Sunday, March 19, 2006

More adventurous in the kitchen

I've been cooking new or rediscovered recipes lately. I made Beef Stroganoff a few nights ago -- rich but yummy! Improvised off of an internet recipe. Last night, I stir-fried a spicy prawn dish with bell peppers, onions, peanuts, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and ketchup. Totally improvised and really good! Yesterday, I also made a simple French chocolate cake -- I'd say, the French version of a brownie. It was so delicious warmed up and served with ice cream. Maylin helped with the baking. Earlier in the week, Maylin and I baked peanut butter cookies -- something you'd never find in France since it's very difficult to come across good peanut butter. This recipe required vegetable shortening -- something else you can't find easily here. Butter is the fat of choice here, of course.

This morning, we're going to make sour cream pancakes with creme fraiche (a better, richer version of sour cream which you can find in the States if you look really hard).

Here's the recipe for the French chocolate cake, found on my Swiss baking chocolate wrapper. My oven was a little hot and overcooked the edges, so you might want to play around with the oven temperature or baking time.

Le Moeulleux au Chocolat

200 g or 7 oz. of best quality cooking/baking dark chocolate
150 g or a little over 1 1/3 stick of butter
3 eggs
65 g or 1/3 cup of sugar
4 tablespoons of almond powder (can you find this in the U.S.?)
7 tablespoons of flour
a pinch of salt

Preheat oven (375-400 degrees F). Cut chocolate into little pieces, place in bowl, put in the microwave for a minute or less to melt. Stir, make sure it's melted. Cut butter into small pieces and add to chocolate. Stir until well-incorporated. In another bowl, mix eggs and sugar with a whisk. Add this to chocolate/butter mixture. Add almond powder, flour, and salt -- stir well. Butter and flour your cake pan. Try baking 375-400 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Serve warm or warmed (in the microwave, 30 sec. maximum) with creme anglaise or good vanilla ice cream on the side.

Hope you're having a good weekend! We've got the sun this weekend!

2 comments:

Camie Vog said...

Caroline,
I was watching CNN yesterday, and saw some amazing live footage of the labor riots. As with the last riots, I assume they were not near your home. I realize that I don't "know" you, but I find myself concerned for your families safety during these news flashes.

The food sounds yummy. I have saved the included recipes, in hopes of luring my Culinary past back into the fore front. After 10 years in the baking industry, I burnt out and often turn away from the stove at home. Thankfully, my husband doesn't mind cooking...

Enjoy the sun! It has made a welcome appearance in Michigan as well.

Caroline Jou Armitage said...

Thanks for the concern, but we're safe. The big riot on Saturday was in the eastern part of the city and we're in the west. Wow, I don't remember Paris making so much international news before we moved here.

10 years in the baking industry! I've fantasized a few times about working in a bakery. The hours can probably be brutal, but it'd be cool to learn the trade. What did you do exactly?

The sun disappeared as quickly as it came!