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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Week 3 – Molten Lava Cakes

Chef Jonathan’s Part:

This is a very delicious chocolatey dessert that I’m sure you’ve all had in a restaurant at some point in your lives. The good thing is that it’s very easy. There’s basically two key concepts to have while going through this recipe. The first, is to have a good Mise en Place. I’ve mentioned this before, but for those of you who aren’t foodies, this is a fancy way of saying “putting your ingredients in an order of operation”. In other words: place all your ingredients in either dishes or on trays in the order you will use them. This is very important in this recipe, because things can move very fast, and you don’t want your eggs curdling. That brings me to the second concept: egg incorporation. This is something people fear, but once your eggs curdle once, you never let it happen again! The key is to let your warm mixture cool enough (in this case: the chocolate mixture), then incorporate the eggs slowly, making sure that you whisk constantly. Then, returning the pot to the burner on low heat, keep whisking until the eggs have tempered. Once you mastered these two concepts, the rest will fall into place! My only criticism with this recipe is the cooking time. I found that my Lava Cakes were not as runny as I would have liked them, but they were still delicious. I also made a Creme Chantilly to present my cakes, and it just adds a nice sweetness. Enjoy!

Karen’s part…….  I first heard about Molten Lava Cakes in 2001.  I made them immediately and have been in love with them ever since.  When Jonathan mentioned them for this week’s blog, I was thrilled!  I also need to add the i love Paula Deen and this is her recipe!  How could they fail?

I couldn’t find bittersweet chocolate so I substituted with unsweetened and added a 1/4 C of powdered sugar to the recipe.  I also omitted the orange liqueur.  I also added one more ounce of semisweet to make it sweeter.

Because i was having company I made the recipe early in the afternoon and decided to put it in the fridge until i was ready to bake them following our meal.  I figured I’d have to add a few minutes to the bake time because they would be cold. Suprise!  The mixture hardened as they sat in the cold fridge! 😦 (I felt like a “newbie cook”.) To make it useable, again, I put it in a double broiler to soften it up.  It didn’t work because the chocolate was coagulated and the butter separated.  I voiced my concern to my gracious company and they figured it would still taste good.  Well, it did but there was no “lava”.  One of the comments was, “I didn’t know it was supposed to be liquid in the middle so it doesn’t matter.”  What a kind dinner guest!  The conclusion was that they still tasted good even though they didn’t “ooze with chocolate delight”.

What did i learn from this experience?  1.  don’t be so organized when it comes to chocolate recipes.  2.  chocolate and butter harden when put in the fridge. (DUH!)  3.  I CAN make a cooking mistake.  4. I will only invite dinner guests who love me and don’t really care what the dessert looks like!

This recipe IS easy and even the newest of cooks would have success with it.  I WILL make it, again but will NOT refrigerate it, this time.

Here’s the recipe.  I, of course, have no pictures of my dessert.  Enjoy!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/molten-lava-cakes-recipe/index.html

“Molten Lava Cakes Recipe : Paula Deen : Food Network.” Food Network – Easy Recipes, Healthy Eating Ideas and Chef Recipe Videos. Web. 24 Sept. 2011. <http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/molten-lava-cakes-recipe/index.html&gt;.

 

Week 2 – Salami-Mozzarella Calzone

Karen’s part:

This week we decided to go with something savoury….. we chose a yummy Salami-Mozzarella Calzone.  I had seen this in my Food Network Magazine in May, put a smiley face beside it to mark it and forgot all about it…. until a few weeks ago. Jonathan and I agreed this was the week for the calzone.

I purchased the ingredients on my way home from work and decided it would be easy to make for a quick supper…. I was right!  I was able to find the refrigerated pizza crust in the cooler section; I was under the assumption we couldn’t get it in Canada. I was very happy about finding it, so that made things quicker than making my own dough but you could easily use your favourite dough recipe for it. I decided to purchase the giardiniera even though I knew I might be stuck with half of the jar.  I figured my dad and I would enjoy them next time he visits.  I followed the recipe exactly except (I LOVE throwing in my own touches) I used sea salt on the top of the crust instead of the parsley.  I LOVE salt 🙂  (I have to confess here that Chef Jonathan gave me the idea for the sea salt part but I’m sure he’ll call it by its proper name when he writes his blog…… )  The whole process was easy; it took no time at all.

