Friday, May 20, 2005

My Thursday

I could not do anything for Amina's wedding cake yesterday. Yurdaer left for a 3-day trip this morning, and I spent part of yesterday making provisions for his trip. Amina's shower/kina gecesi (which will be a potluck) is also today, and although Ceyda who is coordinating the cooking efforts for this occasion never asked me, I wanted to bake something anyway. So I tried Patatesli Dilim Borek, a recipe I found in SeMaVeR. The ingredients made a long roll, which I divided in two--one will be for Yurdaer and company, and the second for the shower. I will post an English translation of this recipe in Savory Dishes. I also made my Creamy Chocolate Lace Cheesecake for the shower, and 2 mini loaves of Pierre Herme's Apricot and Ginger Chocolate Cake from Chocolate Desserts, one for the travelers, and the other to be had at home.

Apricot and Ginger Chocolate Loaf Cake

This cake was to be made in a 9"x5" loaf pan, but I used two 8"x4" pans instead and ended up with 2 mini loaves. While I usually adore Pierre Herme recipes, I was a little disappointed by this one. It actually turned out to be a good cake, but I guess I expected more from the rich ingredient list and somewhat lenghty preparation. The ginger, apricot and chocolate pieces sank to the bottom (Pierre's own cake had the same problem) and the almond paste did not stand out in taste. Oh well, I really wanted to try this recipe once and I am glad that I got it over with.

1 1/3 c flour
1/3 c cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 oz apricots, cut into small chunks
3/4 c sugar
5 oz almond paste, broken into small pieces
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 c milk, at room temperature
2 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into small chunks
1 3/4 oz drained stem ginger, cut into small chunks
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9"x5" loaf pan and place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or two regular stacked baking sheets. Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Bring about a cup of water to boil. Add the apricots, pull the pan from heat, let the apricots soak for a minute, then drain and dry on paper towels. Procees the sugar and almond paste until "sandy". Place this in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add the eggs one by one, beating at medium speed for 2 minutes after each addition. Now replace the paddle with the whisk attachment, increase the mixer speed to high, and beat for 8-10 minutes or until the batter starts looking like mayonnaise. Reduce the speed to low and add the milk, mixing until combined, and then sift the dry ingredients. Continue beating on low speed until the batter becomes homogenous. Working with a rubber spatula, mix the chopped apricots, chocolate and ginger. Finally gently fold in the melted butter. Turn the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle tests clean. The cake may crack as it bakes (mine didn't). If it seems to be browning too fast, you may cover it loosely with analiminum foil tent during the last 20 to 30 minutes of baking. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool on rack for 10 minutes before unmolding.

Creamy Chocolate Lace Cheesecake

This recipe from a Pillsbury cookbook is one of my most loved desserts.


1 1/2 c chocolate wafer crumbs
1/2 c chopped almonds
1/4 c melted butter


2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 c sugar
3 eggs
2 c (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c whipping cream
2 tbs butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla


1 c dairy sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sugar
1/2 oz chocolate, melted

Heat the oven to 325F. Mix the crust ingredients well and press into bottom and up sides of prepared pan. (This time, I omitted almonds. Also I just used 1 c crumbs and 1/4 c melted butter which I pressed only to the bottom of the pan.)

In large bowl, beat cream cheese and 2/3 c sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Put the cream in a saucepan and heat it on low flame until it starts to simmer. Turn off the heat. Add the chocolate chips to the hot cream and stir until all the chips melt and the mixture comes together. Let it cool for a few minutes. Add it to the cheese mixture together with the melted butter and vanilla. Beat until smooth and uniformly colored. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until edges are set. The center of cheesecake will be soft. Cool completely.

In small bowl, combine all topping ingredients except chocolate; stir until smooth. Spread over cooled cheesecake. Drizzle with the melted chocolate in lace pattern. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.