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MILLET GROATS CHOCOLATE CREME WITH CRANBERRY MOUSSE
Today I would like to share with you the recipe for the best chocolate crème I have ever eaten. It is thick, smooth and very chocolaty in flavour and colour. Despite the chocolate, the dessert isn't too sweet. But if somebody thinks that it is, I recommend serving it with slightly sour fruit mousse. You can use cherries, currants or cranberries. You will make an unusually yummy arrangement and your dessert will look beautiful.
My children were delighted with this dessert. I told them about the fact it had been made with millet groats after they had eaten it, and ... they didn't believe me. Next time I will prepare the millet groats crème with a double portion of ingredients.
Ingredients (for 4 people)
100g of millet groats
200g of dark chocolate
1 tablespoon of dark cocoa
250ml of almond milk
250g of fresh cranberries
juice and peel of one orange
half a teaspoon of grated ginger
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
Boil the millet groats in salty water and drain them. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Blend the millet groats, chocolate, cocoa and milk very thoroughly until you have very smooth crème. Pour the milk in gradually to make the right consistency of your desert. Prepare the fruit mousse. Put the washed cranberries, ginger, juice orange peel and sugar into a pot. Boil until the fruits are soft. Blend. Put the chocolate crème into some small bowls. Put the fruit mousse on top. Decorate with peppermint leaves. Serve at once or chilled.
Enjoy your meal!
By Lisa Shock
The basic formula for these cakes was developed by the wife of a mayonnaise salesman in an effort to help him out. I did a bit of research, and have found many variations. Early variants generally involve using less cocoa, which I cannot recommend. Later variants involve using cold water instead of boiling, adding salt, and additional leaveners. I personally do not feel that any additional salt is needed, as mayonnaise and that famous, tangy brand of salad dressing (sometimes the label just says 'Dressing') both contain a fair amount of salt. If you are using homemade mayonnaise or a low sodium product, an eighth teaspoon of salt may boost the flavor a bit. And, of course, somewhere along the way fans who prefer a certain salad dressing over mayonnaise started using it to make this cake. Nowadays, the Hellman's website has a different formula -one with added eggs and baking powder. I have not tried this newer formulation.
Some versions of this recipe specify sifted cake flour. This will result in a very light cake with virtually no structural integrity, due to the paucity of eggs in this recipe compared to a regular cake. Cupcakes made this way give beautifully light results. However, every time I try to make a traditional 8" double layer cake with cake flour, I experience collapse. I recommend AP flour or at least a mix of cake and pastry flour.
I have never made this with a gluten-free flour replacer. This recipe does not have very much structural integrity and as such does not make a good candidate for a gluten-free cake.
I have made this cake many times, the type of sandwich spread you choose will affect the outcome. Made with mayonnaise, the cake has a good chocolate flavor and moistness. Made with that famous, tangy, off-white salad dressing that gets used as a sandwich spread, the cake has a subtle bit of extra brightness to the flavor. If one chooses to use a vegan mayonnaise, the result is tasty but lacking a little in structure; I would bake this in a square pan and frost and serve from the pan.
The cocoa you use will also affect the flavor. For a classic, homey flavor use a supermarket brand of cocoa. To add a little sophistication, use better, artisan type cocoa and use chocolate extract instead of the vanilla extract.
Supposedly, the traditional frosting for this cake should have a caramel flavor. Look for one where you actually caramelize some sugar first. Modern recipes for the icing seem like weak imitations to me; using brown sugar as the main flavor instead of true caramel.
Chocolate Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing Cake
makes enough for two 8" round pans, or a 9" square (about 7 cups of batter)
2 ounces/56g unsweetened, non-alkalized cocoa
1 cup/236g boiling water
1 teaspoon/4g regular strength vanilla extract
3/4 cup/162g mayonnaise, vegan mayonnaise, or salad dressing (the tangy, off-white, sandwich spread type dressing)
10.5ounces/300g all-purpose flour
7 ounces/200g sugar
0.35ounce/10g baking soda
Preheat your oven to 350°.
