HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Michael Cox. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael Cox. Show all posts

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Peppermint Patty Flourless Chocolate Cake...And yes, it's Gluten-Free!


Peppermint Patty Flourless Chocolate Cake decked out for Easter


        
One of my oldest and dearest friends, Michael, was the first person I ever met with Celiac Disease, the root cause of which is gluten.  He suffered terribly through college, fearing the worst and not being diagnosed until after we’d graduated and he’d moved to London. Never one to sit on his hands, he attacked his condition with wonderful gluten-free meals.  He’d always been a good cook, and he swung into overdrive and ended up writing a wildly successful Gluten-Free Cookbook called “Great Healthy Eating Gluten Free” (Carrol & Brown 2000).  With over 50,000 copies sold, it’s now out of print but you can pick it up used on Amazon.  Now he shares his words of wisdom on his website http://www.gluten-free-world.com/ as he writes “Global Gluten-Free”, his foray into International gluten-free cooking. Michael has commented that not many recipes on Chewing the Fat are Gluten-Free.  He’s not wrong. But here’s one for him.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Andrew’s Flourless Chocolate Cake with the greatest accolade ever and a Meringue Topping to boot!



Roan and the Birthday Girl, Blythe.

         Andrew has quite the reputation for providing a great birthday cake.  Last weekend, he outdid himself by making three! Two were for a seventieth Birthday Party and one was for our lovely friend Blythe, who turned eleven. 
         The day after having a piece of this incredibly rich chocolate confection with its gorgeous meringue topping, Blythe’s 7 year old brother, Roan, was quoted as saying: “One of Andrew’s cakes is worth 10,000 birthday presents.”   Now if that is not a complement of the highest order, I don’t know what is.  But I do think it’s justified.  Andrew went all out on this one.      
         The author of this recipe, Sherry Yard, has an illustrious career. She’s the Executive Pastry Chef for Wolfgang Puck Worldwide.  As such she’s responsible for the sweet end of every meal at Spago, Chinois and Cut.  And for the celebrity mad among us, you may interested in knowing that her desserts are prominent features at the Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards and the Emmy Awards.  The Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe came from her second cookbook “Desserts by the Yard", (Houghton Mifflin 2007).
         The reason Andrew chose this recipe is that Blythe, Zoe and Roan’s mother, Monique has recently discovered that she is much better off eating gluten-free.  So in order for everyone in the family to enjoy Blythe’s birthday cake, Andrew went for a gluten-free recipe. Now if gluten-free sounds like a turn-off to you, you’ll be robbing yourself of an amazing treat.   
         Gluten-free is big these days because thousands of people have discovered that their tummy issues are linked to gluten, a protein that is commonly found in rye, wheat, and barley. Therefore, it is found in most types of cereals and in many types of bread. Not all foods in the grain family contain gluten. You’re safe with wild and brown rice, corn, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa, teff, oats, soybeans, and sunflower seeds.  

I’ve been aware of the gluten issue for a very long time. My college roommate, Michael Cox, went through agony before he was finally diagnosed with celiac disease which is a gluten allergy gone wild.   In the end, Michael became such an expert on the subject that he’s written not one but two Gluten-Free Cookbooks!  You can order them here. I likely should too since I just gave my copy to Monique.

Sherry Yard, meanwhile, writes “if there is one recipe in this book that you must make, this cake is the one.  High praise indeed!  She gives full credit to Charlotte, the owner of a tiny London restaurant called Charlotte’s Place which was across Ealing Green from the cooking school Sherry attended in London. All hail Charlotte!  Andrew offers one final word of advice.  This cake is only as good as the chocolate you use to make it.  So spring for the good stuff and stay away from low-end supermarket chocolate.  Here is the recipe:
Here's a high-sided (2 in.)
10 inch tart pan made
by "Fat Daddio's"--
How appropriate!
Recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cake with Meringue Topping courtesy of Sherry Yard
Equipment:  You must have a 10 inch fluted pan with side at least one inch deep or a 9 inch springform pan.  Anything less and the batter will overflow.





