A new Favourite.

I have raved in a previous post about my favourite chocolate cake. However, I think that I know have to admit that I've got a second favourite. Does that negate having a favourite altogether?
I don't think so. I have two favourite pairs of jeans (well, I actually only have two pair), I have two favourite kids (no need to explain) - I only have one favourite husband though ;-(

Anyway, whatever it is - it's my new, second favourite AND it's also chocolate. Let's just talk about this cake for a bit. Now, I like me a brownie. I'm no expert but I know myself well enough to know that I prefer mine gooey to cakey. Being a purist, I like it best plain - no chocolate chips, no white chocolate, no nuts (I know!). However, I won't say no to any of the above if offered. Here's the next thing. You know that flourless chocolate cake that every chain resto has been offering lately (and it tastes like packaged chocolate pudding crap - too sweet, too syrupy - pet peeve)? Well, this cake really felt like the real thing. A much improved version of the chain-resto version (I do have a 'proper' recipe from Rob Freenie that I'm itching to try too).

Ok, Ok - I actually didn't find this recipe in the BBC Good Food magazine (try to contain your shock). I bought the Aussie 'Delicious' magazine whilst in a hurry this past week. I was a little disappointed that I made the mistake but what the hell, this recipe was in there. It is such a gem of a recipe that it's worth the price of the mistake as far as I'm concerned.

This cake wasn't tough to put together. I actually screwed it up a bit (no surprise). It calls for toasting the nuts - I didn't. It called for processing the nuts and chocolate in a food processor - I don't have one and the blender didn't do the job well at all. I didn't know if it would turn out after all that but it did. It was great. The egg whites make a huge difference and this cake is all gooey and light at the same time. This is worth a try - I don't think that You'll be disappointed. None of us were.

Torta Caprese (Delicious magazine AU)
serves 8 - 10

1 1/2 cups pecans (I used walnuts and almonds mixed) toasted
180 g good quality dark chocolate chopped small
4 eggs serparated
1 cup sugar
220 unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
cocoa, to dust

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C
Grease and flour a 24 cm springform pan.
Process the nuts and chocolate. Pulsing in short spurts - it's not supposed to be a paste, it should be almost a flour substitute. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat together the egg whites and sugar until it forms a thick foamy paste. Mix in the butter and vanilla and mix well. Add the nut mixture and combine well.

In another bowl, whip the egg whites until they are foamy and frothy. They shouldn't be too stiff. Whisk a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the rest until all incorporated.
Pour into the prepared pan. Jiggle slightly to get it to settle. Bake for about 50 min. I kept an eye on mine and made sure not to over bake it. That way the middle was still nice and gooey under the top crust - beautiful.
Cool for about 15 minutes before opening the springform. The cake will drop quite a bit after coming out of the oven.
Enjoy with a dusting of cocoa powder, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream... whatever... just enjoy it.

A little bit of heaven

We've just returned from a fantastic time in Montreal. We used to live there and it still remains one of my favourite cities (I'm lying actually - it is my favourite). Kid #1 and Kids #2 were fantastic. We were so proud of our kids this weekend. Well behaved and easy going... exactly what a parent needs when you take kids on a vacation.

We stayed in a couple of different places and saw a lot of people and they were great. They got some nice treats for their efforts though. I got some nice treats for my efforts too.

The best things about being in Montreal. Let's see... old friends, great clothes shopping, beautifully walkable city, GREAT FOOD...

Where to start: Bagels. The Best. Bar None. I don't even buy bagels in Toronto because they are, in a word, Gross! Either too gooey or too bready/cakey. Blech. Montreal has fab bagels. The best known bagel makers are at Fairmont or St Viateur and they've pretty much set the bar. Having a Montreal bagel with lox and cream cheese... well, there really is nothing better. It has something to do with the cooking/baking process. The bagel dough is first shaped and then boiled. After boiling they are dipped in the seed of choice (poppy seed or - my fav - sesame) and baked in a wood oven. Terrible places to work in the summer. Anyway, I'm convinced that it must have something to do with the dough itself though. It can't just be the baking. Either way, we came home with 2 dozen to put in our freezer and enjoy for a little while here in T.O.

We also visited our favourite pizza joint with our great friend Celine! We didn't get a shot of the pizza unfortunately because we ate it too fast. However, I highly recommend their 5 cheese pizza, the vegetarian and the hawaiian - you won't be disappointed, especially if you love gooey cheese pizza.

I finally managed to squeeze in a visit to my favourite bakery - patisserie- Duc de Lorraine where I could finally introduce the rest of my family to the infamous 'macaron'. We bought a box of assorted flavours and they were fantastic. My favourite was the Moka and the Citron (lemon).

We did some sight seeing,

went to a friends wedding (congrats you two!),

and saw some old friends and family (thanks so much) ... Generally we just had a great time!

Whole Wheat Buns

It's the wonderful, lazy days of summer. The breeze is slow and warm. The windows are all open and the night is lovely. This is a wonderful Toronto summer. This makes up for last years crapy,cool, rainy 'summer'. All but forgotten in my brain. This is the best stuff though. This is what we all suffer through that crappy winter for... to get to this. I know that for many it's still too hot to cook but I have to eat. Eating just cannot wholly be cold food for me. So today, not only am I cooking but I'm baking. Dinner rolls.

It's crazy, I know that. When else am I going to have time to do this stuff though? I love it. Plus, each time I do something with yeast AND it's successful, it will boost my confidence - right. I do have a small yeast phobia that needs to get sorted. So, we are going to be serving burgers tomorrow - recipe to follow - and I decided that I was going to try some homemade buns. Now I need to discuss burger buns here for a moment.

I think that most store bought burger buns are way too cakey, tasteless and way too big. If I must eat something that is tasteless and joyless then I want to minimize the thing as much as possible. I'm hoping that this recipe succeeds for me. Not just so that I have a reasonably sized and well risen (fingers crossed) bun but also so that it's tasty. If you see my burger post without the homemade buns then you'll know that they sucked.

Whole Wheat Buns
makes 1 doz. (approx)

Scald 1 cup of milk
Add in
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tsp salt
Let it cool to lukewarm

Mix 1 cup of lukewarm water with
1 package of yeast
1 tsp sugar
set aside for 10 min.
After 10 min. the yeast mixture should be foamy. Mix the lukewarm milk with the yeast mixture. In another bowl mix 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 2 cup of all purpose flour.
Mix 1/2 the flour into the liquid and mix well. Add the rest of the flour into the mixture and incorporate it well.
Place on a lightly floured surface and knead until elastic and smooth. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let it rise in a warm, dry place for 80 min.

The dough should have doubled in size. Punch it down and divide into two halves. Break each half into 6 pieces and shape as desired. Place the buns in a greased baking dish, allowing room for each to spread and rise.

Cover and let it rise again for another hour.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 - 25 min.

Result: The buns were tasty (despite me forgetting the salt! ugh). They weren't big and puffy which is exactly what I wanted. However, in future (yea - that's a good sign eh? I'm actually entertaining the possibility of future attempts) I would actually make them a touch puffier. All in all, not a terrible amount of effort for a good result - 7.5/10 (I want to try a white bread recipe next time too)

Powered by Blogger.

Archivo del blog

About Me

My photo
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

My Favourite Cookbooks

  • Naparima Girls High School Cookbook
  • The Silver Palate Cookbook
  • More-with-Less Cookbook
  • Moosewood Cookbook

About Me

My Photo
Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
View my complete profile



Blog Archive



FBC Member