Monday, September 22, 2008

Avocado Birthday Cake

I had a very special roommate last year, and one of the first late-night kitchen conversations we ever had was on the subject of school clubs.  She told me that she discovered that if you found 5 people to say they were interested in a certain club, the school would give you $200 to start it.  She thought this was the most exciting thing in the world, because, and this is in her words:  How many people love avocados?  All I'd have to do is find 5 people who love avocados, and then they'd give us $200, and we could spend it all on avocados!!!!

Well, we never started the club (I guess we're too lazy for the paperwork), but we certainly consumed a lot of avocados anyways in the time we lived together.  And when the time came to make her a birthday cake, I could think of nothing more fitting and special than an avocado cake.  And here it is!! 

It took the birthday girl a while to figure out what kind of cake she was eating, but once she did, she ate 2 big slices right there, licked her plate clean, and then proudly carried the rest of her cake home.  

I made a big cake for her, and then 3 little individual cakes that I brought over to a few of my gourmet-food-obsessed man friends.  One of them ate his and then sent me this e-mail:
I had the cake tonight...words cannot describe the interactions my mouth had with that was orgasmic, you can just ask brought tears to my was "les plus delicieux"(the most delicious) and I don't even speak French, I just felt like putting that, I had to look it up...I'm basically speechless right now, so I'll just let you imagine the euphoric state I'm experiencing in the aftermath of the taste explosiveness, the mind-blowing eruption of pleasure in my palate, the sweet, sweet love that occurred in my mouth at 11:40 PM PST tonight.

And hahaha I don't think I even have to say anything more than that.  =)  I guess everyone really does love avocados!

I based this cake on the recipe the Daring Bakers used for Strawberry Mirror Cake in July of 2007, so basically it is an avocado bavarian cream layered with vanilla genoise brushed with lime syrup, and with some chocolate ganache drizzled on top.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies with Raspberry!!!!

So after all the flaming desserts at the beach, I was left in my apartment with a bad sunburn, leftover marshmallows, and a script hanging over my head that needed to be written.  

Since I had the script, I of course hadn't planned on baking anything but of course was suddenly very, very compelled to do so.  (I'm not the best at being a responsible student)  I looked around my kitchen and chocolate and marshmallows were really the only things I had, so I searched on the internet for chocolate marshmallow cookies.  I came across these lovelies at Stephanie's Kitchen, and had to have them.  And have them I promptly did.  Except I've never been fond of using that much confectioners sugar in frosting, so I used some leftover ganache I had sitting around instead of frosting.  Annnnd I added some raspberry jam as a little kicker underneath the marshmallows.  

Oooooh man they were sooo good - this was one of the rare occasions in my life where I end up eating more of something I baked than I give away to other people.  Yeah, I totally hoarded these cookies and they never even left my apartment.  My roommates had some...  hehehe.  

And here is the recipe, adapted from this one:

For the topping:

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream

To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolates in a small mixing bowl.  Heat the cream until it begins to simmer, and then pour the cream over the chocolate.  Let stand for a couple minutes, and then whisk until smooth.  Use on the cookies while still warm, or make beforehand and warm it up again before using.  

For the cookies:

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
about 15 marshmallows, halved

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  
In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the egg, milk, and vanilla to this.  
Add flour mixture to this about 1/2 cup at a time until it is all incorporated.  
Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing the drops about 2 inches apart.  
Bake cookies for 8 minutes or until firm.  Then, without fully removing them from the oven, quickly spoon some raspberry jam in the middle of each cookie, and follow the jam by pressing half a marshmallow into each cookie on top of it.  
Return to the oven and bake for 2 more minutes, or until the marshmallows are puffy and gooey.  
Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.  Then remove from baking sheets and spoon the ganache over each cookie, making sure to completely cover the marshmallows.  

Make sure to eat a couple while they're still warm, because the marshmallows and ganache will be gooey and warm!!  Once you've had your fill of that, store them in the refrigerator and see how long they last...