The New Brunswick python tragedy report reveals that the African Rock Python was illegal in that Province. I really hope the owner of the store is heavily penalised. He was extremely lucky his own kid was not one of the victims. Apparently they have put the snake down, like it was the snake’s fault. Poor critter was abstracted from its habitat (or its parents were) and expected to adapt to our conditions. I get so angry at things like that. No, I wouldn’t want the snake around me, but I think it’s a shame when a creature is put down for something which is not the fault of the animal in question. It just keeps going through my mind as to whether those poor little kids knew what was happening to them, I do so hope not. There needs to be much stricter control over the import of exotic animals or reptiles, if it was illegal in NB then it shouldn’t have been there in the first place. I suppose the response will be that it’s very difficult to keep track of such pet stores and costs too much perhaps. I hope the people of New Brunswick will petition for a) the closure of this store and b) stricter controls. I now wonder if we have such stores here, I don’t know of them, but I bet they are around. I guess I should put my money where my mouth is.
Damn, that’s the second time the In Her Name books have made me forget everything else, including blogging, to stay up reading. I have now finished the two original trilogies and the next lot go back in time several thousand years, however, I had better leave them alone for a while as I am not getting anything else done. I have a book to proof read for someone too and although I have made a start, I have neglected that too for this series. I have very much enjoyed these books and am, of course, sorry they have ended.
I love carrot cake, I love chocolate, this recipe combines both so what’s not to like. This is another from the LCBO’s Food and Wine.
Double Chocolate Carrot Cake with Mocha Frosting
BY MONDA ROSENBERG
If you’re in the mood for a rich dessert, this one takes the cake. Just one bite tweaks your taste buds—think a shot of cappuccino and a hit of chocolate at the same time. The warm, comforting flavour in the coffee-spiked frosting comes from mascarpone cheese, the star in classic Italian tiramisu.
5 cups (1.25 L) grated carrots
2¼ cups (550 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
¼ cup (50 mL) cocoa
4 squares (4 oz/125 g) semi-sweet chocolate
¼ cup (50 mL) milk
¾ cup (175 mL) vegetable oil
1¼ cups (300 mL) granulated sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
1½ cups (375 mL) mascarpone cheese
1 cup (250 mL) cold whipping cream
2 tbsp (25 mL) instant coffee granules
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
2 cups (500 mL) sifted icing sugar
1 Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Spray or lightly oil two 8- or 9-inch (2- or 2.5-L) square cake pans.
2 Grate carrots using a food processor. Measure out 5 cups (1.25 L) and set aside. Place flour in a large bowl. Sprinkle with baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and cocoa. Stir until blended, then make a well in the centre. Separately, coarsely chop chocolate and place in a small microwave bowl or saucepan. Add milk.
3 Combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Microwave chocolate and milk combo on medium for 1½ minutes. Stir, then heat on medium for 1 more minute. Stir until smooth. Or on stovetop, stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Pour into cake batter while beating on low speed. Scrape into well in fl our mixture and stir with a spoon or spatula until even in colour. Stir in carrots. Batter will be thick.
4 Divide batter between pans, adding about 3 cups (750 mL) to each. To remove air pockets, bang pans on counter 5 to 6 times. Bake until centres seem set when lightly tapped and cakes start to come away from sides of pans, 35 to 38 minutes. Remove pans to a baking rack to cool. After about 15 minutes, turn cakes out of pans and fi nish cooling on racks. It’s best to bake cakes a day ahead of icing and leave at room temperature overnight.
5 Place mascarpone in a bowl. Microwave ¼ cup (50 mL) cream in another small bowl or heat in a small saucepan until bubbles appear around edge. Stir in coffee until dissolved. Then, beating mascarpone on low, gradually add hot coffee-cream. As soon as no lumps remain, beat in cold cream and vanilla. Gradually beat in icing sugar. Beat about 30 seconds. Beating too much will cause thinning. Refrigerate until frosting has a good spreading consistency, about a half-hour, before icing cake.
6 To assemble, place 1 cake, flat-side up on a platter. Generously spread with icing, leaving a narrow border of cake around the edge. Top with the second cake, fl at-side down and gently press down. Smoothly spread icing over the sides of the cake, then the top. Garnish top of cake with shaved chocolate. It’s best to refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.
Have a great day.