Friday, April 7, 2017

A Plethora of Chocolate, Rain, Mandarin, Bowling,

So now we have four rabbits. Red for milk, brown for dark, green for white chocolate. I finally found plain chocolate rabbits hidden away amongst the hundreds of milk ones. We seem to be overladen with chocolate at the moment, because I needed to spend a specific amount in the grocery store to get some loyalty points, I was about $1 short so grabbed a couple of Coffee Crisp not to mention the chocolate we have in the apartment anyway. Matt has Lindt chocolate bars and I have Hershey's kisses of which I allow myself a couple or so every night. Coffee Crisp is probably my favourite candy bar - for some reason they are not available in North Carolina. The are made by Nestlés so they should be available everywhere I would think.

Our weather is a tad damp at the moment, it was chucking it down when we went to lunch. I even
carried an umbrella into the Mandarin. Enjoyed lunch of course. These days everything is marked with a calorie count and I have discovered my favourite, Hot and Sour Soup, is only 80 calories for a bowl full. Not bad. I was tempted to have several bowls and nothing else. I don't normally worry too much about calories when I eat out anyway, don't do it that often. Our friend was celebrating his birthday and when they came to sing to him, they did so in Chinese first and then in English. I have now discovered what Happy Birthday is in Chinese Shēngrì kuàilè which is pronounced something like Shengshe qwailo. I'm sure you all wanted to know that.

We were a tad late for our bowling, not that it matters on a Thursday. Our friends who are usually there didn't put in an appearance today for some reason. I had one pretty good game again, 171, and at least I crept over the 100 in the other two games.

You know, I am so glad I didn't do the A to Z this year. I have been trying to visit a few blogging friends each day and I am finding that very time consuming too.

As I am in a chocolatey mood I had to follow the theme.

Brooklyn Blackout Semifreddo Cake

When a rich semifreddo custard (instead of pudding) is schmeared between layers of sponge cake, you get a remix of the classic Brooklyn Blackout cake. Straight from the freezer, the stripes of filling take on an ice cream-like texture which becomes even fudgier after the cake thaws a tad.

2 Tbs unsalted butter
¼ cup milk
2 cups sugar
8 eggs, at room temperature
¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (use black cocoa powder for an extra blacked-out cake)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

7 oz dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
2 tsp espresso powder
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ? cup heavy cream
2 Tbs cream cheese, at room temperature

6 Tbs heavy cream
4 oz dark chocolate (70% cacao), broken into small pieces
1 Tbs light corn syrup (optional)

1. To make the cake, heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a baking sheet, line it with parchment, butter the parchment, and sprinkle with sugar. Melt the butter with the milk in the microwave, about 45 seconds. Beat the sugar and eggs on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale yellow, tripled in volume, and thick, about 8 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add the milk and butter.

2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, then fold it into the egg mixture; there should be no lumps. Fold in the vanilla.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet and spread it evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for a couple of minutes, then run a knife around the edges to loosen it. Invert the pan onto a wire rack, remove the parchment, and let cool completely.

4. To make the semifreddo, in a metal or glass bowl set over a pot of slowly simmering water, melt the chocolate and espresso powder, then remove from the heat. Keep the pot simmering—you’ll need it again!

5. In a metal or glass bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk until it thickens and the sugar dissolves. Off the water, continue whisking until the mixture doubles in volume and the whisk leaves a ribbon when lifted from the bowl. Whisk in the melted chocolate and let cool for about 10 minutes.

6. Whisk together the heavy cream and cream cheese until whipped. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture in 2 additions, just until incorporated.

7. Line a 10-inch (25cm) loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving extra plastic hanging over the long sides of the pan.

8. Cut the cake into 3 pieces that will fit into the loaf pan (you will use the extra cake for the crumb topping). Place the first piece of cake into the pan. Top with half of the semifreddo, followed by the second piece of cake, the remaining semifreddo, and finally, the third piece of cake. Fold the hanging plastic over the top, and freeze overnight or for up to a week. Wrap the remaining cake in plastic wrap; you will need it for serving.