Grease or spray two 8" round pans or an equivalent volume square or rectangle.
Place the cocoa in a medium (4-5 cup) bowl. Add the hot water and stir with a fork to break up any clumps. Allow to cool down a little, then add the vanilla extract and the mayonnaise or salad dressing spread. Beat well to eliminate lumps. In the bowl of an electric mixer or larger regular bowl if making by hand, sift in the flour and add the sugar and baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients to distribute evenly. Slowly beat in the cocoa mixture. Mix until the batter has an even color. Pour immediately into the pans. If making two 8" rounds, weigh them to ensure they contain equal amounts.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the center of the top springs back when touched lightly. (The toothpick test does NOT work well on this moist cake!) Allow the cake to cool a little and shrink from the sides of the pan before removing. Removal is easier while still a little warm.
Good with or without frosting.
Good beginner cake for kids to make.
Here's a fun little recipe I put together - it's a bit casual and unrefined, so I won't be at all offended if any experts jump in with improvements, but it's pretty easy to make, and makes a really tasty treat
Toffee covered Marshmallows:
1 lb. bag large marshmallows (large homemade marshmallows should also work - feel free to give it a try)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 stick butter (or 1/8 lb., for non-US people who wonder what the heck a stick of butter is)
A splash of water (yay for exact measurements! )
Also needed: 4 or 5 skewers (preferably metal), and a reasonably heavy coffee mug
1. Remove the marshmallows from the bag, separate them, and put them in a plastic bag or other suitable container in the freezer. It's OK if they are touching in the bag, but make sure they're not squished together.
2. After a few hours, add the rest of the ingredients to a saucepan (use just enough water to wet the sugar so it doesn't burn as easily) and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
3. Cook the mixture until it just starts to turn brown - if you have a candy thermometer, this will be around 290F/143.333C. If you don't have a candy thermometer, just occasionally put a drop of the mixture on a white plate to check the color (then put "candy thermometer" on your shopping list, because candy thermometers are awesome)
4. Once it starts to just barely (but definitely) start to turn brown, take the pan off the heat, turn the stove burner down to very low heat, and put the pan back on (you want just enough heat to keep the mixture from cooling too much, but not so much heat that it continues cooking) - this is the toffee that you will dip the marshmallows into
5. Take the bag of marshmallows out of the freezer, stick a marshmallow on the end of a skewer, and dip it into the toffee. You must dip it quickly, so that the marshmallow doesn't melt, and also try to avoid dipping it in far enough that the toffee gets on the skewer (toffee on the skewer makes it really hard to remove the marshmallow cleanly)
6. Find someplace to stick the skewer while the toffee cools (this only takes a minute or so, but the toffee will stick to anything it touches until then, and it will probably drip until it cools). My recommendation is to put the aforementioned coffee mug on a plate (to catch drips), and place the end of the skewer in the coffee mug (see photo below) to hold it.
7. Once you've dipped the fourth or fifth marshmallow, the toffee on the first one you've dipped should be hard, and you can use a fork to ease it off the skewer so you can dip another marshmallow
8. Continue dipping marshmallows until you run out of marshmallows or toffee, or get tired of trying to keep them from sticking to each other in the coffee mug.
-The heat from the toffee mixture slightly cooks the marshmallow, so you'll end up with a slight campfire-marshmallow flavor once you get through the thin candy shell - it's really quite tasty!
