Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

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This month, Random Recipes and We Should Cocoa banded together to create a wonderful challenge. Randomly pick a cookbook and randomly pick a recipe from said cookbook that uses . . . you guessed it! CHOCOLATE!

Somehow, despite being random, I keep picking my favorite cookbook off the shelf. Either I just need more cookbooks to be randomly selected or there’s some sort of magnetism that keeps this book coming back to me. Welcome again my favorite cookbook, Cook Yourself Thin. In the past, for Random Recipes I’ve made the Mediterranean Chicken and Better For You Breakfast Sandwich.

Anyway, once I was holding this cookbook, I counted the number of recipes in it that used chocolate. I then put into the random number generator and was directed to this chocolate cake. I was pretty happy when I saw what recipe the generator had chosen for me, since my boyfriend’s birthday is in February (today actually) and he had asked for a chocolate cake.

This cake was sort of dry, but he raved over and over that he hates moist cakes and was so happy because he likes dry cakes and no one ever makes dry cakes. While I personally like moist cakes a hell of a lot, the lack of butter does take away a lot of the moist in a cake. Additionally, he likes it when I accidentally overcook things, so a dry cake really was the way to go for him. All in all, it was a success. The beets were such a strange addition, but in the end, you don’t even taste them.

This was a great random recipe. The universe was aligned when I randomly chose this recipe!

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And with that, I’d also like to wish my love a very happy 31st birthday!

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Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE
1 1/2 cups flour
3 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 + 1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely ground cashews
5 tbsp cocoa powder
4 oz beets, peeled and finely grated
4 oz buttermilk
2 tbsp brewed black coffee
3 eggs
3/4 cups sugar

FOR THE ICING
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 tbsp brewed black coffee
2 tbsp honey

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray an 8″ springform baking pan with cooking spray.

3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, ground cashews, salt, and baking soda together. Set aside.

4. In a mixer, beat the eggs and sugar for 4 minutes using medium speed, until pale and fluffy. On low speed, beat in the beets followed by the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and coffee and beat until the batter is smooth.

5. Pour the batter into the springform pan. Place in the middle of a hot oven and bake for 30 minutes. Your cake is done with a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.

6. Cool for 10 minutes then unmold and set on a cooling rack. Cool until the cake is cold.

7. To make the icing, prepare a double broiler. Combine all the icing ingredients and stir gently, until the chocolate is smooth. Stir until the chocolate mixture thickens.

9. Pour the icing over the top of the cake and allow it to drip down the sides.

* I’m also sharing this recipe with Mix It Up Monday

Chicken Broccoli Curry and Spiced Roasted Beets

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When I made the beet and potato salad I had intentionally roasted more beets than I needed for that dish. I had read somewhere that it was a good idea to roast the beets all at once, even if you didn’t intend to use them right away. Honestly, I have no idea if it made a difference, but it did make making this meal super easy since the beets were already roasted.

Yesterday was a very long, tiring day. I went on a prison tour with my class. It was about a 3 hour long tour of a local prison. While obviously touring prison isn’t as stressful as being in prison, the entire experience was exhausting. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to see it though, because with my future career path it’s crucial that I’m aware of everything. I’d like to go visit other prisons in the future.

But anyway, when I got home yesterday afternoon I was exhausted. I passed out for about 2 hours after it.

By the time dinner came around I wasn’t really feeling hungry (especially because I had a very late lunch after the tour,) but I wanted to make sure I ate dinner so I didn’t wake up at midnight with the gnawing in my stomach that would result in me chowing down on things in the kitchen which I shouldn’t be chowing on. For under 600 calories, this meal was better than cracking the Nutella at midnight. I mean, the Nutella would have tasted delicious.. But.. You know.

Chicken Broccoli Curry
(source)

Ingredients
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1/2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tbsp peanut oil
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp ginger, peeled and grated
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsp red curry paste
3/4 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp cold water

Directions

1. In a small bowl toss together the curry powder and the chicken breast cubes, making sure the chicken is well seasoned.

2. In a skillet heat the peanut oil. Add the chicken breast pieces into the skillet and cook until no longer pink. Remove from the skillet.

3. Add the broccoli, garlic, and ginger into the skillet. Cook for several minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 7 minutes. Add the curry paste and stir to combine. Stir the chicken back into the skillet. Bring to a slight boil and add the cornstarch. Boil for a minute and then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.

* serves 2

Spiced Roasted Beets

Ingredients
2 beets, peeled and roasted and cut into cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp coriander seed
1/4 tsp cumin seed
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp plain yogurt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp lime juice

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Toss together the roasted beets and the rest of the ingredients. Make sure the beets are evenly coated with the spices.

3. Place in a casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes. Though the beets are already roasted, getting them hot and baking them into spices makes them all the tastier.

