All Chocolate Cake

I love chocolate, I think you should know that already. I especially love chocolate cakes, and I have many different recipes to make this lovely dessert. I like to mix and match sponge cake recipes with different flavors or glazes that I find from another recipe. My son has been craving chocolate cake since I asked him if I should make some about 2 weeks ago and made pineapple cake instead. I couldn’t torment him any longer, so I finally made this delicious chocolate cake covered in chocolate glaze and chocolate chips. This is the perfect treat for anyone who needs their chocolate fix 😉

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 125 grams cooking chocolate cut into small pieces
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup of flour less 1 tablespoon
  • 1 cup icing sugar less 1 tablespoon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 125 grams soft butter+ 1 tablespoon to grease a round cake tin

Ingredients for the chocolate glaze:

  • 1 cup fresh cream
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 340 chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Put the pieces of chocolate in a double boiler (or bain-marie) to let it melt
  • Remove from fire then add the flour, sugar and the egg yolks; mix well
  • Whisk the egg white with a pinch of salt until it forms a peak
  • Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture
  • Put into the greased tin and bake for about 30 minutes, then put it on a wire rack until cold
  • To make the chocolate glaze, boil the fresh cream in a casserole with sugar and corn syrup, then remove from fire
  • Pour the boiled cream over the chocolate chips in a bowl and stir with a spoon until the chocolate melts, then let it set to cool. When cool add the vanilla
  • Spread the chocolate glaze over the cake and decorate with whatever you like (I used kiwi and chocolate chips; you could use any fruits, sprinkles, whipped cream, etc…)

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT! BON APPETIT 🙂

Upside Down Pineapple Cake

This is a suitable cake for Spring. The pineapple used gives it a very refreshing taste, like a cool breeze! The pineapple juice also moistens the cake itself, giving it a more moist texture in the mouth. Nothing more to say about this cake, except that the decoration with strawberry adds a nice touch 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 can of sliced pineapple (drained and juice kept)
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 cups of flour + extra 1 tablespoon to dust the mold)
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature + extra tablespoon to grease the mold)
  • 1/4 cup of honey ( or golden syrup)

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Grease a 26 cm diameter round and deep tray, dust with flour, pour the honey then place the pineapples slices over
  • With an electric mixer, mix the eggs with vanilla until pale then add sugar and keep mixing until the sugar dissolves
  • Alternate adding flour with pineapple juice, mixing slowly,then add the baking powder; keep mixing for a few minutes
  • Place the mixture in the tray and bake in the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean
  • Leave the cake in the tray for few minutes then turn it onto a wire rack to cool
  • Enjoy eating with fresh strawberry for decoration

ET VOILA .. C’EST TOUT 🙂

Croquettes of Cheese with Salsa Dip

The croquettes of cheese is one of my favorite appetizers. Every time we go out for dinner outside, first thing we check for on the menu is the cheese croquettes to have before the main meal. Believe me, I’ve tries a lot of recipes and the one I am sharing with you today is the more successful one. The good thing about this recipe is that it can be adjusted to your taste. You can use whatever kind of cheese you like and also you can add any kind of flavor like basil, rosemary, thyme, or anything else. Also, It can be baked in the oven or deep fry. Tell me if you like it 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams shredded cheese of your choice (I used Gruyere and Emmental)
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

For the fried croquettes, the extra ingredients you will need:

  • one egg
  • one cup bread crumbs
  • about one liter frying oil

Mix all the ingredients and let it rest in the fridge for about half an hour. You can now prepare the croquettes by either frying them or baking them.

To fry them:

  • Make a small finger shape from the dough
  • Roll them in a slightly beaten egg, then in bread crumbs and deep fry for about 5 minutes untl they turn golden brown color

To bake them:

  • Preheat the oven for 180C
  • On a floured surface board roll the dough and cut into medium sized circles
  • Place them on a tray and bake for about half an hour until the croquettes turn golden color

These croquettes are delicious when accompanied with this salsa dip:

  • Chop one red tomato and one small onion very finely
  • Add one tablespoon of ketchup, a small teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon chili paste and a few leaves of chopped parsley

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT! 🙂

Chicken With Spinach

I enjoy getting playful when cooking, more and more since I started this blog. I watch a lot of food shows on television and I  also read cooking magazines, so I’m always trying new recipes while adding a touch of me, mixing and matching with other recipes to make something that suits my taste. I won’t pretend to have created this meal, but I think that everyone makes food in their own way and this way is mine 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams chicken fillet
  • 3 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 cinnamon stick
  • 500 grams fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 can of sliced mushrooms, washed and drained
  • 3 large green onions slices
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 handful finely chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash of freshly ground nutmeg

Preparation:

