 

Olibole:

  • 6 cups flour
  • 1/2 pound currents (remember to check for stems)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbls yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tbls sugar
  • confectioners’ sugar (for dusting)

Dissolve sugar in warm water, add yeast and let sit 10 minutes. In a bowl whisk eggs and milk to blend. In a large bowl whisk flour and salt. Add the milk mixture and yeast mixture to the flour and stir until a dough forms. Fully incorporate the currents. Place a damp cloth over top the bowl and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.

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Once  the dough is done rising have your oil ready (between 350 and 400 Fahrenheit and between 3 and 5 inches deep). Dip two table spoons into the oil then use them to scoop shape the dough from the bowl into balls about 2 tablespoons big, transfer the balls to the hot oil (probably no more than six at a time for an average size pot) and cook until the outside is golden brown (1 1/2 – 2 min). transfer to a wire rack over a baking sheet or some paper towels to drain (be sure to test one so you know they’re done, if not adjust cooking time and temperature). Finally, dust you  oily balls with confectioners’ sugar and enjoy!

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Recently I have been experimenting with brownie recipes. Embarking on the task of finding and amazing brownie is not an expedition for the feint of heart. What characteristics does a brownie need? Well it needs to be:

  1. Chewy
  2. Chocolaty
  3. Browniey
  4. Quick
  5. Foolproof

The only true method to find out these things is to go through each recipe one by one, in a barbaric trial-by-fire method until you find one that tickles your fancy. I went through quite a few recipes but, most forgot about characteristics #1, #4 and #5 and therefore only got 40% of the overall brownie experience, which, for your information, is not acceptable in any way, shape or form.

ΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘ

FUN FACT:

Did you know that there is actually something called

the edge brownie pan, designed to make only delicious edge pieces?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnCGatFwag0

ΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘ

Anyway, this recipe produces a very satisfying brownie indeed. Chewy, chocolaty and, in some ways most importantly, super easy, done (including cleanup) in 30 minutes (not including baking time. I grant this recipe the highest rank I can give it… a true spoon licker. Seriously, if you make these with someone younger and less powerful and they ask if they can lick the spoon, you say ‘No!’, overpower them and lick it yourself, that’s how good it is. So go make some brownies (and lick a spoon while you’re at it!) and absolutely, positively, I could not stress this more, don’t share…EVER!!!

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Also, if you are out of light brown sugar, and there’s no chance to nip to a convenience store for the chocolate, then just use 1 1/2 cups regular white sugar and up the butter to 1 1/2 and the cocoa to a heady 1 cup.

Ingredients

1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch salt

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

About 6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped into small nuggety chunks (or 1 cup chips)

Confectioners’ sugar, to dust, optional

Special Equipment: Aluminium foil-lined baking pan or foil pan, about 13 x 9 x 2 inches

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the butter over a gentle heat in a medium-sized saucepan.

When it’s melted, add the sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon (still over a low heat) to help it blend with the melted butter.

Whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and pinch of salt, and then stir into the pan; when mixed (this will be a very dry mixture, and not wholly blended at this stage), remove from the heat.

In a bowl or jug, whisk the eggs with the vanilla extract and then mix into the brownie mixture in the pan.

Stir in the chopped chocolate and quickly pour and scrape into a foil-lined baking tin or disposable foil pan, spreading the mixture with a spatula, and cook in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes. It will look set, dark and dry on top, but when you feel the surface, you will sense it is still wibbly underneath and a cake tester will come out gungy. This is desirable.

These are wicked warm or cold, although do let them cool a few minutes first, also if you eat them warm be ready for a gooey delicious.

Make Ahead Note: The brownies can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in airtight container. Will keep for total of 5 days.

Freeze Note: The brownies can be frozen for up to 3 months in airtight container, layered with baking parchment. Thaw overnight in cool place.