-The toffee should drip off in long thin drips like in the photo (these easily snap off once the toffee cools. If you are instead getting thick oozing drips that make it look like the marshmallow is trying out for the part of "elephant" in the school play, you are dipping the marshmallows in the toffee for too long and they're melting - dip quicker
-keep the marshmallows at least one inch apart in the coffee mug - if they make the slightest contact with each other, they'll stick permanently (and they make this really cool marshmallow-toffee bridge when you try to pull them apart). This will happen at least once in the process - just consider them samples for quality-control purposes
-For those who are afraid of boiled sugar recipes, try this one out - just take your time and be very careful not to drip any toffee on yourself, and you should do fine. Feel free to message me if you have any concerns - I'm happy to help people get into candymaking
-The toffee shell is quite happy to suck up any humidity in the air, so once they're made, they need to be eaten within a few hours or they start getting sticky on the outside - this is either a good point or a bad point
I prepared two versions: the first one with desiccated coconut and blueberries and the second with dark chocolate and strawberries. Choose your favorite dessert or go crazy and make your own version.
Ingredients (for 2 people)
200g of white chocolate
100g of blueberries
200ml of 30% sweet cream
200ml of mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut
Melt 150g of the white chocolate in a bain-marie. Draw six 8 cm circles on a sheet of baking paper. Put 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate on each of them and smear it around to cover the whole circle. Leave them at room temperature to congeal and then put them in the fridge for 2 hours. Melt the rest of the white chocolate in a bain-marie. Whisk the cream. Add the mascarpone cheese after whisking. Add the white chocolate and the desiccated coconut and stir thoroughly. Wash the blueberries and drain them. Put the first chocolate circles onto a plate, then a layer of the cream and a couple of blueberries and once again chocolate, cream and blueberries. Put the last chocolate circle on the top.
Decorate with the rest of the cream, fruit and peppermint leaves. Serve chilled.
Ingredients (for 2 people)
200g of dark chocolate
1 tablespoon of cocoa
a couple of strawberries
200ml of 30% sweet cream
200ml of mascarpone cheese
Melt 150g of the dark chocolate in a bain-marie. Draw six 8cm circles on a sheet of baking paper. Put 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate on each of them and smear it around to cover the whole circle. Leave them at room temperature to congeal and then put them in the fridge for 2 hours. Melt the rest of the dark chocolate in a bain-marie. Whisk the cream. Add the mascarpone cheese after whisking. Add the dark chocolate and the cocoa and stir thoroughly. Wash the strawberries and remove the shanks. Leave 3-4 nice bits of fruit for decoration, and cut the rest into small pieces. Put the first chocolate circles on a plate, then a layer of the cream and a couple of strawberry pieces and then once again chocolate, cream and strawberries. Put the last chocolate circle on the top. Decorate with the rest of the cream, fruit and peppermint leaves. Serve chilled.
Chocolate cake with plums
The first cake I ever dared to bake by myself was a chocolate cake. I have since baked it many times, always using the same recipe, and many times I have spoiled it at the beginning of preparation. It is necessary to cool down the chocolate mixture before adding the rest of the ingredients. On a hot summer day this process is very long, so I accelerated it by putting the pot with the mixture into some cold water in the kitchen sink. Many times, by mistake, I turned on the tap and poured water onto the cooling mixture. In hindsight these situations were amusing, but at the time it wasn't funny.
This chocolate cake is excellent without any additives. You can enrich it with your favourite nuts or butter icing. Today I added some plums to the top of the cake. It was great and its sweet chocolate-plum aroma lingered long in my home.
Ingredients (25cm cake tin):
200g of flour
150g of butter
3 tablespoons of cocoa
120g of brown sugar
15ml of almond milk
100g of dark chocolate
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Heat the oven up to 180C. Smooth the cake tin with the butter and sprinkle with dark cocoa.
Put the butter, milk, sugar, cocoa and chocolate into the pan. Heat it until the chocolate is melted and all the ingredients have blended together well. Leave the mixture to cool down. Add the egg, flour and baking soda and mix them in. Put the dough into the cake tin. Wash the plums, cut them in half and remove the stones. Arrange the plum halves skin side down on top of the cake. Bake for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with caster sugar before serving.
Enjoy your meal!
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