June 28, 2008


OK, to finish a rather decadent round of Foodie Wars, I give you my Mini Cakes. Yes, they are the smaller, more albino cousin of the yummy cakes Susan and Beth baked up. The reason for the petite-ness is that my husband and I are trying very hard to watch what we eat and I wanted to make something small so I didn’t feel bad about eating it.

Mini Cakes
Yields ½ Dozen

1 ¼ c. flour
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
½ c. butter melted (1 stick)
½ c. brown sugar firmly packed
¼ c. white sugar
1 egg
1 T. vanilla extract
jumbo chocolate chips

Combine flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. In a mixer, mix butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and mix some more. Slowly add the flour mixture until you have a nice batter. In a lightly greased muffin pan, fill the muffin ‘holes’ or whatever they are called about ¼ the way up. Do one at a time. Place 6 or 7 jumbo chocolate chips in the center of the batter. Don’t press them down. Then cover the chocolate chips with a spoonful of batter and move onto the next ‘hole’. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

June 22, 2008

ROUND FIVE REBUTTAL: Gainesville Chocolate Lava Souffle

I know that playing fast and loose with baking recipes does not generally yield good results. Whereas cooking is pretty abstract and substituting X for Y and goofing around with proportions and measurements will usually not result in total disaster, baking is chemistry. You get the formula wrong and it is likely that your product will literally blow up in your face. The Baking Fates were smiling upon me today, my friends.

I started with a recipe similar to Susan's except it yielded four cakes instead of six (because single girl + house full of chocolate cake = bad idea). This recipe also called for super fancy dark chocolate, which I did not have. So I decided to make do with my store-brand semisweet chocolate chips and intensify the chocolatey-ness with cocoa powder, instant coffee, and bourbon. Behold, Gainesville Chocolate Lava Souffle:1/2 C butter
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 T cocoa powder

1 T bourbon
1 t instant coffee
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 C sugar
2 T flour

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Melt butter and chocolate chips together in microwave (1 minute, stir, then another 30 seconds - I'm way too lazy for a double boiler). Add cocoa powder, bourbon, and instant coffee and mix completely into chocolate.

In a stand mixer, beat eggs, egg yolks, and sugar on high speed until light-colored and thick (this took about 5 minutes on highest setting on Kitchenaid mixer). Turn mixer down a couple notches and stream in chocolate mixture (the eggs will deflate a bit when the warm chocolate is added, but that's okay). Put mixer on lowest setting, add flour and mix just until combined. Divide batter among four four-ounce ramekins and bake 7-8 minutes. The souffles will rise an inch or so out of the ramekins but the middles will still look shiny and jiggly.

Remove from oven, let sit a minute or two and then tip onto serving plates, setting them upright again as quickly as you can. Dust with confectioner's sugar and serve immediately (with LARGE glasses of cold milk)!

June 17, 2008

ROUND FIVE: Sinfully Decadent Desserts

Valrhona Chocolate Cake

I've had the pleasure of having Valrhona Chocolate Cake three times at the California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort. Each time that I've had it, it has been paired with a different sorbet or ice cream. The first time it was along side cherry sorbet (pictured above), the next was strawberry ice cream and the last time was blood orange sorbet (my personal favorite). I wasn't able to procure a blood orange here in Panama City so I decided to be a purist and serve vanilla ice cream with my Valrhona Chocolate Cake. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have...and will continue to for the rest of the week! Yum!

Here is my "beauty plate" as they say on The Next Food Network Star.
The name of this cake comes from the chocolate that was originally used in the dessert. I haven't been in France lately to buy any Valrhona chocolate so I used 60% Cacao Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate instead.
5 1/2 oz of chocolate
11 T unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/4 c plus 2 T sugar
5 T all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour six 6-oz ceramic ramekins. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and the butter until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Using an electric mixer (stand would be easier than trying to balance everything while using a handheld mixer like I did), beat eggs, yolks and sugar in a bowl until lighter in color and thicker (5 minutes or so). Gradually add flour. Add chocolate and continue to beat until glossy. Divide the mixture among the prepared ramekins. Bake until set around the edges but center moves slightly when ramekin is moved. Cool slightly and run a sharp knife around the edge of the ramekin. Turn out onto plate and serve with ice cream.
This recipe was developed by Chef JoJo Vongerichten and appeared in the June 1992 issue of Bon Appetit (pg. 102). I changed a few things here and there but wanted to give credit to whom it was due.

June 5, 2008


Here is my offering in the lasagna category. I give you...Lasagna Alfredo!

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 c ricotta cheese
2 eggs
lasagna noodles (I used the no-boil variety for the sake of time.)
16 oz Alfredo sauce (I used a bottle of Ragu Classic Alfredo. I've never claimed to be Martha Steward but I don't want anyone to compare me to Sandra Lee either! What can I say...it was easier!)
1 cup of tomatoes, diced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
2 cups of Italian Three Cheese blend

Brown the beef in a skillet. When the meat is just about finished, add the garlic and diced onion. Drain off any fat. Set aside.

Mix the 2 cups of ricotta with the two eggs and add a dash of salt and pepper.

Combine the cup of diced tomatoes and the jar of Alfredo (or your own homemade Alfredo sauce, if you must).

Build the lasagna in a 9X13 in baking dish in the following order:

  • thin layer of Alfredo sauce/tomato mix in the bottom of the dish if you are using no-boil noodles
  • a layer of noodles
  • half of the Alfredo sauce/tomato mixture
  • half of the meat and onion
  • spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the meat
  • 1 cup of cheese
  • scatter half of the roasted red pepper

Complete this order once more to finish the lasagna.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

I hope this dish will redeem me from my fall in the Strawberry Battle. And now, I guess I'm off to the challenge that Beth has put in front of me. I hope you enjoy the lasagna but leave room for the Valrhona Chocolate Cake!

June 3, 2008

TIMEOUT: We got an Award!

Before Round Four is finished, we wanted to say a big THANK YOU to Sireesha of Mom's Recipes for giving Dueling Foodies the Yummy Blog Award! "Yummy blog award is the award given to the blog with most yummy recipes/photos" Sireesha, we are very very flattered that you thought of our humble little blog for this award! As per the rules laid down by the award creator, Roopa of Kitchen Treats, we must now pass this award onto 5 other bloggers and list our favorite desserts. Here goes nothing!!

Jamie's favorite dessert: Key Lime Pie & Jalebi
Beth's favorite dessert:
homemade cookies 'n cream ice cream & creme brulee
Susan's favorite dessert:
Valrhona Chocolate cake

Because it is so hard to pick just 5 bloggers who's blog recipes and photos make our mouthes water, we would like to pass it along to everyone who visits Dueling Foodies and all those bloggers out there that work so hard to keep their sites perfect in every way. Keep up the great work on the food blogs ladies and gentleman!!