Flourless Chocolate Cake

This cake is decadent…made mainly with almond meal and dark chocolate, super rich, moist almost like brownie.

I have made chocolate cake using almond flour with a little bit of flour, but this one is totally flourless, and the texture is just heaven…it melts away…The cake is super rich, moist, and kind of between fudge and brownie. Since it is super rich a small slice goes a long way…and so satisfying.

This recipe was adapted from Food 52 with minor adjustment.  As always, I like my dessert a bit less sweet than the original recipes, and as usual I try to make it practical. According to the site this cake is called Torta Caprese, from the Island of Capri.

– How the cake rises without flour?

Egg whites are whipped until soft peaks which are added to the cake batter to leaven it.

– What else can I add to the cake?

Oh…you can add all kind of flavors, orange zest, a shot of strong coffee, rum or Grand Marnier…many choices for you to pick.

– How can I serve this cake?

The cake really tastes better the next day…and you can serve with a dollop of whipped cream, chocolate ganache, fresh berries, crème anglaise…depends of your palate and what you have in the refrigerator.

– Can I freeze the cake?

Absolutely, once the cake is cooled, wrap in plastic unfrosted and freezer. Before serving let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight.I think it is time to look at the recipe…

– I think it is time to look at the recipe…

I used 2 small round pans for this recipe (4 ½ and 6 in), but feel free to use one 8 in round pan.

Ingredients:

  • 125 g almond flour
  • 125 g dark chocolate
  • 113.4 g (4 oz) butter, 1 stick
  • 100 g sugar
  • 3 large eggs separated
  • 1 tablespoon rum (optional)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Fresh raspberry for garnish

Method:

Preheat oven to 325ºF and set a rack on the middle level.

Line the bottom of the pans (4 ½ and 6 inch) or pan (8 inch) with a circle of parchment paper and around it.

In a glass bowl on the top of a double boiler or a pot of simmering water add the chocolate until melted. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Mix until all combined, if need place the bowl back to the double boiler to melt the remaining butter.

Add to the chocolate mixture the almond flour, sugar. Mix until all combined. Once the mixture cools down add the egg yolk and the rum or any other ingredients you might add. Stir well and set aside.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites they form soft peaks. In three additions, fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan(s) and smooth the top. and bake for 20 minutes (4 ½ inch cake pan) and for 30 minutes (6 inch cake pan) or 40 minutes (8 inch cake pan), depending on the size of your cake pan or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Do not overbake.

Let cool completely on the rack before removing the cake from the pan.

Serve as you wish, with confectioner’s sugar, fresh berries, a dollop of whipped cream and so on…

– If you enjoy this simple and easy chocolate cake you might want to try the following…

Did you know that dark chocolate is rich in flavanols? Observational studies linked the benefits of the cocoa flavanols with reduced blood pressure, consequently reducing the risk of heart disease. One must be cautious to not over consume dark chocolate as it contain high calories and sugar.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Curry Beef Pinwheels

Pinwheels are great finger food for parties and these curry beef pinwheels are super easy to make and loaded with flavors.

These pinwheels are great because they are super easy to make and only require a few ingredients…they can be served as an appetizer, snacks or even as a side for soup or salad. They are at their best when warm…but still good at room temperature.

– Can I make them ahead?

Absolutely, you can bake them and freeze and refresh in the oven before serving or even freeze the pinwheels before baking and pop them in the oven when it is time to serve.

– Can I fill the pinwheels with other kind of meat?

Yes, please feel free to use your imagination, just make sure to you add a sort of binding ingredients when making the Swiss roll so the meat does not crumble off the wheels.  I used a bit of cheddar cheese.

– Should we head to the recipe?

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of ready-made puff pastry
  • 1 lb of lean ground meat
  • 2-3 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Curry powder to taste
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 50 to 100 g grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg slightly beaten

Method:

Heat olive oil in a frying pan or wok under medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes until fragrant and slightly golden brown.

Remove from the heat and set aside.

Stir fry the ground beef in the same pan, add salt, pepper and curry powder to your taste until golden brown.

Add the mixture of onion and garlic back to the ground beef and mix gently.

Remove from the heat and let it cool down.

While the curry beef is cooling preheat oven to 400oF and line a baking sheet with silicone mat of parchment paper.

Open the puff pastry sheets and carefully roll out

Divide the meat into two portions and spread the meat over the pastry, leaving approximately 1 inch at one of the shorter border. Sprinkle on the grated cheese and firmly and tightly roll the pastry like a Swiss roll.

Place the Swiss roll in the freezer for approximately 10 minutes.

Remove the roll from the freezer and slice it using a sharp knife.

Place the pinwheels on the baking trays, spacing them apart and brush the top of each one with the beaten egg.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Serve warm.

– More appetizers recipe? Check these out…

Did you know that curry is a mix of many spices? Mainly a combination of cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric and chilies. Curry is used in many Indian, Malaysian, Thai…and many other Southeast Asian cuisines.  It can be used as dry powder or added to stews with all kind of meat, chicken and vegetarian dishes.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Braised Sliced Pork Shoulder

This is a variation of the typical Chinese braised pork belly recipe.  It is delicious and very simple, especially accompanied by rice and vegetables.

Honestly I was not planning in using sliced pork…I actually did not pay attention to the label when buying it…thinking that it was chunks of pork shoulder.  You can imagine my face when blanching the pork and found that it was all sliced…well, I did not let the cut of the pork intimidate me and went ahead to make what I was planning…at the end it was so tasty, each slice was exploding with flavor.

– Mistake turned to be a new finding…

Now I love cooking braised pork using sliced pork as turned out that cooks much faster and yes, infused with all the seasoning…so good!

– Let’s take a look at the recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 lb pork shoulder sliced
  • 3-5 ginger, slices
  • 2-3 green onion
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese 5 spices
  • ½ tablespoon cooking wine
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)

Method:

Blanch the sliced pork by bringing a pot of water to boil and blanching the pork for a couple of minutes. Remove the pork and rinse in cold water.

In a small bowl mix cooking wine with soy sauce, set aside.

Over low heat, add oil and sugar in the pan. Melt the sugar until lightly brown and bubbly. Add the mix of cooking wine and soy sauce. Add the Chinese 4 spice, ginger, onion, chili flakes (it desire) and the blanched pork.

Increase the heat to medium until boiling. Lower the heat and cook until the slices of pork are tender.

Serve with rice.

– Interested in more Asian dish?

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Simple Sous-Vide Scallops

This is the most simple and easy way to cook scallops…sous-vide. The scallops are moist, tender and yes, perfect.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed precious time surrounded by your loved ones…we celebrated the holiday at my uncle’s home and it was a huge potluck with plenty of food from traditional Thanksgiving dishes to  all over the world cuisine dishes…with that said…we did not bring home any leftover, therefore I am sharing with you this week a very easy and quick way to cook scallops…

– Are scallops tricky to cook?

Scallops are mainly composed of water (up to 80%) and the remaining in protein and small quantity of lipids (fat) and carbohydrate, therefore if properly cooked it will be very tender with a unique sweet flavor…

Due to the facts above, cooking scallops is a very tricky thing for me…I like when cooked to almost, I mean almost…not quite well done…it is a fine line in between as I dislike the raw and slimy texture…like them firm and soft…as you see, it is a difficult process, not too soft and not rubbery and stringy…

– Why sous-vide?

I found through the internet that using sous-vide method I can really accomplish the perfect texture when cooking scallops…and I can assure you that it is indeed very true and very easy to control….time to bring the Anova Precision Cooker out…

This method is so easy and simple and only require a few ingredients…salt, pepper and olive oil and the best quality of Atlantic Sea jumbo scallops.

– Where did I find this recipe?

The recipe below was mainly based from food for net.

– Should we take a look on how it was done?

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 1 lb Atlantic Sea jumbo scallops
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Method:

Bring the water-bath to 52C.

Pat dry the scallops, and sprinkle salt and fresh ground pepper generously.

Pace the scallops in the plastic bag, make sure to have it in single layer.

Drizzle olive oil into the bag.

Make sure to remove all the air bubble from the bag when “cooking” the scallops in the water-bath. To create a vacuum in the bag, carefully place the bag with your ingredients into the water-bath, make sure to immerse the bag until near the seal, this will create a vacuum, then seal the bag.

Place the bags gently into the water-bath and set the time for 20 to 25 minutes.

Once the time is up, gently remove the bag from the water-bath, drain the liquid from it and pat dry the scallops.

In a cast iron skillet, add a little olive oil or butter, and sear both side of the scallops until golden brown.

Serve immediately.

– Looking for more sous-vide recipes?

If you enjoy using sous-vide method, you might want to take a look at the others Sous-Vide Recipes below.

Did you know that scallop is actually the adductor muscle of scallop? Pretty confuse right? This is the muscle that is used to open and close the shells, which is how the scallop swim.  Scallops, in spite of high content of protein, contain high cholesterol, therefore should be consumed in moderation.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Frangipane Pear Tart

This is a classic made it simple…layers of sliced pear over a rich almond cream on a flaky puff pastry, perfect for the holiday.

I always like baked goods with almond, and it can be in any form and shape…here I used almond meal.

– Why is this so delicious?

Somehow the combination of the frangipane, smooth, buttery, aromatic and rich almond cream with the simple slices of pear are a perfect match without being overwhelming. It is amazing how the simplest touch can boost your senses.

– Why should you make this?

This is easy, fast and so delicious…especially during this time of the year…but please don’t let my opinion influence you…just go ahead and try…and then let me know if I was right…

– Nielsen-Massey products

Before I continue with the recipe, I need to inform you that I accepted the offer to try Nielsen-Massey Holiday Flavors Bundle which come with 3 bottles of extract (Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, Pure Almond Extract and Pure Peppermint Extract) and it is only available at Amazon .  I received the Holiday Flavors bundle for review purpose and I was not financially compensated for this post, all the opinions are completely mine on based on my experience, and, I must confess… I love Nielsen-Massey products, I had the chance to try many of them and since then, when it comes to extracts they are my favorite.

– Should we move to the recipe?

Ingredients:

  • 100 g almond meal
  • 80 g sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (approximately 110 g)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 large pear
  • 1 puffy pastry

Method:

In a medium bowl, mix the butter with the sugar until a smooth cream. Add to the cream the egg.  Mix until blended in.  Add the almond meal and the almond extract.  Mix until forms a paste and all the ingredients have been incorporated well. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400oF.

Slice the pear into thin slices. Mold the puff pastry by pinching the corner to form a tart.

Spread the almond cream on the puff pastry and layer the sliced pear, by gently pressing on the almond filling.

Bake at 400oF for the first 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 350oF and bake for another 10 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let it set on the counter. The center might be a little soft/wobbly, which is okay. It will set as it cools.

Let the tart cool completely before serving.

– Looking for more recipes with almond?

Did you know that almond is known for its health benefits?  Almond contains high levels of vitamin E which is an antioxidant which can reduce risk of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. In spite of it claims one should note that almonds contain fat and it is high in caloric content, therefore consumed in moderation.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Simple Pumpkin Crackers

These crackers are crispy, light and packed with pumpkin, very versatile as you can top with all kind of stuff such as fresh or dry herbs, fresh ground black pepper, Himalayan salt, grated cheese…you name it.

– Pumpkin crackers…really?

Fall came and I realized that I had not baked or cooked anything with pumpkin…somehow I was in a weird mood…nothing really appealed to me…cake, bread or pie…yes, indeed weird  mood…when I saw that my homemade jar of crackers were about to hit the bottom…a little light flood my mind..and I had one of the “ah-ha” moment…why not pumpkin crackers?

– What can I top the crackers with?

I pretty much follow my recipe of homemade crackers, rolled it out thin and sprinkled one sheet with fresh grounded black pepper and the other one with fresh rosemary. Alternatively  you can add in the dough fresh finely chopped rosemary, oregano, thyme or any other herb, celery seeds, cumin, cardamom, ground pepper, curry powder, fennel seeds, smoked paprika, turmeric…and so on…the options are endless…as described in simple homemade crackers.

– Is it good?

Since it was mine first time using pumpkin puree for making crackers and really did not know what to expect, I halved the recipe from my regular measurement…and I must tell you that I regret…

The crackers were so good, light, crispy and all pumpkin color. We ate most of it plain, considering that there was black pepper and rosemary flavors…dip can be totally omitted so good these are.

– Let’s go to the recipe…

Ingredients:

  • 250 g all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • 15 g sugar
  • 4 g salt
  • 150 g pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 30 g butter, unsalted
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Method:

Place all the ingredients, expect black pepper and rosemary in a mixer bowl. Attach the bowl and dough hook to the mixer. Turn the to speed 2 until a ball forms and all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Remove the dough from the mixer and place in a container with lid and let it rest for about 1 hour.

Once the gluten of the dough has relaxed, split the dough into two small balls.

Preheat the oven to 250F

Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until approximately 14 x 11 in (35 x 28 cm) from the center to the edge, there is no need to be very precise.

Sprinkle freshly grounded black pepper on the pumpkin sheet, using the rolling pin gently roll until all the ground pepper are fixed into the dough. Repeat the same with the fresh rosemary.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes, turning the baking pan half way during the baking time to ensure even bake.

Remove from the oven, let it cool completely on a wire rack.

Roughly break the sheet into smaller rustic pieces.

Store in an air-tight container.

– More pumpkin recipes? Take a look at these…

Did you know that pumpkin has many healthy nutrients? Pumpkin is a rich source of dietary fiber, contains potassium and vitamin C which are known to lower blood pressure. Also antioxidant such as beta-carotene which could prevent degenerative eye disease.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Apple Cake

This apple cake is delicious, loaded with apples with a hint of rum…perfect for the afternoon tea or coffee.

– Where did I see this recipe?

I have wanted to make this cake since I saw it at Zaza’s blog…and today I am sharing it with you.  The cake is pretty simple to put together, the only laborious step is the peeling and cutting the apples, other than that it is a piece of cake.

– How does the cake taste?

The cake has a quite dense crumb with a lovely hint of rum, the tartness of the apples combined with the sweetness of the cake is delicious especially accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee. I pretty much follow the recipe from Zaza only cut down a little of the sugar in the cake batter.

Oh, instead of one 8-inch round pan I poured the batter into 2 small pans (6-inch and 4.5-inch), to give my neighbor.

– Let’s go to the recipe…

Ingredients:

  • 125 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100 g sugar, plus more for sprinkling over cake
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 3 small honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and cut into cubes
  • Confectioners’ sugar for decorating cake

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Line the bottom and the side of the springform pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Using a handled mixer with beaters cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

Beat in the vanilla and rum. The batter will look grainy, add the flour mixture and mix gently until just combined. Add the apples and fold into the batter with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and even the top. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the form, peel of the parchment paper and let the cakes cool on a rack.

Dust with Confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.

– More recipes with apples?

If you enjoy this recipe with apple you might want to take a look at Simple Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream recipe.

Did you know that apples promote healthy in many ways? Apples contain high fiber content and it is a good source of vitamin C, polyphenols which can help fighting weight, cholesterol and heart disease.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Air Fried Bean Curd Sheet with Vegetables

This is a very simple and yet fulfilling Asian inspired dish using air fried bean curd sheet, a great alternative for substituting meat.

– Where can you find bean curd sheet?

Since we moved, every time I go visit my mom I have to stop by an Asian grocery store and stock up with lots of fresh vegetables, refrigerated and frozen food. It is true that we have Asian market in the area, but I always feel that it is not as abundant and fresh as in the areas where are more populated by Asians, supply and demand…

One of my favorite item is the fresh bean curd sheet, which is found in the refrigerator section…I discovered that it can perish fast and a great way to preserve is by using the air fryer. Once the bean curd sheets are “baked” in the air fryer and the moist removed it can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for much longer time.

The bean curd sheet is so Asian, what I mean without any discrimination is that you need to acquire the taste for it…and I was so surprised that my husband really enjoys it…the texture is very different from the regular tofu, and I am not talking about soft, regular or firm…the bean curd sheet is somehow stretchy, slightly chewy and can absorb a lot of flavor.

I hope you get a chance to try it…you will find it very different and interesting.

– Let’s start cooking…

Ingredients:

1 package fresh bean curd sheet

1 inch fresh ginger cut into thin strips

2 cups water

¼ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

Red pepper flakes to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Pat dry the bean curd sheet and cut into 1 inch wide. Randomly separate the layers and place in the 325-350F preheated air fryer for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the bean curd sheets are golden brown and crispy. Shake the basket every so often to prevent the sheets from sticking together.

Once the bean curd sheets are ready, remove from the air fryer and set aside. Place all the other ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to boil then add the air fried bean curd sheet. Bring to boil and turn the heat to simmer.

As the air fried bean curd sheets absorb the sauce it will shrink. Simmer for about 15 minutes, if needed add more water, salt and pepper.

Remove from the heat.

At this point, it can be served as it is or added to any stir-fry vegetable.

 

 

– More recipes with soybean curd?

Yes, if you enjoy this simple and easy vegetarian item, you might want to take a look at Tofu Fa recipe which is a dessert made with soft bean curd.

 

Did you know that bean curd sheet is a film form from boiling soy milk? The film is similar to the film formed when boiling milk. The soy milk film is then accumulated and dried acquiring a yellowish color, unlike the soy milk. Bean curd sheet is also called bean curd skin or tofu skin.

Thanks for visiting Color Your Recipes, have a colorful week!




Roasted Spiralized Zucchini

I am sure you all had tried spiralized zucchini…how about roasted spiralized zucchini? It is a great replacement for pasta…just top it with your favorite sauce and you are ready for a healthy meal.

 

I have used spiralized zucchini in so many ways, and most of the time I blanch before topping it with all kind of sauces. Since zucchini contains a lot of water, I thought that roasting it will give this pasta like structure a better texture…and yes, I was right…each strand of zucchini was more pliable and retained more flavor as compared to the blanched ones.

Yes, it is a bit more laborious than just drop the spiralized zucchini into a pot of boiling water, but so worth the extra effort. I hope you get to try this method next time spiralizing zucchini…

Ingredients:

 

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 375F. Place the spiralized zucchini in a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss.

Layer the spiralized zucchini on two baking pans lined with silicone mat. Make sure to spread evenly the spiralized zucchini.

Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly golden. Remove from the oven and divide into two serving bowl. Top it with your favorite pasta sauce. Serve hot.

 

 

If you enjoy this simple recipe using spiralized zucchini, you might want to take a look at Simple Zucchini Ribbons Salad.

 

Did you know that zucchini squash contains more than 90% water? In spite of its high water content, zucchini is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C and manganese.

Thank you so much for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Simple Apple Crostata

This is a super easy version of apple pie, each slice of this crostata is packed with everything you find in an apple pie…the apple is moist and the crust is light and flaky…and even better served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to make a dessert with apple for a dinner, after thinking and surfing the internet for ideas I finally decided to go with an apple crostata, first because of the way it looked and second for its simplicity.

So, if you like apple pie, you will love the apple crostata, which is nothing more than an apple tart. For this apple crostata, I simply used all the ingredients as for to bake an apple pie…and yes, I cheated…I did not make the crust, came directly from Trader Joe’s freezer, but if you like making everything from scratch you have my respect…either way, I can guarantee that you will enjoy this recipe, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Talking about ice cream, have you ever heard of Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream? Well, if not you should see if there is any near you…the ice cream is to die for, made daily with the most fresh ingredients, once you try their ice cream you will not be able to settle for any other….anyway, so this is what we took to the dinner party.

This recipe was a compilation of many recipes from the internet, particularly from here.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g of apple, I used organic pink lady
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, about the juice of one medium lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 beaten egg mix with ½ tablespoon water as egg wash
  • Swedish pearl sugar
  • Extra ground cinnamon for the crust

Method:

Make sure the crust is defrosted, according to the instruction of the package.

Preheat oven to 400F

In a small bowl mix the sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch and set aside.

Peel, core and slice the apples. Place in a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice and toss it gently, making sure that every apple slice is coated with the lemon juice. Add the cinnamon and sugar mixture and then the melted butter. Again, making sure that the apple slices are coated.

Peel the pie crust and place on a parchment paper. Layer the apple slice orderly in one direction, leaving about 1 to 1.2 inch from the edge.  Once the crust is filled with the apple, fold the edge over the apple.

Brush the border with the egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon and Swedish pearl sugar.

Bake for approximately 35 – 40 minutes or until the golden on the top.

Remove the crostata from the oven and let it cool before serving.

Note: I made another version which a thin layer of low sugar apricot jam (2 tablespoons) was added to the crust before adding the slices of apple, and proceeded as described above…absolutely delicious!

I hope you enjoy this simple version of apple pie.  You might want to take a look at Simple Apple Crisp or Apple Filled Buns recipes.

Did you know that apples contain pectin? Pectin is used in the making of jam as a thickening agent. Moreover, pectin is a dietary soluble fiber which can help lower cholesterol.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!