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BBQ Baba Ganoush

August 10, 2010

The hot summer days make it nearly impossible to cook indoors. So, when two very large eggplants came my way, the grill seemed like the perfect place to roast them up for some creamy and delicious Baba Ganoush.

Baba Ganoush

adapted from David Lebovitz

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1/2 cup of tahini
  • 2 or 3 large cloves of garlic
  • juice of one and a half limes
  • salt to taste
  • 1/8 tsp of cumin
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper flakes (less if you don’t like spice)
  • handful of parsley (roughly chopped)

Cooking eggplant on the grill is basically the same as doing it on the stove and oven. Before you begin poke some holes into the eggplant. Then to add some smokey flavour to your eggplants, set them over the flame for 5 minutes or so (turning every now and then), until the skin begins to char slightly. Then set them away from the flame, and let the roast for 20 to 30 minutes until they are completely soft. This will depend on the size of your eggplant. Once the eggplant is cooked, let it cool and then scrape the flesh out of the skin.

In a blender or food processor mix the eggplant, tahini, garlic and lemon juice and olive oil. Scrape everything into a bowl and add the roughly chopped parsley and mix in by hand. Let the Baba Ganoush chill for a couple hours before serving. This can be served with a variety of things, but my current favourite are the ever so abundant cherry tomatoes.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cupcakes

August 8, 2010

I made these for a friend’s birthday and they are by far the best chocolate cupcakes I have ever. I stumbled across the recipe from Ina Garten a couple years ago and it now has a permanent place in my recipe collection.

I have adapted it slightly by removing the instant coffee from the icing and changing the cooking time because the original recipe is for a cake.

Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together, mix well. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into muffin pans and bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

Beat the butter until light yellow and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for several minutes. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, then continue to beat until smooth and creamy. Don’t whip and use immediately, but allow for plenty of time to lick the bowl!

A quick tip: If you need to transport anything with icing stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes before leaving the house. Your perfectly decorated goods will arrive in tip top shape. I had to take these cupcakes on a 20 min shaky subway ride and the freezer tricked worked wonderfully!

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