Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Olie-oil cake

Ok, I know how this looks but I have not gone crazy. I made this cake a few years ago and just thought of it now. I thought I might share its wounder with you. The olive oil can be fairly pronounced, just remember that if you don't want a strong olive oil flavor, just use light olive oil. However I really quite like the oliveness with the dark chocolate. It may seam odd if you have never tried it, but it truly is delicious.

I found this recipe (that looks fairly close enough to what I used) at finecooking.com. It has nutritional information at the bottom, I always like that. (generally when I make a cake I just throw everything in the bowl and mix it together. Once I even mixed it i the pan. (that only worked because I used stoneware that is very seasoned). I'm not quite as bad now, but almost. I simply put the wet ingredients in, mix, put the dry ingredients in, and mix. Never bothering with those silly sifters. Perhaps I should alter my ways, maybe when I have children so that I don't confuse them for life. Or not. Good luck, and I do hope you try this!

Dark Chocolate-Olive Oil Cake

Full of rich, deeply chocolate flavor, you'd never guess it's the olive oil that gives this cake such moistness and character. You can use a stencil design to dust the cake with confectioners' sugar, or if you have a favorite chocolate frosting, feel free to use it here. Be sure your 8-inch cake pan is at least 2 inches high; the batter almost fills it. The cake keeps at room temperature for up to four days, but it will disappear much sooner than that.Serves eight to ten.
Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe
Click here to find out more!

Olive oil and flour for the pan 
1-1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder 
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
1/2 tsp. almond extract 
4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) all-purpose flour 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. baking soda 
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature 
2/3 cup olive oil 
1-1/3 cups sugar 
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting 
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Heat the  oven to 325°F. Generously oil an 8x2-inch round cake pan (or an 8-1/2-inch springform pan) with olive oil and line the bottom of the pan with parchment or waxed paper. Oil the paper and dust it lightly with flour.
In a small saucepan, boil about 1/2 cup of water. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder through a strainer over a small bowl. Stir 6 Tbs. of the boiling water into the cocoa until it's smooth and glossy (if the mixture  is very thick, you can add as much as 2 Tbs. more boiling water; when I tried this cake with Hershey's cocoa, I needed to do this). Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Set aside to cool slightly. In another small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs  and yolk, olive oil, and sugar. Using the whisk attachment, beat on medium-high speed until thick, lemon colored, and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the warm (not hot) cocoa mixture until it's well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl once. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in the center of the oven until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it but with no wet batter, 55 to 60 minutes. Put the pan on a rack and carefully run a paring knife around the inside edge to release the cake. Let cool for 10 minutes. Using a second rack to sandwich the cake pan, flip the pan over. Carefully lift the pan from the cake, gently peel off and discard the paper liner, and let the cake cool completely.
Before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar. To use a stencil pattern, use the flat side of the cake for a more level surface (the cake may dip slightly in the center; if that's the case, you'll get a cleaner design with a pattern that keeps close to the perimeter).
nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on ten slices; Calories (kcal): 320; Fat (g): 17; Fat Calories (kcal): 150; Saturated Fat (g): 3; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): 41; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 140; Cholesterol (mg):85; Fiber (g): 1;
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 43 , pp. 61
January 16, 2008

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My cucumber sandwich expedition.

Why, you say, did I decide to make such a strange, and seemingly simple snack? Well you see, it all started about the time that I was, oh about three. That special time when every young girl dreams of being a princes and as everyone knows, a princes must have proper tea. Over the years I have tried in vane to make tea sandwiches, only to be left still desperately wanting that perfect bite to counteract all that sugar in those darn danish butter cookies. At last, inspired by a tea party my Aunt was having, I finally decided to venture onto the internet to discover the secrets behind the Cucumber Sandwich.
This Is What I FOUND.
A wonderful site called The paupered chef. At first I found only pitiful imitations of the creation, which, truth be told, looked and sounded sooooo good. BUT! Soooooo good wasn't good enough, I had to have authentic! Luckily they had a link to a more authentic recipe.
Here is the more authentic recipes , and here is the les authentic but still incredibly delicious recipes .
These are my beautiful creations. 
And this is the recipe that I used. 
  • Pain de mie, thinly sliced (actually I used a bread that wasn't quite Pain de mie, but it worked without all the special equipment)
  • English butter, at room temperature
  • cream cheese
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1/8 of an inch)
  • paprika 
  • salt
  • pepper
Thinly slice the Cucumbers, and place them on paper towels, sprinkle salt over them, and cover with more paper towels. Cut the bread very thinly, about half the width of a normal slice. mix equal parts of the butter and cream cheese together. Check the cucumbers, they should be about dry when you dab with a paper towel. Spread the butter mixture thinly on both slices and put cucumber slices on. Put pepper to taste over the cucumber, then cover with the other slice of bread. Sprinkle with paprika. Enjoy with a scone and a spot of tea. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Vintage Western patterns.

Found this company that makes vintage Western patterns. Buckaroo Bobbins has many nifty patterns that you can use in your everyday life, just as long as you know how to accessorize. Here is an example of one of their styles.   Some also come pre-made, though you don't get to chose your own fabric, and it is much more expensive. If you live in grand junction they have a few of these left at high fashion fabrics, 15% off. This skirt is my favorite.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Candle holder DIY

I got these led flame-less candles the other day on sale at Sams Club. I was board this morning, accidentally  kicked over one of my glass jars, and thought, "Tissue Paper!" Thus the idea was borne! 
What you need. 
  • A flame-less LED candle. (so that your tissue paper doesn't engulf your house in flames)
  • A Jar big enough to hold your candle with enough room left over for your tissue paper to look pretty. 
  • Tissue paper to cover your candle.
Wrap your candle with tissue paper leaving the the ends upright. Turn on your candle, and place in your jar. Fluff up the ends of your tissue paper. See picture above for finished decor. :)

 For another candle holder. You will need a small jar for this and ribbon the height of your jar.Take ribbon, 2 times longer than the length around the inside of your jar and wrap around and place inside jar. Put your candle inside, and voila!

Next you might want to try painting your jar. you can paint designs on the jar, let them dry, then paint the background. that is, if you you paint the inside, witch works well if their is a chance that the jar might get wet. But if you don't want to use LED candles, use a regular tea light and just paint the outside instead. That way you don't haft to worry about weather or not your paint will melt, burn, etc. Make sure that your brush strokes go in the same direction or else it will turnout blotchy.