Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Home made Digestivo! Great Books! One Pan Chocolate Cake!

Berry Digestivo


After a great meal there is really nothing like a nice, tasty digestivo - you know a bit of strong but tasty alcohol that helps all that great food to break down and digest - or else at least makes us feel like it's helping!  This is a simple after dinner drink that you can keep in your 'fridge for some time.  It's delicious - it actually gets better with age.  It's from David Tannis book, "Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys".  Just put a cup of berries that you like (they can be frozen if you froze them fresh but you'll need to let them defrost and do a first strain) in a bowl, sprinkle the berries with 2 tablespoons sugar and crush the berries with your hands. I used raspberries and blueberries.  Add 2 cups of vodka or grappa.  I used vodka so far but making this with grappa would make a lovely gift.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for a few hours, or in my case, a couple of days. I strained the mixture into a cute bottle, found a cork and it lives on the top shelf of our 'fridge.  We are going to need more soon.  Tannis does not strain out the berries; my thought was that it would last longer - so I did a longer steeping time.  It's pretty AND delicious!


Michael Pollan's useful, funny, and sometimes profound little book, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual (2009) is coming out this month in a second edition with illustrations by Maira Kalman.  The new edition will include lots of new "rules" from Slow Food members.  I am going to be sharing some of the original 64 rules on Facebook for the rest of the month in honor of the new release. My favorite rule from the original - no big surprise probably - is Rule 19:  If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't.

Marc Vetri, owner of Vetri, Osteria, and Amis) and one of the best chef in Philadelphia in my opinion,  has a new cookbook coming out at the end of October.  The book is called Rustic Italian Food.  Marc has long dazzled those of us who adore authentic Italian food.  He is a serious student and now a teacher of the italian food that Italians love to cook and eat.  There is a nice piece about Marc, the new book, and some great pasta recipes in the November 2011 Food and Wine.


This cake, from Corbin Evans of New Orleans (formerly of Philadelphia) is the easiest, most moist and yummy chocolate cake and it takes just a few minutes to make and you dirty one pan - the pan the cake bakes in - seriously, how great is that?

Three Hole Cake


1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder  (the best you can find)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I use Canola oil)
1 cup of water
Confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease & flour a 9 inch square baking pan
Combine the flour, baking soda, sugar, cocoa and salt right in the baking pan
Stir the mixture gently
Make 3 holes in the dry mixture
Pour the vinegar in one hole; pour the vanilla in another hole; and pour the oil in the 3rd hole.
Pour the water all over the top of the mixture
Stir, gently, for about 1 minute and 1/2  - some lumps are OK

Bake for 30 minutes - let cool for a bit and sprinkle with confectioners sugar if desired.

Easy as can be and delicious - especially when topped with a good vanilla ice cream.  It really is all about the cocoa powder.


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1 comment:

  1. Love that cake!
    FYI- Corbin recently moved to Mississippi.
    Strange, but true.