Tag Archives: chocolate

Last minute Valentine’s Day idea: chocolate covered strawberries

14 Feb

You can buy chocolate covered strawberries from the store for about $3 a piece, or you could make your own POUND of chocolate covered strawberries for around $8 (strawberries were on sale at my store this week).  And it takes about 10 minutes.  So… I feel like it’s clear which of the two you should do.

Start with a bag or bar of good chocolate chips (I have Ghiradelli ones here).  Also, use good strawberries- we had a two pound box from Costco but those weren’t as yummy as the one pounder from the regular store (though they were prettier and larger).  I followed the instructions on the bag for how to melt chocolate in the microwave.  I actually prefer this to the double boiler stovetop method because you won’t accidentally get any water in them, which would cause the chocolate to seize up.

Dump a bunch of chopped up chocolate or chips into a bowl, and microwave at 50% power for a minute and a half.  While that’s going, wash your strawberries and dry them.

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If your partner doesn’t do something for you for Valentine’s Day, it might be the last straw-berry confection you make for them. 

When the chocolate comes out it won’t be melted yet, just melting.  Stir it vigorously for a minute or so, then pop it back in the microwave at 50% power for another 30 seconds.  Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.  Once the chocolate pops out, stir, stir, stir until it’s perfectly smooth (really, try to get all the lumps out).

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Ironic how the more your stir, the less stir-dy the chocolate becomes.

Then take your beautiful dry strawberries and dip them in the smooth chocolate, twirling when you pull them out so you don’t get the chocolate tail.

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I wonder if the writer of Trees liked chocolate covered strawberries.  It’d be SERRE-en-DIP-itous.

Alternatively you can hold them upside down if the twirling isn’t your speed, and they’ll absorb their tails.

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If you gave a talk in a dark room but finagled a flashlight onto your chalk-holder, would the talk be CHALK-LIT?

So far we’ve spent 2 minutes total microwaving, 1 minute or so stirring, and 2-3 minutes dipping.

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Alternate photo for this caption: infinite line of strawberries with a single endpoint.  Array of strawberries.

You might be happy with them like this and be done!  I like the look of the drizzled white chocolate, so I broke up half a bar of white chocolate and microwaved it for a minute at 50% power, stirred, and microwaved again for another 30 seconds.

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Fork-ast for today: loooove is in the air

Use a fork for this part!  Then drizzle the white chocolate over the strawberries (the chocolate coating sets very quickly).

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Along with drizzles of white chocolate.  And, where I am currently sitting, drizzles of rain.

You can go pretty crazy on the drizzling and they’ll still end up looking awesome.

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If Jackson Pollack did this, would he make chocolate covered fish?  Gross!

.Let the berries sit while you clean your two bowls and spoon and fork.  Ten minutes!  Ta-da!  They look even fancier if you put them on a plate.

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Chocolate covered strawberries

One pound strawberries (actually I ate a few so there’s less than a pound here)

Half a bar of white chocolate

A bar of dark/bittersweet/milk/your choice chocolate or 1.5 c of chocolate chips

  1. Break up the chocolate bar into small pieces into a microwave safe bowl, then microwave for 1.5 minutes at 50% power.  Wash and dry strawberries.
  2. Stir chocolate vigorously until the bowl no longer feels warm.  Microwave for 30 more seconds at 50% power.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. Stir chocolate vigorously until smooth.  If it’s still chunky, microwave for another 30 seconds and do it again.
  4. Dip strawberries into chocolate and twirl as you pull them out.  Lay on the baking sheet.
  5. Do steps 1-3 again but for the white chocolate, and use a fork.
  6. Use the fork to drizzle white chocolate over the strawberries.

Chocolate orange almond cake (gluten-free)

19 Jul

A few weeks ago I met a friend at one of his favorite new coffee shops in Philadelphia, Frieda’s, which is maybe called FRIEDA for generations and has a very cool mission of essentially being a cool hip young coffee shop that welcomes old people.  I spent three hours there working on math and eating breakfast and having an incredible chocolate cake that had this beautiful aromatic orange flavor and big chunks of orange in it.

We spent a long time raving over this amazing cake, and the chef/co-owner walked over and chatted with us (he’s on a first-name basis with my friend, who goes there all the time) and told me the recipe orally.  Oral recipes include things like “add some cocoa powder” and “top with chocolate ganache,” so this was an adventure!  I also busted out the digital scale for this, but then measured stuff out for all y’all in the recipe at the bottom.

