Saturday, February 28, 2009

DB: Flourless Choc Cake and Choc Chip Ice Cream

I was excited to see this months Daring Bakers Challenge: Flourless Chocolate Cake and and accompanying creamy item. I chose chocolate chip ice cream. The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge. I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous about the ice cream. I've never made ice cream, and I don't have an ice cream machine. Actually, I think I made ice cream once or twice in grade school using one of those soccer ball ice maker things. It was, however, surprisingly easy, and considering how tasty it was I would make it again, and again, and again! The ice cream is slightly time consuming, so I would start by preparing the custard, and if you are lucky enough to have an ice cream maker, crank that baby up. If not, follow the handy instructions from Dave Lebovitz and you'll have fantastic ice cream like mine in a few short hours! I also used Mr. Lebovitz's vanilla ice cream recipe. Here are the chips in progress...

...and blended in for a treat! Look at all those chunks of chocolate!Once the ice cream was well on its way to freezing, I began the Valentino cake. It is so simple to put together, only has 3 ingredients, doesn't dirty too many dishes, and really tastes amazing! I used bittersweet chocolate and a square pan. It puffed up in the oven and sank a little bit while cooling, but held its shape nicely. The flavor was deep and rich, melt in your mouth texture, perfectly accented by the cool, vanilla ice cream.
I will definitely be making these recipes again. They are so elegant they could be for a special occasion, but no one will know how simple they really are to prepare! Yum, Yum! I can't wait to have another slice tomorrow! Please check out other interpretations from my fellow Daring Bakers!

Chocolate Valentino
Preparation Time: 20 minutes

16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter. {link of folding demonstration}
8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

(Chocolate) Chip Off the Old Block- One Third of the Way There!

This week cupcake convert Diana (Pashunfroot and Thyme to Lime) and I decided to make Martha's Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Buttercream. Check out her take on this chocolate chip madness here! This will be my 5th of the 15 cupcakes! 10 more recipes to go! I started a list to the right with links back to my interpretation of each recipe! I had a friend's birthday and a class to bring them to so that I wouldn't eat the whole batch! Good thing too, these are awesome cupcakes! The batter uses beaten egg white to help with the leavening, and it makes for a fantastically light and fluffy white vanilla cake.
Semisweet chocolate chips make for a fantastic chocolatey surprise, a little bitter compared to the sweet cake. The icing is a basic buttercream, ultra sweet, but when combined with the cake its alright. I would use mini chips or chop up the chips, because I don't like big chips in such an otherwise light and soft bite, and its difficult to spread on the cake. I would also consider using a different icing...I'm just not such a fan of the ultra sweet buttercream. I guess it works overall, but its not something I want to add more of to the cupcake, or eat with a spoon (not that I would...wink wink).
Overall, very tasty. Martha's on a real streak- 5/5 cupcakes I will make again! And, I'd even make the cake without the chips! The cake part is delicious! As always, you can find the recipe here!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Noodle Salad and Berry Pie- Oh My!

I have been living on this "Glass Noodle Salad" from Nigella. I made it a while ago when I tried the Slow Cooked Salmon as a side dish, but for the past few days it has been dinner. It's spicy, sweet, tart, crunchy and noodley at the same time! I love it! It jst tastes so good! Even better- It's ridiculously easy. The whole thing comes together in 5 minutes. You won't believe how good it is. Some of the ingredients are best found at an Asian market, but you may be able to find it in your regular grocery. I haven't had fresh ginger so I've used ground ginger, and I also add chopped cilantro leaves. Otherwise its pretty much the exact recipe!

Pie Time: Who doesn't like pie? It's a soothing, comfort food no matter the flavor. For a get together with some friends I decided to make a pie using some berries I needed to get rid of- Blackberries and Blueberries. Then I realized I didn't quite have enough filling, so I added some frozen strawberries (thawed). Here's my filling in the dough.
I decided to make it look cute since it was on Valentine's day and made heart cutouts.

Here you can see where I put the heart cutouts on the sides to make it full of hearts. The juicy purple/pink inside gushed out a little and stained the top, but I think it's kind of artistic.
As for the recipe...I put the berries in a bowl, dumped some sugar on top, macerated them slighly to burst the blueberries and blackberries. For pie crusts, I really got my hands dirty and bought the Pillsbury Pie Crusts (In the red box in the biscuit/refrigerated dough section). It's been our "secret family crust recipe" for years. The crust tastes phenomenal, and comes rolled up in flat rounds so you can adapt it to whatever pan you have. It is MUCH better than the dough that comes premade in the aluminum foil pie tins. If you haven't tried it, I highly suggest it. It is a worthwile shortcut. Believe me, if it doesn't taste good, I'm not eating it (or spending money on it). Anyways, back to the recipe, put the bottom crust in the pan, dump the berries inside, cover with top layer of crust. Brush with egg wash, crimp the edges, and bake at 350 for 30 min with foil on top, then another 20 without the foil or until the inside is bubbling. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream. Oh My, I LOVE Pie!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I Want Some of your Brown Sugar...

