Saturday, March 3, 2012

Loving Lunch with Joy the Baker, Cristina Ferrare, Kitchen Aid and White On Rice Couple ~ (recipe: Single Girl Melty Chocolate Cake)

If you're reading this because you'd like the recipe for a simple, chocolate filled, melty-in-the-middle single serving cake from Joy the Baker's new book - keep reading.

If you're reading this because you'd like to know more about Cristina Ferrare's new cook book - keep reading.

If you're reading this because you've started feeling like people are fake, selfish, celebrity driven a-holes, then I don't know how you got to this page, but keep reading because I have great news for you.

This past week I was invited to a casual luncheon given by Diane and Todd (photographers/writers/teachers and artists of the blog, White On Rice Couple .) It was so exciting to get their invitation because I know them to be talented, inspiring, authentic and truly giving people.

Cristina Ferrare (whom I've adored since her modeling/television days), and her daughter, Alex Thomopoulos (with a standup comedy background turned culinary artist - after my own heart), would be joining other food writers, bloggers and food fans at the lunch.

Also giving her time and talents would be Joy from Joy The Baker, (one of the most down-to-earth, beautiful and funny food gals I've ever met). It was sponsored by KitchenAid (I've never received any free equipment from them, but I would sing their praises 'til the cows came home because I have products that are over 20 years old that I still use.)

So, for those of you with dampened spirits about humanity, let me address you first:

In a time of tiresome vile political discourse and reality television assuring us that almost every gathering evidently breaks into name calling, table toppling and crying - this luncheon was full of friends and strangers laughing together and being moved by the video created by Diane and Todd. It wasn't a video selling a product. It was a video reminding us to open our eyes to all the moments in life and appreciate our own story. With their very personal images, they urged us to stay connected with the people, animals and details that matter most to our hearts. The best photography is the capturing of those stories.

With that vulnerable and emotional beginning, who wouldn't be moved to chat and stretch out of your own comfort zone? With a soft white light streaming across their studio, the 30-40 of us milled about meeting new people.

Diane and Jenny (Picky Palate)

We munched on smoked salmon-topped Potato Plates from Cristina's new book (Big Bowl of Love),
and Alex's (KitchenAid-sliced) Zucchini and Cucumber Carpaccio, and Marshmallow Fluff Frosting demonstrated by Joy from her new book (Joy The Baker). We used the frosting to decorate our cupcakes.
Me and Rachel (Fuji Mama)

I've worked in the entertainment business for years. I've seen "celebrity" go to people's heads whether they were starring in a box office hit, writing the next straight-to-dvd knock-off, or reading lines into a camera about this week's mattress sales. It happens and it's weird.

Then there are people who really have the right to be patting themselves on the back and you'd never know they were in the room; their feet are firmly planted on the ground and they're always ready to help. Cristina and Joy have created wonderful cook books, Diane and Todd have an enormous following and the talent to back it up, yet all of these folks are the kinds of people you'd like to hang out with and have over for dinner.

I was fortunate enough to be given a copy of their cookbooks that day, but I've honestly purchased a copy of both just to share with a couple of my friends far away.Okay, now the recipe (but if you skipped to this part, you missed out on a story about hope, just saying. :D )

Within hours of returning from my luncheon, I was already thumbing through both cookbooks, leaving sticky tags on pages to study later. Then, standing alone in my kitchen knowing my husband wouldn't be home til the wee hours from work and my son off on a school trip to New York, I gave in to a picture of chocolate staring at me from Joy's cookbook. I had to make it.

The recipe was just too easy to not whip up and eat - all of it - all by myself. I killed this so fast~

In the book, it's called "Single Girl Melty Chocolate Cake", but really "single" is just a serving size on any given day, right?

Recipe: Single Girl Melty Chocolate Cake
(given with permission from Joy the Baker)

serves 1

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 large egg
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
* Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place a cookie sheet in the oven as the oven heats.
* Generously butter and flour a 3/4 -or 1-cup ramekin. Set aside.
* In a small pot, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer
* Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over, but not touching, the simmering water. Stir until chocolate has melted. Allow to cool slightly.
* In a small bowl, whisk together egg and sugar. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture, and whisk together until well incorporated. Add the salt and flour and stir until just combined.
* Pour batter into prepared ramekin and place in the oven atop the cookie sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes. The less time in the oven, the more gooey the cake will be.
* Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 2 minutes. Using pot holders, carefully invert cake onto a plate and dig in.
Cake will be gooey and melty and slightly underdone -- super delicious!This cake is intended for immediate consumption (duh).
It was immediately consumed, thank you to Joy.


lynn said...

i love joy's blog and podcast, and can't wait to get my hands on a cookbook...

diane and todd said...

It's always so fun to see you again Cathy. thank you for coming. And thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your sweet, heartfelt post. Your smile made the day so much better!
hugs and love,
diane and todd

Unknown said...

Cathy ~ you are so fortunate to have recieved an invite to this luncheon. By the pictures it looks as though everyone had a beautiful day. I would have seriously taken a sick day off work to be there! Thanks for sharing. I hope your son is doing well Carnegie Hall, that's pretty major! Mel

Rachael Hutchings said...

Such a wonderful day, made even better by the fact that I got to see you! And how cute are we in that pic? :D

HapaMama said...

I find the White on Rice blog so inspiring and always insightful. So many awesome food bloggers in one room. I am inspired just reading this ;)