Friday, April 29, 2016

Red wine chocolate cake and Vincent, again

Red wine chocolate cake / Bolo de chocolate e vinho tinto

Days ago I finished watching season 2 of Daredevil and despite all the action the Punisher brought to the show I did not like this season as much as I liked the first one – the whole Elektra thing? Oh, so boring.

I was about to give up on the show when Vincent D’Onofrio showed up: it is no secret how much I love the guy and I might be a bit biased here, but the two episodes he was in were the best in the entire season – that is what a talented actor can do to a show/movie. He added even more depth to a character played by him to perfection on the previous season and also created great dynamic with Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle – they were wonderful together.

The eternal Bob Goren added a wonderful layer to a show I was no longer very much excited about, even if for two episodes – after he appeared on the show, it became instantly more interesting. This is what the red wine does to the chocolate cake I bring you today: you cannot quite taste the flavor of it, but it adds depth to the chocolate flavor making it more intense, on top of making the texture insanely tender. Cheers!

Red wine chocolate cake
slightly adapted from the beautiful and delicious Delicious. Love to Cook

200g all purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder + a bit extra to dust the pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon table salt
200g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g dark chocolate, melted and cooled – I used one with 53% cocoa solids
½ cup (120ml) whole milk, room temperature
½ cup (120ml) red wine, room temperature

2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Generously butter a 10-cup capacity Bundt pan and dust it with cocoa powder, knocking off the excess. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes until very creamy and pale. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition – scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, beat in the melted chocolate until combined. Still on low speed, beat in half of the flour mixture, then the milk and the wine, then the remaining flour mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix only until incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until risen and until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully unmold onto the rack and cool completely.

Glaze: place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook them over a medium-high heat, stirring, until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Boil for 2-3 minutes or until shiny and thick. Remove from the heat, cool for 2-3 minutes, then pour over cake.

Serves 8-10

Monday, April 25, 2016

Cranberry and peanut oatmeal cookies

Cranberry and peanut oatmeal cookies / Cookies de aveia com cranberries e amendoim

One quick look at the blog’s recipe index and one can quickly learn that I love oatmeal cookies – I have made them in many different ways, with many different add on ingredients, and they are always a crowd pleaser (not to mention are great to have on hand for a snack between meals).

There are many recipes on this blog, and today I bring you another – these are delicious, and the salty and crunchy peanuts go very well with the sweet and tender cranberries. I highly recommend you bake these if you like oatmeal cookies like I do – and the peanuts and cranberries can be swapped by other nuts and dried fruits – , but I feel the obligation to tell you that of all the oatmeal cookies on this blog the ones I made for last year’s Christmas series are my favorites. :)

From a cookbook I haven’t used much and I hope to change that – fingers crossed here for the cold weather to finally come our way.

Cranberry and peanut oatmeal cookies
slightly adapted from this cookbook

½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
½ cup (88g) packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
pinch table salt
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 ¼ cups (112g) old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup (85g) dried cranberries
½ cup (70g) whole salted, roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until creamy and light in color, 1-2 minutes. Add the egg, mixing well, and then add the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Add them to the butter-sugar mixture along with the oats and mix on low just until combined. Add the dried cranberries and peanuts. Mix on low briefly until well distributed.

Drop 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared pans, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, or until they’re golden-brown around the edges but still soft. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then carefully slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Makes about 22

Monday, April 11, 2016

Crumb cake with orange marmalade and "Girls"

Crumb cake with orange marmalade / Bolo com geleia de laranja e cobertura streusel

I am here today to make a confession: after trying a couple of times to watch Girls, I finally binge watched the show on a weekend while in bed with a cold. As I watched the episodes, it became clearer to me why I’d hated it in the past: I had a hard time believing that people could be that stupid. I tried to remember things from my twenties and I kept thinking that well, thank heavens I did nothing (or almost nothing) like those girls. I finally understood the reason why watching Girls made me suffer so much: it bothered me to watch people making one mistake after the other, making one bad choice after another.

Maybe that makes a bad person. I don’t know. :S

I hope that I can make up for that by sharing baked goods with the people I love, like I did with this cake: I used orange marmalade and found it that its bitter taste went really well with the sweet of the cake batter and the topping, but if you’re not into bitter flavors swap the marmalade for any other jam you prefer.

Crumb cake with orange marmalade
slightly adapted from the always wonderful Food & Wine magazine

Streusel topping:
½ cup (88g) light brown sugar, packed
½ cup (70g) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon table salt
4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, cold and diced

2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon table salt
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
¾ cup (180ml) whole milk
½ cup orange marmalade

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and butter a deep 20cm (8in) square metal baking pan.

Topping: in a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar with the flour, cinnamon and salt. Add the 4 tablespoons of diced butter and, using your fingertips, rub the dry ingredients with the butter until evenly moistened, then press the mixture into clumps. Refrigerate the streusel until chilled, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the cake: in a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the side of the bowl, then beat in the dry ingredients and milk in 3 alternating batches, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, until just incorporated. Don’t overmix.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it in an even layer. Dollop the orange marmalade evenly over the batter and sprinkle the streusel evenly on top. Bake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (Some of the streusel will sink into the cake.) Transfer the pan to a rack and let the cake cool completely in the pan. Cut into squares and serve.

Makes 16

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