Thursday, July 24, 2014

Layered Chocolate Cake

Man you guys, it has been so cold up here. I know most people get like....snow and stuff....but I live in the warmth! Winter’s are supposed to be 20 degrees instead of 30! But lately? We’re getting below 10. Once, I woke up and it was 2 degrees.

I don’t know how to cope. I don’t have the right clothes for this.
It’s all very distressing.

I’ve literally just been eating porridge and soup for weeks now. The cold has drained me of my energy and I can’t even be bothered to cook anything. I just get my soup and go to bed.

How do people live in places that are like this all the time?!

Anyway, should this cake still be in existence, I’m sure it would help turn my frown upside down. I made this yonks ago for the boyf’s birthday.
I might have mentioned that he’s a simple kind of food person. There was no way in heck he was going to ask for a Chai and Ginger Carrot Cake (o0o good idea Monique), so a normal chocolate cake was all I could offer.
Having said that, chocolate cakes really are splendid. Especially when you haven’t had it in a while and you’re all ‘man there’s a reason it’s a classic’.
So people, embrace the simple!



Cake:

1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup hot strong coffee
 

Frosting:

290 grams butter, softened
3-4 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3-5 tbspn heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180oC degrees. Spray two round tins with oil spray.

Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.

With your mixer, mix the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Add the coffee. The batter will be really runny. Most chocolate cake batters are. Just accept it.

Pour the batter into prepared tins and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave to cool.
 
Frosting: With your mixer, cream the butter until smooth and has lightened in colour. Add 3 cups of icing sugar and the cocoa. Add 3 tbspn cream and 1 tsp vanilla Add more/less of each ingredient (cream, sugar or cocoa) to get the consistency and taste you desire.

You’ll need your cakes to be flat on top. If yours are domed, slice their heads off to make them flat.

Place 1 layer on your serving apparatus and top with frosting. Plonk the other cake on top and cover the whole lot in frosting. You may not use it all (I didn’t).

Decorate with chocolate chips, shaved chocolates, smarties or anything else you see fit.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Brigadeiro (Brazilian Treats)

So that’s it! That’s the World Cup over for 4 years. Did you watch the final? I was going for Argentina, but I guess the Germans just could not be stopped. It was all pretty intense. Football fans get so emotional. I was watching them celebrate and they were so emotional and that made me emotional and next thing I find, I’m crying at the TV.

I’m the hugest sap.
As a final dish for my WC series, I thought I should pay tribute to the host nation. Boy am I glad I did!

These are called Brigadeiro and are basically what would happen if a chocolate and a lolly had a baby. Cholly. Or loclate? No?
They’re apparently quite popular in Brazil and are served at parties or dessert. I would travel all the way to Brazil for these. If I had the money....and time....and work would let me....probably not...

But these are amazing. I cannot stress how delicious these are! They’re ├╝ber chocolately, sticky, smooth and so addictive. Plus they’re stupid easy.
Mine are a little small because I was impatient and didn’t wait until they had fully cooled. Plus when I was picking at the bowl, I thought it was very rich.  But you should make these bigger so you don't feel fat having to get 3 at a time ;)

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2tbspn butter
3tbspn cocoa
 
In a medium sized saucepan on medium heat, add all the ingredients. Cook, stirring constantly until big bubbles pop at the surface and it’s thick. I’d recommend using a strong whisk to make sure it’s smooth.  It could take 10mins or so. Mine took about 13mins but my stove takes ages to heat.
 
Transfer into a bowl and leave to cool to room temperature.
 
Grease your hands with butter (not the most pleasant of experiences), and roll them into balls. Coat in sprinkles, or chocolate sprinkles, and put into mini cupcake patties. You might need to re-grease your hands a few times. 

These can be left at room temperature.  Devour all day every day.



 
This photo does no justice what so ever. Just make them. DO IT.
 


Friday, July 11, 2014

German Peach Pancake

I’ve totally taken over the kitchen now. My new roommates well and truly know that I cook alot. Lucky for them I also clean while I go so my kitchen is always squeaky clean. I don’t understand how people can cook and just chuck the dishes in the sink for later. It freaks me out.

