August 22, 2010

Eve's Chocolate Cake

Or, in my mum's words, Chocolate Omelette.

Indeed, this cake is a chocolate omelette; and with only 4 ingredients, it is super (ahem) healthy.  Compared to some other things, at least.  The cake is made with chocolate, a dozen eggs, a little butter and a little sugar.  Most of the mousse-y batter is baked, but some is kept aside and spread lusciously on the top of the cake when it's done.  (Caution - raw eggs can cause salmonella, so it might be better to keep the raw batter to people you don't mind too much about making sick).
The cake itself is light and fluffy, but apparently it becomes denser when chilled.  I wouldn't know - my family polished it off the night it was made.  That's how good it was.

Recipe Adapted From: Citrus and Candy; recipe originally from France by Damien Pignolet
Ingredients (26 cm (10 inch) cake - half this recipe fits a 20 cm (8 inch) springform tin)
360g bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
50g unsalted butter, softened
12 extra large eggs, separated
30g caster sugar (for whipping with yolks)
20g caster sugar (for egg whites)

Chocolate and cocoa for decoration

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.  Grease and line a 26-28cm springform tin.  (Or a 20cm one, if you are making half a batch)

2. Melt the chocolate and mix in the butter.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 30g caster sugar until pale and thickened.

4. Combine the egg yolk mixture with the melted chocolate and butter.

5. In a large, clean and dry bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks (make sure you don't overbeat, because the whites will become dry). Add the 20g caster sugar and beat until stiff peaks.

6. With a spatula or spoon, mix a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mix to lighten it.  Add the chocolate mix to the rest of the egg whites and fold gently until combined.

7. Spoon out a quarter of the completed batter into a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

8. Pour the rest of the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30 minutes.  It should still be moist in the centre - to test, lightly press your finger into the middle of the cake.  The indentation should remain when you take your finger away.

9. Turn the cake out directly onto a serving plate.  Remove the springform ring and base, let cool. The cake should collapse a bit, leaving a crater in the centre.  Mine didn't really collapse - perhaps I baked it a bit too long, or maybe I shouldn't have flipped it.  Oh well.  It was yummy anyway.

10. Remember that leftover batter in the fridge?  Scrape it out onto the top of the cake and spread around to the edges.

Sprinkle with chocolate curls or shaved chocolate, and dust with cocoa.  We sprinkled ours with Haigh's drinking chocolate.


Happy baking!

August 14, 2010

Marshmallows & Rocky Road

What is fluffy, soft and rolled in coconut?  What is fluffy, soft, coconutty and chocolatey too, with nuts optional?
Marshmallows and rocky road, of course; super easy to make and super tasty to boot.

However; to make marshmallows, you do require an electric mixer that isn't too old.  Before we got our KitchenAid, Mum was making marshmallows with her old (really old) handheld mixer.  While beating the mixture, the mixer motor emitted a puff of smoke and died with a pffling noise.  So be careful if your mixer is super old.

Recipe Adapted From: The Cooks Book of Uncommon Recipes
2 cups white sugar
3 envelopes unflavoured gelatin
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cold water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method - Topping (for marshmallow)
Here in the Speeding Turtle's kitchen, we usually cover our marshmallows in toasted coconut.  Before you get started making the marshmallow, toast about 1 cup of coconut in a frypan while stirring.

Line a 22 x 35cm baking tin or equivalent with baking paper and sprinkle some of the coconut on the bottom to roughly coat it.  

Then make the will need to toast some more, fresh coconut later.

Method - Marshmallow
1. Combine sugar, gelatin and salt in a saucepan.

2. Stir in the cold water and allow to rest for 5 minutes (so the gelatin can soften.)

3. Place the saucepan over a low heat.  Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved.  The mixture should not boil!  When the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat.

4. Stir in the vanilla extract.  Pour the mixture into a large bowl while still hot and, using an electric mixer, beat at high speed until it is thickened and will stand in soft peaks.  It should take about 10 - 15 minutes.

5. Spread the marshmallow into the prepared pan immediately, making it smooth and even.

6. Let the marshmallow stand for a while to set.

7. Using a sharp knife, cut the marshmallows into even cubes/rectangular prisms and roll in some more toasted coconut.

8. Store in an air-tight container.  Or, alternatively, just eat 'em.

Ingredients - Rocky Road [per batch of marshmallow]
350g dark chocolate
1 cup coconut (toasted)
Nuts if desired

1. Melt the chocolate and stir in the toasted coconut.  Stir in nuts at this point if you are using them.

2. Roughly chop your tray of marshmallow, it is nice if they are different sized and a bit 'rocky'.  Drop the marshmallow chunks into the chocolate mixture 3 or 4 at a time, mixing between additions (more and they get stuck together when you mix).

3. Spread the rocky road mixture into a baking paper lined tin (22 x 35cm or equivalent).

4. Leave the rocky road in a cool place to set.  Don't put it in the fridge, however, because the chocolate may 'bloom' and get a whole pile of whitish dots on it.

5. When the chocolate has hardened, take the rocky road out of the baking tin and cut up into whatever size you want.

6. Search through the chunks of rocky road to find one with lots of chocolate.  Eat.

Tips and Tricks
 - For marshmallows with a bite of coffee, substitute the water (in step 2 of the marshmallow method) for weak coffee.  It's nice.