This weekend we hosted our friends, the Rices, for a card night at our place. We try to plan a dinner at one of our houses about once a month (it usually ends up being every two months). Eve-Maridy and I are both big foodies, so it gives us a chance to experiment with recipes for each other. The boys are just happy to be fed a good dinner and hang out, so it works out nicely.
Since it was my turn for the first time in a while, I wanted to do something special. The menu:
Crisp Winter Lettuces with Warm Sweet-and-Sharp Dressing
Homemade baguettes (America's Test Kitchen Family Baking book)
Steak with red wine pan sauce (America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)
Low fat Scalloped potatoes (America's Test Kitchen Best Light Recipes)
Fallen Chocolate Cake (America's Test Kitchen Family Baking book) with raspberry coulis and lightly sweetened cocoa whipped cream (me)
As you can tell, I love me some America's Test Kitchen. I use those books for everything. Everything turned out really well. I did make a small error with the salads and halved the bacon, but not the rest of the ingredients. It turned out fine, but not as thick as I would have liked. The cooking vinegar may have also irritated my lungs because now I have this horrible cough.
The baguettes were a success! It was my first time working with a sponge and I was a little worried. Luckily I knew I could always run down to the bakery, DiPrima Dolci, if they didn't work out. The recipe yields two 15" baguettes, and unfortunately I only have a 13" baking stone. So, I cut one of them in half, and threw the other in the refrigerator to finish rising and bake the next day.
The chocolate cake, on the other hand, was quite easy and turned out delicious. I didn't have individual ramekins, so I ended up using my springform pan to do one big cake. No matter, it was yummy either way. Although, I do need to get a thermometer for my oven because I think it runs a little hot.
The cake (had a little trouble removing from the pan):
The second round of baguettes (didn't get a picture of the first one):I think my fear of yeast is slowly starting to dissipate...