Getting to Know the Ebullient Epicurean

  1) My favorite item to cook? It’s a tie between seafood lasagna and gumbo. While both items are time consuming they are well worth it. I usually prepare seafood lasagna in the autumn, while gumbo I prepare every Christmas, … Continue reading

Creamy Custard Ice Cream Base

Homemade ice cream without the pain of manually churning!   You may use this base for almost all of your favorite ice creams. I use it for chocolate, banana, butter pecan, peach, rocky road, strawberry… I use it for almost … Continue reading

Christmas Eve Lasagna

Christmas Eve Red Lasagna

Every Christmas Eve I prepare lasagna, chicken French, and Cajun eggnog. Sure, I have a display of Christmas cutout cookies and red velvet cupcakes, but it isn’t Christmas Eve until the lasagna is out of the oven.This recipe yields a 2-3 … Continue reading

Better than Grandma’s Pie Crust

Recipe yields enough dough for two flaky buttery pie crusts. I usually double recipe, which yields enough dough for one pie and a 9″ x 13″ pan. This crust is great for pies, cobblers, dumplings, etc. Although I’m posting photos … Continue reading

Lauryn’s Original Ultimate Chocolate Cake

A true creation of love, that thoroughly tested my chemistry skills. A delicious piece of cake with my absolute favorite dessert item, champagne!

A true creation of love, that thoroughly tested my chemistry skills. A delicious piece of cake with my absolute favorite dessert item, champagne!

When it comes to cooking I am always creating my own recipes based upon my favorite flavor profiles, familial cooking styles, and seasonal ingredients. Baking on the other hand, has proven to be a difficult task, with too much chemistry involved for this home cook. When baking I typically utilize familial recipes and add my own twist. One Friday, this spring, I was feeling adventurous and decided to develop my own recipe for chocolate cake. To my surprise it only took me two tries to develop a finished product that was moist, chocolaty, and not dense. Here’s the recipe! I hope you enjoy! 

Ingredients for Cake

1 3/4 cups cake flour

2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cups cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup 2% or 1% milk

3 eggs (room temperature)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sour cream (full fat)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons espresso extract

2 cups chocolate chips or coarse chopped chocolate chunks tossed in flour

1 large box instant jello chocolate pudding mix

Ingredients for Chocolate Frosting

2 sticks softened salted butter

1 large egg yolk

2 teaspoons espresso extract

2-4 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half, add more by the tablespoon full as needed for desired consistency

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare 2 (two) 8×2 round cake pans or 1 (one) 9×13 pan by lining pan(s) with parchment paper then buttering or spraying with cooking spray and coating lightly with flour.

Sift cake flour, sugar cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, pudding mix, and salt into large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla, and espresso extract. With mixer on low add all wet ingredients to bowl containing dry ingredients. Then slowly add milk, scraping bottom of bowl with rubber spatula. Slowly fold in chocolate chips or chunks, do not mix. Pour batter into cake pan(s) and bake 40 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool for at least 2 hours.

To prepare chocolate frosting beat butter until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, vanilla extract, and espresso extract. Gradually add cocoa powder and heavy cream. Mix on low. Add confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time. Mix on low and increase to medium speed once thoroughly incorporated. Add more heavy cream as needed to thin out frosting if it seems tooth pick. Store frosting in cold place until ready to use. Frost cake as you desire.

Chocolate cake shown with fresh whipped cream and vanilla custard. My recipe for homemade vanilla custard coming soon ;-)

Chocolate cake shown with fresh whipped cream and vanilla custard. My recipe for homemade vanilla custard coming soon 😉

Lauryn Tamar Minter, PhD

A little more about me, as told by the Diversely Me Team.

Diversely Me

IMG_5677-r  IMG_5679-RIMG_5689-r

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Five years from now I see myself as a manager or chief working for the U.S. federal government, hosting fabulous dinner parties on the weekends for coworkers and friends, traveling throughout the Americas, and building a life with a man who holds the same values as me.

How do you culturally identify yourself?

Culturally I identify as Black of the Americas. Culturally, I identify with the cultures of Blacks in the United States, Cape Verde, Trinidad, and the Gulf Region of Mexico. My familial background is one of varied ethnic backgrounds that are all rooted in the African diasporic or Black experience. My culture is also influenced to a large degree by my faith/religiosity. The Anglican/Episcopal church and West African spirituality both have a great influence on my personal identity as well.

What is your career or profession?

I recently earned…

View original post 612 more words

Seasonal Strawberry Cake

I don’t have a witty story about this recipe. Unlike many of the other recipes on this blog, this recipe was neither passed on to me by a dear grandmother nor is it one that I’ve had in my repertoire for a long time. One day this spring I wanted a strawberry cake so I developed this recipe. It’s not perfect by any means. I’ve made it twice; the first time I made it in a bunt pan and cooked it for an hour… let’s just say that the cake came out dense and heavy. The second time I made it in a sheet cake pan and the cake was moister and less heavy. The “frosting” was the only item that was deliciously ‘perfect’ both times. I hope you enjoy! I welcome your recommendations!

Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Cake

Ingredients for cake

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup strawberries pureed
1 cup strawberries sliced for garnish
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tablespoons strawberry-flavored gelatin
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries
cooking spray for pan
Directions 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat salted butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating 5 or 6  minutes or until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Stir  in lemon juice and vanilla.

In separate bowl stir together flour and strawberry gelatin power, baking soda, and salt.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk (start with flour mixture and end by adding flour mixture).

Beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in strawberry puree.

Spray and lightly flour a 13- x 9-inch cake pan. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Cool completely. Spread “frosting” on top and sides of cake. See recipe for frosting below.

strawberry cake unbaked

Ingredients for strawberry “frosting”
  1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  2/3 cup sugar, divided
  1 cup strawberries sliced for garnish
  1 tablespoon strawberry gelatin
  1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
IMG_8016
Directions for strawberry cream cheese “frosting”
Beat cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.

Add powdered gelatin; beat until blended. Set aside.

Beat heavy cream and lemon juice at medium speed until foamy, increase speed to medium-high, and slowly add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold half of heavy cream mixture into cream cheese mixture; fold in remaining cream mixture. Use immediately or refrigerate. Garnish cake with sliced strawberries.

IMG_8014
IMG_8253

Wild Game Butchering The Way Our Ancestors Did in Plantation Days

This is AMAZING!!!! This is true narrative sharing through cooking! This man is doing what I wish I could. Absolutely amazing!!

Afroculinaria

I asked my colleague Chef Harold Caldwell to write about the process of butchering wild game in the colonial and antebellum periods. This is a real treat full of detail about how our Ancestors survived. Our forefathers and foremothers made the original “soul food,” from the ingredients around them: squirrels, possums, raccoons, rabbits, groundhog, eels, catfish, bass, trout, suckers, sturgeons, deer, rail, snipe, partridges, grouse and wild turkey. They made it all taste good because they had to. We know that but we aren’t too sure about how it was all done. Lucky for you Chef Harold and I are preserving this knowledge, and I’m pleased to share this excellent essay he has prepared with you.

image

The colonial and antebellum periods were a time in history where most people survived from the land. But land wasn’t the only source for food. Nourishment also came from oceans, bays, lakes, and rivers.

View original post 879 more words

Potato Latkes (Pancakes)

Potato latkes with fresh sour cream and homemade apple sauce brings back wonderful childhood memories!   Ingredients  2 lbs butter/yellow potatoes, peeled 3/4 cup chopped scallions 3 large eggs, beaten 2 tablespoons all purpose flour OR matzo meal 1.5 teaspoons … Continue reading