Archive | October, 2011

Sweet Potato Spaetzle

30 Oct

In the same vein as Squash Fever, sweet potato screams, “It’s fall, motherfucker!”

Sweet Potato Spaetzle, adapted from National Nosh

1 large sweet potato, roasted and peeled

dash sugar and salt

1/3 cup water

1/2 tbsp olive oil

dash each nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves

1 1/2 cups flour

salt and pepper to taste

1 egg

1 tbsp oil

1/2 cup grated parmesan or other cheese


Roast sweet potato, let cool, peel and take the good stuff out!

With an electric mixer, combine the mashed sweet potato with water and 1 tbsp oil, then add the flour, a little at a time, plus salt and pepper. Once flour is mixed in, add the egg, beat a little more, then refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Put a pot of salted boiling water on to boil. Use a spaetzle maker or colander to drop in the doughy bits. When the noodles float, they’re done. Toss with olive oil and top with a bit more parmesan or other cheese. Really, any cheese will do, and the cheesier the better.


Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash

30 Oct

Mmmm. I love love LOVE fall with its squash and its pumpkin ales and its crispness. On Sat, it got down to the high 50s in Houston here, and my toes froze at the Halloween 5K. But I knew that I was ready for squash again.

For dinner tonight, we made a variation on Noble Pig’s recipe, which is itself adapted from Real Simple.

1 medium acorn, halved, seeded & sliced 3/4″ thick
2 Tablespoons olive oil
8 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400o F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with the oil, thyme, plenty of salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, especially on the top.

Roast the squash until golden brown and tender, 20-30 minutes. Will depend on your oven.

We served it over a simple fall salad of greens, chopped red cabbage, cuke, and red pepper, and sliced grapes and cherry tomatoes. Delicious!

Chocolate Tort with Chocolate Rum Mousse

21 Oct

Also for our wedding, we needed to appease Rafe’s dad, who is a chocaholic. In addition to our wedding cake, we also made and served a chocolate tort cake.

Tort Ingredients (double for 2 cakes, if you want the mousse to be the filling between layers):

  • 2 sticks minus 1 Tbsp butter
  • 7 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 c sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Rounded tablespoon of flour
Tort Instructions:
  • Pre-heat 350°F. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper (no need to if you’re using a non-stick pan).
  • Melt together the butter with the chocolate in a double-boiler. Transfer into a medium mixing-bowl. Add in the sugar, stir with a wooden spoon and let cool a little. Add in the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. Finally, add in the flour and mix well.
  • Pour the mixture into the pan, and put into the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the center is set but still a little wobbly. Turn the oven off but leave the cake inside for another ten minutes, then put the pan on a cooling rack on the counter to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate.
Ted’s Rum Mousse Au Chocolat Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semisweet choc pieces (~6 oz)
  • 5 tbsp boiling water
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 tbsp dark rum

Mousse Au Chocolat Instructions:

  • Put chocolate pieces in blender at high speed for six seconds.  Shut motor, scrape chocolate from sides with a knife and add boiling water.  Blend at high speed for ten seconds.
  • Add egg yolks and rum and blend three seconds until smooth.  Fold chocolate mixture into stiffly beaten egg whites.  Chill.
  • This recipe makes eight servings if you were to serve it in separate dishes.  The egg yolks give it body so the mousse won’t collapse and disappear between layers.

DIY Wedding Cake Recipe- Coconut Cake with Coconut Frosting

21 Oct

We just got married last month and did ~3 trial runs of this cake before doing it for real for our wedding. It was a 6-layer coconut cake with coconut frosting and raspberry preserve filling; it served about 20 people, easily and tastily.

Cake Ingredients:     
  •  3 cups sifted cake flour (sift before measuring)
  •  2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 pound powdered sugar (but less to taste)
  • 4 egg yolks, well beaten *Beat until well combined, about 1 minute
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (or coconut)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 4 egg whites, well beaten
  • raspberry preserves

Cake Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 – 8″ round cake pans with baking spray.
  • Combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Sift these ingredients 3 times. In a mixing bowl, cream butter thoroughly; add sugar gradually. Continue creaming until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in coconut and vanilla. Fold in egg whites gently until well combined.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Makes three 8-inch layers (mine were perfect at 30 mins).
  • Cut each layer in half lengthwise. Fill each layer with raspberry preserves, up to 1 inch to the edge. Then top with next layer… repeat.
Frosting Ingredients:
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut extract or flavor
  • Smidge of vanilla extract
  • around 1 1/2 c.  powdered sugar, again to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons cream or milk (or coconut milk)
  • As much coconut flake as you like! (1- 1 1/2 c. flake)
Frosting Instructions:
Cream butter. Add coconut and vanilla extract. Gradually add sugar and flake. To get the snowball look, throw and softly press flake at your cake once the icing is on.