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Spouse bought me the new bag of flour. Why settle for just dia-monds when you can have ALL-monds?  

The cake has very few ingredients, though I forgot to add the cocoa powder above.  First you boil the oranges for 2 hours as you’re a very patient person.  Just kidding!  I covered these in water, considered putting a plate on top but didn’t, and microwaved them for 15 minutes.

20160714_205205

When it comes to American playwrights, do you prefer Williams, or Inge?

Boiling the oranges pulls out the bitterness from the pith (the white part), which is great for what happens next.  But while the oranges are microwaving, you might as well measure out your ingredients and mix them: sift together the almond flour and baking powder and cocoa powder.  I don’t have a sifter so I use a whisk, but sifter would be better for end-result cake texture.  Whisk up the eggs to get some air in there, then whisk in the sugar.

My action shot was too exciting for this!

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I was too eggs-ited!

You can also, if you want, skip all of those steps and dump everything in the food processor after you blend up the oranges!  CAREFULLY pull the oranges out of the hot microwave water and CAREFULLY cut them in quarters.  They’ll be soft but not falling apart, but the juice inside might be HOT.  It helps to buy seedless oranges for this part, because you don’t have to fish them out.  Then throw ’em in the food processor or the blender!

 

Orange puree!  If you’ve got a big food processor you can throw in all the other ingredients now and pulse it all together.  If you don’t, mix the puree with the eggs and sugar, then mix in the dry ingredients.  It’ll be lumpy because of the almond meal.

We’ve been really into The Great British Bake-Off lately, and my spouse thought he’d try to make a Mokatine despite the fact that he never bakes… in fact this was the first thing I’ve EVER seen him bake.  Anyway, we ran out of parchment paper so I told him to “butter and flour” the pan.  He did not know what I was talking about, so here are pictures:

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He’s a stick-ler for details and wanted to know “how much butter”.  I said “enough?”

Using your fingers or a paper towel or a stick like I did, rub butter all over a pan until the whole pane has a thin layer of butter on it.  Then spoon a few (2-3) tablespoons of flour into the pan and shake it around, rolling on each edge, until it’s evenly covered in flour.  Dump out any remaining flour.

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Who needs flowers when you can have flour? (but darling if you’re reading this I still like flowers)

Note that I didn’t do a great job above: you can see where the flour didn’t stick to a part I didn’t butter enough.  That’s exactly where the cake stuck to the pan later.  SO BE THOROUGH with your buttering and flouring.  Or, yknow, keep parchment paper in stock so there’s no flour on your gluten free cake…

Bake!  Let cool completely before frosting (but don’t leave it out too long for fear of losing moisture).  Frosting is MAGICAL GANACHE.

Did you know about ganache??? Somehow I had not made ganache before, despite having a baking blog for almost four years… it’s SO EASY and SO MAGICAL.  I’m into caps today.  You just pour hot cream onto chopped chocolate, and stir it until it’s frosting!  I am lazy so I used chocolate chips, which have extra stuff on them to keep them in their shape, so my ganache wasn’t perfectly smooth.  But still, it’s so delicious and wonderful (ganache is the center of truffles!  I didn’t know!)

 

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All of the photos were in different shots so I couldn’t gif it for you.  It starts out looking like failed hot cocoa when you pour the hot cream on the chocolate and wait for a minute, then like good hot cocoa as you stir it, and then shiny dark melted goodness, and before you know it (after a few minutes of cooling) you have frosting!  Then you can just spread that thick delicious stuff all over the cooled cake, and serve!  We actually don’t like chocolate very much and I made this for a friend’s chocolate-themed birthday party.  I will definitely make this cake again, sans cocoa powder (it’s SO orange-y and SO almond-y and SO easy).

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Chocolate orange almond cake (adapted from David Hong at Frieda’s)

For cake:

2 oranges

300 g (3 c) almond flour

200 g (1 c) sugar

6 eggs

1 TB baking powder

1/3 c-1/2 c cocoa powder (I did 1 c and it was too cocoa powdery; 3/4 c is the Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe, I think 1/2 c would be great)

For ganache:

1 c heavy whipping cream

1 c good chocolate, chopped, or fancy chocolate chips

  1. Put oranges in a bowl, fill with water so oranges float, and microwave for 15 minutes.  Every five minutes, rotate the oranges so that a different side is floating out of the water.  Or put a small plate on the oranges to keep them submerged.
  2. Meanwhile, sift together the almond flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder, or whisk them well.
  3. Vigorously whisk the eggs until frothy, then whisk in the sugar until light and fluffy and pale.
  4. Carefully chop the hot, soft oranges into quarters, then puree in a food processor or blender.  Preheat oven to 375.
  5. Whisk orange puree with the eggs and sugar.
  6. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet and mix well.
  7. Butter and flour a springform pan or line with parchment paper.  Should work on any pan; I just used a springform.
  8. Fill the pan, bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (up to an hour).  Let cool completely before frosting.
  9. Heat up the cream over medium heat in a small saucepan.  It doesn’t need to boil, but should be pretty hot (if you aren’t sure, take it almost to boiling).
  10. Put the chocolate chips in a bowl, and pour the hot cream over.  Let sit for a minute, then start stirring with a wooden spoon or whisk.  Keep stirring until it turns into ganache.
  11. Frost your beautiful cake!

(almost Paleo) gluten-free Ice cream cake construction

23 Sep

For my husband’s birthday last month I decided to make him an almost-Paleo ice cream cake.  This is easily made fully paleo (by which I mean no refined sugar, no flour, no dairy).  I’d never made an ice cream cake before- I think next time I’ll go more classic and just do a cookie crust with ice cream on it and frosting, instead of an actual cake which is then frozen.

I've been sorta blah lately, but I'm doing o-ca(k)e

I’ve been sorta blah lately, but I’m doing o-ca(k)e

For the record, two years ago when I did this for his birthday I made this incredible paleo birthday cake with coffee in it.  Fun fact: I had to fly it down to Austin (where he lived) for the party, and went through TSA with a tupperware of definitely-liquid-ish way-more-than-three-ounces homemade coconut frosting nestled into the cake caddy I’d bought for the occasion.  When they asked what it was, I said “frosting for this surprise birthday cake!”  I think I looked super cute that day AND I had a cake as my personal item (+backpack for carry-on) so they let me through.

Anyway, this year was more low key cake-wise.  Also I somehow didn’t have cocoa in my house so I cheated and used some fancy-pants hot chocolate mix we had instead, and cut down on sugar.  You are most definitely not supposed to do this, per the internet and baking mavens, but whatever.  I live on the wild side.

I think the pregnancy is driving me a little COCOa.  In fact, I'm sure it is because the word I'm looking for is "loco," right?

I think the pregnancy is driving me a little COCOa. In fact, I’m sure it is because the word I’m looking for is “loco,” right?

This cake is super easy to put together.  Whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla.  Recipe calls for agave, I’m also pretty sure you could use sugar if you aren’t picky.  I cut down on my syrup because of the sugar in the hot cocoa mix.

They should warn you that the hormones maple you in all different directions at once

They should warn you that the hormones maple you in all different directions at once.

Then add the almond flour and sprinkle with salt, baking soda, and cocoa.  If you aren’t lazy you could mix the dry ingredients separately, but why do that?  Because it’s more uniform and better generally and what’s the problem with making one more bowl dirty, Yen?

Anyways.  Mix until mixed.  I thought this batter looked a little suspect and reviews said that it was a bit dry, so I pulled a Hershey’s and added 3/4 cup of boiling water to moisten the cake up.  Totally works.  Butter and flour a springform pan (this part is important if you want to make an ice cream cake!!!) and toss your batter in.

Everyone dislikes taxes, but what about the paper that we use?  Are any of those sheets like one day, I want to be used for taxes?  I'm an aspiring form?  (springform pan...)

Everyone dislikes taxes, but what about the paper that we use? Are any of those sheets like one day, I want to be used for taxes? I’m an aspiring form? (springform pan…)

Bake until done, about half an hour.  Then let cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, take out your dairy free homemade possibly paleo avocado coconut chocolate chip ice cream (or any flavor of ice cream) and let it soften.  Once it’s soft (maybe half an hour depending on your freezer), spread it as evenly as you can on your cake.

This recipe is far, far from canon.  How could we imbue it with an air of dignity/conservativism?  Just Pat it more and it'll Bu-canon.  (I really felt like making a Pat Buchanan pun)

This recipe is far, far from canon. How could we imbue it with an air of dignity/conservativism? Just Pat it more and it’ll Bu-canon. (I really felt like making a Pat Buchanan pun)

Then let it freeze again.  For frosting I went with whipped cream, which you can also do with coconut cream.  Since you’re freezing it, you’ll want to add a tablespoon of unflavored gelatin or agar-agar (which I for some reason have, despite not having cocoa powder) so that the frosting doesn’t just melt when you take out the cake.

