Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mashed Potato Casserole

I made this as a side for Thanksgiving last week.  I really prefer plain old mashed white potatoes but these were pretty good and could be made in advance rather than on the day of an event.  The recipe came from Cooking Light Magazine.

Mashed Potato Casserole
Serves 8

1-1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1-1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/4 cup (6 ounces) 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened
Cooking spray
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
4 green onions, thinly sliced

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Place potatoes, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan, and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender.  Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
3.  Place a food mill over a large bowl, and place potato mixture in food mill.  Press mixture through food mill into bowl.  Stir in reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and cream cheese.
4.  Spoon potato mixture into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
5.  Preheat broiler.
6.  Combine Parmigiano-Reggiano and panko; sprinkle evenly over top of potatoes.  Broil 4 minutes or until golden brown.  Sprinkle with onions.


The Creative Cook

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blueberry Bran Muffins

This has been an interesting week.  My nephew's girl friend went into the hospital for an emergency appendectomy and then my dad went into the hospital for breathing problems.  I coped by doing the usual - baking.  I was asked to make some muffins that had lots of fiber in them for my nephew's girlfriend as she was having some problems in that area after the surgery.  I did not want to make bland, dry muffins so I searched through many recipes and found this one.  It looked perfect.  It turned out excellent.  I even tried one and liked it.  I am not a fan of bran muffins.  Who is?  Anyway, if you want or need to make some muffins that are filled with fiber and taste, try these.  The recipe comes from  They are touted as being low fat but that was not my reason for making them.  They are moist and tasty bran muffins which is almost an oxymoron.  Oh, they are also quick and easy to make!

Yummy Blueberry Bran Muffins
Prep Time:  15 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Yield:  12 muffins


1-1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup applesauce
1 egg
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (180 degrees C).  Grease muffin cups or use paper muffin liners.  Mix together wheat bran and milk.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

2.  In a large bowl, mix together applesauce, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla.  Beat in bran mixture.  Sift together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Stir into bran mixture until just blended.  Fold in blueberries.  Scoop into muffin cups.

3.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or  until tops spring back when lightly tapped.


The Creative Cook

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Yes, I know that I posted this recipe before but this is a newer better recipe than the one I posted back in January of 2009.  Where that recipe came from, I don't know but this one comes from  It is excellent.  Try it!  You won't be disappointed.  It has the taste and mouth-feel of the soup from Olive Garden.  The last time I ordered it at the restaurant, I got very little gnocchi but when you make this version, you can have as many gnocchi as you want.

Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Serves 8

1 cup onion, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons flour
1 quart half-and-half
1 pound potato gnocchi (from gourmet section of supermarket)
1 cup carrots, finely diced
1 cup chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 cup fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1/2 teaspoon parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste (optional)


1.  Saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent.  Add the flour and make it a roux.  Let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding 1 quart of half and half.

2.  Cook gnocchi according to package directions.

3.  Into the roux, add in the carrots and chicken.  Once the mixture becomes thick, add the chicken broth.  Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasoning, simmer until soup is heated through.


The Creative Cook

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic and Moroccan Couscous

Last week, I saw the episode of Barefoot Contessa where Ina Garten makes this meal and it looked really good.  I wish I had seen another blog post with this recipe reviewed.  I didn't read the ingredients correctly.  I thought it said that you should use 3-1/2 pounds of chicken instead of two whole chickens that weight 3-1/2 pounds each!  I wound up with a lot less chicken but it is still really good.  The other thing that I found out about the recipe while making it, is that you better make sure you pay close attention to the sauce when you are boiling it because it mostly likely will burn.  I had to open all my windows and put on the fan over my stove for about half an hour in order to get rid of the burnt smell in my house.  I thought I would have an intense smell of garlic in the house, not the smell of burnt garlic. The couscous is a cinch if you use store-bought low sodium chicken broth.  

Cook Time:  1 hr. 5 mins.
Servings: 6

3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves
2 whole (3-1/2 pound) chickens, cut into eighths
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon good olive oil
3 tablespoons Cognac, divided
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds.  Drain the garlic and peel.   Set aside.