9. On the day you want to serve the cake, make the ganache: Heat the heavy cream in a pot over medium heat until scalding. Add the chocolate and corn syrup. Remove from the heat, let the mixture sit for approximately 5 minutes, and then stir until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

10. Crumble the remaining cake with your hands or a food processor.

11. Use the plastic overhang to transfer the cake to a serving plate. Remove the plastic from the cake.

12. Spread a thin layer of ganache on the sides of the cake, press the cake crumbs on the sides, spread another thin layer of ganache on top, and freeze until firm, 2 to 4 hours (or up to 2 weeks, well wrapped). Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.

Servings: 6-8

Source: Taste

Have a great day


  1. I read your title in my blog reader as Chocolate Rain lol It certainly feels like that in the shops here - chocolate everywhere.
    Like you Jo, I'm glad I didn't do the A to Z - I still haven't got my mojo back for blogging even occasionally, but getting the time to read a couple of blogs a day is enough for now. Have a good weekend. Oh, I'm going to have a go this weekend at that banana bread you posted a few days ago - I'll let you know how it turns out :)

    1. LOL, you should see all the chocolate rabbits in the store here Fil.

      I will be interested in the Banana bread result.

  2. That cake sounds fabulous and I am definitely keeping that recipe. I'll have some homemade chocolate chip cookies for Charlie, but no candy. Unless it was all milk chocolate, I would eat it up.

    As for A to Z, it is taking up a lot of time, only because I have more readers than ever and have found lots of very interesting blogs. But go to the AtoZ site and look at the number of comments and you will see that it dwindles everyday. It is easier to find participants.

    1. Doesn't it Denise? I have learned to control myself as far as gobbling chocolate. Having lost weight I don't want to gain it again.

      Glad to hear you have had lots of comments and found some interesting blogs.

  3. The coffee chocolate bar looks like a real winner. We love chocolate coffee ice cream with other good stuff tossed in.

    1. It is, in my book anyway Stephen. I love mocha flavour, don't often eat ice cream.

  4. Not sure why you can't get those bars here.
    I'm glad I didn't do the Challenge either. Just too much to keep up with.

    1. Nor me Alex, but when we lived on the coast, I used to get people to bring them down when they visited.

      Just visiting a few people anyway is quite a lot I find.

  5. Restaurants that put the calories on menus are a real buzzkill.

    1. It's the law here now JoJo. No menus at Mandarin but every item is labelled showing what it is, like Kung Pao Chicke, XXX calories per so much. The Hot and Sour Soup was 40 calories per ladle.

  6. Our Wegmans carries those bars in the isle where they import all kinds of fun things. Candy bars for the UK, spices, mustards, all kinds of neat things.

    80 calories, not bad for the soup.

    We had a snow day here today. Just a dusting but enough to keep us in during our 4-day staycation. Maybe tomorrow we'll head out.

    Glad you're enjoying your A/Z break.

    1. That's interesting Ivy, but then you are pretty close to Canada. Candy bars from the UK are good too.
      Can't believe we had snow. Supposed to be really quite warm on Monday, in the 70s anyway.

    2. I love when it is in the 70s.

      Yes, it's a neat isle. Filled with stuff from Ireland, Scotland, and all over.

    3. High 70s Ivy. Unless you have shade.

      Sounds like a good store. We have one in the next town which specialises in British stuff and one in this town which specialises in everything else.

  7. Coffee and chocolate are perfect partners :)

  8. I'm surprised at how many eggs are needed but this sounds delicious. It has been 2 dreary rainy days here but today...snow! I have been I. Horrible pain for almost 2 weeks and just when I think I'm getting better, I get hot again. To tell you the truth, I'm exhausted and wish I had my mom right now. Ok , it's hard keeping up for sure but I have to say the New A to Z is easier to look through now that people have to put their name in the comments each day. You don't have to scroll through crap

    1. Used to be a joke about Mrs. Beeton's, an old cookbook in England, "take 10 eggs". Sorry you have been in such pain Birgit and having to do A to Z isn't much fun for you at all. It's a beautiful day here, really sunny.

  9. Here in Oz it's Autumn - the best time of year in this part of the world. Early mornings are cool, but the days warm up to around 20 degrees Celsius, and often quite a bit higher. We only get occasional rain until late June, when there should be quite heavy rains for about six or eight weeks, then it starts to become warm and dry again. However, we can't really predict it anymore. I reckon we have the world's best climate, but it's become so changeable in the last twenty years I suspect the weather gods are playing jokes on us.

    1. I know the weather patterns are changing Satima. Global warming definitely, but I don't think it's our fault when you think of all the atmospheric damage done by volcanoes.