Un-springform the cake and frost it with the whipped cream, then freeze it again.

Next on Discovery/Food Net-channel: Naked and Afraid- A Story of Frosting

Next on Discovery/Food Net-channel: Naked and Afraid- A Story of Frosting

Next up on ESPFood: Interviewing the NY Knicks on Frost(ing)- an epic battle for the truth (actual tagline for Frost/Nixon)

Next up on ESPFood: Interviewing the NY Knicks on Frost(ing)- an epic battle for the truth (actual tagline for Frost/Nixon)

To decorate, I melted some chocolate chips in the microwave and stuck them in a plastic bag.  Snipped off the corner and wrote on the cake.  It was great because the cake was so frozen it immediately made a Magic Shell effect.

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Paleo ice cream Cake:

Chocolate cake, adapted from epicurious:

2 c almond flour

1/2 c cocoa

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 c maple syrup

2 eggs

1 TB vanilla

3/4 c boiling water

Prep a springform pan: butter and flour it (or oil and almond flour it).  Mix the maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla together.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Add the boiling water and mix.  Pour into the pan and bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool completely

Ice cream, whatever flavor you want that’ll go well with chocolate.  Let soften while the cake cools.  Spread on the cake (do not un-springform the pan yet!).  Refreeze for an hour.

Whipped cream for frosting:

1 c of whipping cream, or 1 c of the thicker stuff from the top of a can of coconut milk

2 TB of powdered sugar, to taste (up to 1/4 cup)

1 TB of gelatin or agar-agar

1/2 tsp of vanilla

Whip all ingredients together until it looks and tastes good.  Spread on your frozen cake (unspringforming it now seems good so you can get the sides).  Refreeze for an hour.  Decorate!

Flourless chocolate cake

15 Sep
Birthday boy pavlova + flourless chocolate cake!

Birthday boy pavlova + flourless chocolate cake!

It’s been done a million times and you’ve had it in all the restaurants, but it’s still so good and so easy.  Flourless chocolate cake.  Four ingredients: egg yolks, butter, chocolate chips, milk.  You should make this when you’re feeling VERY indulgent.  I paired it with the pavlova from last week for my boyfriend’s birthday, and it went quite well: the light airy pavlova with the ultra-dense gooey chocolate cake.

No ingredient picture this time because I was making it while making the pavlova and was a little overwhelmed.

Butter?  I barely know 'er!

Butter? I barely know ‘er!

Melt your butter, set aside.  Then in the same pot, melt your chocolate chips in the milk and whisk until smooth:

P1010295 P1010296

How I whisk you were here... I'd make you a cake!

How I whisk you were here… I’d make you a cake!

The recipe called for seven egg yolks but I just had the six from the pavlova.  Whatever!  Still delicious!

Ah, to be free of this yoke of unused yolks!

Ah, to be free of this yoke of unused yolks!

Aside: apparently there’s all sorts of food safety with saving leftover yolks/whites etc.  If you aren’t making two desserts at once like I did, you should check out this site with food handling tips.  Then again, that site says not to do the egg separating trick because shells can hold bacteria.  Where are you getting your eggs?!

Anyways, beat up those yolks, then alternate adding the butter and yolks to the chocolate-milk stuff, beating each time.

Beat a bit of butter in your batter.  Then do it again with yolks

Beat a bit of butter in your batter. Then do it again with yolks.

Finally throw the whole thing into a greased pan and bake for half an hour!

I had a friend in middle school named Em.  If he were here I'd say Em, pour!  Yum!  And he'd be like, Yen we aren't in a store here.

I had a friend in middle school named Em. If he were here I’d say Em, pour! Yum! And he’d be like, Yen we aren’t in a store here.

Let it cool (maybe throw it in the freezer), and top with powdered sugar and fresh fruit, or whipped cream.

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Recipe adapted from about.com I am so serious:

6 egg yolks

2 sticks butter

1 c milk

1 bag chocolate chips

Melt the butter, set aside.

Whisk the chocolate chips into the milk over medium heat, until smooth.

Add about 1/3 of the butter to the chocolate-milk and beat until mixed.  Then add 2 of the egg yolks and beat.  Alternate butter, egg, butter, egg until you’re done.

Pour into a greased dish [I used a glass 8″ pie pan] (or a springform pan lined with parchment paper if you’re fancier than me).  Bake at 350 for half an hour.  It’ll look totally uncooked in the middle; don’t even worry about it.  Take it out, let it cool, throw it in the freezer/fridge.

