Sunday, July 27, 2008

All Time Favorite Carrot Cake

CAKE:
1/2 Cup dutch cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 Cups refined sugar
2 Teaspoons baking soda
4 pcs large eggs(room temperature)
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 Cups vegetable oil
2 Cups grated carrots
1 Cup chopped walnut or almond
1 Cup undrained crushed pineapple

ICING:
8 Ounces Cream Cheese
225 grams butter
1 Box powdered sugar ( 1 pound)
1 Cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Sift and combine cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a dry mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, vanilla, and oil. Add egg mixture to cocoa mixture and mix well. Stir in carrots, walnuts and pineapple and pour into three 9 inch round greased cake pans.

Bake 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool.

ICING: combine cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar and beat well. Fold in nuts. Spread on carrot cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Key for a successful creme anglaise

For foolproof creme anglaise, take note of these guidelines:
  1. Egg yolks curdle so quickly. So always pay close attention when heating the custard mixture. Stir constantly with a wire whisk.
  2. Use heavy sauce pan (sauce pan with thick bottom is recommended) because it tempers the heat and distributes it more evenly and slowly, reducing the chance of curdling.
  3. If tbe sauce pan is thin, decrease the heat and what the process carefully, because the sauce will cook more quickly.

The Saucy sauce of your dreams

Many calls it creme anglaise and others simple call it just a custard sauce. But this satin-smooth sauce is a classic treat that spans through generations.

Creme anglaise, ( which translates as "English cream") a classic French dessert sauce, is a rich liquid custard that has been used for Bavarian creams and ice creams, and for spooning over fruits and desserts. Its got many names like, English custard sauce, boiled custard, soft custard, and stirred custard. Whatever is its name, this sauce is made from rich milk, cream, sugar, and whole eggs or egg yolks for a more creamy version.
Because of its high calorie content, often times cornstarch or flour are used to add body while replacing fat. However in order to maintain the sauce's luscious and satin-smooth appeal, love-fat milk is preferred.


How to make a satin-smooth sauce of your dream?

1 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar

4 large egg yolks

PREPARATION:
  1. Pour milkinto a medium saucepan. Add vanilla extract. Cook over medium heat but do not boil. Remove from heat after 5 minutes.
  2. Combine sugar and yolks in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Gradually add milk mixture to bowl, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return mixture to pan. Cook over medium heat 6 minutes until mixture thinly coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly with a whisk. Immediately pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and chill. Mixture thickens when its cold.
  3. This kind of sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Midnight Dream

This is a creamy chocolate mousse cake with a base that differs from the usual chocolate butter cake. The cake appears light as a cloud upon baking, but transforms into a rich, dense cake when chilled. Semi-sweet chocolate chips bring out the intense chocolate flavor of this richly satisfying dessert.

8-10 Servings

Ingredients:
For the base:
112 g butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbps Dutch Cocoa
3 pcs eggs, separated
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar

For the mousse:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose cream ( 1 cup to chilled solid)
1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 pcs eggs, separated
1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
3 tbsp cold water
1/3 cup sugar

For the topping: (optional)
1 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp confectioner sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose cream, chilled

Instruction:
Base:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 inch round sprinform pan with nonstick baking paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter, chocolate chips, and cocoa. Stir until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and cool.
  3. Add egg yolks and flour to cooled mixture. Stir with a wire whisk until smooth.
  4. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add sugar. Increase speed to high and continue beating until stiff but not dry.
  5. Gently fold in the chocolate-egg mixture into the egg whites. Pour into springform pan, tapping pan gently on the table to release any air pockets.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Cake will shrink when it cools. Put the cake back into the pan.

Mousse:
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the 1/2 cup all-purpose cream over low flame. Add chocolate chips and stir until smooth.
  2. Stir a little of the chocolate mixture into egg yolks. Pour tempered yolks into the chocolate mixture.
  3. In a bowl, combine gelatin and water. Add to chocolate-yolk mixture and heat to dissolve the gelatin. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl to cool until just warm.
  4. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff but not dry. Gently fold in chocolate-yolk mixture until blended. Set aside.
  5. Place the chilled all-purpose cream in medium bowl. With a wire whisk, mix cream until smooth, but do not whip. Add a little egg white mixture to lighten the cream.
  6. Add the rest of the egg white mixture and fold until blended. Pour over cake.
  7. Smooth top with a knife or angled metal spatula. Chill overnight.

Topping:
  1. After the cake has chilled, run a wet metal spatula around sides of mousse. Release sides of springform pan.
  2. Using a fine sifter, sift 1 tablespoon cocoa over cake. Sift about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of the powdered sugar over cake.
  3. Whip chilled cream with remaining powdered sugar and pipe cream around the edges of mousse cake. Transfer cake to a platter before serving.

Pasta with aligue sauce

This is one unique version of pasta..it is unusual but the pleasant taste from the crab fat make one to crave for more...

