Wednesday, February 27, 2008

English Chocolate Cake with Caramel Sauce

English Chocolate Cake with Caramel Sauce

1 1/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter -- softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound nuts (optional)
8 ounces chocolate chips

2 cups cream
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.

Put the water and dates in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Boil the dates for 3 min. Turn off the heat, add the baking soda and let cool a bit.

In a medium bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Whisk well.

In a large bowl, cream sugar with the soft butter. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add half of the flour mixture and mix. Add the dates. Then finish with the flour and mix well.

Pour into a 13x9 buttered pan. Bake for 25 min.

In the meantime, bring the cream, brown sugar and butter to a boil. Boil for 4 min. on med-heat and take out 1 1/4 cups of the mix. Continue to cook what's remaining for another 10-13 min.

After 25 min., take out the cake and put on top the nuts, if using. Add the chocolate chips and pour the 1 1/4 cup of the caramel sauce on top.

Return to oven for another 20 min.

Serve with ice cream and the caramel sauce.

Guide Cuisine & Les Gourmandises d'Isa

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Herb Focaccia

Herb Focaccia

1 1/8 cups water at 27C
2 tbsps + 1 tsp Olive Oil
2 1/4 tsps Italian herb blend
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3 cups + 3 tbsps Bread Flour
1 1/2 tsps Yeast

Place all ingredients, in the order listed, in the bread pan. Select Dough cycle. Press start to mix. When cycle is completed remove dough from pan, punch to deflate and let rest 10 min. befoe continuing.

Brush a jelly-roll pan with olive oil and sprindle with cornmeal. After dough has rested, roll out on a lightly floured surface to the appropriate size and place on prepare pan. Cover loosely with platic wrap and let rise in a warm place until about doubled in size, about 40 to 50 min.

Preheat oven to 450F. With oiled fingertips, press indentations into the dough about 1 inch apart and 1/2 inch deep. Drizzle with 3 tbsps olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with 3/4 tsp sea salt, 1/3 cup Parmesan, Asiago or Grana Padano cheese and 1/4 cup fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano, marjoram, basil etc.)

Place in a preheated oven and bake until deep golden and puffed with a crispy crust, about 10 to 20 min., depending on size.

Pappardelle with Creamy Sundried Tomato Sauce and Toasted Walnuts

Pappardelle with Creamy Sundried Tomato Sauce and Toasted Walnuts

1 small onion -- finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed -- drained and finely chopped (I use my mini food processor for this), or prepared sundried tomato pesto
4 ounces soft goat cheese
1/2 cup chicken broth -- or water
salt and pepper -- to taste
8 ounces pasta -- such as Papperdelle
parsley sprigs -- to taste
1/4 cup walnuts -- toasted, coarsely chopped

In a large deep pan over medium heat, saute the onion in the oil with a pinch of salt until softened. Add the tomatoes and cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the goat cheese and broth and simmer until cheese is melted into the sauce. Keep warm.

Cook the pappardelle in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente, about 6 minutes depending on the brand. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water before draining.

Combine the pasta and parsley with the sauce, tossing gently. Add pasta water as needed to thin as desired. Serve sprinkled with walnuts.

Source: Family Style Food