When ready to serve, top with powdered sugar and fresh fruit.  Serves lots of people.

Raw vegan brownie bites- surprisingly delicious

27 Jul

These kind of taste like those brownie bites you buy in the plastic container from the store.  I spent awhile procrastinating the other day and reading up about the raw diet and blogs by raw foodies.  I find it super interesting though not something I would do myself.  I especially like the way people have ‘hacked’ non-raw foodstuffs out of raw ingredients (is that the correct usage of the word ‘hack’?  It’s a verb, right?)

Anyway, let’s throw this together real fast.  I’m going to Turkey and Greece with my two best friends from college this afternoon (as of me writing this, so I’m probably in Turkey/Greece as of you reading this), and I still need to finish packing.  Luckily, this post will be short and making these brownie bites takes maybe 90 seconds.  More if you’re like me and had trouble opening the package of dates.

I wonder if the raw food diet is popular in North Carolina.  Probably not, despite the capitol's name.

I wonder if the raw food diet is popular in North Carolina. Probably not, despite the capitol’s name.

Also I did this because it is HOT IN CHICAGO and I didn’t want to turn on an oven.  Brownies are totally baked goods and hence this fits in this blog.

Food processors are wonderful!  Pulse your pecans til they’re real fine:

What if you named your bag of pecans "mickey"?  Then you could sing: Oh mickey you so fine, you so fine you blow my mind hey mickey!

What if you named your bag of pecans “mickey”? Then you could sing: Oh mickey you so fine, you so fine you blow my mind hey mickey!

Next add your dates.  I had trouble measuring out a “cup” of dates but I think 10-12 is the right number.  Don’t forget to de-pit them!

I pity da fool who hasn't tried dates

I pity da fool who hasn’t tried dates

Man mickey is pretty fly.  Check out all of his dates!

Man mickey is pretty fly. Check out all of his dates!

Pulse that until it’s gloopy (maybe 40 seconds).  I paused before that and looked and it wasn’t gloopy yet (you want the dates to be crushed enough that the mixture sticks to itself).

They're great candidates: these dates are known for their can-do attitude and stick-to-ittiveness.

They’re great candidates: these dates are known for their can-do attitude and stick-to-ittiveness.

Now add your cocoa powder, shredded coconut, salt, and sweetener if you’re using it.  This happened the last time I wanted to make chocolate cake: realized that I have no cocoa powder at home (d’oh) so I used hot chocolate mix and didn’t add sweetener.  It’s probably not actually raw since I used the mix and it’s been processed, but close enough.  It’s like when I made those “vegan” cookies and used butter (but I did not feed them to any vegans).  These brownie bites did not get fed to any raw foodists.

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Yo dog I heard you were making brownies. I dig it. Whirred. (it sounds like word get it get it???)

This gets pulsed for another 30 seconds, until it smells and looks chocolatey brown.  Then scoop them out by tablespoons, dip them in cocoa powder, and toss ’em in the fridge.  They’re pretty crumbly/hard to handle so you could also put them in the fridge for an hour first and then shape them.  It worked out OK and they were a hit at the dinner party!

Sorry no close up, but here’s a picture of me with my new haircut.

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Recipe from The Rawtarian:

1 c pecans

1 c dates

5 TB cocoa powder

4 TB shredded coconut

2 TB honey (I didn’t use this because of the cocoa powder thing.  Also my coconut was sweetened whoops)

1/4 tsp sea salt

 

Process pecans until crumbly.  Add dates, and process until sticky.  Then add everything else and process for awhile, until chocolatey.  Scoop with a tablespoon, roll in cocoa powder or powdered sugar, and put on a plate in the fridge for an hour.  

This made something like 16 brownie bites, which I ended up cutting in half because they were so rich.  The website says it makes six small servings, which makes me think vegans eat a LOT.

Oreo balls

24 Apr

Very quick post during the workday.  I made these last night for administrative professional’s day today (which no one knows about).  They’re delicious, super rich and addictive and absolutely horrible for you.  No baking involved- in fact, I used a plate, a plastic bag, and a meat tenderizer as my tools.  Plus there’s only three ingredients.

Three ingredients: cream cheese, chocolate, andeo.  Oops I mean OReo.

Three ingredients: cream cheese, chocolate, andeo. Oops I mean OReo.