This recipe is good for 6 servings.
Ingredients:
1 tbsp corn oil
1/2 head garlic, chopped cup aligue ng talangka (crab fat, available in bottles or in cans)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup kalamansi juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 500-g pack pasta, cooked as per directions
1/4 kg shrimp, peeled, undeveined, and cooked
Instructions:
  • In a skillet, heat oil and saute garlic one minute.
  • Pour in aligue ng talangka and water. Stir well to combine. Season with kalamansi juice and salt.
  • Let mixture simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over warm, cooked pasta with shrimp on top.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Low low Calorie Carrot Cake

Try this sugar free carrot cake. I personally do not like carrot cakes, but when I have tried this spicy, not so oily cake, I begin to love this version of carrot cake.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cups dates, chopped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup carrot, grated
  • 1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  2. Combine the water, dates, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a small saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and gently simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Place the shredded carrots in a large bowl and pour the hot water mixture over them, and allow to cool completely.
  5. Add the orange juice concentrate to the carrot mixture and mix well.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir well to combine.
  7. Pour the batter into a lightly greased cake pan.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes oout clean.
Variations:
If you don't like its bland taste, you may top the cake with cream cheese frosting.
To prepare the cream cheese frosting,
beat 150 g of cream cheese and 40 g of butter. Add 80 g confectioner sugar. Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon flavoring.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Ever Minty Mint Brownies

Ingredients:
Brownies
4 eggs
sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
225 g butter
120g all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
Mint Toppings
130 g cream cheese
90 g unsalted butter
90 g confectioner sugar
1 tsp mint flavor
Chocolate toppings
150 g dark chocolate chips
20 g butter

Procedure:
Brownies:
In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa powder to melted butter. Allow to cool and set aside.
Beat eggs slightly. Add sugar gradually. Stir in vanilla.
Add cocoa mixture to sugar and eggs.
Stir in flour and salt.
Pour into greased and floured 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Let brownies cool.

Mint Topping:

Beat cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Add in the butter, confectioner sugar, vanilla and mint flavor. Place in the refrigerator for about an hour before topping it into the brownies.

Chocolate Topping:

Melt chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler. Spread over mint topping. Refrigerate until chocolate hardens.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Death by Chocolate Cake

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients
225 g dark semisweet chocolate (40-50% cocoa)
140 g butter
210 g sugar
4 eggs
4 heaped tablespoons All Purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoon baking powder or 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons sour cream

Frosting:
250 mL heavy cream or whipping cream
150 g semisweet chocolate
100 g dark chocolate cake
25 g unsalted butter

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (Gas mark 4 or 180 deg C).
  2. Line a 10 inch circular cake tin (3 inches tall) with greaseproof or other non-stick paper.
  3. Cut the chocolate into small pieces and melt it with butter in a double broiler.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with sugar,
  5. Add in the flour with flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and vanilla extract.
  6. Slowly fold in the melted butter and chocolate and the sour cream.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. When the cake has obtained room temperature place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before removing the cake from the tin (the cake is sticky and difficult to cut when it is warm!) Remove the crusted surface on the top of the cake, and cut in half, horizontally
Frosting

  1. Heat the heavy cream or whipping cream in a sauce pan.
  2. Remove from heat, add the of finely chopped dark semisweet chocolate and butter, stir until smooth, and let it cool until in thickens.
  3. Use 1/3 of the frosting between the two layers, 1/3 on top, and the rest around the cake. Put the cake into the fridge for one hour or more to harden the frosting.
  4. This cake should be served chilled.

Variations
  1. You may add 3 tablespoons of rum to the chocolate and butter mixture.
  2. You can add chopped walnuts and decorate with whole walnuts for a marvelous nutty treat!

Is the food you prepare safe?

"Hepatitis A is a very serious and highly contagious disease that can put you and your family in danger when you travel abroad. It is very rampant in many areas of the world. You can pick up the virus very easily from contaminated food, water or an infected waiter or chef, even at the best hotels and resorts."

To assure that our food is as safe as it tastes, follow these 5 tips:
  1. Cleanliness counts. Always wash your hands after handling uncooked meat because this is a big source of food contamination. Use paper towels. But if uncooked meat should touch touch your dishcloth, launder it in hot water and bleach.
  2. Keep it hot. Make sure that meats, eggs, and seafood all cooked sufficiently. Heat is the best way to kill bacteria.
  3. Defrost coolly. To keep bacteria at low level, thaw raw meats in the refrigerator, in the sink inside an airtight plastic container submerged in a very cold water, or in the microwave. Cook meat immediately after thawing, otherwise, put it back in the refrigerator.
  4. Separate the cooked from the raw. Utensils and surfaces that come in contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood must be cleaned before reusing them. Use separated cutting boards for vegetables and raw meats.
  5. Marinate in the fridge. Put meat and marinade in a sealed container on your refrigerator's bottom shelf so juices can not leak onto other foods. If you want to make use of the marinade as sauce, you should boil the liquid to kill any harmful bacteria.
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