Dry the chicken with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides.  Heat the butter and oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  In batches, sauté the chicken in the fat, skin side down first, until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.   Turn with tongs or a spatula; you don’t want to pierce the skin with a fork.  If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium.  When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate and continue to sauté all the chicken in batches.  Remove the last chicken to the plate and add all the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned.  Add 2 tablespoons of the Cognac and the wine, return to a boil, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme leaves.  Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.  In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup of the sauce and the flour and then whisk it back into the sauce in the pot.  Raise the heat, add the remaining teaspoon of Cognac and the cream, and boil for 2-3 minutes.  {I recommend watching the sauce very carefully because at this point it may burn.}  Add salt and pepper, to taste; it should be very flavorful because chicken tends to be bland.  Pour the sauce and the garlic over the chicken and serve hot. 

From Ina Garten’s 2004 cookbook, Barefoot in Paris.

Moroccan Couscous
Cook Time:  5 mins.
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
¾ cup chopped shallots
3 cups chicken stock, homemade or canned
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 cups couscous
½ cup pignoli nuts, toasted
1/3 cup currants (or golden raisins)

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan, add the shallots and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat.  Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, raise the heat to high and bring the stock to a boil.  Off the heat, add the couscous.  Cover the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Add the pignoli nuts and currents (or raisins) to the couscous, stir and serve.

From Ina Garten’s 2004 cookbook, Barefoot in Paris.


The Creative Cook

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veteran's Day Discounts for Members of the Military

FORT MEADE, Md. (Army News Service, Nov. 7, 2011) -- More than a dozen restaurant chains are offering free meals or specials to veterans and service members over the Veterans Day weekend and many other businesses are giving discounts in honor of military service.

Applebees -- All veterans and active-duty military eat free from a limited menu on Veterans Day.

Chili's -- Veterans and service members can dine for free from a special six-item menu on Veterans Day.

Golden Corral -- Military Appreciation Monday includes a free dinner, Nov. 14, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for military retirees, veterans, and current service members.

Famous Dave's -- Offers for free or discounted meals on Veterans Day vary by location.

Hooters -- All veterans and service members get 10 free wings with the purchase of a drink.

Krispy Kreme -- A free donut is available for all service members, retirees and veterans.

McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants -- This Sunday, participating McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants are offering a complimentary entree to vets from a special menu on a space-available basis. Online reservations are highly recommended.

Outback Steakhouse -- Nov. 7-15, Outback will offer veterans and military a free Bloomin' Onion and beverage.

Subway Restaurants -- Free six-inch sub or flatbread available to military vets on Veterans Day.

Texas Roadhouse -- Free meals available to veterans from opening until 4 p.m. on Veterans Day.

T.G.I. Friday's -- Veterans and service members can buy one meal and get another free, Nov. 11-13.

UNO Chicago Grill -- Nov. 7-15, UNO is offering a 19.43 percent discount on food and non-alcoholic beverage beverages to vets and military. The chain explains that 1943 was the year UNO invented the deep dish pizza.

Abuelo's Mexican Food -- Offers vary by region.

Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurants -- Special offers for vets on Veterans Day.

RETAIL DEALS -- A free downloadable MP3 album includes 12 songs performed by military bands and ensembles from now through Veterans Day.

The Dollar General -- Veterans, service members and their immediate families can receive a 10-percent discount with a Veterans Day coupon.

Home Depot -- Offers a 10 percent discount to all veterans on Veterans Day. Home Depot offers a 10 percent discount year-round to active duty military and retirees.

Lowe's -- All veterans receive the 10 percent discount for purchases of up to $5,000. A 10 percent discount is available year-round to active-duty military and retirees.

Sam's Club -- Nov. 9-11, Sam's Club will give away collapsible Hugo Canes on Veterans Day to military veterans who need them.

Seven-Eleven -- On Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., veterans can get a free small Slurpee.

