Posts Tagged 'Chocolate'

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

A few weeks ago I made an offhand comment in…well, a comment about making these cupcakes as a way to spit in the eye of all my friends with dietary restrictions.  This recipe has animal products, refined sugar, alcohol, gluten…pretty much everything you need to cut people out of dessert time except for nut allergies.  The comment was born out of break-up aggravation and anger, and I figured channeling that through defiant cupcake baking was more productive than lashing out or boring my friends.  Also, it was my sister-in-law’s early birthday celebration the same weekend and she loves these, so win win!  In fact, I first made these when we went bridesmaids’ dress shopping for her wedding two years ago.  Cupcakes + prewedding diets = still totally delicious.

Irish car bombs are a pint of Guinness with a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream dropped in them and chugged before the cream curdles.  I’ve had one, at a college Model United Nations party (oh yes, I was quite the cool one), and they can go to your head.  Like immediately.  They are tasty, but I’m not great at drinking quickly, so I prefer these cupcakes.  Last warning: these are incredibly rich. The cake is moist and intense, and the frosting is very sweet – don’t slather it on too thick.  Add a rich chocolate ganache filling to the party and it becomes a one cupcake is enough dessert.

Oh, and I had said that I wasn’t going to do gluten-free any more, but for those celiacs out there, yes, I had already mentally adapted this in a mental win-hearts-and-minds-of-friends ploy.  Follow the recipe with your favorite flour substitute, add a teaspoon of xanthan gum, and use a gluten-free beer.  I haven’t seen a stout yet, but Green’s has a tasty amber that could work.

So let’s make cupcakes.

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Roman Holiday: Tartufo

Well, back from Rome.  Tomorrow, I leave Sevilla and go back to being a US resident.  That’s strange.  Hopefully I can channel my re-entry culture shock into food impulses, as I did last year, because this time I’m staying for good.  A major economic depression can cause such upheavals… Even though I’ll be leaving Spain as a resident, I’ll be back in October for a short, education-related visit and I have been assiduously stockpiling Spanish recipes for my favorite things, as well as cookbooks.  So this blog right here will continue to have a slight Mediterranean flair.  I invite you to listen to this song when reading Spain-related entries, by the way.  It makes things more exciting.

Anyways.  In my last post, I mentioned that I was going to Rome and that I had planned to taste-test three or four “best gelato places in Rome”.  Well.  I didn’t.  I had only been in Rome for a hit and run half day before this trip, so I was all for actually getting to try out all these great suggestions people were throwing out, really immerse myself into the food culture of Rome.  But it was an absolutely wonderful trip, and we sank so far into relaxation that we said to hell with gelato shop hunting and just ate it where we found it.  And it was all absolutely delicious. We visited all of one place on our list, which was suggested both by my friend Michelle and my coworker Ana, separately. I kept the list, though.

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Spanish Food Parties

 

Volver = To return as well as a rather good movie.

Well, the academic year has kicked off, which means I’m back in Spain.  This year may be a little on the light side, blogwise, as I’m going to be doing a Master’s program as well as my teaching assistant job.  So to make up for it, I’m going to kick out a huge mega entry while I’m still on ‘vacation’ – I had to come back early in order to fix up my immigration status.  I do want to learn several things yet, like migas, lentils, and chocos, so I’ll do my best to carve out some time to cook and share.

Spanish food is trendy in magazines and in foodie circles but most people in the US have never had Spanish food or have a mental image limited to tortilla española and paella.  If they had indeed tasted some of the things Spain has to offer, then it was most assuredly not home cooked.  I decided to throw a Spanish food party as my own goodbye to everyone, that promptly grew into two separate food parties.  As you may have seen more than once before here on the blog, these may very well be the only types of parties I know how to put together.  I don’t know if that’s a bad thing or not.

Some of these recipes I’ve got here are dredged from the internet, but all of them have been altered or influenced by me and my friends here in Spain.  The rest have been jotted down in Spanglish (1 kilo tomato, 1 diente de ajo, trocito de bell pepper) directly from real live Spanish people.  So if it isn’t authentic enough for you…move to a tiny pueblo?

