Sunday, September 20, 2009

Easy Chocolate Mousse

No one will be able to guess what the secret ingredient is! This is a mish-mash of a bunch of recipes, but the final recipe is all mine! It has a bit of a Mexican-chocolate flavor - you can omit the cinnamon and use other flavorings (amaretto, orange, etc.).

1/2 cup whole or lowfat milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6-7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
12 oz (1 package) silken tofu
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons brewed dark coffee or espresso (pref. at room temperature)

Pour the milk into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Remove the milk from heat stir in the cocoa powder, sugar, and cinnamon. Let cool.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler - if you don't own a double-boiler, you can cobble one together using a tiny saucepan set under a larger mixing bowl. Fill the tiny saucepan with an inch or two of water and bring barely to a simmer - place the big mixing bowl with the chocolate on top of the tiny saucepan and let the heat come up and gently warm the chocolate while you stir occasionally until completely melted. Remove from heat.

Add the milk mixture and silken tofu to the melted chocolate. Process with a hand or regular blender until completely smooth - or process everything in the Cuisinart. Stir in the coffee and vanilla. Taste and adjust for flavor, adding a bit more sugar if needed.

Chill in the big bowl (or in individual bowls) for at least 1 1/2 hours, the longer the better. The pudding will set up nicely as it cools.

Makes 6 decadent servings.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The BEST Rosh haShana HONEY CAKE

(Adapted from Marcy Goldman’s Treasure of Jewish Holiday Baking)

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup warm coffee or strong tea
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup rye or whiskey
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (optional)
Chocolate chips or ground chocolate (optional)

Fits in three regular-sizeloaf pans, about 5 small pans, two 9-inch square or round cake pans, one 9 or 10 inch tube or bundt cake pan

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray. I dust the bottom with cake mix.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Make a well in the center, and add oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee or tea, orange juice and rye or whiskey, if using. (If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.)

Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.

Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds, if using. Put a layer of chocolate in the middle (between layers of batter), if using.

Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom NOT baking faster than the cake interior and top).

Bake until cake tests done, that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake center. Small loaves take about 30 minutes, large pans can take up to 45 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK, OR THE CAKE WILL BE DRY.

Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan.

Have a sweet new year!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Perfect Oatmeal Chocolate-Chip Cookies

These are really easy, yummy, and fool proof! Adapted from this post from the blog Food Loves Writing.

1/2 cup of margarine/butter/oil (or some combination - I used half butter and half oil, Food Loves Writing recommends margarine)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c old fashioned oats (I used quick oats and it turned out fine!)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the oatmeal and chocolate chips. After well-mixed, add the oatmeal and stir together. Then add the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto greased or Silpat cookie sheets. Bake for ~12 minutes. Cool and eat!