Cabela's Outdoor Store -- Employee discounts are being offered to all veterans, active-duty military and reserve-component troops, along with law-enforcement, fire and emergency-management personnel Nov.11-12. Discounts vary from 5 percent to 50 percent, depending on item.

Build-a-Bear Workshop -- Members of the armed services, including the Coast Guard and ROTC, receive a 20 percent discount Nov. 11-15 on any one transaction at the workshop.

Fashion Bug -- Offering 20 percent off all plus-size and misses clothing purchases with a copy of military ID or spouse's military ID.

Sports Clips Haircuts -- Offering free haircuts to active-military and veterans on Nov. 11.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lemon Scented Pull-Apart Coffee Cake

This is a recipe that has been posted on at least 7 or 8 other cooking blogs that I found.  It was not always reviewed positively but for the most-part, people liked it.  Actually, there was only one blog post that said this cake was too sweet. It is really more like a sweet or dessert bread than a coffee cake.  I am thinking that this recipe would be perfect with cinnamon-sugar for the holidays.  I am not very experienced at baking with yeast so I found some ideas on how to help the dough rise.  One of the other bloggers put her dough on top of a heating pad which was an interesting idea.  I also saw one that said she heats her oven up a tiny bit (like set to 150 and then turn off 15 minutes before she is done making the dough so it's just warm) and let the dough rise in there.  The oven becomes a draft free, warm place.  Don't be scared off of making this recipe because it has a lot of steps.  Please don't be scared of using the yeast.  If I can do it, anyone can.  Really!  

I am amazed to say that my son absolutely loves this cake.  I have a feeling that I will be making it again and again and again.  

Lemon-Scented Pull-Apart Coffee Cake
From Flo Brake
Baking for All Occasions

Makes a 9x5 pan

Sweet Yeast Dough:
About 2-3/4 cups (12-1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1-3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (2-1/2 fluid ounces) whole milk
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) water
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Lemon Sugar Filling:
1/2 cup (3-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (3 lemons)
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted

Tangy Cream Cheese Icing:
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup (1-1/4 ounces) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


1.    In the microwave heat the butter and the milk together until the butter melts. Set aside to cool slightly. While it is cooling Mix two cups of the flour with the yeast and the sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Then add the water to the milk mixture and stir in the vanilla extract.
2.    Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixer and stir until combined. Turn the mixer on low speed and add the eggs one at a time, mixing each egg until it is combined. Add another ½ cup of the flour and the salt and mix till combined.
3.    Sprinkle the dough with 2 tbsp of flour and knead it with the dough hook for 3 minutes. The dough will be sticky but should become soft and smooth from the kneading.  Place the dough in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.
4.    Make Ahead Tip: If you want to make the dough the night before you bake it just gently deflate the dough after its first rise, place back in the bowl and cover it with plastic. Stick it in the fridge overnight (it will continue to rise, but at a much slower rate. Plus you get added flavor in the bread from the benefit of a slow, cold rise) The next day take the dough out and bring it to room temperature before proceeding with the next steps. I like to cover my dough with a damp piece of paper towel and stick it in my oven at the lowest temperature until it is room temp.
5.    Mix the sugar, lemon zest, and orange zest. It will draw out the citrus oils and make the sugar sandy and fragrant.
6.    Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan or spray it will baking spray
7.    Forming the loaf:  Deflate the dough with your hand. Flour a work surface and roll the dough into a 20″ by 12″ rectangle.  This part is a lot easier with a ruler on hand!  Use a pastry brush to thickly coat the dough with the melted butter.
8.    Use a pizza cutter, pastry cutter, or a sharp knife to cut the dough crosswise in five strips, each about 12″ by 4″ (it might not be this exact size, but try to make the five strips be equal sizes). Sprinkle 1-1/2 tablespoons of the lemon sugar over the first buttered rectangle and gently press the sugar in. Top it with a second rectangle, sprinkling that one with 1-1/2 tablespoons of lemon sugar as well. Continue to top with rectangles and sprinkle, so you have a stack of five 12″ by 4″ rectangles, all buttered and topped with lemon sugar.  
9.    Slice this new stack crosswise, through all five layers, into 6 equal rectangles (each should be 4″ by 2″.) Carefully transfer these strips of dough into the loaf pan, cut edges up, side by side. it might be a little roomy, but the bread will rise and expand after baking. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until puffy and almost doubled in size, 30 to 50 minutes.
10. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes and then check to make sure that top isn't browning too quickly. If it is, just cover the top of the loaf with tinfoil and continue baking. My loaf took a little over 40 minutes to bake completely. When done, transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.
11. Meanwhile, make the cream cheese icing. Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth, then add the milk and lemon juice. Stir until creamy and smooth. Spread over the warm bread (you might want to put some plastic wrap or parchment paper under the bread to catch the drips).
12. Serve the coffee cake warm or at room temperature. To serve, you can pull apart the layers, or you can cut the cake into 1-inch-thick slices on a slight diagonal with a long, serrated knife. If you decide to cut the cake, don’t attempt to cut it until it is almost completely cool.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Salted Triple Chocolate Cookies

