DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE WITH BROWN SUGAR BUTTERCREAM
Serves 10 - Active time: 1 h - Start to finish: 2 h CAKE
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
Brown sugar buttercream (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 3 (8- by 2-inch) round cake pans and line bottoms of each with rounds of wax or parchment paper. Butter paper and dust pan with flour, knocking out excess.
Whisk together boiling water and cocoa powder in a bowl until smooth, then whisk in milk and vanilla.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl.
Beat together butter and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour and cocoa mixtures alternately in…
I just got back from Paris where I had to go for 2 days of work-related tests, including a day of massive strikes. After the tests, I went shopping of course, armed with a long list of products and ingredients we can never find in Riga, in the best place in Paris for all sorts of exotic oddities: Tang Frères, Chinatown, in Paris' 13th arrondissement. There I filled up my basket with Hoisin Sauce, Spicy Black Bean Sauce, Plantains and Frozen Soft-Shell Crabs, which my partner turned yesterday into the most delicious dish (see pic).
Any American will tell you that one of the hardest things to do when living the expat life in Europe is to find decent Mexican food. Unfortunately, my partner and I get cravings for the 'South of the border' cuisine about 2 or 3 times a week! We had one of those last night and decided to make nachos (see picture). They were definitely not our best, for lack of quality ingredients mostly, but then again, when it comes to nachos, we've had more than our share of disappointments on this side of the Atlantic. When we first arrived in Paris in September 2003, my partner and I began our search for Mexican eateries in Paris with the help of a free monthly magazine called FUSAC (stands for French-USA Contact). And there it was, on one of their glossy pages, a small ad for a Mexican restaurant named Susan's Place, boasting nothing less than the best Chili Con Carne in Europe. I know what you're thinking, Chili Con Carne is not Mexican. Well, it's Tex-Mex. Close enough.…