Monday, August 08, 2011

The Search for Great Chocolate Bundt Cake

The past few years, at the request of my special someone, my desserts have focused on chocolate. I've tried many recipes for chocolate pound cake and chocolate bundt cakes, but have never really been satisfied - until now. This shabbat I made an excellent, easy, naturally pareve chocolate bundt cake, which was annotated with weights, as well as measurements - HOORAH! I wish every recipe did that. Cooking is an art, baking is a science and requires accurate measurements to get consistent results. I'll write more about that later, but in the meanwhile

Deb's Chocolate Bundt Cake
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped as finely as you can
2.25 ounces dutched cocoa power (3/4 cup)
1 cup boiling water
2 cups packed brown sugar
8.75 ounces all purpose flour (1 3/4 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or 1/2 vanilla 1/2 almond)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 12 cup bundt pan with nonstick baking spray.

Put cocoa and chopped chocolate in bowl; pour boiling water over and let sit for 5 minutes. After five minutes, stir well until smooth. (note: Use real chocolate - not the baking bars that are more like chocolate flavored plastic)

Whisk together chocolate, sugar, eggs, vanilla and oil until very smooth; about two minute (can also be processed in food processor for one minute, but who wants to wash it!)

Sift flour, salt and baking soda. Add to chocolate mixture in two parts, whisking just until mixed. Most of the lumps should be gone, but do not overbeat.

Pour into prepared pan, bake 45 - 50 minutes, until cake test comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool in pan ten minutes, then invert onto cooling rack.

Glaze or dust with confectioner sugar


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Back to the Kitchen

It's been a while. After many years of lots of entertaining and extensive meal planning, I needed a break; some time to consider interests and priorities. Please, don't think that since I'm posting again I've magically found the secrets to life. Nope. But I have begun to figure out that I should consider my action, and think about what I'm doing rather than operate on auto-pilot. And as much as I love cooking and entertaining, making one fewer side dish, or buying challah instead of making homemade in order to spend time with someone I love, is a better choice.

But this shabbat, this empty nester has the joy of cooking for a son home on school holiday and here's what we'll have

Friday Night

Homemade Challah
Chicken Soup with Noodles

Roast Chicken with Shallots
Roast Potatoes
Popcorn Cauliflower

Shabbat Lunch (with company)

Fettucine with Tomato Basil Crudo Salsa

Silver tip Teriyaki Roast
Honey Ginger chicken
Basmati Rice
Hot & spicy cabbage
Spinach Patties
Carrot Kugel
Mesclun Salad with Toasted Pecans

Surprise Cookies (mallomar-ish)
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Lemon Squares

And if I don't have time to make the challahs, or pecans don't get toasted so that there's less stress - that's ok!

Shabbat Shalom

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