This is a difficult blog post for me to write.  I have a problem with these cookies but I can't figure out how to fix it.  I got this recipe from one of D's cooking classes.  The kids made the cookies for dessert in class.  The cookie I tried that day tasted great.  I thought they would be nice "brownieish" cookie for D to bring to a bonfire that he was invited to on Friday night.  I baked a double batch. The first batch of cookies went flat.  As soon as I took them out of the oven and they began to cool, they spread and got that weird consistency that I hate.  I did a little research and wracked my brain trying to remember any tips I had been given to resolve this problem.  I found something on the internet that said you should freeze the batter before baking it.  So, that is what I did. I put all the cookies on the cookie sheet (atop parchment paper) as the recipe suggested then I put the entire cookie sheet into my freezer for about 1 hour.  I then popped the tray into the oven for the 15 minutes at 325 degrees.  Again, the cookies spread.  I can't be sure if this is due to my oven which has never really been at the correct temperature or if I am doing something to the dough that I shouldn't.  Against my better judgement, I sent the cookies with D.  Nearly all of them came back.  The odd thing is that D said he liked them and ate a few  himself.  I am not sure if the cookies were the problem or the flake salt I put on top of them.  D asked me to leave off the flake salt next time I bake them.   Maybe by then, I'll have figured out my "spreading" problem.  I can only hope.  Try making these cookies and let me know if you have better luck than I did.

Salted Triple Chocolate Cookies
Servings: 36
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened (Dutch processed)
½ teaspoon salt, sea or flake
4 ounces chocolate, semi sweet
4 ounces butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces chocolate chips (2 oz milk chocolate; 2 oz dark chocolate or 4 oz semisweet)
Additional Flake Salt to sprinkle on top of cookies (optional) 


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler, while stirring gently.  After the butter and chocolate have combined, blend (off heat) with the sugar, eggs and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture in parts until it is mixed well, but do not over-mix.  Stop when everything is blended.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Using a cookie scoop (about 3-4 tablespoons), scoop cookies onto parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with flake salt (optional).  Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven and let cool on the baking sheet.

Adapted from


The Creative Cook

Friday, November 4, 2011

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Red Quinoa and Vegetables

This recipe definitely exceeded my expectations.  I made very few changes to the recipe.  The only thing I changed was the red bell pepper.  Instead of a red bell pepper, I used an orange bell pepper.  I like the taste of the orange and yellow peppers better than the red.  I don't know why exactly, but I do.  I was not familiar with lemongrass until I started reading this recipe.  I found the lemongrass that I bought at Wegmans (of course) in the produce section.  But weeks later, I also found it at Martin's in the herb section.  You know, where they have the small containers of fresh herbs.  The stalks of lemongrass were cut up and put into a plastic clamshell.  Now I know where to find it!  I have never eaten red quinoa before.  I've heard that it is even better than the regular quinoa, so I was looking forward to trying it.  I agree that it is better than the regular.  It has a "nuttier" flavor.  I like both, though.  You can sometimes find Red Quinoa in the organic section of your grocery store.  It is a grain that is very high in protein.  The other ingredient that you may not be familiar with is fresh ginger.  If you want to buy fresh ginger in advance, just cut it into 1 inch sections and freeze it.  I also read that you can peel it before you freeze it.  I peeled it afterwards.  It is a little easier to peel when it is slightly frozen.  This recipe has a bunch of really rich deep flavors going on that are just delicious. 

