Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chocolate Raspberry Decadence Cake

Originally posted here on July 17, 2012 as "The Way...Part II"

Per Amelia's request!

I'll give you two versions of the cake. The 100% homemade and the cheat. :)

The cheat:
A box of Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate Cake. Mix both packets with:
2 eggs plus 1 egg white
1/3c apple sauce
1/4c oil
1/4c Greek yogurt
1c water
1/3c chocolate milk
Bake in pans according to directions (350 for 25-30 minutes)

The homemade... (It's my basic butter cake with the chocolate addition.)
Basic Butter Cake:
Mix & Set Aside: 2c A.P. flour, 1tbsp baking powder, 1tsp salt
Cream: 1/2c softened butter, 4oz. applesauce (a snack size cup)
Slowly beat in: 2/3c white sugar, 1/2c brown sugar
Add in, one at a time, and mix well: 6oz plain Greek yogurt, 1tbsp vanilla, 2 eggs + 1 egg white, 1/6c
almond milk (or chocolate milk for the chocolate cake version)
Add in the flour mixture slowly then beat on medium-high for 2 minutes
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes (however your oven works) until done. Makes two 9” rounds.
Chocolate Cake: Melt 7oz dark chocolate with 2 tbsp (of the 8 you will use for the recipe) butter. Add to the creamed butter (before the sugar) and then follow the above recipe.

For the frosting (it's a take on my basic buttercream)
Basic Buttercream:
Beat 1c of softened butter until creamy. Add 1tsp vanilla and 1/6c almond milk (or regular milk). Slowly cream with 3c powdered sugar.
Chocolate: Melt 3.5oz chocolate with 1tbsp butter. Cream rest of the 1 cup of butter with tsp vanilla. Add the melted chocolate, then cream with 3c powdered sugar.
For the Decadent cake, double the chocolate/butter melting (7oz choc and 2tbsp butter).

Cool the cakes completely.

Ice the top of one layer then slather on raspberry preserves (I prefer French style or to make my own). Top with the second cake. Frost the sides and top. Put remaining frosting in a ziplock and cut off a tip. Pipe frosting around the edge,building a ledge around the cake. Within the ledge, lather on 1/4-1/2 cup of raspberry preserves. Chill.

Bring to room temp before serving and toss fresh raspberries on when you serve.

Keep chilled.

(And, like I said, I dont even want to GUESS at the calories!)

Lamb Biryani

Originally posted here on July 17, 2012 as "They Way..."
The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
-Fanny Fern

Way back when, this was a piece of advice that a woman gave her daughter-in-law... What Peter's mom must have known when she said those words was that I not only love to cook but am happy to spend my days continuing to work myself into her son's heart. :) On today's dinner menu? Dark Chocolate Raspberry Decadence Cake (I'm not even going to guestimate the calories in a sliver of that bad boy... It's petty deadly. It's also Peter's favorite dessert, well, one of them!) To go with dinner is a dish he's mentioned he'd love for me to make: biryani. Lamb biryani to be exact. Using lamb from a local farm, I've modified everyone's favorite, potty mouthed chef, Gordon Ramsay's chicken biryani recipe (which is found in his cookbook Great Escape), and thought I'd share it... You know, just in case you have a heart (that loves Indian food) that you're trying to weasel into! ;) I'll be serving ours with samosas and garlic naan tonight...

Lamb Biryani

Mix the following together and marinate for several hours:
1lb lamb, diced into 1 inch pieces
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1tsp chili powder
1tsp tumeric
1tsp garam masala
1.5tsp minced ginger
1tbsp minced garlic

Heat 1tbsp olive oil and 1tbsp butter over medium heat, and toss in 2 medium onions, chopped, cooking for 8-10 minutes or until soft and caramelized. Add 1tbsp butter, 1 cinnamon stick, 6 whole cloves, and 3 cardamom pods, sauteeing for 30 seconds and until aromatic. Add 1.5tsp minced ginger and 1tbsp minced garlic, and cook for another minute. Add the lamb mixture (with the marinade) and cook for 10-12 more minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat while you prepare the rice.

For the rice, heat 2tbsp butter, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise pod, and 4 cardamom pods in a large pan. Cook for 30 seconds, until the spices become aromatic. Add 300g basmati rice, rinsed and drained (approx 1.5 cups) and 85g raisins, stirring the rice and raisins in the butter for one minute. Add 375ml water (about 1.5 cups or 375 grams) and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then gently simmer and cover, cooking for 10 minutes. Add the lamb and sauce, then recover and simmer for 5 more minutes. Leaving the lid in place, remove from heat and stand for 5 minutes. Prior to serving, thoroughly mix the rice and chicken, and garnsh with coriander leaves (optional).

(4 servings: 550 calories each)