Archived entries for desserts

Warm It Up. The Mircrowave I mean. Choc. Cake In A Mug

When I read Sarah’s comment on the yesterday with this recipe, I knew I had to try it. Its quick, easy and best of all, I got to give my much neglected microwave a little attention. Thanks, Sarah!


I don’t know if I would recommend eating this, as it feels like play dough, but it’s a fun way to spend 5 minutes of your life and it’s pretty much guaranteed to make you giggle.

  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 c.) flour
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 c.) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (1/8 c.) cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
  • A small splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 large coffee mug

- Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
- Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
- Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
- Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
*Please note that it’s normal for it to rise while in the microwave. Do not be alarmed and scream as I did.

I used a small pic to cut the cake away from the mug sides.

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

It does look like play dough. or something else. gross.

- EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

Well, this cake is not awesome. But it is fast! I agree, Sarah, it is enough for two. So I cut mine in half, but we got to eat off the same plate. Early Valentines dessert? Yeah, that’s right Ira, this is all you’re getting. Aw poor Ira. I’m just joking. Sheesh.

Fancy and Fried: Deep Fried Oreos

I wanted to avoid the typical ideas for an Obama inspired Dessert. When a friend suggested Deep Fried Oreos, I was intrigued. I’d never heard of this before but I soon found out its a dish commonly served between the elephant ears and the tilt-0-whirl. Chocolate and cream with a good dose of all American down home values. I just needed to reinterpret the idea to be fancy and posh enough to take over the White House. This is what we came up with:

Obama’s Deep Fried Oreos:
Makes about 3 dozen

Double Chocolate Cookie Crips:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 pound (4 oz) milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Cookie Filling:

  • 1 8 oz. container of whipped cream cheese


  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbs baking powder
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 3 Tbs melted butter
  • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 c. milk

Oil to deep fry in, about 1 quart

To start we need to make our cookies: Double Chocolate crisps, based on this Martha Stewart recipe, with a few minor changes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Melt 1/2 your chocolate chips (2 oz) ounces of chocolate with the butter in a double boiler (a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water); let cool slightly. While chocolate is cooling, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

Put chocolate mixture, sugar, egg, thyme and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.

On cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, scoop 1/2 tsp dollops onto tray about 2″ apart. Bake at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes. Watch the cookies and when cracks develop in the surface, they should be done. Let cool on a wire rack. The original recipe says the cookies should be soft, but for our needs, feel free to let them sit out a little longer when cooling before putting in an air tight container because we want them to be crispy! Because they don’t need to be moist you can make your cookies up to a week ahead. I did!

Take two cookies of approx matching shape and size and spread filling of whipped cream cheese in the middle and sandwich together. Chill.

Mix your batter: Mix together the dry ingredients. Mix together the wet ingredients. Mix the wet and the dry. Whisk all the lumps out. I’ve used a general pancake batter recipe, but you want the batter to be a little more liquid to coat the cookie but not be overly thick, so add more milk if you need it.

Heat up your oil on a burner over medium heat. I like to use a wok because I have more control. Its not as deep but I have a wider surface to dip the cookies in. I usually keep the burner around “4″ on my dial which is just a little below medium. The oil usually takes about 5-10 minutes to get up to heat. Test the oil with a drop of batter. A small piece should not brown right away but take a minute or so, but not too long.

When your oil is ready, dip your cookies in the batter and drop them in the oil. BE CAREFUL of hot oil! Be gentle when you drop the cookies in. The cookies seem to float, so you need to flip them in the oil so each side gets cooked.

I allow them to cook until they are just golden but not longer. When done, take out and sit in a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb excess grease.

To finish this dish in a accordance with my undertones of middle eastern flavor, I served the cookies with vanilla ice cream drizzled with a pomegranate syrup (just a simple syrup see recipe below) and garnished with fresh pomegranates and thyme.

Upon frying, the cookie and filling switches roles; the cookie melts and the filling cooks. When biting into this decadent but deliciously down home food, I felt immediately warmed, by all the new insulation the fat deposits from this dessert where providing my stomach and thighs.

