Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chocolate Almond Torte

I have been wanting to make some dessert with almond flour, so I decided to make chocolate almond torte. "Torte" means with little or no flour at all. This dessert is dense, moist and rich, and a little piece goes a long way! It is delicious! love the smooth texture and the taste of it!

7 ounces (200 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
11 tablespoons (150 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar, divided
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (100 grams) finely ground almonds or 1 cup of almond flour (Ground 1 cup of blanched or sliced toasted almonds in your food processor)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or a splash of lemon juice(it works as a stablizer)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place oven rack in the middle of the oven. Place the sliced or blanched almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool. Once completely cooled, place the nuts in a blender or small food processor and process until finely ground.

Note: The almonds need to be at room temperature before grinding to prevent them from clumping. If you find the almonds still clump when you ground them, add about 1 tablespoon (13 grams) of the sugar from the recipe. The sugar will help prevent clumping as it absorbs any oil exuded from the almonds.

Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and line an 8 inch (20 cm) springform pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Separate the cold eggs, placing the egg yolks in one bowl and the egg whites in another. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand until they reach room temperature (about 30 minutes).

Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Once melted, remove from heat.

Meanwhile place the egg yolks and 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream the yolks and sugar until pale and thick (about 2 to 3 minutes). Beat in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla extract. Fold in the ground almonds.

In a clean bowl, place the egg whites and whisk until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue whisking until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar and whisk until stiff peak forms. Fold about 1/4 of the whites into the chocolate batter to lighten it. Quickly fold in the rest of the whites and mix only until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake has a few moist crumbs. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. The cake will rise during baking but falls during cooling, leaving a crisp and cracked crust. Once cool, run a spatula around the inside of the pan before releasing the sides. If not serving immediately, cover and place in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature. Dust with powdered (icing or confectioners) sugar.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sour Cream Coffee CUPcakes!

I tried Ina's Sour Cream Coffee cake recipe today, but I made them in the form of cupcakes! That way you can get a good portion to eat without feeling guilty ;) Modifications I made to the recipe are that I increased the streusel portion to make a nice layer in between and on the top to get a crusty topping! Hubby LOVED the coffee cupcakes and has already devoured 3 of them!!!

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the streusel:
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts, if desired.

Spoon a small icecream scoop worth of the batter into each paper cup and spread it out lightly with a knife. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of streusel. Spoon another small scoop of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter one tablespoon of streusel on top. Bake for 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Huevos Rancheros

One of my favorite Mexican dishes! We had this delicious breakfast when we went to Cancun and its been my favorite ever since! I tried it out last Sunday, including making the rachero sauce from scratch and it turned out DELISH!! :) I cant believe how good it tasted! Raj loved it too!

Here is the recipe!


2 whole wheat tortillas
oil OR cooking spray to cook the tortillas
2 eggs
1/2 can of black beans
1 tablespoon spring onions
1 teaspoon of cilantro
3/4 cup grated pepper jack cheese

Ranchero sauce recipe:
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 onion finely chopped
3-4 finely chopped garlic
5 tomatoes finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
3 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce
1 tablespoon sour cream


In a medium saucepan, at medium heat,add in the oil. Add in the onions and garlic and saute it till golden brown. Add in the tomatoes and let it cook at medium low heat for 5-7 minutes. Add in the salt,pepper, and cayenne pepper, saute it. Add in the chipotle peppers. Cook for 5 more minutes till you see that the mixture is mushy enough.

Put this mixture in the food processor and blend it till smooth! Remove it in a bowl, and stir in the sour cream till the sauce looks smooth and creamy.

Now, in a small saucepan, add in the black beans, cilantro and spring onions. Add in salt to taste. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes till hot.

In a pan, cook the tortilla one at a time with cooking spray or oil on both sides until light brown and a wee bit crisp. Remove it on a plate.

Now, on a plate, assemble the tortilla, and add half of the cooked black beans. Now cook the egg in a pan, in a fried egg style with cooking spray or little oil. Let it cook for a couple of minutes. Now add half of the cheese on the egg and cover the pan until the cheese melts. The egg is done! Now slip out the egg onto the black beans. Top it with the drizzles of ranchero sauce. Garnish with chopped spring onions!

Disfrutar!! (Enjoy in spanish!! )