Tag Archives: chocolate & zucchini

Chocolate Cake – take #2

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.
~ W. C. Fields
[strikethrough my own – there are certainly exceptions, but most of the time you’d be a damn fool to quit.]

So. The cake I posted about recently? – yes, the chocolate and herb one – well, perfect icing aside, it was revolting. It made me think of dead grass and stale salt, on which the luxurious quality of chocolate was totally wasted. Please don’t ever make cake with dried herbs. I am all for culinary adventures, but this is one way to make sure you waste food and scare your flatmates.

(We ate almost half of this crazy cake – a real feat. That is all we could manage, and I did not dare let it scare anyone outside my house, so against all my usual anti-food-wastage-ness, I pushed the rest of this inedible cake down the insinkerator today, pausing only to snap this quick memo before this slice met a similar fate as the rest of itself).

The road to cooking and baking well is no dream-laden path; or at the very least, it’s fraught with nightmares too. But I have often been told, and have found, that practice does help. So, with this cake being an utter failure, I decided to try making another cake – without herbs of course!

Chocolate cake is one of those seemingly common desserts, and I was surprised that it took me around half an hour to finally locate a decent recipe for one…

By decent, I mean that it 1. does not require a gazillion different tools and rare/excessive ingredients, and 2. at least sounds like the result will be worth the work.

It was such a bonus to find this recipe from Clotilde at Chocolate & Zucchini which sounded almost too simple to be true – and which I could imagine would yield a good cake to overthrow my current invisible title at home of Chocolate Cake Disaster Extraordinaire.

Here we are – it’s now in the fridge where it will stay for a few hours, and perhaps we shall have some later tonight.

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend, wherever you are!

Oeuf cocotte

I myself prefer my New Zealand eggs for breakfast.
~ Elizabeth II

3.30pm, eggs on the bench, ramekins in the cupboard and trusty Google open on my laptop – this is how I came to have some magnifique oeuf cocotte for lunch today.

It was so simple to make, and this recipe is one I anticipate being able to easily tweak and experiment with without devastating consequences!

I ate my oeuf cocotte standing in the kitchen, reading an e-mail from a friend, feeling a tingle of pleasure travel slowly up my spine… the melted cheese, a warm wave of comfort and gentleness, slipped slowly over and under my tongue. The eggs were just cooked – not rubbery in the slightest. The bits of broccoli were soft, capsicum slightly crunchy – both were oh-so-sweet. The herbs, salt and pepper provided subtle and necessary flavour.

And of course, all this goodness was contained inside my white ramekins (I’m glad I made 2 small portions to double the goodness) – what can I say? Food served in ramekins mysteriously increases in tastiness and elegance.

    Ingredients:
    1 egg
    handful of diced broccoli
    handful of diced capsicum
    handful of grated cheese
    1 tbsp cream cheese
    salt
    pepper
    dried parsley
    dried oregano
    Method:
    Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Grease a small ramequin, lay vegetables and cream cheese at the bottom, and break the egg on top. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Top with cheese and dried herbs, rubbing the herbs between your fingers as you sprinkle them to release the flavour.
    Put the ramequin in a deep ovenproof dish, and pour hot water in the dish to about half the height of the ramequin. Put in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how runny you like your eggs (mine were perfect at 10).
    You can sprinkle on paprika and fresh herbs, and serve with warm crusty bread as suggested on Chocolate & Zucchini – but I ate them just the way they were, and it was perfect for me.
    Yields 1 serving (I made 2 of these today).