Thursday, July 15, 2010

La Bete Noir - Flourless Chocolate cake

La Bete Noir means "the dark (or night) beast". This flourless chocolate cake is so rich and delicious, one slice should do you in. My husband has requested this cake for his birthday dinner this weekend. I made it last night and it turned out the best it ever has for me. Enjoy!


  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, diced
  • 18 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 large eggs

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped

Lightly sweetened whipped cream for topping


For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment round; butter parchment. Wrap 3 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil to top of rim. Combine 1 cup water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly. Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.
Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.

For ganache:
Bring whipping cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hours.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.
Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake; release sides. Cut cake into wedges and serve with whipped cream.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Creamy Ham Casserole

I am always interested in a good freezable meal. This casserole is not only yummy, but it is lower in fat than your typical casserole. My friend Erika made it for our bible study the other night and no one could believe it was reduced fat. I just had to share!

Creamy Ham Casserole
from Cooking Light magazine

  • 4 ½ cups uncooked medium egg noodles (I use no-yolks)
  • 2 quarts boiling water
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 (10 ¾ ounce) can condensed, reduced fat, reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) reduced fat shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 (6 oz.) tub light cream cheese with chives and onion, softened
  • 2 cups chopped lean ham
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup fat free herb flavored croutons, crushed


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cook noodles in 2 quarts boiling water for 2 minutes.
  3. Add broccoli and cook 3 minutes. Drain
  4. Combine milk, soup, 1 cup Cheddar cheese, and cream cheese in a large bowl and stir well with a whisk.
  5. Add noodles mixture, ham, and carrot and stir well.
  6. Divide noodle mixture evenly between 2, 8 inch, square baking dishes coated with cooking spray.
  7. Combine remaining 1 cup Cheddar cheese and crouton crumbs; toss well.
  8. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over casseroles.
  9. Wrap unbaked casseroles with heavy- duty foil.
  10. Place frozen casseroles on a baking sheet.
  11. Bake, covered at 350 for 1 hour.
  12. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

*You can freeze up to 3 months!