Sunday, May 17, 2009

Flourless Chocolate Cakes

One of my new college friends is gluten-intolerant.  I was reminded of this every time my mom sent me cookies or brownies or something during finals week and I enthusiastically offered her one, and she had to remind me about the gluten intolerance, which made me feel a bit dumb and somewhat guilty.  Once I was home again a few weeks ago, I decided to take advantage of the fact that she would be sticking around for another few days, and bake her some gluten-free goodies.

I found a simple recipe for flourless chocolate cake in Good Housekeeping's Chocolate recipe book, and changed it only in that I baked it in greased muffin tins instead of actual cake pans.  In terms of flavor, the miniature cakes turned out quite nicely; moist, very rich, enough texture that it felt like cake and not fudge.  Unfortunately, miniaturizing the cakes meant that upon cooling, the cakes contracted quite a bit, so they were kind of weird looking.  

Because I'm me, and I have a little bit of a thing against frosting, and I feel that a flourless cake-with chunks of chocolate-is rich enough without adding ganache or buttercream, I decided to top the mini cakes simply with fresh whipped cream and strawberries.  

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cookies! And my new apron!

Again, my dorm doesn't have a communal kitchen, and toaster ovens are strictly forbidden. The Boyfriend's residential college, however, is not so sadly lacking, so when I went to visit a couple weeks ago, we made full use of his kitchen and this cooking site we discovered,

They have this video displaying the most luscious-looking chocolate-chip cookies, and we decided to give their recipe a whirl. Unfortunately, while his dorm has a communal kitchen and a selection of cooking and baking implements, it turns out it doesn't have a set of beaters, electric or otherwise. Which meant that when it came time to cream together the butter and sugar, the Boyfriend got to show off that upper arm strength and go at it with a whisk. Our first batch turned out rather biscuity (but still quite delicious in my opinion), so he really beat the dough for the second batch, and they turned out just lovely, much more cookie-like in texture and just as cute and crinkly.

While I can eat a fair number of cookies, the 3 or 4 dozen we ended up making were too many even for the two of us, so we shared with just about everyone who wandered in, asking why we were making cookies. In addition to satisfying my baking itch, I also got to show off my awesome new apron; brown with white polka-dots, little bits of lace trim on the pocket and just $4 at the thrift store.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Because I'm procrastinating and I actually have pictures...

Well, this was actually a New Year's Eve dinner with my boyfriend, but I had pretty much given up on updating this blog during the school year, so I didn't feel a real need to write a post. I was at home for winter break, hence the available kitchen. Still, it was a fantastic meal and I have a few minutes to do a short write-up.

New Year's Eve I was feeling a bit disappointed, as my friend's New Year's Eve party didn't end up happening, so my boyfriend and I made a quick Kroger's run for groceries for our fancy-pants dinner. We decided to go with a Porterhouse steak with shiitake mushrooms, roasted potatoes, biscuits-from-a-tube and a nice side salad. The recipe for the steak sauce was from and the potatoes were a recipe of sorts from my mom, although really it's not a recipe, just a way to roast potatoes.

Roasted Potatoes
3 largish Idaho potatoes
olive oil
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
1/2 a white onion
pepper and salt to taste
Italian seasoning

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Chop potatoes into bite-size pieces, maybe 1/8 of a potato. Roughly chop the onion and mince the garlic (I like to chop the garlic roughly, then put it through a garlic press). Combine the potatoes, onion, and garlic in a mixing bowl and toss with a little olive oil (about a tablespoon). Pour olive oil into a casserole dish (mine's glass) and swirl dish to coat the bottom and sides. Add the potato mixture and spread fairly evenly in the dish. Add pepper, salt and Italian seasoning to taste; I add enough that the potatoes are fairly densely speckled. Place in oven and bake until potatoes are soft and yield easily to a fork; I think mine took around 25-30 minutes.

The recipe is good with Idaho potatoes, but it's even better with new red potatoes.