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Churros

I love churros. I grew up with Costco churros, the giant sticks as long as a child’s arm covered in cinnamon sugar, hanging out with the over-sized soft pretzels.   They are a mass market interpretation of a Mexican churro, and the image that most Americans carry around in their heads when thinking about churros.  But now that I am a part time expat in Spain, I am learning that there are many types of churro out there, and they are just waiting to show me their particular tasty subtleties.

For those of you who don’t know exactly what a churro is, though you may be few in our globalized world, it’s a tube of fried dough – somewhat like a doughnut, somewhat like choux pastry.  What decorations or fillings or dipping substances then come next varies with mood and geography.

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We will eat what we will, THANK you.

A few months ago, freshly graduated and unemployed, I spent several days laying around waiting for my friends to get back in town or someone to please please please call me back for an interview to some menial job or another.  Needless to say, I ended up watching a lot of TV, especially since it was pouring down rain the entire time.  Eventually, I ran out of good TV to watch and began flipping through the On Demand menu and fell to a low I never thought I’d reach: multiple episodes of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant.

During this onslaught of mind-numbing programming it suddenly occurred to me that every single one of my good friends had managed to escape this fate – we were all baby-free college graduates.  And suddenly my heart swelled with pride.  As invitations for weddings and baby showers began to clog my mailbox, I started to think.  Shouldn’t we also be celebrating our own, non-marketed brand of good fortune?  I needed a party to cleanse my palate of congratulatory Hallmark cards.

Thus: the Thank GOD I’m Not Pregnant Party.

It's hard to find favor boxes for a party like this. Dutch mints and condoms go well together, though.

Continue reading ‘We will eat what we will, THANK you.’

Seattle Edible Book Festival – Not so pretty, but pretty tasty!

Thanks to a tiny thumbnail sized ad in The Stranger, the free weekly newspaper in Seattle, my friend Michelle and I stumbled onto a festival seemingly made for us: the Seattle Edible Book Festival.  For the subset of us who are both bookfiends and foodies, there is a festival where you bring a scene of a book to live or something nice and punny – as long as it’s all edible.

We were in.  After flipping through our bookshelves, we settled on Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel for the sheer sensuality of its food-related writing and The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri because it’s one of Michelle’s favorite books.  In the first case, we wanted to bring to light the subject of the second chapter, where the protagonist weeps into the cake for the wedding of her lover…to her sister.  We went for puns in the second case, making Jhumpa Lumpias with a Namé Sake Cocktail (revised to a mocktail for the family friendliness of the festival).  You can find us on their Flickr stream here.

Edible Book Artists!

Feeling pretty cocky, we began to plot and to cook.

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Belated biscotti

I’m still slogging through my backlog of pictures from the holidays.  Next up is Alida’s and my second annual biscotti bake-a-thon.  Just to be clear – this is separate from the cookie party.  Last year we made biscotti on a whim and then handed it out as Christmas presents, and this year my stepmother specifically requested them, so that was easy.

Hello, I am biscotti. You know you love me.

With the rise of the coffee shop, biscotti are venturing out of obscurity and into ubiquity.  When they pop up in bags at your local grocery chain, you know something has gone mainstream.  Before I go about making something from scratch, I often weigh whether or not it would be easier or tastier for me to buy it at a store, compel someone else to make it for me, or go to a restaurant.  I think that biscotti truly deserve to grace your kitchen, because of two main reasons: 1) they are easy and 2) I don’t like the gum-scratching shattery biscotti that are mass produced.  If I make them myself, I can underbake them slightly and enjoy a more sensuous cookie that still holds itself up to my caffe latte.

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Hey, I'm Desa. I've been bouncing between the Pacific Northwest and Sevilla, Spain in the last few years and from tiny apartment to tiny apartment. I cook mainly for one, which means some potentially boring meals, but here I'll be sharing the food that excites me. Feel free to offer suggestions, commiseration, or desires. And thanks for coming by!

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