Flourless Chocolate Cake With A Twist.

April 20, 2015


Flourless Chocolate Cake
There are times you just want chocolate. Easter Sunday for example. I know it's already bee a couple of weeks since then but I still think about chocolate. And cake.

You say Easter and it generates something of a Pavlov response in me. Easter meant roasted leg of lamb, green beans with lots of garlic, new potatoes and chocolate in my family. It also seemed to be my grandmother's favorite holiday, after Christmas. To this day, I still can remember the decorative chick and chickadees she would put in the middle of the table. The menu very rarely changed one year to the next and everyone would flock my grandparents' house for a long, well wined dinner.
    
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Finding myself away from my family, near and far, this time last weekend left me with the urgency to gather some friends around and do something that would nourish my soul. Day to day routine can be heavy at times, often actually. I like certain routines but lately my husband is on a on and off calendar. His family is going through some pretty serious health issues at the moment and he spends one week with us here in Birmingham and one week back in Charleston. I didn't care much for being alone with one pup on Easter weekend...
 
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Don't get me wrong, I can always find a movie to go see, a new restaurant to try, a recipe I've been meaning to develop or try from a new book or blog. But what could be more fun than doing it with friends? A couple of weekends ago, I gathered a couple of friends and we played in the kitchen pretty much all day. We picked a Mexican themed fiesta with lots and lots of dishes to be shared with friends, alongside a cold beer and a few good stories. Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner after all...

Oh did we cook! Stay tuned for more recipes and photos in the coming weeks!
 
Flourless Chocolate Cake
There are so many fun recipes and shots from that day that I really don't know where to start but I think a little chocolate can do everyone some good. In doubt, always start with dessert... This cake is completely flourless and a snap to make. It is from Martha Stewart and was my go-to recipe in my pastry chef days because it didn't require too many ingredients, thus very easy to remember. Served with salted butter caramel sauce.

Because chocolate and caramel go together like blue skies and sunshine. I added a bit of cinnamon and black pepper (yes) to add some kick to it and end our Mexican night on a lovely note.
 
Flourless Chocolate Cake Smash Up
We made two cakes, two different recipes, and one wouldn't unmold well so we decided to just dig in. A dollop of creme fraiche (or many), a few spoons and plenty of laughs and we were in business!

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Vietnamese BBQ Shrimp Noodle Bowl

April 8, 2015


Bun Tom Heo Nuong
There are days when all I want to do for dinner is throw together a big bowl of something, plop down in front of a good movie and slowly enjoy the rest of the day. I tend to do that most often when my husband is out of town or playing music late. It can be a big salad of farro and roasted veggie with a little salmon on top, fried rice with an egg on top, or a simple kale caesar salad with a tartine.

I often go for Middle Eastern or Asian seasonings and inspiration. Sometimes not. There are no rule, just a little balance of veggies, starch and protein. And always extra veggies and sauce or spices. On the day that food stylist Nathan Carrabba got together and make that sunchoke soup and tartine I posted recently, we also made and shot this incredibly satisfying Vietnamese BBQ Shrimp Noodle Bowl (Bun Tom Heo Nuong). He is my partner in crime in anything Asian and pickled. We both love all the flavors of Vietnamese and Thai cooking in particular. 

After a long and fun day shooting, nothing made me happier than diving in this lovely bowl bursting with fresh and comforting flavors. 
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