Cooking & Code
A curated index of recipes, this site aims to simplify some of the best recipes on the internet so that you can make them on a budget! All recipes are ones I've tested and loved, so that you don't have to find out the hard way that whipped sweet potatoes with lemon juice are really not all that. The site is on github; please feel free to make a PR, submit an issue, or just see what I do!
For the cake:
- 1 cup plus 11/2 tablespoons (250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 3/4-inch/2-centimeter cubes
- 7 ounces (200g) dark chocolate (70%), chopped into 3/4-inch/2-centimeter pieces
- 1½ teaspoons instant coffee granules, dissolved in 11/2 cups (350 ml) boiling water
- 1¼ cups (250g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (240g) self-rising flour
- ⅓ cup (30g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the chocolate ganache (optional):
- 7 ounces/200 grams dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa solids), broken or chopped roughly into 3/4-inch/2-centimeter pieces
- ¾ cup/180 milliliters heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the espresso cinnamon mascarpone cream (optional):
- 1½ cups plus 1 tablespoon (375ml) heavy cream
- ¾ cup (190g) mascarpone
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2½ teaspoons finely ground espresso
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2½ tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
For the Cake
- Heat oven to 350°F (170°C). Grease a 9-inch (23-centimeter) round springform pan with butter and line with parchment paper, then set aside.
- Place butter, chocolate and hot coffee in a large heatproof bowl and mix well until everything is melted, combined and smooth.
- Whisk in sugar by hand until dissolved.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract and whisk again until thoroughly combined and smooth.
- Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt together into a bowl and then whisk this into the melted chocolate mixture. The batter here is liquid, but don’t think you have missed something; this is how it should be.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until the cake is cooked and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few dry crumbs attached. The top will form a crust and crack a little, but don’t worry, this is expected.
- Leave the cake to cool for 20 minutes before removing from the pan, then set aside until completely cool.
For the Ganache
- Place chocolate pieces in a food processor, process until fine and set aside.
- Combine cream and corn syrup in a small pan and place over medium-high heat.
- As soon as bubbles begin to appear (just before it comes to a boil), remove from the heat.
- Get the food processor running again, with the chocolate still inside, and pour in the hot cream in a steady stream. Process for 10 seconds, then add butter.
- Continue to process until mixture is shiny and smooth. Note: You can also make the ganache by hand; just make sure the chocolate is chopped fairly finely before adding the cream mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until almost melted, then add the butter. Stir again until the ganache is smooth.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape the ganache into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, with the plastic actually touching the top of the ganache. Set aside until it has set to the consistency you want. If you want a thin layer to spread over the cake, it can be poured over while liquid so that you get an even, light and shiny coating. For a thicker ganache with a spreading consistency, leave it for about 2 hours at room temperature. (The ganache can be stored at room temperature, providing it’s not too warm, for 3 days or kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. It can also be frozen, although it will lose a bit of its shine when defrosted.)
Espresso Cinnamon Mascarpone
- Place all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until soft peaks form.
- Peel the parchment from the cake and discard.
- Transfer to a serving platter and spread the ganache, if using, on top of the cake. Slice into wedges, divide the cake among plates and, if using, spoon the mascarpone cream alongside. With or without icing, the cake will keep well for 4 to 5 days in an airtight container.
- Cooking spray
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (12 ounces)
- 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup black cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and cut or prepare a third sheet of parchment. Spray each sheet of parchment with cooking spray — this may seem redundant, but these cookies are extremely sticky and this step will guarantee no stuck cookies.
- Place the powdered sugar, Dutch cocoa, black cocoa, espresso powder, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until mostly homogenous; some lumps are okay.
- Add the egg whites and vanilla and then beat them into the dry ingredients. A hand mixer on low speed does this best, but a wooden spoon and some arm strength works too.
- Add the chocolate chips and use a spoon or spatula to fold into the batter.
- Scoop the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place them evenly on the parchment sheets, 12 per sheet.
- Set aside for at least 30 minutes while the oven preheats.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the cookies.
- Bake! The cookies are done when they’ve spread and are shiny and cracked, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Place the baking sheets on a wire rack to cool for 1 minute. Carefully slide the parchment paper with the cookies still on them onto the rack.
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon rosewater
- 4 to 8 drops red food coloring (depending on your desired vibrancy)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped rose petals (I found some at a natural grocers near me!)
- Preheat the oven to 230°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, with an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites at a high speed until slightly frothy.
- Continue to whisk at a medium-high speed, adding the granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, and then add the powdered sugar in the same fashion.
- Add the rosewater, food coloring, and salt and turn the mixer to high. Whisk on high until the mixture is glossy and stiff peaks are formed.
- Set aside 1 tablespoon of the pistachios and 1 tablespoon of the rose petals for garnish. Fold the remaining pistachios and rose petals into the meringue.
- Use 2 spoons to scoop and shape mixture onto parchment, one to scoop, the other to shape the meringues into 1 1/2-inch mounds. The cookies don’t need much room between one another, as they don’t expand. Dust each meringue with a pinch of the reserved pistachios and rose petals. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until hollow-sounding when tapped. Cool on a wire rack and serve that day.
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