Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nelly's SurpriseVirtual Bridal Shower! Chocolate Biscuit Cake!

I have known one of my closest friends, baker/writer Marnely Rodriguez for about 8 years now. We have been through ups and downs, high and lows, hot and cold and our friendship and love for each other is still going strong (my eyes are watering now).

When I learned that my  roommate, my partner, my sister, my friend Nelly got engaged I stood in complete shock smiling. I called her for a good 10 times 'till she woke up and answered the phone and told me every detail. I was happy, proud, sentimental all in one, but short after that the date was picked, and I went crazy (totally crying now).

This is why today I am more then happy to celebrate via my blog and twitter along with Marnelys blogger colleagues her marriage to  the most relax drinking partner I have ever had, an excellent cook and my new soon to be brother in law Brain Murray.
For this joyous occasion we are going to be making a chocolate biscuit cake. Prince William was so smart for choosing this delicious chocolaty and crunchy cake as his grooms cake.  I recently found the most perfect and delicious recipe of this cake at Brown Eyed Baker. So Marnely and Murray here goes your grooms cake! Congrats and God bless on this new and amazing journey!

1½ cups plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
30 ounces 60% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons  honey
2 7½-ounce packages lightly toasted butter biscuits coarsely chopped

For Glaze:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1. Lightly coat a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Stir the butter and chocolate together in a large saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Stir in the cream and golden syrup (or honey). Remove from the heat and mix in the chopped biscuit pieces to evenly incorporate. Pour the chocolate mixture into prepared pan; smooth top. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours or overnight.
2. To make the glaze, put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the cream and corn syrup to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Let cool slightly, stirring occasionally, until the glaze is slightly thickened but still pourable.
3. Wrap a warm, damp kitchen towel around the cake pan. Remove the pan sides. Invert the cake onto a wire rack set on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Remove the cake pan bottom and peel off the parchment paper. Pour glaze over the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides; spread as needed to cover the cake. Refrigerate until the glaze sets, about 30 minutes.

 I hope everybody enjoys  this recipe! Specially the soon to be newly weds!
Before I go, I want to sent out a special thanks to the master mind behind this Surprise Virtual Bridal Shower  Sanjee from, Heather from Farmgirlgourmet for creating an amazing logo fro this event and to Elizabeth Ann Qurino @mango_madness for keeping me in mind and inviting me to celebrate my friends special moment! Thank you all, Nelly is never going to forget this!

'Till next time

Thursday, September 29, 2011

If you thought I was away, well I was! But now I'm back and with great and exotic recipes you are going to love!! Next week la cocina is getting you right back in the kitchen!
Meanwhile be sure to check out my complete End of Summer Drink Series of guest post at cooking with books! See all the great drinks for you to welcome the cold season. You are going to love them all!

 Francys' End of Summer Series!

Adult Carrot Juice
Perfect for those hot days before fall really kicks in!

Vodka Tea
Warm spice Infuse Vodka with a hint of honey and mint served over ice....perfection!

Apple Kicking Cider
 Gin and Cider, two of my favorites in one delicious cocktail!

Eggless Guava Eggnog
My moms delicious no egg ponche, you have to try it!

Enjoy! And be sure to come back next week for our exotic fruits week!

'Till next time

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hi everybody!
Today run over to cooking with books and check out my first  ever guest post!!
I'm doing a End of Summer Drink Series every Thursday during the month of September starting today.
So go, fast go and get your end of summer drinking going!
Till next time

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sunday's Waffles

There is no better way to start a Sunday then  getting all the family together and making a delicious breakfast that satisfies all. 
And we all know nothing says Sunday breakfast or brunch like waffles do. It must be the crispy and golden outside and that delicious hot fluffy inside that drives everybody crazy.

A couple of  weeks ago my family was craving  exactly that, waffles! And even got a brand new waffle maker for the occasion.  But there was just one Mom doesn't eat eggs, so I decided to go ahead and make the best no-eggs waffles.

They were delicious! Fluffy, crispy and tasted as my nephew said "like pure cake heaven".

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1/3 cup soft butter,
1 teaspoon of amaretto liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and mix.
In a separate bowl mix and stir all the wet ingredients, milk, butter, amaretto and vanilla.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones while stirring until well combine.
Ladle batter into waffle iron and let cook.

Allow the waffles to  cook an extra minute so they can get a nice golden color.

This recipe turned out great, everybody loved the waffles and we even made another batch for a late afternoon "snack".

Two things to keep in mind is that they are going to be a little less crispy then regular waffles because of the lack of eggs but they still have enough crispness to get that bite and crunchy feeling you want. The other thing is that these waffles are sightly sweeter than your  basic recipe so go easy on the syrup.

In the afternoon batch  we went a little crazier and made the same recipe but modify it to make coconut milk waffles:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1  cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup soft butter

*If you want to make the recipes with eggs, just have to add two eggs to any of the recipes!

'till next time

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer's Best flower

One of summer's most special and beautiful edible flower is the squash blossoms, with  more than 20 varieties with different shapes and colors to choose from. We can enjoy this delicacy raw, pickled, sauteed, deep fryed or however we prefer it.

This warm season specialty can be easily found at farmer's markets, but if you have your own garden don't be afraid to pick them for your enjoyment. Just keep in mind there both  female and male squash blossoms and only the females turn into a squash. How to tell the difference? Females grow in the center of the future squash and male ones are the numerous flowers that grow from long stems.

When preparing them to be consumed, they are two important steps to follow:
- carefully check for any insects inside 
- with the help of tweezers remove pistil off the center of the flower

All this information is going to be very useful for the delicious treat I have for you today, as I just got a freshly picked batch of squash blossoms from my Dad's farm.

We are going to be stuffing them with ...wait for it....goat cheese! But not only that, we are also going to be making a delicious and very Hispanic escabeche to give it more flavor and color.

- squash blossoms
- goat cheese
- chives and epazote finely chopped
- hot chili pepper, chopped
-salt and pepper

For the escabeche you will need:
- olive oil
- white onion, julienned
- cubanelle pepper, julienned
- tomatoes, cubed medium size
- garlic glove, minced
- capers
-salt and pepper

With a damp towel clean the squash blossoms, making sure to check for bugs and carefully taking the pistil out and set  the blossoms aside.

In a bowl combine the goat cheese, chives, epazote. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Carefully fill the squash blossoms and if needed secure with a wooden skewer. Save for later.

Next, we are going to make the escabeche. In a hot saute pan pour olive oil and saute onions, then add garlic and cubanelle pepper and let cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes and let cook. Remember to season with salt and pepper (you can even add a drizzle of lime juice to kick it up notch). Before removing from the heat add the capers.

Right before serving saute the already stuffed blossoms.  Serve over  the escabeche and surprise your guess with this treat.

You can serve it as an appetizer or as a side dish to a meal.

** I kept the recipe measurement free so you can adapt it to your liking!

'till next time