If you haven't heard it, listen to the song "Brown Sugar" by D'Angelo. It's a nice smooth sultry song that's been in my head all week. I love dark brown sugar! The flavor is so deep and rich. It really can make a difference in a recipe. On my quest to make all 15 cupcake recipes in Martha Stewart Living Feb edition, my friend Diana (of Pashunfroot and ThymetoLime) and I decided to make the Brown Sugar Pound Cake Cupcakes with a Brown Butter glaze. This recipe is my 4th out of 15... still quite a few to go! Please check out Diana's interpretation of the same recipe at ThymetoLime!

These cupcakes are great! Delicious, sophisticated and rich, these cupcakes are on another level from the ordinary, run of the mill cupcake. The flavor is deep and intense, and the glaze elevates the overall cupcake to a new level. The flavor was reminiscent of the DB Caramel cake with brown butter frosting, but better. I prefer this cupcake, a little less sugary sweet, a little different flavor. They were easy to make. I goofed a little bit, I added 2 1/2 cup of brown sugar instead of 2 1/4, and I used dark brown instead of light brown as called for. I also added a bit of vanilla to the batter. My recipe made 30 instead of 27, and I felt like a little more glaze would have been nice... I was defeinitely scrounging to frost them all. When making the frosting, I put my butter on low, and it still browned up very fast. Make sure you watch the butter, if you don't it will burn right up. I used a sieve to separate the solids, and when I poured the butter into the powdered sugar, it sizzled loud! The recipe doesn't say to let it cool, so I just went for it... as far as I can tell, it didn't mess anything up! Here's the recipe.

Once again, another good recipe, I highly recommend it! Martha's on a roll- 4/4 cupcakes that I'd love to make again!

Addendum: My cupcakes made it to Tastespotting again!! Search: jesschubb. YEAHHH!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes..mmmm

As previously stated, I love the February edition of the Martha Stewart magazine! It has a whole spread on cupcakes! I posted about the coconut cupcakes before, and I made the pistachio raspberry ones too. I am making good headway into my quest to conquer all the cupcake recipes in the magazine! My mom has been itching for one of the Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes since we opened up the magazine in Costco! These cupcakes are really, quite good, especially the next day. Once the ganache has set it really makes them better I think. I think I could eat the entire batch of 18 if I were left unattended with them. So delicious! I made the cream and warmed the milk with a vanilla bean, but that was the only change I made. I will absolutely be making these cupcakes again and again. They are really showstoppers! You can find the recipe in the February Martha Stewart Living magazine, or online here!

Give this one a TRY!

Addendum 2/16:

After dreaming about my last boston cream pie cupcake ALL DAY at work, I just finished it. It was truly divine! Super cool news: I got accepted onto TASTESPOTTING!! It's my first submission, and I'm totally stoked! Woohoo! Please check out my photographical masterpiece!! (hahaha) You can search Boston Cream Pie cupcake to find it....I'm so excited! I called my mom and told her! Woohoo! Hooray for tastespotting!

Assorted Culinary Adventures!

I've gathered a bunch of delicious experiences, but haven't had a minute to put them online, so here are two together. Mexican chocolate truffle and red velvet cake. Yummy! They were all really stellar recipes, and I will definitely make the cakes again. My random non-food photo is a frozen lake that my brother threw a big rock on. The crack pattern was so cool looking I just had to share!
1. Mexican Chocolate Truffle. No, I didn't make this one, I bought it, but it was so beautiful I had to photograph. Look at the size of this thing! I ate it over a few days because it was so big and so rich that I couldn't eat it all in one sitting! I don't remember the name of the chocolatier, but I'll come back in a few and post it. 2. Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting. My brother saw the movie "Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins" recently, and in one crucial scene, Roscoe eats a "delicious looking piece of Red Velvet Cake" says my brother, with his childhood love. He requested I try it out for him so he can eat some. He doesn't even really like cake. My brother is the absolute most PICKY person in the entire world! It wasn't until the past few years that my now 23 year old brother ate plain iceberg lettuce! He doesn't eat peaches or tomatoes, the thought of eating either of those things makes vomit spontaneously, and don't let there be a hidden tomato or peach in something, he won't be able to eat until the next day. Anyways, I was skeptical about him actually liking the cake, but i figured whatever, just go for it. I looked on Tastespotters and I saw a recipe from Pinch My Salt that she describes as her husband's family hand me down recipe. I looked it over and decided it looked great, so I gave it a whirl. I made the cream cheese icing to go with it, a necessity. Cream cheese icing is the ONLY way to go, Southern or not! I love the way the outside of the cake looks so pure...and then BAM, a burst of color! The only substitutions I made were: 1. I only used 1oz of red food coloring... I think that was plenty. 2. I also used the Special Dark cocoa instead of the regular. I think it added a little stronger flavor and definitely helped with the deep rich color. 3. I added a tsp of vanilla. I put vanilla in virtually all of my baked goods. As far as tips go, definitely beware what you wear that day. Red got EVERYWHERE! Also watch the oven closely, One minute my cake was not ready, the next it was slightly overdone. Other than that, just follow the recipe as written, and it will turn out PERFECT!
It's hiding a deep, dark secret...
BAM! So red its almost bleeding!
I highly recommend this red velvet recipe. I've tried a few in the past and been dissapointed. This one is the best one I've tried so far! Delish!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I've been tagged!