I was so excited when it came out of the oven that I cut it before I took the picture.  That’s why there’s part of it missing.  I ate it then realized I’d forgotten to take the picture.  OOPS! Well, I was hungry….  My only suggestion would be to have some sauce to go with it.  I know that most calzones serve it that way when you order it in a restaurant.  You could also switch it up and change the meat.  And of course, you could leave out the giardiniera; especially if you don’t have a dad to finish off the rest of the jar with.

I highly recommend this recipe. And I WILL make it, again.

Salami-Mozzarela Calzone

This recipe can be found on the Food Network site under Salami-Mozzarella Calzone.

“Salami-Mozzarella Calzone Recipe : Food Network Kitchens : Food Network.” Food Network – Easy Recipes, Healthy Eating Ideas and Chef Recipe Videos. Web. 16 Sept. 2011. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/salami-mozzarella-calzone-recipe/index.html.
 
 
Chef Jonathan’s part:
I was skeptical that any grocer in London would have the refrigerated pizza dough, so I just made my own, using a classic pizza dough recipe, that I have used before. It proved to be very useful, although I planned on making two calzones and it only provided yield for one. I also omitted the parsley in the egg wash, but instead added Garlic Olive Oil and it added a nice presence. Halfway through cooking, I sprinkled some Fleur de Sel on the calzone. This adds a nice crunch to pizzas and pastas, that I have come to prefer (coarse sea salt will have the same effect). And of course, I used lots of cheese, and it started oozing out of the holes I poked in the dough to allow ventilation (yum!) All in all, it was a great recipe, although I would add a marinara sauce to the actual calzone next time, along with a dipping sauce as well.
                                           
 

Week One – Chocolate Souffle

Karen’s Post:

Our maiden voyage in the cooking blog world!  We finally got to make our soufflé.  It wasn’t a hard recipe to follow but I would have liked it to be a bit more chocolat-ey tasting than it turned out to be.  I don’t like working with egg whites as I’m afraid of over-stirring them and breaking them. I think I over-stirred because my soufflé fell after it came out of the oven.  I think next time I’d find a recipe with flour and not cornstarch I also didn’t have a soufflé pan so I used a casserole dish which I think worked just fine.

All-in-all, though, it tasted good.  Got a positive response from my husband. 🙂

The Recipe

My First Chocolate Souffle

The recipe can be found in Ultimate Chocolate by Patricia Lousada.  Lousada, Patricia. “Chocolate Souffle.” Ultimate Chocolate.Westmount,Quebec: Reader’s Digest, 1997. 102. Print.

Jonathan’s Post:

I was quite skeptical going into this “souffle” of an endeavour. I’ve always heard that Chocolate Souffle’s are incredibly hard to make, and even harder to bake. It proved to be a challenge, but not one we couldn’t overcome. I got off to a rocky start though……my chocolate seized up on me right as I was starting to get my mise en place ready, thankfully I used butter to revert it back to its original state (butter saved the day once again)! The baking time was quite lengthy, and my souffle also fell, but it was delicious. I also made a classic Creme Anglaise to go with my souffle, which added some sweetness.

 

Our New Cooking Adventure

Welcome to our blog page: One Recipe, Two Kitchens, Endless Possibilities!

My son, an aspiring Pastry Chef, and myself, a chef in my own kitchen, are embarking on a new venture. We are beginning a blog about the recipes we try in our kitchens.  When we lived in the same household, we always wanted to make a souffle.  But, knowing how tricky they can be, we decided against it until we had an oven that actually held a proper temperature.  We made up our minds that once we had a decent oven we would make one.  Well, now that we live in two seperate residences, we have TWO ovens that hold the proper temperature!  It’s very exciting!

We have decided to try something fun.  Weekly – we HOPE, anyway – we will each be trying the same recipe but in two different kitchens.  We will share what works, what doesn’t and what we’d do again and differently.  We will post the recipe, pictures and share our experiences with you, our readers!  If you’re a chef and would like us to try one or your recipes, let us know about it. We’d be interested in looking at it.

Week one is of course, the chocolate souffle.  Let’s see how it turns out!

Please leave us comments and of course, we’re always prepared to travel to share our experiences with a live audience!  Expenses paid, as we are poor chefs 🙂

We hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as we love cooking and writing about it!

Cheers!

Pastry Chef Jonathan and Home Chef Karen