Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Trying New Things

I’ve mentioned it before: I absolutely love molten chocolate cakes.  Chocolate lava cakes, chocolate fondant cakes, chocolate pudding cakes, whatever you call them - if they are on a menu I will always order them. 

I have a favorite recipe that I’ve written about beforehere.  I use this recipe almost exclusively because the last time I used a different one, the end product was inexplicably and bizarrely salty and so I thought I had learned my lesson.  But the recipe I use is one clipped from a magazine, and this means it’s filed away somewhere whenever I need it (and usually in a different place than it was the last time).  I’ve tried finding it online but it’s just not there, so when I really want to make these cakes and can’t find this recipe I have to resort to trying a different one that’s available online.

This time, that recipe was Martha Stewart’s.

Now don’t get me wrong, it was okay.  The cake was rich and dense and moist, the chocolate flavor was sufficient, and these rose up nicely.  They were very one-note though; there was no vanilla or salt in the recipe, two things that I think really enhance and bring out the chocolate flavor in something, and two things that are needed to keep such a cake from being boring after as few bites.  Look at them up there, they were looking great!  But then there was the whole "removing them from the ramekin" fiasco:

Yeah.  Maybe this was my fault (and knowing me and my past experiences with making baked goods look nice, it probably was) but maybe it wasn’t!  Anyway, these were good.  Not good enough to repost the recipe though so I highly recommend if you are looking for a recipe to use the one posted here instead.  In fact, make them both and compare.  You’ll see what I mean.

It isn't all bad though.

I tried a fruit variation on my favorite margarita and I thought it worked out very well.  Typically, I'd make a flavored margarita simply by making a regular one and then muddling in some fruit.  We had these great strawberries but from experience I know strawberries are a little tough to muddle so I looked up some ideas of how to incorporate them without just pureeing them and dumping them in.  I found this recipe from Tide and Thyme that involved making a strawberry simple syrup and thought it was so smart!  By making a strawberry simple syrup, the strawberries were more a part of the margarita as opposed to just some puree tossed in that would separate out.  I don’t measure when I make my drinks (honestly, it’s a waste of time because typically when you’re making a drink you’re making it because you want a drink in your hand ASAP) but I do count to keep track of ratios, so that's why the amounts here are in seconds and not in, well, actual amounts.

Strawberry Margarita
adapted from Tide and Thyme
makes 2 drinks

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 12 seconds 100% agave silver tequila (I use Kirkland Signature brand from Costco.  Not joking, it's my favorite silver tequila in a mixed drink.  Espolon and Patron are for sipping, Kirkland is for margarita-ing.)
  • 4 seconds Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • 3 seconds Rose's Lime Juice (less than normal because the simple syrup will help sweeten)
  • Juice of one small lime or half a big one, with the other half cut into wedges for garnish
  1. Make simple syrup by boiling 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar until the sugar is melted.  Let cool thoroughly by being patient or putting in an ice bath.
  2. Blend the strawberries with your simple syrup in a mini food processor or a blender until combined.  I left mine a lot chunkier than Tide and Thyme did, I like being able to see my strawberries and eat them at the end.
  3. In a cocktail shaker with ice, pour in your tequila, Triple Sec, Rose's lime juice, and real lime juice.
  4. Add about half of the strawberry simply syrup you made but use your judgment.
  5. Shake up well, for about 30 seconds, and then strain and pour into a glass filled with ice.
  6. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve!

Thankfully I made way too much strawberry simple syrup so I'll be having these the next few nights.  I need them after braving the traffic of the drive home.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I absolutely love strawberry margaritas! Left overs are definitely a good thing.