The Sensitive Kitchen

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Flourless Chocolate Cherry Cake

I first tasted this at the blessing ceremony my friends gave me for my second pregnancy. I've reproduced it here exactly as written out by my friend Julie, who made it for me in my own kitchen. 

1 cup dried Montmorency sour cherries (about 5 ounces)
1/4 cup brandy
2 cups Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
6 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fine-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

PREPARATION

In a bowl* macerate cherries in brandy, stirring occasionally, at least 2 hours, or until brandy is almost absorbed. (*It's great if you stick the cherries and brandy in a Ziploc, the night before you bake, and just shake them every so often. --ed.)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line bottom of a buttered 10- by 2-inch round cake pan with wax paper or parchment paper and butter the paper.

In a double boiler or in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water (or in a microwave oven! --ed.) melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat (or microwave! --ed.) and cool mixture.

In a bowl with an electric mixer beat yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Fold in cocoa powder until combined well (be careful not to overmix).

In another bowl with cleaned beaters (or in the same bowl if you do this step first --ed.) beat whites until they hold soft peaks and beat in remaining sugar in a slow stream, beating until meringue just holds stiff peaks. Stir about one fourth meringue into chocolate mixture to lighten and fold in remaining meringue gently but thoroughly. Fold in cherries.

Transfer batter to pan, smoothing top, and bake cake in middle of oven 40 minutes, or until center is just set. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of pan an invert cake onto rack to cool completely.

If ever a cake existed that honored women, mothers, goddesses and girlfriends as such, this is it.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sesame Noodles with Vegetables

Make this with hot, freshly cooked noodles so they soak up the sauce. After that point, it can be served hot, at room temperature, or cold. I like it with salmon on the side (marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, Sriracha and sesame oil, then broiled or grilled), but it would also be good with chicken, strips of omelet, or any leftover protein. 

14 ozs (1 box) Barilla Plus thin spaghetti
1/4 c soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp Sriracha
1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
3 scallions, sliced
1/2 bunch cilantro, minced (to make 3/4 to 1 c)
3 c thinly sliced cabbage
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced, slices cut on bias
2-3 Tbsp sesame seeds

Put pasta to boil in a large pot of salted water. While pasta cooks, stir together soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, sesame oil, Sriracha and black pepper. 

When pasta is finished cooking, drain well, then toss with sauce. Mix in scallions, cilantro, cabbage, carrot and bell pepper. Top with sesame seeds. Serves 8.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Israeli Couscous with Dried Cherries, Pine Nuts and Mint

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp minced shallot
1 box Trader Joe's Israeli couscous
1 3/4 c chicken or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 cinnamon stick (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp pine nuts
2 Tbsp dried cherries, chopped
2 Tbsp mint, in chiffonade

Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it froths and sizzles. When sizzling stops and butter gets fragrant, add shallot. Saute until softened. Add couscous; stir to coat with butter. When couscous begins to brown, add broth, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, salt and pepper. Cover and cook 12 minutes on low. Fluff with a fork, stir in pine nuts, dried cherries and mint, and serve. 

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Monday, June 08, 2015

Southwestern Black Bean Salad

cloves garlic
1 c loosely packed cilantro leaves
1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
juice of 1 lime, more to taste

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
3/4 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp salt
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large red bell pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes
2 cups corn (fresh or frozen, thawed)
5 scallions, sliced
1 avocado, diced (optional)

Place garlic in the work bowl of a small food processor. Pulse to chop. Add cilantro, Greek yogurt, lime juice, olive oil, honey, cumin and salt. Puree until smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine black beans, red bell pepper, tomatoes, corn and scallions. Drizzle with dressing to taste; stir to mix. Fold in avocado. Serve over romaine lettuce (tossed with remaining dressing) or scoop with corn chips. 

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mushroom Cheddar Breakfast Bake

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp thyme
1 bunch scallions, greens only, or 3/4 c chopped arugula
12 eggs
2/3 c white whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 c nonfat cottage cheese
3 ozs sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add mushrooms; cook over high heat without stirring until mushrooms give up their liquid. Stir; add soy sauce and thyme. Cook until liquid is evaporated and mushrooms are browned. Stir in scallion greens or arugula. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with balloon whisk attachment, beat eggs until lemon-colored and tripled in volume, about 3 minutes. Add flour, baking powder and salt; mix until smooth. Stir in cottage cheese.

Butter a 9"x13" casserole dish. Spread mushroom mixture evenly over bottom of pan. Top with cheddar cheese. Pour egg mixture atop. Bake in a preheated 350 oven, covered, 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked through. 

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