  • Rub the chicken fillet with salt and black pepper
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the chicken until brown, cover with one cup of water and add the cinnamon stick; let it cook until tender
  • In another saucepan, melt the butter, fry the green onion for about 4 minutes then add the mushrooms and the spinach with a dash of salt; cover the saucepan and let it simmer on a very low flame for about 10 minutes
  • Prepare the sauce:  melt the butter in a small pot and add the flour, mixing it well
  • Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly until it becomes thick and add salt, nutmeg and finally the finely chopped spinach

  • Serve together in a plate. You can add rice or pasta if you wish, remember to make it your way too 🙂

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.. BON APPETIT 🙂

Fried Zucchini and Eggplant with Egg Free Shakshouka

Today I felt nostalgic for the good old days, when I was young and my grandmother used to make delicious food for me and my siblings. Maybe because it is Mother Day in many countries (we celebrate in Lebanon on the 21st of March with the beginning of spring). I remembered that I didn’t like the fried zucchini so grandmother dipped them in a batter before frying, which I found made it delicious.

Before posting, I did some research on Google to find  out about the meaning of Shakshouka, and I found that this is a very popular dish in a lot of Mediterranean countries. Many dishes of Lebanese Cuisine have a Turkish source. I assume that during the Ottoman occupation of these countries, some of their plates passed around. Most of these countries make the Shakshouka as a main dish with eggs on top, and that in Syria they call it Jaz Maz. But, in my family we have it as a side dish along with the fried zucchini, eggplants and other fried vegetables, sans egg. Whatever the source of this dish is, it will always be associated with nice memories from my childhood.

Ingredients for the Shakshouka:

  • 2 green peppers
  • 4 red tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried coriander
  • a pinch of chili pepper (if you like it more spicy, you can put more chili)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Shakshouka

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion for 2 minutes
  • Dice the green pepper and fry with the onion for 3 extra minutes
  • Peel the tomatoes and dice them very small and add over the green pepper and the onion, reduce the fire and cover the casserole and let it simmer
  • In the meantime mix the garlic with salt, dried coriander and the chili and add it over the tomatoes and green pepper, mix well all the ingredients and let it cook for about 5 minutes
  • Serve it as a side dish with fried zucchini and eggplants

Ingredients of the batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation of the batter:

  • Mix all the ingredients together
  • Cut all the vegetable you want to fry: zucchini, eggplant, dip in the batter and deep fry for about 5 minutes until golden
 
Fried zucchini
 

Fried eggplant

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.

Profiteroles And Eclairs

It is Saturday and the weekend has begun! I like to have some home made desserts for the weekend. Today I decided to make both Profiteroles and Eclairs since they are made from the same dough and filled with the same creme patissiere; the only difference between them is their shape.

Making this recipe requires two kinds of ingredients:  one for the dough and the other for the creme patissiere (filling).

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 100 grams of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of water
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 4 eggs

Preparation of the dough:

  • In a small pot boil the water with butter and a pinch of salt
  • Add all the flour at once and mix vigorously until you have a consistent dough
  • Remove from fire and let it cool for 5 minutes, then add one egg at a time, mixing well in an electric mixer until well blended in the dough (you can use a wooden spoon to mix the eggs if you like, but it will take more effort)
  • When you finish mixing all the eggs in the dough, leave it to cool
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Grease a tray with a bit of butter, place the dough in a piping bag and using a large nozzle make circle shape to make the profiteroles, and long ones to make the eclairs
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top of the dough becomes light golden color

Ingredients for the creme patissiere:

  • 1/2 cup powder milk
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation of the creme:

  • Boil the milk in a casserole and add the vanilla
  • In a bowl mix the sugar with flour and egg
  • Pour the mixture of egg, sugar and the flour slowly to the milk whisking constantly until thickening, then allow to cool. It is better to cover the creme with a cling film to prevent forming hard layer on the top when cooling

Filling the dough with creme:

  • Make a small hole in the profiterole ( the round shape) using a wooden stick
  • Place the cream in a piping bag and using a fine nozzle fill the dough.
  • For the eclairs (the long shaped ones) make a small cut on the side of the dough and with a small spoon spread the cream into it
  • For the final touch you can either sprinkle the sweets with icing sugar or make chocolate icing.

Chocolate icing:

  • Boil 3/4 cup of fresh milk with 1 teaspoon icing sugar and 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • Cut 50 grams of dark chocolate into small pieces and place it in a bowl
  • Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and mix well until the chocolate dissolves

With a small teaspoon put the icing chocolate on the top of eclair and place on a grill to cool completely.

N.B : If you want to fill it with chocolate cream instead, replace 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon of cocoa in the ingredients.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT! HAVE  A NICE WEEK-END 🙂

Man’oushe

The most famous Lebanese breakfast is the Man’oushe and is considered the Lebanese version of pizza. It is made out of dough, traditionally topped with Zaatar mixed with olive oil or with cheese. Zaatar is made out fresh thyme, washed, dried and grounded, then mixed with sumac, sesame and salt. In Beirut, you can find a Man’oushe shop on every street corner. It is the perfect breakfast for anybody who doesn’t have time to prepare a decent meal during a busy day; they can grab a Man’oushe from any bakery nearby.

