Almost exactly a year ago, we were almost exactly where we are today. Cleaning up throw-up and chilling in our pjs all day long. It’s amazing how little you can do when all you actually need to do is keep a toddler from vomiting all over himself. And make him as comfortable as possible. And try to explain to him why it is a really bad idea to eat or drink anything for a little while.
But I digress. It’s still February (obviously, because everyone I know is either sick or cleaning up for someone who is sick), and we’re still in the midst of the RSBC Challenge. On the one hand, I feel really good about my results for this week’s cooking challenge. Christy had me scared when she told me to put peppers in my dessert, but then I remembered that chili peppers and chocolate are practically best friends and that made me feel better.
On the other hand, I had planned to workout with The Baron twice this week, one of those times being today. But since I, instead, spent the day on barf-bucket duty, I’m still at one workout for the week. Which means I need to do three workouts between now and next Wednesday. Not impossible, but considering the amount of time I have needed to recover from each workout, not ideal. Of course, the sick boy is sleeping peacefully right now, so maybe I can squeeze it in tonight before bed. Doing the workout tonight versus tomorrow morning may only make a difference in my head, but it’s a difference nonetheless.
Week 3 is at an end, which means there is only one week left, and that means only one more cooking challenge. This week we’ll be making something with barley. I don’t have a specific course or guidance for you, just barley. In something. I look forward to adding some more barley dishes to my repertoire.
And now the recipe you are surely all dying to get your hands on.
Boca Negra Chocolate Chipotle Cake adapted from Gourmet via Epicurious
I had a little bit of trouble with my chilies. I followed the directions given, but I didn’t exactly get a paste out of it. So I just added some of the soaking water and the some of the “chili solids” to the batter. I was nervous it would be too hot for the boys, but they didn’t notice it. Micah and I could taste the small kick, but if I were to make it again, I would either 1. buy chili paste if it exists or 2. add more of the chili solids so that the kick would be a little less subtle, but still not burning.
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small piece (plus some for greasing the baking dish)
1 cup sugar (plus some for dusting the baking dish)
6 medium dried chipotle chiles (1 ounce)
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
10 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
Butter a 10-inch tart dish or 8 4-ounce ramekins, dust them with sugar and set aside. Preheat the oven to 325.
Remove the tops, seeds, and ribs from the chilies. Then soak the chilies in hot water until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid. Puree the chilies in a food processor or blender, adding some of the soaking liquid until it forms a paste. Force the paste through a fine mesh sieve and discard the solids.
Put the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Bring the orange juice and sugar to a boil in a small sauce pan until sugar is dissolved, then pour the hot syrup over the chocolate and stir to melt the chocolate. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then stir in the flour, salt, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chili paste (if you have any leftover, you can toss it or freeze it for something else). Scrape the batter into the prepared dish(es) and place the dish on a rimmed baking pan. Add hot water to the baking pan until it comes half way up the sides of the dish(es). (This is a hot water bath, if you didn’t know.) Slide the pan into the preheated oven (it may be easier to fill the pan with water after you have put it in the oven) and bake until the top is firm and starting to form a crust — about 50 minutes for the 4-ounce ramekins, 1 hour 10 minutes for a 10-inch tart pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I served mine with frozen vanilla custard, adapted from Epicurious as well:
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups half-and-half
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
Pour half-and-half and vanilla extract into a 2-quart sauce pan. Heat until almost boiling and remove from heat. Whisk sugar and eggs in a medium bowl, then add hot half-and-half mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Transfer custard to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened and custard registers 175°F on thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl, discarding solids. Set bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stir custard until cool. Churn in your ice cream maker, according to manufacturer’s instructions, until thick like ice cream. (It took mine about 35 minutes.)