Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

the state i am in

May 6, 2010

Our kitchen goes through states, which may or may not reflect the general life states the roommates are going through. Right now, in general, there is a sense of unexpectedness, of disorder, of a little anxiety of what’s to come for all of us. (See: canning.) Usually our kitchen is a near perfect balance between cleanliness and disorder, not so clean you feel like you have to pick up every crumb you spill (well, god knows I don’t) but not so dirty you don’t want to spend lots of time there, either cooking or hanging out. Because we do, we love to spend time together in the kitchen.

The other night the kitchen was cluttered, it was filled with canned goods and rice and dirty dishes and my computer and shredded coconut and the millions of water glasses I am currently going through.  The next morning it was a little better, as all cluttered nights feel better after you sleep on it. And I think as the week goes on, it will most likely stay on the cluttered side, but I kind of like that. Life is never a shiny, clean kitchen. Especially when you’re graduating. But regardless, even the most cluttered kitchen has the potentiality to produce the best kind of cookie: Coconut Oatmeal white and chocolate chip. Yeah. These cookies go into the baked goods hall of fame.

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Samoas, Interrupted

March 10, 2010

If there’s one thing I’m certain of in this life, it is that Samoas (aka Caramel DeLites) are the best Girl Scout cookie. Yeah, I said it. Thin Mints aren’t adventurous enough, Tagalongs make your mouth feel all weird if you eat more than one, and the others don’t have names worth remembering.

That is why Emily and I decided to make our own Samoas one lazy afternoon. Sounds like a great idea, right? If only we knew then what we know now.

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a sweet return

March 4, 2010

Whew! We have been missing in action over here, but not for the wrong reasons. Every winter this point in the semester seems inevitable – the weather remains stubbornly cold, cloudy heads and stuffy noses come and never seem to go, classes begin to drag. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve generally been exhausted and/or cold for the past few weeks. But it looks like the sun is out today, I’m taking the morning off, and we have spring vacation in a week. To Paris! To Greece! To Berlin! To New Orleans! The five of us will be around the world in a matter of time, and hopefully writing about it here. And on the topic of worldliness, I have Italian cookies to share with you.

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lets make it official

January 24, 2010

It was a big weekend, and a good place to officially start this blog. First, introductions, because there are five of us.

Zoe is our resident cook, and a food policy/sustainable farming/community activism student. She’s worked at East New York Farms, for McClure’s Pickles, and now for Dickson’s Farmstand Meats. And, she just won a pie contest. So, people! This girl knows about food.
Nicole just returned from a month long trip to the Philippines, where she realized she has more aunts, uncles, and cousins than she can count on her hands and feet. She studies reproductive rights, gender and sexuality, and interns with the Pro-Choice Public Education Project. She also makes a mean pasta/kale combination.
Claire is a journalism student interning right now for Allure. She has a keen sense of place and is an even better dancer. She has the astounding ability to compile random, healthy things on a plate and make it look really, really good.
Sami is a public policy student, and worked with NYU dining halls to provide food to homeless shelters around NYC. She has traveled around the world, makes her own yogurt, and is working with Zoe this semester researching chicken-coop models around NYC.
I (Emily) am a writer; I love food: cooking, eating, writing, and photographing it. I wanted to start this blog because we’re always cooking, eating with friends or with each other, and that’s a big part of why the five of us work so well as roommates. We’re here together in Brooklyn, until we graduate in May, and we thought it would be wonderful to share our apartment with our friends in a larger way. Hence, this blog.

So, maybe a recipe to start? This weekend we invited over friends to eat lots, and lots, and lots of cake. It looked a little something like this:

We were celebrating Claire’s birthday, and because my birthday falls during the holiday and I have always spent it at home, I wanted to bake a sort-of birthday cake for myself. All I wanted was a banana cake. With peanut butter. And, okay, if there’s going to be peanut butter, there had better be chocolate.

This cake was kind of a mishmash of recipes. The banana cake is adapted from Eat Me, Delicious, it’s the recipe I ALWAYS use for banana cake because while it has a wonderful banana flavor, it resembles cake more than it does banana bread. The peanut butter frosting isn’t too difficult to whip up, and chocolate ganache…. well, I could make that in my sleep. And eat it every night before I go to sleep, and when I wake up, and for a mid-afternoon snack. With the chocolate, the peanut butter, and the banana combined…. yikes. It was a mighty fine cake.

Banana Cake:
two cups ap flour
one & one-half cups white sugar
one stick butter
one cup milk
three & one-half tsp baking powder
one tsp salt
one tsp vanilla extract
three eggs
two mashed bananas, about 1 cup (good to be super-ripe, but mine weren’t and this was fine.)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two nine inch cake pans, put parchment paper on the bottom, and again, grease that sucker down.

In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating just to combine. Stir in vanilla and mashed bananas. Pour the batter between two pans, cook for around 35 minutes, or, you know, until that toothpick comes out clean.

For the frosting, just beat a cup or so of smooth PB with a stick of room-temp butter until light and creamy. Add about a cup and a half of powdered sugar, beat it, and then add and beat in 1/3 cup heavy cream. Beat in another cup and a half of powdered sugar, and there you have it! Add more sugar or heavy cream depending on how thick/thin/or sweet you want it.

Chocolate Ganache: I used about 6 oz of extra dark chocolate and 3/4 cup heavy cream. Heat your heavy cream until its boiling, and then pour that baby into your chocolate. Whisk like crazy! It always looks gross when you start but then it will become one of the more beautiful visions on this earth. To drizzle, let ganache cool, spoon into a sandwich bag and cut one end of the bag off. This recipe makes more than enough for this cake, so, if you really want to, you can incorporate into your next week of meals.

This was wonderful and sweet, but we have a savory pie recipe coming that will knock your socks off, because it literally knocked 60 peoples socks off last night at a pie competition we entered in Williamsburg. Yeah, dudes, this pie WON THE COMPETITION. It’s a samosa pie, and I don’t have pictures, so that must mean Zoe will make another one for us in the very near future, we will eat, and she will post. Look for it soon!