Monday, January 24, 2011

Dark Chocolate and Orange Cake

Here's a classic combination - dark chocolate and orange. Since this is a flour free recipe the results are a yummy fudge- like cake. Which makes this cake one of my all time faves.

You could use store bought orange juice, or squeeze it and use fresh orange juice which is what I did. It's Orange season now so there's no shortage of them anywhere. Serve with espresso or coffee, my husband enjoyed it with a side of vanilla ice cream.

Dark Chocolate and Orange Cake
Makes 6-8 slices

*You will need an 8-inch spring form pan.
3/4 cup of powdered sugar (or 1 cup of coconut tree sap sugar)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
*1 tablespoon Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur) - optional
1 tablespoon of hot water
Dash of salt
2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Coat an 8-inch spring form with cooking spray; line bottom of pan with parchment or wax paper and wrap outside of pan with aluminum foil. 

Place sugar and and eggs in a bowl and beat with mixer at high speed for 7 minutes. Combine cornstarch and cocoa in a small bowl; set aside. Place juice, liqueur*, water, salt and chocolate in a small glass bowl; melt with double broiler or microwave for one minute. Stir and make sure chocolate is melted. Add cornstarch mixture and whisk until smooth.

Slowly combine egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Scrape batter into the prepared spring form pan, and then place that pan into a 13x9 inch baking pan; adding hot water to the larger pan, about 1 inch of water. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until top is set. *The water in the pan allows the cake to rise and remain moisture as it bakes.

Remove cake pan from water; cool for 5 minutes and loosen cake, let cool before removing it from the spring form pan. I usually let it chill for 4 hours in the fridge so it can set.

I used powdered sugar for decor.

Enjoy GFFs!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chicken and Bean Chili

Happy New Year to you all! So happy for the long weekend, it gave me a chance to catch up with many things including blogging.

Yesterday I whipped up this crazy delicious chicken chili. My husband had mentioned that he was never a big chili man, but last night I witness him help himself to seconds, thirds and fourths! There's a certain satisfaction when a dish hits a home run. We both took leftovers to work for lunch, he made sure I measured it out evenly making sure I didn't take more than him.  Ha! 
For leaner and lower calorie purposes, I switched the ground beef to ground chicken, a move that I was nervous about but this gamble paid off in spades! The hubby asked that I make this chili again in the summer time as a topping for hot dogs! He's such a fan now of chili. Hallelujah!

Chicken and Bean Chili
Makes about 10 servings:
2 chicken (or Turkey) sausage links (I used Applegate Farms)
1 lbs. pound of ground chicken 
1 1/2 cup of chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
*1 (7 oz.) can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (optional - for spicy chili) 
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. of salt
2 tsp. of unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup of dry red wine
28 ounces of less sodium beef broth
1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
2 tablespoons of masa harina  (corn flour)
2 (15-oz.) cans of pinto beans
2 (15-oz.) cans of black beans

Heat a heavy pot (Dutch oven pot if you own one) over medium hight heat. Add sausage to pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, saute until browned. Remove sausage from pan and add the ground chicken, saute for about 8 minutes or until it's cooked, then remove from pan.

Add onions and garlic and saute for 3 minutes, if you plan to make this a spicy chili, add the chipotle chiles*. Add the sausage and ground chicken, tomato paste, and the next 6 ingredients to pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in red wine, beef broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Add the masa harina, stir, then add the beans and cover. Reduce heat, let simmer for another 20 minutes then get ready to enjoy.