Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Blog Quesadillas turns 1 year!

This little blog of mine has turned 1 year! I really have been enjoying blogging about food and all new food-experiences while abroad.
You really can learn a lot about a country and its culture just by visiting food-market or exploring street food. I have tried to do that (and more) and although everything on this blog is experienced through my eyes, I also hope that all you readers have learned and experienced something new as well.

Nevertheless, this 1 year celebration is a great excuse to make a cake! As I am in China right now I just felt I needed to make a cake that has some typical Chinese ingredients, and what is it if not red bean paste.

So I made a mini chocolate cake and I steamed it in my good "old" bamboo-steamer (so Chinese). When done I filled it with red bean paste and Italian meringue mixed with whole and chopped red beans. And the cake was covered with a thick layer of Italian meringue. Happy Birthday Blog Quesadillas!

Chocolate cake with red beans and Italian meringue
1 egg
1 dl + 2 tbsp of sugar
10 gr of butter
30 gr chocolate, divided in 2 equal parts
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 dl + 1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
bit of salt

2 egg whites
1 dl sugar
1/2 dl water

1 dl red bean paste
1/2 dl whole red beans

a mini cake pan, 10 cm in diameter

Melt the butter and half of the chocolate, add milk and vanilla. Grate the rest of the chocolate as small as possible. Beat egg and sugar until pale and thick. Add butter mixture. Mix flour, salt and baking powder and add carefully to the egg mixture. Blend in almost all grated chocolate, leave some for the top. Pour the batter in the cake pan, sprinkle some chocolate on the top and steam on high heat for about 15-20 minutes. When it is done it looks like this:

The best thing about steamed cakes is that it very hard to end up with a dry cake. When you bake in oven sometimes a couple of minutes can make a difference, but when steaming you really have to work hard to end up with a dry cake. I like a lot!

To make meringue start with the sugar syrup. Mix water and sugar in a pan and boil until it gets a consistency of a syrup, 2-3 minutes. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and add slowly hot syrup. Beat until meringue is cool and stiff, at least 10 minutes, by hand.

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