Thursday, 13 February 2014

Bourbon Chocolate Cake (an almost flour-less cake)

The greatest thing, you'll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved, in return." - Moulin Rouge

This is the recipe for my children's favourite cake.  Lucky for me, it is also the easiest cake recipe I know of to date.  I wanted to share it with you a quick dessert that can be made for Valentine's Day.  The cake can be prepared in less than a half an hour...and bakes in half an hour.  It is most delicious served warm or at room temperature...and can be quickly made as you are making your Valentine's Day dinner.  If you do not have time to prepare the white chocolate cream, you can substitute regular whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Happy Valentines Day!

Bourbon Chocolate Cake (Boca Negra) (adapted from
Serves 12
Preheat oven to 350F

A recipe in two parts...

White Chocolate Cream
1 cup whipping cream
12 ounces white chocolate (finely chopped, or chips)

1. Melt white chocolate in a saucepan over very low heat.

2. Once the chips have begun to melt, slowly begin to whisk in the cup of cream.  Continue stirring until small bubbles begin to form around the edges.  Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to serve (It is recommended to let it refrigerate for 8 hours...but I have served it under this is just will be thinner in consistency.)

Chocolate Cake 
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup bourbon
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter
5 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 Tablespoon flour

1. Lightly butter a 9 inch round cake pan. Put the cake pan into a shallow roasting pan and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, bring the bourbon and the sugar to a full boil over medium high heat.  Cook to a syrup, about 2 minutes.

3. Place chopped chocolate into a food processor or blender.

4.  Gather the remaining ingredients.  (eggs, butter cut into pieces, and flour) 

 5. Pour the hot syrup into the blender over the chocolate pieces.  Process until smooth.

6.  With the machine running, Add butter pieces.  Then add the eggs one by one.  Lastly, add the flour. Continue processing until smooth.

7.  Transfer batter into the prepared pan.

8.  Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come about 1 inch up the sides of the cake pan.
Put the cake, set in the roasting pan, into the oven to bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the top is dry.

9. Remove the cake from the water bath.

10. Place cake on serving tray...serve warm or at room temperature...topped with the chilled white chocolate cream and/or whipped cream...Enjoy!

The end! Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Sweet Potato Muffins

 What I say is, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow. - A.A.Milne

When I was growing up, I only remember sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, with marshmallows melted on top.  But, somehow I could never bring myself to eat this traditional food.  Something about melted marshmallows on vegetables never appealed to me...all I remember is my mom saying,"Just try it."  And me saying, "No, way!"

But the sweet potato is so versatile...It can do so much more than grace your holiday table adorned with marshmallows...Did you know that sweet potatoes are listed as one of the top super foods for health...containing important ingredients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Potassium and Magnesium (Sweet Potato Health Benefits Link)

I have made sweet potato muffins for years.  But this recipe, originally from Gwyneth Paltrow (with slight changes) has become my new favourite.  It is very moist and the flavour of the sweet potato shines through...  It is a perfect start to an icy, cold morning.  Even my little picky eaters quickly ate these up!  I hope you enjoy them, too!

Sweet Potato Muffins 
makes 12 muffins
Preheat oven to 400F

2 large sweet potatoes cooked, skinned and mashed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup almond milk ( I used coconut milk)
1/3 cup honey
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 Tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder

1.  Whisk olive oil, almond milk, honey, brown sugar, vanilla into the mashed sweet potatoes.

 2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, five-spice powder, and salt.
 3.  Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

4. Distribute the batter into a greased 12 cup muffin tin.

5. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  During the last five minutes, remove the muffins from the oven and brush the tops with maple syrup.

6. Enjoy!

 The end!