Sunday, November 9, 2008

Brownies with Cocoa

I like my brownie recipe that uses dry cocoa instead of the chocolate that you have to melt. There's a recipe in one of the church cookbooks that works well, but I didn't have it this week for dessert for today's baptism dinner. So I websurfed and found something that worked very well and came out decently fudgy.

350 for around 20 minutes
(until edges are dry and middle is set,
being careful not to overbake)

Melt 1 stick butter.
Stir in 1/2 cup cocoa.

Add 1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla.
Mix till shiny and smooth.

Add 2/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix well.
Bake in greased pan.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tamale Pie

1 1/2-2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion

Drain fat and add:
1- 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
1- 16 oz can of kidney beans
1- 8 oz can tomato sauce
1- 4 oz can chopped chilis
1 pound bag of frozen corn
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder

Simmer, uncovered, for 10-25 minutes.

Cornmeal Mush
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tsp salt
4 cups water

Blend- bring to boil over medium low heat. Cook another 1-2 minutes, until quite thick.
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar

Pour meat mixture in a greased 9"x13" pan. Top with cornmeal mush.

Bake uncovered at 350 for 50-55 minutes.

Instant Oatmeal

I learned this from Kraayevelds, many years ago.

2 cups quick oats, blended until fine
2 cups quick oats, unblended
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt

To flavor, add on set of the following ingredients:

Apple Cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chopped dried apples
2 tsp cinnamon

Brown Sugar Raisin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins

Cinnamon Spice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Peaches n Cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup dry milk
1 cup chopped dried peaches

To serve, combine 1/3 cup mix and 1/2 cup boiling water. Stir and let sit for about a minute before eating.

Paul's Pizza Crust

(Because my brother Paul makes the best pizza!)

1 3/4 cups warm water
2 Tbsp sugar or honey
1 Tbsp yeast
1/2 Tbsp salt

2 cups flour- beat well.

2-3 cups flour, mix and knead until dough is elastic.

Pat onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake 5-6 minutes at 500 degrees.

Add pizza toppings and bake an additional 8-10 minutes.

Makes 2 crusts.

Potato Pancakes

4 potatoes
1 onion

1/2 cup pancake mix
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 eggs

Peel potatoes and grate into a bowl. Pour off the extra liquid. Peel onion and grate into potatoes. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Fry in a hot, oiled skillet until brown on both sides.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gluten/Wheat free Chocolate Cake

It may look hard, but it's much easier than it looks.
For easy assembly I made the layers the night before and left them in the freezer overnight with plastic wrap around them, they didn't get freezer burned or ruined and it took about 15 minutes to finalize the whole cake with frosting.
Absolutely delicious!


For cake layers:
12 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
6 tablespoons water
12 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder

For filling:

2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons confectioners sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons Grand Marnier*

* I substituted 4 tablespoons cocoa and 1 teaspoon vanilla


To Make cake layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease four 9-inch circular cake pans and line bottoms of circles with a piece of parchment paper.

Melt chocolate with water in a small heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring. Cool to lukewarm.

In your stand mixer, beat yolks, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt until thick and pale for about 5 minutes. Stir in melted chocolate until combined. In a separate HUGE bowl, beat 12 egg whites until they hold stiff peaks (clean your beaters). I use hand held mixer with a very large stainless steel bowl for this-

Add remaining sugar and beat until whites just hold stiff peaks. Fold one third of whites into melted-chocolate mixture, then fold in remaining whites carefully.

Spread batter evenly over four baking pans. Bake until the cake has puffed and the top is dry to the touch, maybe 16 minutes. I rotated my cake pans once to ensure they cooked evenly. Once the cake is done, cool the cake pans on cooling racks for about 10 minutes.

If you wish, sift cocoa powder over top of cake layers. Then place a piece of waxed paper over the top of the cake pans. Place a cookie sheet over paper and invert cake onto it, gently peeling off wax paper lining. For best results, place all of the layers in the freezer for at least 2 hours or until they are firm enough to be carefully lifted without breaking.

In order to make the filling: In a clean large bowl, beat cream with powdered sugar and Grand Marnier (or cocoa powder) until it just holds stiff peaks.

To assemble the cake:

Bring first cake layer out of the freezer (leave the others in the freezer until you are ready for them) and arrange on your cake plate, cocoa side down. Spread 1/4 of filling evenly over the cake layer. Bring the next cake layer out of the freezer, placing it gently over the filling, again cocoa side down. Repeat until the cake is assembled!

Keep cake in the refrigerator until serving time. The cake layers should thaw after about 2-3 hours of being in the refrigerator and the cake will be ready to serve.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cream of Asparagus Soup

2 lbs asparagus, roughly chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 Tbsp butter
5-6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Cook onion in 2 Tbsp butter until soft. Add asparagus, salt, and pepper, then cook while stirring for five minutes. Add broth and simmer, covered, until asparagus is very tender- about 15-20 minutes.

Puree soup in batches in a blender until smooth, and return to pan. Stir in cream, and season with salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil and whisk in remaining Tbsp of butter.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Rosemary and Onion Focaccia

1 Tbsp yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp rosemary
1 tsp onion powder
3 cups white flour
6 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp rosemary
coarse salt
thinly sliced onion

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water- let sit until bubbly.

Combine first set of ingredients, mix thoroughly, then knead until smooth.

Allow to rise until doubled in size.

Use part of the remaining olive oil to oil a 9x13 pan. Punch down the dough and spread evenly in the pan. Dimple the top surface with your fingertips, then drizzle remaining olive oil on top of the dough. Sprinkle with rosemary and salt- place sliced onion rings on top as garnish.

Allow to rise for approximately 15 minutes.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden.

Serve with olive oil for dipping.