Friday, May 27, 2011

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

This is the recipe for Prince William's grooms cake. It was SOO good. It's more like a cookie than a cake. I got digestives brand tea biscuits at world market and they worked great. I melted the chocolate, sugar and egg over a double broiler for a little bit just until the sugar melted and I thought the egg was cooked enough. It doesn't say in the recipe to cook the egg, but I was feeding this to kids and didn't want to worry about the raw eggs sitting out for any period of time. I think next time I will make this in a square pan and cut it into smaller brownie like chunks.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake
Recipe courtesy of Darren McGrady | April 28, 2011

Servings: Makes one 6-inch round cake (8 portions)
1/2 tsp. butter , for greasing
8 ounces Rich tea biscuits
4 ounces unsalted butter , softened
4 ounces granulated sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate , for the cake
1 egg
8 ounces dark chocolate , for coating
1 ounce chocolate , for decorating
To make cake: Lightly grease a 6" x 2 1/2" cake ring and place on a tray on a sheet of parchment paper.

Break each of the biscuits into almond-size pieces by hand and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture starts to lighten.

Melt the 4 ounces of dark chocolate and add to the butter mixture while constantly stirring.

Beat the egg into the mixture.

Fold in the biscuit pieces until they are all coated with the chocolate mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake ring. Try to fill all of the gaps on the bottom of the ring because this will be the top when it is unmolded.

Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

To coat and decorate: Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it stand while you melt the 8 ounces of dark chocolate.

Slide the ring off the cake and turn it upside down onto a cake wire.

Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and smooth the top and sides using a palette knife.

Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature.

Carefully run a knife around the bottom of the cake where the chocolate has stuck to the cake wire and lift it onto a tea plate.

Melt the remaining 1 ounce of chocolate and use to decorate the top of the cake.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pho' and Fried Spring Rolls

My great friend Becky taught me how to make pho' awhile ago. I've made it several times since she taught me. Each time has been a little bit different. Some better than others. This past time I made it I really liked how it turned out, so I thought I better write it down! Thank you Becky!!

1 whole chicken, thawed
Beef soup bones (preferably with some meat on them)
3 T chicken bouillon base (if you don’t have base then you need enough bouillon to make 2 quarts of broth)
Large piece of dicon radish cut in half lengthwise
2 large onions peeled and cut in half
2 big pieces of ginger (6 inch pieces) cut in half lengthwise
3 bags of pho hoa (Chinese special spice, it’s a tea bag that has all the spices in it. You can also buy the spices whole in a bag, toast them and put them in cheese cloth to put in the soup pot.)
Package of rice sticks (pho noodles, you can get them in many sizes, I like the smallest size thickness)
2 cubes of chicken (pho ga) soup seasoning (like bouillon cubes)
2 cubes of beef soup seasoning (like bouillon cubes)
1 quarter size piece of rock sugar
Thai basil
Mint (optional)
Hoisin sauce
Siracha (chili sauce)
Lime wedges
Bean sprouts

Put the chicken and beef in a very large pot (I use my canning pot). Cover them with water, bring to a boil, boil 5 minutes then remove chicken and beef from the pot and wash out the pot. This removes the impurities from the meat and bones.
Put the chicken and beef back in the pot. Fill the pot with water. Leave about 4 inches at the top of the pot. Bring the water up to a boil.
While you’re waiting for the water to boil char the 2 onions, dicon and ginger under a broiler.
Once the water is almost to a boil add the charred vegetables, the bags of special spice, the cubes of beef and chicken seasoning and the chicken bouillon base. Bring the soup up to a boil and then turn it down a little so it’s still bubbling, but not at a full boil. Let the soup cook as long as you can, 6-8 hours or more. Leave it uncovered so it can cook down and condense the flavor.
Put the rock sugar in the last 20 minutes of cooking.
Once the soup is done cooking pull the chicken and beef out. Shred the chicken and any beef there might be. Strain out all the veggies and seasoning bags and discard.
Cook the rice sticks in boiling water for 5-7 minutes depending on thickness of the noodle. Strain the noodles and immediately rinse under cold water until they’re completely cool. Set aside.
When you’re ready to serve heat the broth back to boiling.
Put the rice noodles in the bottom of your individual serving bowls. Put chicken/beef on top and pour the hot broth over.
Garnish to taste with basil, cilantro, mint, lime, bean sprouts, hoisin and siracha.

Fried Spring Rolls
1 lb ground pork
2 c diced napa cabbage
½ c grated carrots
¼ c diced green onion
3 cloves garlic minced
2 t grated ginger
I small bunch bean thread noodles, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes until soft, then chopped
6 wood ear mushrooms, rehydrated and diced
2 t fish sauce
¼ t ground pepper
1 egg
1 package of 25 spring roll wrappers
Nuoc cham sauce (recipe follows)

Mix all the ingredients except the wrappers and nuoc cham sauce in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Roll the mixture into the wrappers and fry until golden. Serve with lettuce leaves, thai basil, cilantro, mint and nuoc cham sauce. You wrap the spring roll in a lettuce leaf, top it with the herbs and dip it into the nuoc cham sauce.

Nuco Cham Sauce
¼ c sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 c fish sauce
¼ c water
2 t chili garlic sauce
2 cloves garlic minced
Mix all ingredients and chill until ready to serve.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


My friend Ai taught me how to make okonomiyaki awhile ago. It was SO good! It's like a meat & vegetable pancake. There are 2 different styles of okonomiyaki in Japan. Ai is from Osaka, where they're famous of okonomiyaki, so this is an Osaka style recipe. You can buy okonomiyaki flour that has the nagaimo and other spices in it, but she showed us the scratch recipe.

Ai’s Osaka style Okonomiyaki

(Per person)
1 c cake flour (cake flour is lighter like Japanese all purpose flour)
2/3 c water
¼ c grated nagaimo (It’s a Japanese yam that is a raw egg consistency when grated)
1 egg
Whatever toppings you want:
Bacon, cabbage, green onion, cheese, thin sliced pork, yakisoba noodles, tenkatsu, shrimp, squid etc.
Okonomiyaki sauce
Japanese mayonnaise
Mix the first 4 ingredients together. Portion out a cup of the mixture into medium size bowls, one for each person eating. Add an egg to each persons bowl and mix it in thoroughly. Each person mixes their own bowl after that and can mix in, bacon, thin sliced pork, diced cabbage, green onion, cheese, shrimp, squid tenkatsu, (little fried tempura balls) or whatever else you want.
Once each person has mixed their bowl together you pour their bowl out into a hot oiled pan like you would a big pancake. You want a pan with a lid. Cover and cook until brown and crispy. If you want yakisoba noodles then put them on top of the pancake before you flip it so they will cook on the second side. Once both sides are browned and cooked through put it on a plate and serve it with okonmiyaki sauce and mayonnaise.