Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wacky Depression Cake

Notice anything missing from the ingredients I used to make a Chocolate Wacky Depression Cake? There's no eggs, no milk, and no butter! And yet, this is the moistest (most moist?) cake I have ever made. It keeps for days, and is not too sweet while still being chocolate-y. And yes, it calls for vinegar. Trust me, it all works out in the oven.

Chocolate Wacky Depression Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together by hand. Add all the wet ingredients until well combined.
3. Pour into a 8×8 pan which has been prepared with non- stick spray.
4. Bake for 30 minutes until done.  Allow to completely cool before serving. Top with frosting, a little powdered sugar, or leave plain. It's all good!

Recipe from Savory Sweet Life.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Colin's Sunday Night Special: She-Crab Soup

Colin has started a habit of cooking on Sunday nights. Sticking with the soup theme, a few weeks ago he picked a She-Crab Soup recipe out of JoC. She-Crab Soup always makes us think of our second-favorite restaurant in Columbia: the Blue Marlin. After eating this soup, we decided to plan a day trip over Christmas just to go there for lunch (and also to see our friend Jackie of course!).

She-Crab Soup based on the recipe from Joy of Cooking

2 tbsp butter *see notes
2 tbsp flour
3 cups whole milk
1 lb lump crabmeat (picked over for shells)
1 tbsp dry sherry
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp hot sauce (to taste)
1/8 tsp ground mace *see notes

Not enough! This version made about three small bowls; maybe about 3 cups worth.

1. Start with a white roux: Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Slowly mix in the flour, whisking constantly. Whisk and cook until the roux smells toasted but is not yet brown. You really can tell by smell when it's ready. You have to watch it and whisk all the time! As Paula Deen says, if the Publishers Clearinghouse knocks on your door, you holler at them to hold on a minute because you're in the middle of making a roux!
2. Remove the pan from heat and slowly whisk in the milk. Return to heat, bring to a simmer, and cook and whisk until thickened and smooth,.
3. Reduce heat to low and stir in the remaining ingredients. Heat gently and season to taste.
4. Garnish with chopped scallions if you're feeling fancy.

Colin's notes:
  • Make sure to use high quality butter. We have a favorite Irish butter that we use on special occasions, and she-crab soup qualifies as special.
  • You can also use a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg if you don't have mace (which is what we did).
  • Be careful with your non-white ingredients. Don't go overboard on the Worcestershire sauce or you'll discolor the soup.
  • Stick with lump crabmeat.
  • Next time, we're going to triple the amount of milk and also add an additional 6 oz. can of crabmeat, in order to increase the yield.