SELF | July 2009
Chef Akasha Richmond

Chef and owner Akasha Richmond creates local, seasonal, organic dishs for green-chic celebs. This high-protein favorite fuels stars in need of mega energy on-set.
Yield: Serves 4
3 medium shallots, roughly chopped
2 stalks fresh lemongrass (tough outer leaves removed)
1 piece ginger (about 1 1/2 inches), peeled
1/4 cup plus 5 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
4 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each)
3/4 cup red quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or stock)
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 pound fresh sugar snap peas, strings removed
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Marinade: Puree shallots, lemongrass, ginger, 1/4 cup oil, lime juice, tamari, sugar, sea salt, pepper, and coriander in a blender until smooth. Place chicken in a baking dish and spoon on marinade, rubbing it on all sides. Cover; chill 1/2 to 2 hours. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook quinoa until toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until quinoa absorbs liquid, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat; let sit, covered, until ready to serve. Heat a grill pan or skillet over high heat; coat with cooking spray. Cook chicken, turning once, for 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, turning once, until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove chicken; let rest two minutes. Slice each breast on the diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook sugar peas and peppers until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat. Add mint and toss. Divide quinoa among 4 plates. Top each with 1 sliced chicken breast and 1/4 of the vegetables.

The Creative Cook

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chocolate Ricotta Pound Cake

I had a hankering for some chocolate cake on Monday, which happened to be Halloween.  I think it was a backlash from all the non-chocolate desserts I have been baking lately.  This recipe looked interesting to me on a few levels.  I had some left-over ricotta in my fridge.  I also wanted some chocolate.  But mainly, the recipe looked like it could be delicious.  It turned out that I did not have quite enough ricotta for this recipe so I opened a half package of cream cheese that had been sitting in my cheese drawer for a few days and used that up as well.  I probably shouldn't do stuff like that but I can't help it.  I have the need to use what is in my fridge.  So, sue me!  At first, when D tried the cake he said it had a "funny taste".  In fact, he said, all my recent cakes and baked goods have it.  I realized that it is the "eggie" taste that comes from pound cakes.  When you use more than two eggs in a recipe, they tend to have that taste.  The next day, the cake tastes great.  My mom loved it.  She praised it to the heavens.  And this is from a woman who does not really love chocolate all that much.  So try this cake if it appeals to you or if you have some extra ricotta in your fridge that needs to be used up.  I didn't have the Dutch processed chocolate, so I used a substitute of 3 tablespoons of regular chocolate with 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda as recommended on many websites.  It seems to work just fine.  

Chocolate Ricotta Pound Cake
makes one 6-cup fluted cake mold

4-1/2 Tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder (or 3 Tbsp Dutch-processed + 1-1/2 Tbsp black cocoa)
4 Tbs boiling water
3 eggs
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups All-Purpose flour (~220 grams)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
13 Tbs butter, at room temperature
1 cup ricotta (300 grams)
1 cup sugar (210 grams)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour the cake mold.  Set aside.
2. In a bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and boiling water until thoroughly combined.  Let cool to room temperature.
3. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract.  Set aside.
4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
5. In a mixer bowl, cream together on medium to medium high the butter, ricotta, and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Add the egg mixture and dry ingredients in three stages, alternating wet and dry.  Mix until combined.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 40-50 minutes total.  About twenty minutes into baking, cover the cake with a lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil.  Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven and let cool, turning the cake out onto a wire rack after about ten minutes.  Let cool completely.  Top with a light dusting of powdered sugar.


The Creative Cook