Ingredients:

  • 3cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon instant dried yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup of Zaatar mixed with 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice ( I used Gruyere)

Preparation:

  • To make the dough, mix the flour with salt, oil, dried yeast and water in a bowl until you have a soft dough; let it rest covered with a towel to rise for about 1 hour
  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Roll the dough into circles of about 1/4 inch thickness (the size of the circle is totally up to you) and top with Zaatar or cheese; bake for about 15 minutes and serve hot

Try it and tell me which one you prefer, the Zaatar or cheese? Personally I cannot decide which is tastier, they are both tasty 🙂

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..BON APPETIT! 🙂

My 100th Post…….. Chocolate Cake With Snow White Frosting

I cannot believe that today I am doing my hundredth post and I am very excited. When I first started nearly three months ago, I never thought that I would be doing this steadily and would reach my 100th post. But, I should thank my children and my family for their encouragement and their faith in me, and also all of you fellow bloggers for your support, comments and your sweet words, you all provided me with the motivation I needed to persevere. Every recipe I posted was  a new challenge that made me want to improve and to become a better blogger, or at least try.

And for the occasion of the 100th post today I thought I should celebrate it in a very special way. This is why I made this lovely chocolate cake. I hope you will like it… 🙂

Ingredients:For the cake

  • 150 grams icing sugar ( 1 cup and 1/3 cup)
  • 50 grams flour (1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 50 grams  corn flour (1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 150 grams butter, melted – plus 1 tablespoon to grease the cake tin
  • 6 eggs, separated plus 1 whole egg
  • 40 grams coconut shredded ( 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, a pinch of salt

Preparation:

  • In a bowl mix the egg yolks with sugar, add the shredded coconut,  cocoa, whole egg, flour, baking powder, salt and corn flour and beat well
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until firm, then fold into the previous mixture, then add the melted butter
  • Pour the cake mixture into the greased round cake tin, and bake in the middle rack of the oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer come out dry
  • Remove from the cake tin and let it cool completely on a wire rack, then slice it in half, it is now ready to be assembled

Ingredients for the decoration:

  • 200 grams of strawberry jam
  • 300 ml fresh cream
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 100 grams cooking chocolate
  • 50 grams soft butter, 2 tablespoons icing sugar, 1 tablespoon cocoa plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • some fresh strawberry for decoration on the top

Decoration of the cake:

  • Put the jam on the bottom layer of the cake and cover it with the other half
  • Mix the fresh cream with the 2 tablespoons of icing sugar until thickens, then spread it on the top of the cake
  • Mix the butter with the 2 tablespoons of sugar, vanilla extract and the cocoa until smooth. Pipe it along the edge of the cake
  • Grate the cooking chocolate and spread over, finally put some strawberries for decoration

ET VOILA …C’EST TOUT… BON APPETIT:)

Biscuits With Dates (Sanniyye bil Tamer)

This is a dessert made of pastry sandwich filled with date paste. I made this as a dessert for the family lunch, since I am now in the land of a wide variety of dates and from the best quality.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams all purpose flour ( about 4 cups)
  • 250 grams softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk powder
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar+ extra for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup of orange blossom water
  • 300 grams paste of dates (as in Maamoul recipe)

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Mix all the ingredients by hand until you have an even and soft dough.
  • Place half of the dough in a tray
  • Spread the paste of dates on top of the first layer of dough, then cover it wit the second half of the dough and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the top becomes light golden color
  • While still hot, sprinkle the icing sugar on the top, cut into small pieces and serve cold

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..

Roast Beef with Gravy

Previously I made Roast beef using ground meat, and it was stuffed with pistachios. But, today I used chuck beef. To ensure the meat will be tender and moist, I always bake it with the gravy sauce after cooking, in the oven for about 25 minutes. This way the meat will always turn out juicy and succulent. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1000 grams of chuck roast beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • for the gravy: 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon seven spices, 2 bay leaves, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 1 medium potato, 1 carrot
  • 1.5 liters water

Preparation:

  • Rub the meat with the salt and spices
  • Heat the oil in the pressure cooker, then brown the meat all over
  • Cover with the water and add all the gravy ingredients
  • Close the pressure cooker and cook on high heat until it steams
  • After the whistle, lower the heat to medium and leave it to cook for about 40 minutes
  • Remove the meat from the water and let it cool completely
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • In the meantime drain the gravy from the spices used and mash the vegetables and add them ton the gravy
  • When the meat is completely cold, slice it thinly and place in a tray
  • Mix 2 tablespoons of flour with a half cup of water and add it to the gravy sauce and pour it over the slices of roast beef in the tray
  • Place the tray in the oven for about 25 minutes, then serve with mashed potatoes and mix boiled vegetables

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.