For the cake:

8 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or in pistole form (238g)

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces (4 ounces or 112g)

5 large eggs

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (236g)

½ cup cocoa powder (20g)





For the meringue topping:

8 large egg whites (~240g)

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

1 ½ cups sugar (315g)

1
. 
For the cake base: Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 10-inch diameter tart pan (at least one inch deep) or a 9-inch diameter springform pan, place on a foil-lined baking tray, and set aside.







2

. Place chocolate and butter in a double boiler or microwave-safe bowl and heat until completely melted, stirring often to avoid scorching the chocolate.



3
. Meanwhile, place eggs in a bowl and run under warm tap water for a few minutes until eggs no longer feel cool to the touch. Crack eggs into the bowl. Add sugar. Using the mixer's whisk attachment, whip the eggs and sugar on medium speed until mixture is light and thick and falls in a ribbon from whisk - about 2 minutes.












4. 
Add cocoa powder and mix on low speed until combined. Add melted chocolate mixture and mix until well combined.



5. 

Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate tray front to back and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, until surface of cake is just firm to the touch but still looks wet in the center and has a bit of jiggle. Place on a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.











6. 
For the meringue topping: Preheat oven to 375F. Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and allow whites to come to room temperature.

7. 

Continue whipping the whites, while adding the sugar little by little, until meringue is thick and glossy and stiff peaks form.



















8. 
Pile meringue onto cooled cake. Spread meringue to within an inch of the outer edge of the cooled cake base, twirling and fluffing the meringue into attractive peaks and curls.



















9. 
Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until meringue is lightly browned. Serve directly from baking pan. Refrigerate leftovers.



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maple Glazed Pork Chops with Cornmeal Crusted Onion Rings


        A while ago, one of my oldest and dearest friends, was writing an International Gluten-Free cookbook.  Michael’s question to me was what could he include that would be truly Canadian.   To me, the answer was very simple.  With apologies to the entire state of Vermont, anything with Maple Sugar or Maple Syrup is as Canadian as it comes. 
        When I was growing up it was such a part of Canadian culture that, as young children, one of the great treats after our long winters was when ‘Sugaring Off’ parties took place.   When the sap rose in the early spring. off our entire school class would go to the country and to farms and woodlots where they gathered the syrup from our national symbol, the Maple.  They’d tap the trees with metal spigots, attach long aluminum pails to them and the syrup would drip from the trees.  It’s a clear liquid and looks and tastes very much like sweetened water.    Once they’d collected enough, it would be put into caldrons and set over wood fires where it thickened and turned amber. For our visit, the syrup was poured over wooden troughs of snow, where depending on its thickness, it formed maple candy.  We ate so much of the stuff that most of the ride back to the city was punctuated by the moans of the overeaters and vows never to do that again.  Until, of course, next year.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pear and Duck Confit Salad



        The Food Police were out in force when we posted our Easy Duck Confit recipe last Friday.  There were rumblings about our waistlines and heart health.   So I thought share some nutrition numbers to counter the impression we are on a road to hell in a hand basket.  There's both good news and bad: The good news: Duck meat and duck fat are both lower in cholesterol and higher in monounsaturated fat than butter, dairy fat or beef fat. While that is hardly a ringing endorsement, consider that one portion of Confit comes in at 260 calories, gives you 25 grams of protein, 0 carbs and 0 sugars and gives you impressive amounts of Vitamin E, iron and selenium.  And it was also endorsed by my great pal, Michael Cox, author of "Gluten-Free: More than 100 Delicious Recipes your family will love", because it is...Gluten-Free! 

        Now I will grant you that at 18 grams of fat, this is not a dish Weightwatchers is going to endorse anytime soon.  But in moderation, which is the way we eat everyday, I think we can enjoy this tender, rich and succulent dish in small doses and this salad certainly qualifies there.  
       
 Hopefully, you took our advice and made extra Duck Confit over the weekend.  If not, consider doing so this weekend and come back when you're ready to make this terrific dinner salad -- full of the goodness of fresh pear, crunchy pecans and gorgeous greens and the (optional) blue cheese.