Friday, November 13, 2009

As an avid food network fan, it's pretty safe to say that I have watched at least one episode of every show. Even some of the more obscure ones like Big Daddy's House. I have favourites like Giada, Ina (pretentious and a butter/oil addict), Michael Smith, and Paula Deen (another butter enthusiast). But of them all I can only have one true favourite, and it is this sweet, adorable, pastry-loving woman:

Anna Olson!

She's on to her second show now with 'Fresh' but 'Sugar' will always be my favourite. It's 30 minutes of baked heaven. She's a pastry chef and she's just so darned adorable.

If you'd like to learn more about her you can visit her website here or you can go onto the food network website and look up recipes from either of her shows.

I thought that for today I would share with you a recipe for a variation on a desert close to my heart. As a young girl I loved Black Forest Cake. I asked for one for my birthday cake for a few years. They featured it in the window of the bakery near my house so it was hard not to want it. Anyway, this is Anna Olson's spin on the classic:

Black Forest Molten Cake

  • Simmer 1 cup of pitted sour cherries with 1/2 cup of sugar for 30 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 375. Butter 4 ramekins and coat with sugar.
  • Melt 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate in a pot over simmering water on the stove or in the microwave.
  • In a seperate bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter, 2/3 cup sugar, and 3 eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Then stir in melted chocolate and 1 tsp vanilla.
  • In a seperate bowl, sift together 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and a dash of salt. Stir this into the chocolate mixture.
  • Spoon the batter into the ramekins and spoon a generous amount of the cherry mixture into the center of each, leveling the top of the chocolate mixture after.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the top has lost its shine. Allow to cool. Butter a knife and run it around the rim of each ramekin to loosen the cake. Tip out of ramekin onto a plate.
  • For a brandied cherry sauce, simmer 2 cups of pitted sweet cherries with 1/ 2 cup of sugar and 1 cinnamon stick. Stir in 4 tbsp brandy.
  • Whisk 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp cold water and then add to the cherries.
  • Sauce can be served warm or cold over cakes.
I've yet to try this one out but I think I may have to at the next dinner party I have. I love ramekins because of their individual size so I'm always up for a desert that requires one.

Have a fun Friday night!
Weekend! Weekend! Weekend!

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