Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte and OXO Blogger Giveaway

It's going to be Memorial Day weekend and we have Pentecost and my son's birthday so I am sharing with you one of the best chocolate torte recipe I've found.  Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte --- it's the only chocolate cake that my son likes.  It's moist, buttery, creamy like cheescake, delivers a punch of chocolate---and you need only three ingredients!  The first time I made it, we had guests at home and one of our friends,Wiley, said it's like eating a super creamy chocolate bar!

I chose this recipe for the OXO Blogger Digital Scale Giveaway because baking cakes is really tricky.  I've found that one of the best ways to ensure consistently good quality cakes is to weigh the ingredients.  The OXO Digital Food Scale can weigh in grams or ounces and the great feature I like best about it is that it has a display that pulls away from the base so you could still read the display even when using a large bowl or plate when weighing.  It also has easy-to-read large display numbers, a platform that can be removed for cleaning and a thin profile for easy storage.  I use it not only for baking but making homemade pasta, desserts and other dishes.  To enter this giveaway, instructions are given at the end of the post.

This recipe is from Rose Beranbaum's Cake Bible (101 cookbooks.com).  She prefers Lindt Courante or Tobler extra bittersweet but I could not find either so I used 60% Ghirardelli chocolate.  This Truffle Torte is baked at a high temperature in a water bath for a very short time----just 15 minutes.  You must let it cool and but serve it at room temperature. What I like most about this torte is you don't need a double boiler to temper the chocolate.  You can just place the chocolate and butter in a bowl and leave it in an unheated oven at the top shelf close to the pilot light that is turned on. If you leave it there overnight, it will be at the right temperature first thing in the morning.  No need to temper the chocolate--all you have to do is blend the chocolate and butter and fold in the whipped eggs. It is best to bake it in an 8-inch springform pan with a water bath when baking to give it a distinct cheesecake texture.

Rose Beranbaum's Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte (From The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum) 

454 grams/ 1 pound bittersweet chocolate (she uses Lindt Courante or Tobler extra bittersweet)
227 grams/ 1/2 pound unsalted butter
300 grams (weighed without shell)/ 6 large eggs - room temperature

Prepare pan: One 8-inch springform pan at least 2 1/2 inches high, buttered and bottom lined with buttered parchment or wax paper; outside of pan wrapped with a double layer of heavy-duly foil to prevent seepage. One 10-inch cake pan or roasting pan to serve as a water bath.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In large metal bowl set over a pan of hot, not simmering, water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) combine the chocolate and butter and let stand, stirring occasionally, until smooth and melted. (The mixture can be melted in the microwave on high power, stirring every 15 seconds. Remove when there are still a few lumps of chocolate and stir until fully melted.)

In a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water heat the eggs, stirring constantly to prevent curdling, until just warm to the touch. Remove from the heat and beat, using the whisk beater, until triple in volume and soft peaks form when the beater is raised, about 5 minutes. (To insure maximum volume if using a hand mixer, beat the eggs over simmering water until they are hot to the touch, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and beat until cool.)

Using a large wire whisk or rubber spatula, fold 1/2 the eggs into the chocolate mixture until almost incorporated. Fold in the remaining eggs until just blended and no streaks remain. 
Finish by using a rubber spatula to ensure that the heavier mixture at the bottom is incorporated. Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth with the spatula. Set the pan in the larger pan and surround it with 1 inch very hot water. Bake 5 minutes. Cover loosely with a piece of buttered foil and bake 10 minutes. (The cake will look soft, but this is as it should be.)Let the cake cool on a rack 45 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, about 3 hours.

To unmold: Have ready a serving plate and a flat plate at least 8 inches in diameter, covered with plastic wrap. Wipe the sides of the pan with a hot, damp towel.

Run a thin metal spatula around the sides of the cake and release the sides of the springform pan. Place the plastic-wrapped plate on top and invert. Wipe the bottom of the pan with a hot, damp towel. Remove the bottom of the pan and the parchment. Reinvert onto the serving plate.

Tip: If you have an oven with a pilot light, it can save you a lot of time. The night before baking, place the chocolate and butter in the oven along with the eggs still in their shells in another mixing bowl. (Eggs should weigh about 12 ounces/340 grams.) The next morning, the chocolate and butter will be fully melted and the eggs the perfect temper- ature. Stir the chocolate and butter until smooth and be sure to remove it and the eggs from the oven before preheating oven!

