Tag: Food

Chocolate and Sugar fix– Swedish Sticky Cake/ Kladdkaka


Along with Tibetan Flatbread, falafel, chana masala, pizzas, and healthy cakes, this delicious sugary chocolate bomb has been making regular appearances this baking season.

It’s awesome. If you cook it too long, it is like awesome brownies. If you bake it just long enough, it looks like the photos in the pretty photo blog. If you undercook it, it looks like goo, so don’t do that.

I have been using my 10 inch non-stick springform pan for this one, and I’ve learned something. “Non-stick” doesn’t apply when eggs or an obscene amount of sugar are involved. Parchment or baking paper, tucked right on into the top of the pan, not only saves you serving woes and clean up hassle, but it also looks rustic-chic when you are serving this greatness. Hurray for that, aesthetes!

I have been using this recipe. I chose it because of the very, very pretty pictures, and because the proportions seemed like they would best work with my size pan. The ingredients and photos here are great. However, my most awesome iteration of the recipe only came when I used tips from other pages, like here.

Basically, you need to know-

  1. Whisking the dickens out of the eggs and sugar makes for the best crispy glazed top on the cake you could want.
  2. Whisk your flour, too…because lumps are a pain in the ass, and you don’t want them in the wet mix. Over mixing does bad things to the cake. You’ll end up with a sort of rubbery, dense, unhappy (but let’s face it– still tasty. Chocolate, fat, and sugar. It’ll still work!) cake.
  3. You then gently fold in the flour to this glorious whisked wonder.
  4. You add the cocoa and the vanilla to the melted butter, and whisk to dissolve.
  5. You then add the melted butter mixture to the sugar/eggs/flour mixture.
  6. Adding some cinnamon or even–gasp— some cayenne makes it just that much sexier. Because “mexican chocolate” stuff is fun. I’m sure Sweden is cool with it. Don’t worry.
  7. A dash of coffee in the mix works well, too. I recommend instant. (Less drama with liquids).
  8. 350F for 30 minutes is a bit too long for the gooey cake results in my pan and in my oven. It yields a crackalicious moist, sticky brownie cake, which might be more to your liking. I did this on purpose when I wanted to transport and share the cake at a children’s party. For home consumption, 20 minutes and a spoon is more my speed.

Ok. Now check out the ingredient list at Top With Cinnamon and get inspired by the photos. Then read the order of things at About.com…and review my tips 😉 Mostly, just make this cake. It’s good lovin’, and you can freeze half to keep yourself from hating yourself in the morning 🙂

I’m planning on making this again soon. My Man needs a steady diet of chocolate and red wine this week after the whole “Benfica” travesty this past weekend. And after the loss again on Wednesday. Plus, I killed my iPad, wind/rain/hail have taken over summer this week, and My Man, Grandissimo, and I all have colds. Hm. Tough times. Need chocolate.

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Food.


 

I think about food a lot. I eat a lot, fantasize about what I could make, fantasize about what I might be able to get other people to make for me, I think about shopping lists and recipes and environmental contaminants and ecological and ethical consequences about food, I think about nutrition, and I think about how I’m hungry just about now.

I love food. And even more than that, I love buying, preparing, eating, sharing food I can be proud of.

This isn’t always easy. If Pizza Hut or Chili’s, for example, are on offer, I’m nearly certain to accept. That doesn’t come up too terribly often here (thankfully) since there is only one Chili’s in all of Portugal, and Pizza Hut seems to appear just around big shopping centers and certainly not in my town. The other week, we were running errands, and My Man suggested Pizza Hut to soothe my hungrygrumpy soul… I accepted. During the meal I started to feel guilty about spending unnecessary money and eating gross (but tasty) food and wondering if we do that too much…Then I remembered that the other time we at at Pizza Hut was about 10+ months ago. So, you know. Once a year, give or take, isn’t too bad.

But food I can be proud of is awesome stuff. Like the fruit and veggies and cheeses and olives we get at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and Sundays, just across the street from our apartment. And the happy, newly opened organic farm with a fruit and veggie stand open on the weekends. Plus, they have amazing bread. And their pimentos padrón are frequently super-hot, which is a real treat. And they are organic, and local, so yay.

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We also discovered a sneaky gem at the Feira da Ladra last weekend. The Centro das Artes Culinárias (check out the website!) has a lovely market in which they sell traditional foods– cheeses, wines, artesanal beer,  condiments, etc. done the Portuguese traditional way…my take is that they are sort of a Slow Food organization that tries to maintain the knowledge of traditional food preparation, the quality of our foods, and to share the knowledge with others. It’s like a small Portuguese food museum. I got some really delicious peanut butter there. The ingredients? Toasted peanuts and flor de sal. That’s it.

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I’ve also been working (slowly) on a new variation of cookies– Indulgent Mamas, I like to call them. It’s a simple thing to occupy one’s time, yes, but I enjoy it. You can safely eat the cookie dough (no eggs!). There’s nothing that’s gonna kill yo’ baby if you are pregnant and making and eating them. In fact, the ingredients are pretty nourishing. You can let your kids lick the spoon. You can lick the bowl. Good times.

And then, enter Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. It’s a great read, if you’re late to the party like I am and haven’t read it yet. His sources are sound, his logic simple and clear, and the ideas are probably what you’ve been thinking mixed with some other things that might make your brain explode. It’s worth reading. I want to find a copy in Portuguese, force my husband to read it, and then to have him force his father to read it. (I’m hoping for more organic gardening in the homeland so Grandissimo gets even better fruits and veg from the Portuguese family 😉 )

Michael Pollan, as I said, uses sound sources. This means that the book drives a gal to more online research and reading. His website has good resources to start from. Of course, if you are reading Pollan, you need to jump back into the world of Marion Nestle. Get on into her website and work, and don’t expect to resurface for a while.

All of this, of course, drives me to be more mindful of my food choices and shopping choices and of how I and my loved ones eat, in general. Not that I’m not fairly mindful, but still. It brings it back to the surface.

And now Grandíssimo is awake after his extensive 10 minute nap, so I’ll be going  🙂

xx-Gradissima