Monday, September 24, 2012

Fondant très fondant au chocolat et sa crème à la vanille

A.K.A. really freaking good chocolate cake with crème anglaise!
Source: adapted from Cuisine Actuelle, Septembre 2012 (n. 261)
Serves : 6 (although I would argue more… it’s very rich)
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 60 min.
Ready to eat in: Several Hours if you prefer it chilled.

You will need:

For the cake:
250 g. dark chocolate (65% recommended)
250 g. softened butter + 20 g. butter for the pan
3 eggs
150 g. sugar
75 g. corn starch

For the Crème Anglaise:
100 g. sugar
50 cl. milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
6 egg yolks

1. Heat the oven to 300
°F (150°C). Cut out a parchment paper circle to fit in the bottom of a 9 in. (23 cm.) cake pan. Butter the pan using the 20 g. of butter. Place the parchment in the bottom of the pan and butter it too.  
2. Place the buttered pan into a larger pan. (Your cake will bake in a bain marie, a.k.a water bath. So, you may want to heat up some water now, too.

3. Break the chocolate up into small pieces and melt with the butter either in a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir to combine.
4.    Whip the eggs and sugar together until light in color. Fold in the corn starch. Then the chocolate/butter mixture.
5. Pour the batter into the pan. Place in the oven on the middle rack. Gently pour hot water into the outer, larger pan until the depth is half that of the cake pan.
6. Bake 1 hour. Let cool completely before turning out.
7. Make your crème anglaise: (Really you could do this while your cake is baking. I prefer to eat it chilled.)

If you use a vanilla bean: Place the milk in a sauce pan and heat almost to boiling. Then add in your cut and scraped vanilla bean. Let it steep for a minute or two. Remove the vanilla bean before serving.
If you do not use vanilla bean, just heat your milk to warm. You can add your vanilla extract at the end before serving.

8. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a heat proof bowl. Temper your eggs by whisking in a bit of the hot milk at a time. Place this over a pan of boiling water and stir continuously. You want to cook it until it coats the back of a spoon.
If you need a quick tutorial on the steps, watch this video. Yeah, I know it’s in French. Yeah, I also know he did not temper his eggs or use a double boiler to cook it. These are insurance against burning and cooked eggs. But hey, you're grown, do what you want.
Cool your crème anglaise before you serve it for a better taste. (my personal opinion).

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chocolate chip cookie dough brownies

Cranberry Tea

I got this cranberry tea in a can on a road trip. Normally, I'm not a tea-in-a-can fan, but it will do in a pinch. After tasting this, I decided it was ok, but it could be great.  I read the ingredients on the can as a reference. So, off to the kitchen we go.....

For half a gallon (almost 2L) I used:

  • 2 large tea bags
  • 1 Splenda quick pack
  • 1 small (10 oz.) bottle of 100% cran-grape juice
  • about 1/2 c. apple juice (I didn't measure just poured)
  • the juice from 1/2 a lemon, hand-squeezed. 
  • Bottled water to fill to the top
  • Crushed ice 

Start by brewing your tea. Heat the water, add tea bags let steep about 5 min. Pour all ingredients but the water into the pitcher, give it a stir. Add plenty of ice, and top off with the bottled water, and give another stir. Yes, you can use tap water, but I live in a place where it's unbearable/unthinkable to drink.

In retrospect, I would have left out the splenda or used about 1/2 the packet. This came out way to syrupy sweet for me.  So I guess I will try again later :)