A little while ago I was tagged by fellow Daring Baker Jessica of Coffee and a Cookie to come up with 7 random interesting facts about myself.... hmmm... Rest of the rules at the bottom:

7 random factoids about me:
1. My blog, Chubb, was named after the pet name for the bf's and my "winter hibernation stores" if you will. We joke around and laugh at our chubby spots, affectionately calling it the Chubb. When we eat something fatty or unhealthy its called "chubbing out." Fatty food filled parties are called "chubb-fests" and going to the gym is called "anti-chubb." Although I look healthy, I'm a fat kid at heart, and I've got some Chubb to prove it!

2. In approximately 98 (plus or minus a few) days, I will be an official, real life doctor. Weird, scary and awesomely exciting, all at the same time. The thing is doctor training is long and complicated, so after this year I still have to do internship (1st year of residency), residency and possibly a fellowship before I'm let loose on the streets with my stethoscope, or in my case, slit lamp. I'll be an Ophthalmology Resident in the near future.

3. Part of my anti-Chubb is sports. I play on a ridiculous number of them: Volleyball (coed and womens), Basketball (women's year round), 2 hand touch Football (coed), Dodgeball, and whatever intramurals are offered at that time of the year for school. At any given time I'm on 4 or 5 sports teams. Some people ask how I can do it..My only explanation is: I do it for the cupcakes! Just kidding, but that certainly helps offset my cupcake consumption. It's a great way to exercise, I've always participated in sports throughout my entire life, and its a fun social time. My teammates are also my friends!

4. Speaking of cupcakes, they are my absolute favorite thing in the world! I love a cupcake. Something about them is inherently uplifting. Their petite size, detailed icing and lovely wrappers make them the perfect treat. No utensils needed. Simply the sight of a cupcake can put me into a better mood! Who doesn't love a good cupcake! I bought the most recent Martha Stewart magazine off of straight impulse-the cover is cupcakes. It has 15 different cupcake recipes. I'm determined to try all 15 in the near future. So far I've made 2 (and they were delicious!) I want to work on beautifying my cupcakes as well, so I bought some reading material, but please feel free to leave favorites.

5. Another favorite- the color PINK! Pink makes anything better. A pink cupcake?? HEAVEN. I'm not a real girly girl either. Judging by my sports calendar you'd think I was a total jock and tomboy, but I got a pair of knee length pink adidas socks that are going to become part of my Thursday dodgeball/volleyball/basketball routine. Pink and Sparkly is all it takes to make it special for me!

6. I am an Amazon...I'm 6 feet tall. You can't really tell it by the few pictures of myself on this thing, but I'm a pretty tall glass of water. I have a friend that's got me beat by an inch or two, and we refer to ourselves as the "Wall of Woman."

7. After all this Medicine stuff works out I'd love to go to culinary school and open my own restaurant/bakery. Even a part time internship would be awesome! I LOVE to bake... I guess that was obvious, but I'd love to have my own place some day. I guess we'll have to see how the cookie crumbles!

So this is my first one of these...I'm just gonna follow the rules!
Here are the rules:1. Link the person that tagged you and post the rules.
2. Share 7 random or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 people at the end and link to their sites.
4. Let each person know about the tag in the comment section of their site.

So Here's my list of tagged people...Sorry, I don't know the etiquette of these things...
1. Doctoring, Dancing and Delectables
2. Lauren of I'll Eat You
3. Diana of Pashunfroot
4. Elra of Elra's Baking
5. Lauren of I'll Eat You

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Crabcake Medley

This is a random post about my evenings culinary adventure. I had a little left over crab from crab and shrimp omelets this weekend and I decided, hey why not make a crabcake! I looked up a recipe quickly on, just to get an idea of what goes in them, since I've never made them before. I have no idea how much I put of each ingredient, but here's my list:
Lump crab, jalapeno, garlic chili sauce mayo, onion, egg, old bay, salt, pepper and crushed wheat thins (I didnt have any breadcrumbs). They came out really runny, and didn't set well, probably too much mayo. They fell apart while I was cooking them, so I didnt even photograph them, but boy were they TASTY!

Last night I made Mexican chocolate cupcakes and a cinnamon buttercream (icing recipe on tastespotting). The cake I just invented by using my go-to chocolate cake mix on the back of the hersheys cocoa. I used the dark chocolate cocoa, added cinnamon, allspice, pepper, a touch of salt and ground cloves. Also very tasty! I'll add a photo in a bit!