First you throw your oreos in a plastic bag and crush them with a meat tenderizer/hammer/your hands.  You could also use a food processor or blender but who wants to clean those?  Unless you were ALSO making an oreo milkshake at the time…

If Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker were in my kitchen I wouldn't even need the mallet for this to be Crush Hour.

If Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker were in my kitchen I wouldn’t even need the mallet for this to be Crush Hour.

Next, plop your cream cheese into the bag and smoosh it around with your hands.  Again, this step could be done with a food processor, but smooshing is so much fun!

Don't stop make it plop DJ pour that cream cheese in

Don’t stop make it plop DJ pour that cream cheese in

Would a basketball-playing cow yell SMOOOOOOOOOSH when hitting nothing but net?

Would a basketball-playing cow yell SMOOOOOOOOOSH when hitting nothing but net?

Then roll the resulting mixture into sticky balls, about an inch in diameter, and throw them in the freezer for a few minutes (I ate an artichoke in this time and it seemed about right).

You guys I'm having such a good time making these.  You might even say I'm HAVING A BALL

You guys I’m having such a good time making these. You might even say I’m HAVING A BALL

Meanwhile, melt your chocolate.  I used Baker’s semisweet because that’s what Kraft said to do, but anything will do: dark, white, whatever.  It’s so easy to melt too: 30 seconds in the microwave, stir, 30 more seconds, stir.  When it comes out after the second 30 seconds it’ll still be in those soft bricks, but just stir and the residual heat will melt it.

I think it's been winter for too long: I'm going a little STIR crazy

I think it’s been winter for too long: I’m going a little STIR crazy

Then roll your frozen oreo balls around in the chocolate, and throw them on some parchment paper to set.  I also sprinkled some of mine with coconut.

I used a shallow bowl here, but if Adele were around I'd use a deeper one.  Ah, we could have had it all.

I used a shallow bowl here, but if Adele were around I’d use a deeper one. Ah, we could have had it all.

Let's think of champagne as 'troubled water.'  Then these guys seem like a great thing to lay down in a fridge of troubled water

Let’s think of champagne as ‘troubled water.’ Then these guys seem like a great thing to lay down in a fridge of troubled water

They’re ready to eat as soon as you want to eat them, though Kraft says to do it after an hour.  THESE ARE SO DELICIOUS and so bad for you.  There’s nothing good in them.  And that’s why they’re so good.

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“Recipe” adapted from the official Kraft one which looks like too much cream cheese:

Crush 28 Oreos in a plastic bag with a meat tenderizer/hammer/heavy bottle.  Some people use hand mixers/food processors.

Smoosh in 4-6 oz cream cheese to your taste (I had some leftover from bagels so I’m not sure how much I used)

Form 1 inch balls and freeze for 10 minutes

Melt 6 oz semi-sweet or white chocolate, and roll each ball in the chocolate.  Lay out on parchment paper.

Refrigerate for an hour or as long as you want to.

Spring break 2013!

25 Mar

No baking this week or last because I’ve been traveling: I spent all of last week in Berkeley at MSRI aka math heaven, at a “hot topics” workshop.  Info here if you’re curious: http://www.msri.org.  It was incredible. Surface subgroups and cube complexes.  I understood maybe a third to a quarter of what was going on  it and will try to explain some of it in here this week.  You might remember my first math post which was a confusing terrible time for everyone involved.

Hopefully I’ve become more lucid since then, and I’ll be able to better explain cube complexes and cubulations sometime this week.  It really is a nifty tool going on at the forefront of pure mathematical research, and part of the point of this blog is sharing what the forefront Of mathematical research is, without needing to be a math major to understand.  Though you might need some help understanding my late night grammar.  Anyways, this is just a check in post.

Bonus recipe: so easy, so delicious.  Chocolate “mousse” in five minutes:

Take a big bowl.  Put a tonof ice cubes in it, like two or three trays worth, plus a little water .  Then nest a smaller bowl on the ice.  Metal is fantastic here.  Next, melt a bag of good Chocolate chips or better,breakup a 10 ounce bar, into a cup of water on the stove, stirring constantly until  the mix is completely smooth, about three minutes.

Pour your melted chocolate into the iced bowl, and whisk whisk whisk until it’s light and fluffy, about five minutes. Or use a beater.  Sprinkle liberally with some fresh ground sea salt, and pour into nice glasses.  I top with homemade vanilla whipped cream and/or fresh fruit: strawberries, raspberries, bananas, pretty much anything will work.

THIS RECIPE IS FANTASTIC AND EASY AND YOU SHOULD MAKE IT.

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