My new place has a dishwasher too. This is a massive luxury after doing oh-so-many sinks of washing up over the past 6 years. Although they’re a bit weird about it. They only like particular things to go in there and still do a couple sink loads of dishes each day. I find it a little odd and I’m slowly working out what they like hand washed... Is this normal? Do some things need to be washed by hand – like Tupperware, glasses and saucepans? It may be normal and I’m just clueless...
Anywho, this pancake is amazing. I tried it a few days ago and it was too sweet, and too dense. Totally not what I expected so I modified the recipe. I reduced the sugar, has less butter and added another egg. The result was a deliciously puffed, peachy custard which topped with a sprinkling of icing sugar is totally amazing for breakfast. Those Germans know their stuff!

This is also supposed to be made in a pie dish – but for some reason I cannot find which cupboard I put it in when I moved in...so casserole dish it is. Not very proper but I’m not a very proper person ;)


1 large or 2 small peaches, sliced
20g butter
1/2tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 – 1tbspn sugar, depending on desired sweetness.
1/2tsp vanilla

 
Add the butter to a pie dish and chuck in the oven while it’s preheating to 180oC.

When the butter has melted, add the sliced peaches. Sprinkle over the cinnamon and toss to coat.

Put back into the oven and cook for 10mins.

While that is cooking, add the remaining ingredients to a blender and pulse a few times to combine. Make sure all the flour is mixed and doesn’t stick to the sides. Give it an extra pulse for luck.

After the peaches have softened and smell delicious, pour over the eggy mixture. I’d advise you do this in the oven to avoid spillage all over the floor.

Bake for 20-25mins. The pancake will rise and puff nice and big.

Dust with icing sugar and devour!
 

 
Adapted from The Recipe Critic

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Margarita Pizza

Are you a pizza person? I only like pizzas if they’re loaded with fancy toppings. You wanna feed me pepperoni or Hawaiian? Nope. I ain’t gonna do it.
Smother it in marinated lamb, eggplant, chilli and minted Greek yoghurt? Yeah I’ll be there in a flash.

When I was travelling through France, a friend (who has travelled all over Europe) informed me that the best pizza in ALLTHEWORLD was at this Pizzeria in Paris somewhere....for the life of me I cannot remember. Hopefully I’ll have the name written down....*2 hours later* So I just did some research and the place was called La Comedia right next to the Censier-Daubenton metro. Go there people.
ANYWAY I had specific instructions to get the Margarita because it is authentic and delicious. I however, chose a fancy one with grilled eggplant and an egg fried in the middle. I didn’t go all that way for some dang boring pizza! No regrets. It was amazing.

I still however will get to Italy one day and compare this magical French pizza with the original artists....
Anywho, back home, I very rarely eat pizza, let alone actually make it. So it was a special night to sit back with some pizza and a glass of red indulging.

I did make a Margarita this time to be proper....and I personally just want to top it with some BBQ chicken, capsicum and red onion....but so be it. Still got demolished pretty fast ;)

Dough:
375 grams all-purpose flour
Slightly heaped 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup water

In a very large bowl, mix all ingredients with a spoon. The dough will be sticky but this is all good. Cover bowl with plastic and keep at room temperature for approximately 6 hours, or until the dough has more than doubled. I came home at lunch and did this so it’d be ready for dinner.

Sauce:
800g tin tomatoes (try to get a seasoned one for extra flavour)
1/2tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch red chilli flakes (add depending on your heat sensitivity)
Pinch sugar
Fresh/grated mozzarella
Basil

Empty the tin tomatoes into a colander set over a bowl. Let them drain for 30 minutes (or as long as you can). Stir them around every so often to make sure all the juices are dripping down.

To a blender, add all of the ingredients and blend until they reach your desired sauce texture.

Assembly:
Flour your counter very well. Dump dough out of bowl onto floured counter. Flour the top of the dough, and divide dough in half. Form them into ball-like shapes. Grab first ball with floured hands and shape into whatever pleases you. The dough is super soft so should stretch very easily.  

Add a heaping of sauce to each pizza base and spread it evenly. Scatter mozzarella over the pizzas. Give each assembled pizza a quick drizzle with olive oil and bake for 10 - 15 minutes, until the top is bubbled and the crust is golden. As soon as the pizza comes out of the oven and is still blazing hot, finish with basil.

 
 
 
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