Monday, March 16, 2009

French Chocolate Cake

I first made this cake because Emily had tried to help me with bringing in the groceries, and she chose help carry the eggs. Five eggs were broken by the time I got to her. They were cracked, rather than smashed, so I put the broken ones in a bowl.

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

8 ounces of flour (scant 2 cups)
2 ounces of cocoa (1/2 cup)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Grease and flour 1 large, or 2 small bundt pans.
If you like, you can also use either 2 8" or 2 9" or 3 7" pans. When using the flat pans, you'll want to paper the bottoms of the pans.

Cream the butter and sugar. Then add the eggs, and beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla.
Combine the dry ingredients, and put them through a sieve or strainer to make sure all the lumps are out.
On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream.
Spoon the batter into the pans, and gently level it out.
Bake until a tooth pick comes out clean. It will look rather moist, but that's okay.

I served this with ice cream.

Smashed Potatoes

These were a really big hit.

5 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon corse salt

2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 + cup of cream
2 green onions, finely diced
fleur de sel

Put the potatoes into a pot and cover with cold water, add the corse salt, and bring to a boil and boil until the potatoes are done. I check by sticking a pointy knife into a potato. If the knife goes in easily then the potatoes are done.

Using a large slotted ladle, lift the potatoes out and place into a large flat-bottomed dish that you want to serve the potatoes in. Now understandably you might not have such a dish. So maybe then you can put them into a large pot. The reason for the flat-bottom is to make it easy to smash the potatoes.

Put in the butter first, and using a potato masher, smash a bit to start the butter melting. Add the rest of the ingredients and gently smash until nicely mixed. You do not want to make "creamed" potatoes, they need to still have a bit of texture. Taste for salt and pepper, adjusting as necessary.