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Sunday, May 27, 2007

chocolatey thanks

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Is there a better thanks for a favour than the sweet deliciousness of chocolate?

Last week, hubs and I shot our first being the first one, and us not being absolutely convinced that we were 100% sure about going into the business, we weren't quite ready to invest in a second camera yet. So a friend was so kind as to loan me his camera, lenses, flash etc. so we could have the advantages of two cameras, without the hefty price tag.

SO thankful for this loan. We got some great shots of a fun, creative couple (bride made her own dress - super impressive!) and I got to use a much-coveted 50mm, f/1.8 lens. *drool*

In thanks for this momentous favour, I offered to make some sort of tasty treat, in the form of chocolatey goodness. As always, I was royally short on time, so I went off in search of something quick, using a few good quality ingredients......I eventually came across a tasty-looking chocolate coconut recipe on, and made 6 mini-cakes.

Hubs of course, wanted his own taste of chocolate, so he ended up eating two of them before I could stop him. The things that happen when you turn your back. I didn't realy get a taste of these, so I couldn't tell you if they were good or not, but my friend tells me (and I quote):

"thank you so much for the mini chocolate rum cakes. I have to say, they were sublime. Generally I find that when you're dealing with baked goods that incorporate coconut, most people use too much, which makes it the overpowering flavour and texture. But in this case it was very subtle and added to the overall flavour, rather than dominating everything. A success for sure, as far as I'm concerned, so well done! If that's the end result, you can borrow my camera anytime!"


I guess they were alright. They come together pretty quickly, and I like that the ingredient list is mercifully short, although I did find myself lacking in sweetened coconut. I hoped it would be the same thing if I just tossed a bunch of sugar in with unsweetened coconut before toasting it. It seemed to work out alright, so I guess we can say that it was an adequate substitution.

stolen from and lightly modified

Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.

100 g fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped (note here: I am LAZY and bashed my chocolate with a meat mallet while it was in the wrapper, which of course embedded tiny little bits of foil into my bashed chocolate, which I promptly spent 20 minutes picking out)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted and cooled (I had unsweetened, so just tossed it with sugar, and toasted in an ungreased skillet)

whipped cream and cherries

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. and butter and flour six 1/2-cup muffin tins.

2. In a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water melt chocolate with butter, whisking until smooth.
70% chocolate and butter

3. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in sugar. Whisk in eggs, 1 at a time, and add remaining ingredients, whisking until combined well.

4. Divide batter among prepared tins (and you can probably be a lot neater about it than I am) and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
hehe....i suck

5. Cool cakes in pan for about 5 minutes. I find this makes them less fragile and prone to breakage upon removal.
they rose!  woot!

6. Turn cakes out onto a rack and serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream. Hide them from munchy hubbies.
chocolate coconut rum cakes

7.I topped mine with lightly sweetened whipped cream. It looked pretty, and according to my buddy, were quite tasty.
whipped cream and cherries rock my world

It sure smelled good while it was cooking. AND, in case anyone was wondering, the wedding went super well and I think we will be going into business. Hubs is working on a web site as we speak, and as soon as I wrap my brain around the complexities of small business ownership, I'll let you know where you can find us. If anyone in Ottawa is looking for fun, non-traditional wedding photography, give me a shout.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for the loan J! :)


chelle said...

i'm sure i could find something to lend you if it meant chocolate showing up at my door! :) these look awesome, as ususal, and congrats on the new business!

BubblyBunny said... hubby does the same thing when I cook/bake anything (even if it doesn't taste good). One time I baked cupcakes for our dinner party. I told him not to eat any because it's for our guests. I came home and one was gone (he thought I wouldn't know...there was only 9, how could I miss it). The worst thing was, I made 2 special ones for him, without filling b/c he doesn't like the filling. But because he ate without asking, he ended up with a cupcake he didn't even like. Bah! :P

Good luck with your new business. I think you are both very talented, so I'm sure your business will do well. Too bad you didn't go into business a year ago, otherwise, I would've hired you to do our wedding photos!! :)

BubblyBunny said...

Questions about your recipe... After you melt the chocolate with butter, did you have to cool it before whisking in the eggs? Just wondering if the chocolate is too hot, will it cook the eggs? Also, what kind of bittersweet chocolate did you use?

leslie @ definitely not martha said...

chelle - thanks!

bubblybunny - thanks! and to answer your question, both butter and chocolate melt at a very low temperature, so I don't believe there is any danger of them being too warm for the eggs (like, the mixture would feel slightly warm to your fingers, but shouldn't burn you). I used Lindt 70% chocolate this time - when I can find it, I like to use 76% Poulain chocolate (I can usually find it at one Loeb I shop at, or in the market). I think this recipe could probably stand an even darker chocolate, as it has plenty of added sugar.

Kelly-Jane said...

Aren't they just so pretty with the cherries on top, simple and beautiful :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

These little cakes look delicious! I love the decoration you used.

Anonymous said...

looks yummy! Can you post some pics from the wedding? I wanna see!!! You and hubs take amazing pics, from what I've seen here and on WB!

Anonymous said...

Yummmmmmmy! Those little cakes look devine. Must try sometime very soon!!

Good luck with the photography business - I've see your pics on wb too & you both are very talented!

~ Ginelle

BubblyBunny said...

Hi, I finally got a chance to try this recipe and it was amazing!! My hubby doesn't usually like chocolate cake but this time, he tried to steal a second one and then he asked me why I "only" made 6. Hahah...

I used 1/2 of the recommended sugar and I used unsweetened coconut flakes. I also used white rum b/c that's what I had at home. It turned out pretty well b/c I don't like my cakes too sweet. The amount of coconut in your recipe was perfect!

I do have one question: How do you flour the muffin tins? I usually just grease, so I didn't know how to get the flour on the tins evenly. I ended up with little clumps of flour in my finished product.

Thanks for a great recipe!!

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