Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chocolate Hot Water Cake

Today was an interesting day, to say the least. TAKS testing was going on, so seniors didn't have to come to school till lunchtime. In addition, each class was only 16 minutes long. With my schedule, I didn't have to be there till 2 and was out by 3:30. Score!
It was nice to sleep in, eat chocolate strawberry truffle bread for breakfast, and catch up on some things on my to-do list.
Oh, yes, I said chocolate strawberry truffle bread.
Remember that Raspberry Almond Truffle Bread I made a week ago? Well, being the perfectionist I am, I wanted to fix the too-crumbly problem I had with it. At the time, I thought adding more moisture in the form of a fruit puree would give it the moisture it needed to stay together but now that I have thought about it more I realize it needs more eggs! I guess I'll be making truffle bread round 3 very soon :P

Anyways, this time I made a half batch (using an egg white in place of half an egg) and did strawberries + strawberry preserves instead of raspberries and raspberry preserves. And just as last time, I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of white.

For a half a batch, I added 1/4 cup of pureed strawberries that I made by just microwaving a handful of frozen strawberries and stirring the mixture up with a fork to break it up. Since they were frozen, they turned into strawberry mash very easily.
This addition made the bread more moist, but it still crumbled (not as badly, though). I think adding one or two eggs might just be the key for next time!

Enough talk..here's some pictures!
The extra quarter cup strawberry puree added a nice sweetness and gave it more strawberry flavor. This batch tasted even better than the first batch!
Also, this time I just topped the bread with cinnamon + turbinado sugar instead of almonds and chocolate chips, which I recommend doing.
So good!! I just love that it's sweetened, for the most part, with natural fruit sugars :)
Here's the original recipe.
In other news, I had a little helper in the kitchen yesterday!
As I went to grab a butcher knife out of the sink, I noticed a cute ladybug using the handle as its resting spot..
These cuties are the only bug I allow to be inside (:
My mom says this isn't a ladybug because it's orange instead of red but oh well, still cute.
When I came back an hour later, it was gone ): But it's a good thing, because I needed that knife!
So, Hot Water Cake, what is it? Well, I'm still not sure. As I was looking up recipes for water cakes, the preparations were all so diverse there was no constant beside the fact that they all involve hot water. The main reason why I was even searching something so odd as a hot water cake was because I saw Raven's recipe for Water Cake over at RavieNomNoms. In her water cake, you place the cake batter into a pan and then top it with a mixture of cocoa powder and brown sugar. Then, pour 1 3/4 cup hot water into the pan and don't stir. Just place it in the oven and it turns into a moist, sponge-like cake with a fudgy, frosting-like bottom layer. Such an interesting concept!
I had the idea to flip the whole thing over so that the frosting layer would be on the top like a more traditional cake. However, this baby created a lot of "frosting" so it looked like a hot mess when I flipped it over! So bad that it was completely unworthy of a picture:P
HOWEVER, I did take a picture of a piece after I cut it...
Topped with whipped cream and a couple strawberry slices for good measure (:
This cake recipe was really interesting because 1) it was low fat (only 2 tablespoons of oil in the whole recipe!) 2) it had a wonderfully moist texture and 3)it was self frosted!
Here's my attempt to make them look a little prettier (sorry for the flash):
These were good, and promptly got gobbled up, but I don't think they were so good I'd make them again. The "frosting" is a little odd tasting (since its mostly water, I presume) and pretty messy. It's hard to explain its flavor but its not that sweet or chocolaty. I really like this cake the next day after it chilled in the fridge as opposed to when it was still warm. I wouldn't discourage making this though! Its really interesting and is very tasty, I just wouldn't recommend flipping it over like I did and instead just scoop the amount of sauce you want onto your piece (because it makes a lot of sauce).

For dinner we decided to use up a coupon we had for a local pizza place called Southside Flying Pizza that gave us $20 worth for $10. I usually don't care for pizza places when they just offer the normal topping fare and white pizza dough, but I really have a place in my heart for those unique pizza places that give you the option of wheat crust and different-than-normal topping choices. I like Austin's Pizza for this reason, but we have never tried Southside and it looked promising. We ended up getting one large Sun dried Tomato Pesto pizza special (Sundried tomato pesto, portabellas, roma tomatoes, prosciutto, gorgonzola, mozzarella, and romano.) and a half sized spinach calzone (Basil pesto, spinach, mushrooms, herb ricotta and artichokes.).
We asked for both on wheat crusts, which I think was an odd order for the calzone, but they were able to do it no problem.
When we picked up our order they told us the calzone is a "little bigger than normal" and they weren't kidding!  Picture a 14 inch pizza folded over and that was the size of our calzone! I wish I took a picture of the whole thing, but I forgot.
I got a picture of my plate, though!
We sliced the calzone into strips so everyone could have a piece. These pieces were huge but that didn't stop me from getting another half of a slice of the pizza. This was SO GOOD. We were all a little iffy on the gorgonzola on the pizza but it worked so well and wasn't overpowering at all. The little bites of prosciutto added bursts of salty flavor. The calzone was amazing as well, with pretty much every ingredient I love in one bite. I loved that it wasn't greasy and tasted very fresh. If you live in Austin or are ever in the area, I would totally recommend checking this place out! It's kind of small and not too fancy, but it sure produces some mighty fine food. Plus, our bill only came out to $13 with the coupon! Of course, our $6 calzone was unusually humongous large, so that was an added bonus.
That's it for tonight!
PS- that dried fruit and nut bread I made is just fabulous toasted; with Brummel & Brown and cinnamon sugar :D

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