A Forkable Birthday

My Mother spent her whole birthday cooking and hosting her Thanksgiving feast. When my sister, Emily, posed the idea of us hosting a dinner at her house to celebrate my Mom’s birthday in style, I was immediately game. She suggested 3 course prefix include personal pot pies as the main course. We knew Mom, being very thrifty by nature, wouldn’t want us to go to any expense, so we decided to go to the store and prepare whatever we found on sale.

Fresh small scallops were on special so we decided a scallop pot pie with a white wine cream sauce would do just nicely. A sale on red potatoes was enough to settle our side dish. One look at the teeny acorn squash on sale at the farmers market and we knew we’d found the bowls for our pot pies. Armed with our produce we headed for home.

Here is the 3 course prefix we served to celebrate our Mom’s Birthday!

Starter: A salad of fresh greens with shaved fennel, apple, walnuts and Danish Bleu cheese with an apple cranberry vinaigrette.

Main Course: Scallop Pot Pies served in an acorn squash bowl with a Swiss cheese biscuit pastry, sided with New England boiled red potatoes with butter, parsley, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Dessert: 3 Lemon Cheesecake

Our pot pies turned out very well, and my sister’s cheesecake recipe is literally the best cheesecake I have ever eaten.

While eating dinner, we sat around and played a little game our family likes to call “How Much Would You Pay”, where we all sit around a guess at the price we would pay for our meal at a fancy restaurant. For all three courses, guesses ranged from $50 to $75 including alcohol per plate. In truth, our meals cost the hosts about $10 per plate including alcohol. Score!

Stay tuned for the pot pie recipe.

Brain Food: A Bloody Fabulous Cake

Eating brains is the best. Halloween isn’t complete without a brain shaped food product. When doing a search for Halloween food, I kept coming up with images of jello brains. I am not a big fan of jello. Actually to be completely honest, I’ve never made Jello and am a bit afraid to, with images in my mind of a liquid mess which won’t solidify. People laugh at me, but since I don’t care for eating Jello that much, it doesn’t bother me to much.

White chocolate in the brain mold.

I wanted to do something with a brain jello mold though, so I started to brain storm different alternatives. I had a bunch of white chocolate left over from making my eyeballs and ghosts, so I decided, I should use it to make a cake. I wanted a nice red interior so, red velvet cake fit the bill perfectly.

Melting Chocolate and paraffin wax in a double boiler made of a mixing bowl in pot of boiling water.

I had to do multiple tests to figure out the best way to shape the chocolate and still get it out of the mold. Once the chocolate was in the mold, I couldn’t get it to come out again. I kept having to scoop the chocolate out and rinse down the mold before trying again. The process I finally came up with was to pour the melted chocolate in a mold sprayed with cooking oil and swirl it around until it coated all sides. I put it in the freezer to harden for about 10 minutes and then repeat until I had a nice thick coating of chocolate.

Two pans of red velvet cake ready to be baked.

I had two cake pans of red velvet cake baked and ready. Taking the cake and breaking it apart, I stuffed the pieces in tight. The cake was very moist, so it consolidated back together pretty well. When I had filled the brain cavity with red pulpy cake, I took the remaining white chocolate and spooned it in to coat the cake and fill in any gaps.

On left, my chocolate coated brain mold with the cake, on right, cake filling stuffed in mold ready for final layer of chocolate.

I banged the mold against the table multiple times to release as many air bubbles as possible and placed the brain in the freezer for 3-4 hours to harden. By freezing the cake, the brain solidified and made it easier to release from the mold.

My two brains packed and ready to go the party. The brain on the right cracked a bit when coming out of the mold, so I patched it with a bit of melted chocolate to patch the seams.

The brains turned out well, but as I said in the party post, they didn’t cut that great. In order to have the cake release from the mold, I had to make the chocolate layer pretty thick making the cake want to crack apart when cutting. For the most part, I used them as a table centerpiece, but everyone wanted to know what was inside them, forcing me to cut ‘em up. I tried heating the knife, which helped but didn’t really solve the problem. They were worth trying, although maybe some of you may have tips which would make this process easier with better results.

Although these cakes weren’t prefect, the broken look to them did create a grotesque look which fit my general aesthetic. It was fun watching people gathered around them, picking them apart, using their fingers to shovel the red pulpy meat into their gaping mouths with a feral gleam in their eyes.

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