Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake
(Desserts by the Yard)

8 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 Tbsp. butter (unsalted)
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

8 large egg whites, room temp
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
1 ½ cups sugar

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 10-inch fluted tart pan or a 9-inch springform pan. The pan must be at least 1 inch deep or the batter will overflow.

Melt the chocolate and the butter in a microwave-safe bowl for 2-3 minutes at 50 percent power or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir together with a rubber spatula until smooth.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the eggs and the sugar on medium speed until pale and the mixture forms a ribbon when lifted from the bowl with a spatula, about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in the cocoa powder and the chocolate mixture and combine well. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the pan from front to back and continue to bake for another 8 minutes, or until the cake is slightly firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack to room temperature.

Make the meringue: Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375F. Beat the egg whites on low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and increase the speed to medium. Continue beating while you gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time. Beat the mixture to stiff, satiny peaks.

Spoon the meringue over the chocolate cake, creating lost of wisps and peaks. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown. Serve from the pan. Refrigerate leftovers.

NOTE: In the picture above this cake was made without the meringue and topped instead with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Roasted Veg Summer Pasta

Cut up and place on baking sheet:

3 colored peppers
1 large red onion

Sprinkle vegetables with salt and pepper and liberally coat with olive oil. Roast in a 350 degree oven until soft, but not over-cooked (about 45 minutes).

Meanwhile, prepare your choice of pasta according to package directions. I chose a WholeGrain Pasta from Barilla or a similar company.

To the cooked and drained pasta add:

the roasted vegetables
mini-mozzarella balls cut in half (I had these leftover from a party and used about 1 1/2 cups; you could substitute other types of mozzarella)
a handful of fresh basil leaves
more olive oil if you feel it needs a bit of moistening