Sunday, November 28, 2010

Molten Mocha Cakes

I made these cakes for my friends and I on my birthday. The recipe below only serves two, so you will have to adjust it for however many people you are making it for. I served it with whipped cream which was yummy, but vanilla ice cream would be great too.

Molten Mocha Cakes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for ramekins and serving
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon espresso powder
Pinch salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter two 6-ounce ramekins, then dust with sugar. Place butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 20-second increments, stirring after each, until melted. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, sugar, espresso powder, and salt. Add chocolate mixture; whisk to combine. Add flour, and whisk just until combined (do not overmix). Pour batter into prepared ramekins. (Recipe can be made ahead up to this point.)

3. Bake until a toothpick inserted 1/2 inch from edge of ramekins comes out clean, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out wet, 10 to 12 minutes (do not overbake). Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run a knife around inside of ramekins to loosen. Invert cakes onto serving plates. Dust with sugar; serve immediately.

Homemade Sushi

NOM. nom. NOM.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


My friend and I went to this place last Friday night, and it was almost as if we had entered heaven, Italian heaven that is.

We ordered two appetizers and one main to share, and of course some wine!

The two appetizers were:
Crispy Ceci (which are chickpeas that have been flash-fried to taste like bliss) with chilies, mint and citrus.

Seared Octopus with nugget red potatoes, olives, lardo, and frise lettuce.

For the main, we got the Margherita pizza with mozzarella, tomato and basil.

Check out their website here:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lemon-Glazed Madeleines

I recently finished the book, "The Sweet Life in Paris," by David Lebovitz. The book is a first-person account of Lebovitz's experiences, and of course tasting, of Paris and its famed cuisine. One of the recipes that really stood out to me (although they all sound divine!) was the lemon-glazed madeleines. I remember, when I was in Paris, drooling over these cookies in the pastry-shop windows....

This recipe does require a madeleine mold, which you can purchase at almost any cooking shop. I only have one, so I had to cook the madeleines in two batches. (As soon as I finished the first batch, I rebuttered the molds and stuck them in the freezer for 5 minutes before filling the molds with the batter again).

Lemon-Glazed Madeleines
For the madeleines:
9 T. butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (plus more for preparing the molds)
3 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
grated zest of 1 small lemon

For the glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T. water

1. Brush the indentations with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the freezer.
2. Using an electric mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar and salt for 5 minutes, until frothy and thickened.
3. Spoon the flour and baking powder into a sifter and use a spatula to fold in the flour mixture as you sift it over the batter.
4. Add the lemon zest to the cooled butter, then dribble the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate it. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.
5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to 12 hours).
6. Using two teaspoons, plop a blob of batter in the center of each indentation that you think will expand to the top of the mold once the heat in the over spreads it out. You'll have to eyeball it! Leave the dough in the mound; do not spread it.
7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 425 degrees F or until the cakes feel springy and just set. While the cakes are baking, make the glaze in a small bowl by stirring the powdered sugar, lemon juice and water until smooth.
8. Remove the madeleines from the oven and tilt them onto a cooling rack. When they are cool enough to handle, dip the cakes in the glaze, turning them over to ensure both sides are coated. Scrape off any excess with a dull knife. After dipping, set them on a cooling rack to cool until the glaze has hardened.
9. Eat immediately!

For a special treat, I served these madeleines as a dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. C'etait tres delicieuse! :)

Pan-seared Sole with Mushroom Risotto and Roasted Asparagus

On a visit to the local library today, I checked out a copy of Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," which of course inspired me to make an elegant, french meal. I haven't actually cracked open Child's 684 page cookbook yet.. but don't worry, I will!

The first thing I made was the risotto, which is quite a daunting task. I recommend pouring yourself a big glass of red wine and doing some arm stretches before you begin because once you start, it's non-stop stirring for a good 20 minutes.

Mushroom Risotto
3-4 cups stock (your choice; I used vegetable stock)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 T. butter
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
1 cup white mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmigiano
1/4 cup italian parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Simmer stock over medium heat.
2. Add 2 T. butter to a 4-6 quart saucepan. Once melted, add chopped onion and cook over medium heat until a medium blonde colour.
3. Add the rice to the saucepan. Stir it and turn it over several times until coated well. Add a ladleful of stock, using a wooden spoon stir continuously to ensure the rice does not stick. When the stock is evaporated, add another ladle, cook this way until the grains of rice lose their chalky centers and are firm yet tender. (18 to 22 minutes- do not over or under cook!)
4. Add the mushrooms at the half-way mark... (I added them when I was half through the stock.. about 10minutes left).
5. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat; add parmesan and chopped parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

After the risotto was done, I covered it and set it aside. I then arranged the asparagus on a baking sheet, tossed it with olive oil and seasoned it with salt and pepper. I then roasted it in the oven for 10minutes at 450 degrees F, or until slightly browned and soft in the center.

While the asparagus was roasting, I pan-seared the sole. I found that the recipe I used was a little bit bland, I think I would have used more wine or perhaps bread crumbs to give it a kick.

Pan-seared Sole with Provencial Spices
2 T. butter
2 shallots, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
4 filets sole
provencial spices (I used a small jar of provencial spices my aunt brought me, imported from france)
italian parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt the 2 T. butter in a skillet. Once melted, add the shallots, and cook over medium heat until translucent.
2. While the shallots are cooking, dip the sole filets in the provencial spices, until coated on both sides.
3. Add the sole to the skillet, and cover with white wine. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side, until the sole is hardened on the outside, but still soft the inside.
4. When the sole is cooked, remove from heat, and sprinkle with parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Corn Bread

Ever since first trying corn bread at an organic cafe in Tofino, I have always wanted to make it. I find the texture and sweetness of corn bread similar to soda bread, but about ten times better. This bread is so good you can just eat it all on it's own! :)

Corn Bread
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 and 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped green onions

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, mix the wet in another bowl and combine.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees in a buttered cast iron frying pan.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Apple Tart

Cette weekend, j'etais tres ennui, alors, j'ai fait une tarte aux pommes. C'etait tres delicieuse! Servez-la avec creme fraiche.

French Apple Tart

Sweet Pastry Crust:

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) room temperature unsalted butter

1 large egg

For the Apple Filling:

6 medium-sized apples (2 pounds)

3 tablespoons (40 grams) unsalted butter, divided

1/4 - 1/2 cup (50 - 100 grams) granulated white sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, divided

Confectioners' Sugar for browning the top of the tart.

For the Glaze:

1/2 cup (120 ml) apricot preserves

1 tablespoon Cognac

Pour directions, regardez-ici: