Thursday, March 5, 2009
Waste not Want not
A few weeks ago when I was making the cakes for my friend’s daughter’s 21st, I had a mishap – my excuse was that it was a really hot day and I wasn’t concentrating and when I made the first of the cakes, I think I left out half of the flour. This resulted in a rather flat, but still dense and delicious chocolate cake - more of the features of a chocolate brownie. I have actually heard a story that that was how brownie was invented – someone accidentally left out an ingredient when they were making a chocolate cake and ended up with brownie.
Anyway, I obviously couldn’t use the dud cake as the 21st cake, so I put it in a zip lock bag and stuck it in the freezer. I thought I would use it for pudding one day or maybe to make into truffles. It was my business partner’s birthday last week and as I was thinking about what to make him, I thought about the cake/brownie in the freezer. I thought about making truffles from it, but then decided that the cake was delicious by itself and why not dip pieces of it into chocolate. So, that’s what I did and these brownie bites were born. Extraordinarily decadent bites of chocolaty deliciousness! I think I may have started a new craze!
Dinner last night was chicken, loosely based on a recipe from Cuisine magazine. I used chicken breasts and marinated them in a mixture of zhatar (a North African spice mix including dried thyme and sesame seeds), ground cardamom, chopped garlic and olive oil. Instead of pan frying them I baked them in the oven at 180c for about 17 minutes. To go with them I made a bulgar wheat salad – I actually like bulgar wheat better than cous cous as it has a nuttier texture. I treat bulgar wheat in the same way as cous cous, pouring over boiling water and letting it steam for about 15 minutes (it takes a bit longer than cous cous). To that I added chopped dates (leftover from the cake I made for this weeks TWD), chopped basil, a tbsp of whole grain mustard, a drizzle of olive oil, some zucchini sliced thinly with a potato peeler and the juice of half a lemon. I then thinly sliced some zucchini into rounds, pan fried them with some chopped garlic and then threw in some cherry tomatoes for the last couple of minutes. Very delicious!