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April 28, 2011

Chocolate Fudge Cake II

I got an order for a birthday cake last week. The customer requested a chocolate cake that wouldn't ruin her budget but would still taste delicious. Thinking of all the chocolate cakes I have done so far, the chocolate fudge fall into this category. Simple, cheap yet tempting.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

This is one simple recipe. All you need is the chocolate sponge cake base and ganache for frosting.

For the chocolate sponge cake, you need:

4 eggs
1 eggyolk
100 g brown sugar ( I reduced it to 90)
100 g flour
20 g cocoa powder

1. Grease an 18 cm pan. Line the base with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 160 deg C.
2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together. Set aside. ( Or you can sift the dry ingredients over the egg mixture later.)
3. Place the eggs, eggyolk and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Whisk until creamy and fluffy. This will take about 5-7 minutes.
4. Gently fold the flour/cocoa powder mixture into the egg mixture until well incorporated.
5. Pour into the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the skewer inserted onto the center of the cake comes out clean.
5. Unmold. Set aside to cool.

April 26, 2011

Lemon Tart

When I was still a student at Le Cordon Bleu, I dreaded the day when I had to make tarts. Almost everytime I did it in practical , my teacher had always something to say about my tart shell. It was either too thin, thick or uneven. He reminded me to practice more at home. I did but I still couldn't get the hang of it. When I learned that making a tart shell was part of the final exam, I panicked. I only had a couple of weeks to master it. So instead of practising 2 times a week, I made it a habit to make a tart shell every night before going to sleep. My hardwork paid a price. I passed my tartshell exam:-)

Now that I'm working, making tarts has become one of the things I enjoy the most. Since I decide about the menu, I serve 3 different tarts in a week. Here's one that has become popular among my customers.

To make the tart shell, you need:

1 2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup icing sugar
2 egg yolks
vanilla extract

Sift the flour and icing sugar together.
Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the eggyolk and mix with a spoon.
Lastly, add vanilla. Mix to make a soft dough.
Knead for a bit to have nice smooth dough.
Chill for at least half an hour.
In a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry until it is 2.5 mm thick.
Line a round aluminum tart tin. Trim off the excess.
Prick the base with fork. Chill.
Bake at 170 degrees C for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Chill.

April 19, 2011

Pasta with Garlic Salsa Sauce

The month of April has lots of holidays. There's the Thai New Year that lasts one week and another holiday I can't seem to remember. I am thankful I can get to relax for a few days but having days off work is annoying because I have to double the amount of cakes I make to make up for the days I'm not working. Last week, I made 10 cakes in one day. I made the same amount 2 days after that. At the end of the week, I felt like my body reached its limit. Usually, on my way home, I plan on what to cook for dinner. But on that day, I was so exhausted I didn't even bother to think of what to eat.

Once home, I couldn't ignore the urge inside me to prepare something for dinner.I checked the cabinet and my eyes laid on a bag of pasta I just bought. So I made this pasta dish with the last bit of energy I had. For me, pasta is one of the easiest dish to make. I like it because not much preparation is required to do it.

I placed the pasta in a saucepan. I added oil and salt, and boiled it for seven minutes. I transfered the pasta in a colander. I placed it under a running water to remove its greasiness and drained.

For the sauce, I used the leftover Garlic Salsa sauce from days ago. The label says use within 2 weeks after opening. We don't have nachos in stock anymore. I might as well use it before it gets bad. I poured the salsa into a sauce pan, added mixed Italian herbs, freshly ground black pepper and a bit of salt to taste. I added tuna right before I removed if from heat so it would retain its shape and flavor.

I mixed the sauce with the pasta and served it with fresh basil leaf. We had a wonderful dinner.

April 15, 2011

Hearty Dinner

For many weeks now, we have been making a full use of the grill a friend gave us. A week ago, we invited our adoptive father to join us in our new found hobby- grilling that is. He enjoyed our conversation over the dinner table and liked the food so much. While we were eating he mentioned he had the same grill at home and said why not do it again the following week at his house. He said we didn't have to worry about food. Every thing was on him. We all answered "sure" and said we would bring ice cream.

We got to his house a little past 6. The smell of the salmon filled his house. We got very curious as to how he cooks so we all joined him in the kitchen. I found a few lemon slices on top of the fish. The guy certainly knows what he's doing. He asked us to toss the salad while he cooked the rest of the fish.

The table was all set for dinner.

The salad consisted of cherry tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce and bell pepper. He had many choices of salad dressing. I ate my first serving with French dressing, then Italian with the second.

The salmon fresh from the grill.

The potato was well baked.

We had a great time together.

April 9, 2011

Vegetarian Sandwich

It was Saturday. My sister made some pumpkin patties but I forgot to take notes of what she mixed with the grated pumpkin.We were running out of time. We had to leave early for church because she was the Sabbath School teacher that day.

I took the buns out of the plastic package and assembled the burger. First, I spread Thousand Island dresing on the bottom bun. Next, I placed the pumpkin patty. Then, I put 2 slices of tomatoes followed by the cheese. I laid the lettuce and put the top bun last.

It sure was a huge burger. I had 2 of them and it supplied me the energy I needed til lunchtime.