Store: 2 weeks refrigerated. Do not freeze because freezing changes the texture.

Serve: Room temperature. Cut into narrow wedges with a thin sharp knife that has been dipped in hot water.

Pointers for success: For a moist airy texture, be sure to add beaten eggs to chocolate mixture and not the chocolate to the eggs. Wrapping the pan with foil keeps it watertight. Chill thoroughly before unmolding. Use the plastic-wrapped plate when unmolding to protect the surface of cake if you're not planning to use a topping.

Another note from Beranbaum: To unmold, run a thin spatula around the sides, place the pan on a heated burner for 10 to 20 seconds, moving it back and forth, and then invert. If the cake does not release, return it to the hot burner for a few more seconds.

Understanding: Just as for cheesecake, baking the Oblivion in a water bath keeps the texture creamy throughout. When this cake is served at room temperature, you get a rush of chocolate from the moment it enters your mouth. The full flavor of chocolate can best be appreciated only in a softened state.

Here's how to enter the OXO Blogger Digital Food Scale Giveaway 
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This Giveaway ends on July 30, 2012. Please leave a way to get in touch with you. Let me know if you friended momgateway on Facebook, shared this post on Facebook or followed momgateway on Twitter. Winners will be selected on July 31 and contacted by email.  Thank you so much.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Anytime, Instant Falafel and Falafel chips

Falafel are deep fried Middle Eastern chickpea patties/balls.  Typically they are served on pita bread and topped with chopped veggies and drizzled with a tahini/sesame seed.  They are great as snacks or even part of a meal.  You can also shape them into large burger patties for a filling, protein rich vegetarian burger.
Making falafel takes time.  Chickpeas are first soaked overnight, boiled till tender then mashed and mixed with spices before being deep-fried.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could make your own instant, anytime falafel and falafel chips?
Yes, you can. Just use chickpea flour, mix in all the spices and store them in 1 cup portions in wide-mouth canning jars.  When the falafel craving hits, add hot water, fresh parsely and lemon juice to the falafel mix and shape into balls to deep-fry or into chips to bake in the oven.
Here’s the recipe for my quick and easy, anytime falafel.
Dry ingredients
1 cup chickpea/ garbanzo bean flour
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp sea salt (I used Real salt–win your own Real Salt in this giveaway)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp dried parsley (optional because you’ll be adding fresh parsley later)
Wet ingredients
1/2 cup HOT water
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
Mix thoroughly all dry ingredients together (chickpea flour, cumin, coriander, garlic granules, tumeric, sea salt, onion powder, baking soda, dried parsley).   Store in a wide-mouth mason jar. Anytime you’d love some falafel balls or falafel chips, just add the wet ingredients: hot water, fresh lemon juice and fresh minced parsley and mix well.
To cook falafel balls or patties, shape batter into balls or patties and deep-fry till golden brown.
To make falafel chips, spread mixture as thinly as possible on a Silpat or parchment paper, score into diamonds with a pizza cutter and bake at 350 C for about 10 minutes (depends on thickness of cracker) till chips are golden brown in color.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yeast-free Almond Biscotti

Can something THIS good be unleavened?  During the 7 Days of Unleavened Bread/ Passover we ate only bread that was free of yeast and other leavening.  This symbolizes putting sin out or being unleavened.  Such a tall order for most Americans who are mainly bread eaters!
On the first day, my friend Patricia gave me some of these unleavened Almond Biscotti.  They looked like regular biscotti but tasted so buttery and GOOD!!  What a treat for the Holy Days!  Of course, I had to ask for the recipe!  Hope you try it.
Yeast-free Almond biscotti
(From a cookbook with unleavened bread recipes and this particular one was adapted from Joyce Stiver)
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp butter (original recipe says 1/4 cup butter)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp brown sugar (original recipe says 3/4 cup sugar)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt (I used Real Salt--win a goodie package of Real Salt)
1 cup finely chopped nuts (I used raw almonds but pistachios are great here)
2 cups flour
Melt butter and blend in sugar, vanilla, salt and eggs. Add flour and nuts then knead until it forms a soft dough. Make two logs 14 x 1 inch long. Flatten log on a cookie sheet with parchment paper/Silpat.  Bake at 325 F (160 C) for 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes then with a sharp knife, cut biscotti into 1/2 inch pieces diagonal strips and bake 1 minute longer. I did not frost mine but you could also drizzle the biscotti with melted chocolate or mint chocolate. Enjoy!