Saturday, July 30, 2011

Simple Dark Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Glaze

Sometimes its a day for simple, delicious, light and fluffy chocolate cake that can be served with....lets see.....vanilla ice cream, mangoes, raspberries, a glass of dessert wine, whipped cream or coffee. I have a major weakness for dark chocolate  and raspberries so that's what I picked. 

Best Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe:
Yields 2 9" layers that are pretty thick

Dry ingredients:
Flour  1 3/4 cups
Sugar 2 cups
Baking Powder  1 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda 1 1/2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Cocoa (baking) 3/4 cup

Liquid ingredients:
Milk 2% 1 cup
Oil vegetable 1/2 cup
Eggs 2 large
Vanilla extract 1 tablespoon
Water boiling 1 cup

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) Prepare 2 9 inch pans (I like the medium weight pans for even baking and light crust). Take a small piece of butter and rub it on the inside of the pans making sure to be generous and covering all spots. Put some flour in the pans and shake around until flour is evenly spread but is a very thin, non-clumpy layer. Toss any extra flour out
3) Mix all the dry ingredients in a large deep mixing bowl. Use exact measurements (see below on baking measurement tips)
4) Add milk, oil, vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Make sure to get the bottom and sides
5) Add eggs one at a time on medium speed and scrape the sides with spatula as you go
6) Make sure all ingredients are fully combined and then remove beaters from the bowl
7) Pour boiling water into the batter and stir quickly to mix well
8) Immediately pour batter into prepared pans and bake
9) Bake for 30 minutes (some ovens could take 40 minutes). Insert toothpick into middle and it should come out clean
10) Cool in pans.  Remove by using a plate to overturn
11) Serve with the tangy & sweet glaze. So yummy, not too rich and so tasty!

Raspberry Glaze:
Raspberries (frozen or fresh)
Add sugar and microwave for a few minutes
Add a drop of lemon juice

How to measure for baking:
For dry ingredients use a measuring spoon and do not pack down the ingredient. Using the back of a knife, level off the top. Any extra bit of flour or sugar can ruin the cake).
For liquid ingredients, use a liquid measuring cup (glass or plastic) with a pouring spout. The liquid should be measured ay eye level and should not be above or below the line but right on the line.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Singapore Chilli Crab Claws

I saw a deal on Crab Claws at the local grocery store and decided to buy them. After researching several recipes and watching some videos in youtube, I decided to make my own version of Singapore Chilli Crab. I read some articles on the internet about how Singapore is home for chilli crab and since I haven't been there, I thought why not try it and bring some of the flavors home to Atlanta!
Omg, I was so surprised by how delicious and simple this dish was!! If you are craving some spicy tangy crab claws, this will satisfy your craving

2 lb bag of cooked stone or rock crab claws
1 can of diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons (or half a small can of tomato paste)
6-7 dried whole red chilli
small chunk ginger
6 cloves garlic
Sugar, Salt, Lite Soy Sauce, Oyster sauce
1 red onion chopped into quarters for food processor
2 shallots (if available but not necessary; they give a sweetish flavor)

In a small food processor grind the red onion, shallots, garlic and ginger to make a paste almost like a puree.  In a deep wok, add a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil. Fry the onion paste for 6-7 minutes.  Add 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce.  While doing this make a puree of the canned tomatoes in the processor, add the 3 tablespoons of tomato paste to the processor with the canned tomatoes. Tomatoes are a big  part of this dish -- they give it its color and its taste. Add the puree to the onion paste once it is cooked.  Add salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar Add some light soy and a splash of lime juice. Fish sauce (instead of the oyster sauce) and tamarind paste (instead of the lime juice) are options Let it cook for 6-8 minutes on low heat.  Add the crab claws. Toss to coat with the sauce. Add a bit of water, cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Taste and adjust ingredients to balance sweet (sugar) and sour (lime) flavors so that you get the ultimate flavor that you like and prefer.
Enjoy with soft bread (for dipping) or with steamed rice.