Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day!

Every year I like to make my family a big delicious dinner for mothers day.  I love t cook and bake, and my family doesn't let me cook for them on a regular basis because my parents (dad) doesn't like to... I don't know... let others in, I don't know.  He likes my cooking always, but never trust me?

After reading the reviews for the chicken, I decided to make a few small changes which I will note after the recipe. As for the cake, I had an issue. Read ahead to find out!

Yield: Makes 4 servings
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

1 16-ounce bag frozen shelled edamame (soybeans)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
3 garlic cloves, peeled
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 large skinless boneless chicken breast halves
Cook frozen edamame in large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid for skordalia.

Meanwhile, combine basil, 1/3 cup oil, and garlic in processor; blend until basil and garlic are finely chopped. Transfer 2 tablespoons basil oil to small bowl and reserve.

Add edamame, 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid, Parmesan, and lemon juice to remaining basil oil in processor; puree until mixture is almost smooth, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if mixture is dry. Season generously with salt and pepper. Set skordalia aside.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush grill with oil. Brush chicken breasts on both sides with reserved basil oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until chicken is just cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Slice chicken breasts crosswise.

Spoon warm or room-temperature skordalia onto 4 plates. Top with chicken.

 Reviews LOVED the edamame but said the chicken was BLAND so I decided to mash three cloves of garlic and add it to the reserve mixture you put on the chicken.  I also let it sit (marinate) for about and hour or two (I started early).  I also made the edamame with 2 extra gloves of garlic because we LOVE garlic in this house.

Everything was delicious, but next time I would make it with a HALF recipe of the edamame.  It was good, but it was TOO MUCH.  The chicken breasts I bought were SO thick I sliced them in half so they would be a good portion size and would also not take forever to grill.

I served the Chicken with rice pilaf and a tasty salad.  I always make my own salad dressing. =)

Yield: Serves 8
Active Time: 1 1/2 hr
Total Time: 3 1/4 hr
For cake layers:
1/2 cup milk (not nonfat)
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

For frosting:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make cake layers:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 2 (8- by 2-inch) round cake pans and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
Stir together milk and vinegar and set aside to “sour” (mixture will curdle). Melt chocolate and butter with water in a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, whisking until smooth. Cool slightly. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat sugar into chocolate mixture with an electric mixer. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed just until combined. Add soured milk and beat on high speed 2 minutes.
Divide batter evenly between cake pans. Bake in middle of oven until tops of layers spring back when touched lightly and edges have just started to pull away from sides of pans, about 35 minutes. Cool layers in pans on racks 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around edges of pans, then invert layers onto racks to cool completely.

Make frosting:
Bring sugar and cream to a boil in a heavy saucepan, stirring constantly, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add chocolate, butter, and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Chill frosting, stirring frequently, until thickened and spreadable.

Assemble cake:
Brush any loose crumbs from layers and put 1 layer upside down on a serving plate. Spread with about 1 cup frosting. Place other layer on top, right side up. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.

The cake came out delicious, moist... only issue, the cake batter was very thick (I don't know if this was the issue) and something about that made the edges rise, but not so much the center.  Also, the top if the cake was crispy, which was yummy, but weird.

Also, the "frosting" never thickened! Even when I refrigerated it!  What did I do?  Make it yummier!
I knew I wanted the cake to be chocolate raspberry, I put a layer of raspberry preserve on the cake, a few (scattered) actual raspberries then quickly made some light whipped cream, beat heavy cream, a little vanilla and some powdered sugar (just a little). put that on top then the 2nd layer of cake.

I topped the cake with butter cream, butter, powdered sugar and... wait for it... RASPBERRIES! It was so yummy and fresh tasting!

Let me know if you try either recipes!

How was your mothers days?

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