Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Everyday Food

This dessert is liked baked chocolate heaven on a spoon.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: serves 8


6 tablespoons salted butter, cut in small cubes
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1 cup)
6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees and butter a 9-inch spring-form pan.

2. Melt the butter and chocolate chips together in a small saucepan (or in a microwave for about a minute), whisking constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

3. Separate eggs, placing the egg whites in a large bowl and the egg yolks into the cooled chocolate. Whisk yolks into the chocolate until thoroughly combined.

4. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar, beating continuously, until stiff and glossy peaks form. Whisk about a quarter of the whites into the chocolate mixture, then add the chocolate mixture to the bowl with the egg whites, folding gently until totally combined.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until set in the middle. It will still jiggle slightly. Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. You can expect to deflate somewhat. Remove from pan, dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

At Market...Asparagus

Mock Mushroom Risotto with Asparagus Spears

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Yield: serves 2 (can be easily doubled)


10 asparagus spears
5 slices of prosciutto, halved length-wise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup of arborio or other short grain rice (or grain mix...I used a mixture of arborio, spelt and barley available at Trader Joe's)
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
shaved Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Wrap each asparagus spear with 1/2 slice of prosciutto, put on a baking sheet and set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and mushroom and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden around the edges. Stir in garlic and cook one minute more. Remove mushroom mixture from the pot and set aside.

4. Return pot to the stove and add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes. Uncover rice and stir in mushroom mixture. Continue to cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for 10-15 more minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

5. While rice is cooking place asparagus in the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes, or until asparagus is tender and prosciutto is crisp.

6. Spoon risotto out onto two plates and top with the roasted asparagus spears and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Monday, March 15, 2010

At Market...Tuscan Kale

Shredded Tuscan Kale Salad

This type of kale might also be labeled dinosaur kale, cavolo nero, lacinato kale or black kale at the market, and is prized for its mild, earthy flavor. If you cannot find it, try substituting savoy cabbbage or spinach.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 5 minutes
Yield: serves 4


1 bunch Tuscan kale, finely shredded
1 garlic clove, grated or minced
coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus some shaved slices for topping


1. Finely shred kale by stacking the leaves and using a sharp knife to slice them very thinly, in batches if necessary.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper, the lemon juice and oil and let stand for 5 minutes.

3. Add the kale and toss to combine thoroughly. Toss with the finely shredded cheese and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Top with shaved parmesan slices and serve immediately.