* serves 2
* shared with Weekend Cooking

Beet and Potato Salad

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This potato salad couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, this is probably the most festive I’ll be. It’s funny that this was accidentally planned too. I’m not really into Valentine’s Day. I’m not bitter either – I have nothing to be bitter about. I just find it a little silly to celebrate love one day a year in such a commercial way. I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated Valentine’s Day actually. In fact, Matt and I have decided to hit up Walgreen’s this weekend to stock up on chocolate – that’s how we roll.

But anyway, if unlike me, you do celebrate Valentine’s Day, this is a perfect potato salad for the occasion.

I love beets. I’m always shocked at how my hands get so pink. It’s so crazy to me that just cutting it makes so much pink! What a strange veggie!

I made this potato salad for No Croutons Required, this month sponsored by Tinned Tomatoes. The theme is obviously potato salads. 🙂

Beet and Potato Salad
(source)

Ingredients
1 large red potato
1 large beet
1 egg
1/4 red onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 425. Cut the greens off of the beet and cut most of the root off of the beet. Place the beet in a baking dish and fill the dish with 1/4 inch of water. Cover your baking dish with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Once the beet is roasted, peel the skin off.

2. While the beet is roasting, cut the potato into chunks. Bring a large pot of water to boil and boil for 15 minutes, until tender.

3. While the beet is roasting, also hard boil your egg. To hard boil an egg, place egg in a pot. Fill the pot with water so it just covers the egg. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 12 minutes. Peel the egg and then dice.

4. Once your beets, potatoes, and eggs are cooked, combine in a large bowl. Add the onion and celery as well and toss together.

5. In a small dish combine the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, and yogurt. Whisk together well.

6. Add the dressing to the vegetables. Toss together.

7. Refrigerate until well chilled.

* serves 2
* 268 calories per serving
* Besides No Croutons Required, this is being shared with Wednesday Whatsits, Cast Party Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, & Food Of The Month Club – Salad Theme

Thanksgiving 2012

 

After I uploaded my pictures I realized this photo was preemptive – I forgot to put the turkey on my plate! I didn’t actually go turkeyless though, so everything is right in the universe. For Thanksgiving I am at my parents’ house. I wasn’t responsible for all the dishes and will only be sharing the recipes for what I actually made. But our dinner consisted of:

– Turkey
– Bread
– Sauteed green beans
– Twice baked potato
– Roasted winter vegetables
– Stuffing
– Cranberry
– Biscoff pumpkin cheesecake
– Chocolate pecan pie

It was all great.

The first dish I was responsible for was the roasted winter vegetables. Last week at work we had a potluck and someone brought something similar to this. After having it at work, I knew I needed to make this at our own Thanksgiving because it was such a nice accompaniment to an otherwise heavy meal.

Roasted Winter Vegetables

Ingredients
3 beets
1/2 butternut squash
4 yams
1 fennel root
2 tbsp sage, chopped
1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 400. Chop all the vegetables into cube sized pieces. Combine in a baking dish.

2. Add the olive oil, sage, and rosemary to the roasted vegetables. Toss with your hands.

3. Place in the preheated oven for about an hour and a half, until soft. Check every half hour and stir.

* serves about 14

Naturally I was also responsible for a dessert. While searching the web recently I found this recipe for a biscoff pumpkin cheesecake. On foodie penpals biscoff spread seems to be making its way through the boxes, so I decided that it must be good and I should try it. The biscoff spread is crazy good. Basically you’re eating the creamed version of the biscoff cookie. It’s hard to fathom such a thing even exists!

The cheesecake was a huge success and very loved at dinner. I think the cheesecake is one of the best Thanksgiving desserts. You make it the day before and all you have to do is cut it on Thanksgiving day.

Biscoff Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients

CRUST
30 biscoff cookies, ground into crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
3 tbsp brown sugar

CHEESECAKE
24 oz cream cheese, room temp
2 cup fresh roasted pumpkin, mashed
3 eggs, room temp
1 egg yolk, room temp
1/4 cup sour cream, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
pinch nutmeg
pinch cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup biscoff spread, melted

Directions

1. `Preheat your oven to 350. First make your crust. In a bowl combine the cookie crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar. In the bottom of a springform pan, pour the crumb mixtures. Press against the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Remove and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool.

2. Next, make the cheesecake. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, for about 5 minutes. Mix in the pumpkin and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time until incorporated. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla until just combined.

3. In a small bowl combine the sugar, four, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Pour this mixture into the cream cheese and stir together well.

4. Pour your cheesecake filling into your cooled crust. Pour the melted biscoff spread on top of the cheesecake randomly and swirl with a knife.

5. Wrap the springform pan in several layers of aluminum foil. Put the pan in a roasting dish. Boil water and fill the roasting dish so that the water comes about half way up on the pan. Place the roasting dish in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes, until the top is brown and the cheesecake is puffy.

6. Let sit out and bring to home temperature. Once cooled, cover and put in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

* shared with Sweet Treats and Swanky Stuff Saturday & Weekend Cooking