Wait! What’s this? A non-pastry item on a site called Jackie Ruins the Cake?! What is this madness?
Well, it’s a nice little story.
In my travels across these great internets, I came upon a website called cookstr, which has all kinds of recipes imaginable. This coupled with the fact that I was watching the Food Network at the time meant that I suddenly wanted to make meals. Whole meals. Like pasta or chicken or something. Not to mention the site has all kinds of fancy dessert ideas. It gave me the idea to have some kind of adult dinner party with me and my friends. Problem is, I don’t really have a “dining room”. Or a “kitchen table”, even. It’s just a counter and two stools. So there was nowhere to have this dinner party and I had a sad.
However! My best friend Sophie (who has just started a food blog called Clumsy Kitchen, where she has her own post written up) liked my idea, and we decided to co-host the event at her house, which has an outdoor table and more cooking ingredients and supplies and everything awesome. Sophie would be making the appetizer and side-dish, and I would be making the main course and dessert.
I decided on Slow-Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken and Chocolate Cloud Cake (as you can probably guess from the title of this post!). The Chocolate Cloud Cake is flourless, and having had a small cake with no flour in it I was curious to see what a large one would taste like. And the slow roasted chicken! Chicken is my favorite food and the recipe looked absolutely delicious and pretty easy.
Sophie, after some deliberation, chose scallion pancakes as the appetizer and a cold pasta as the side-dish to my chicken.
I made the cake the day before, since the chicken needed two and a half hours to cook, and the cake could be made ahead of time. I made my boyfriend buy the ingredients and the 9-inch springform pan I needed (which, now that I own, expect me to make cheesecake at some point).
The recipe involved separating six eggs, since there was no flour, and for once this did not end in disaster and discarded eggs! Oh my God! It’s a goddamn fucking miracle!
(we still had to use the egg separator, but ssshhh)
I can’t remember if I mentioned this on here already — I probably haven’t — but in addition to that stand mixer I got for Christmas, I also got this nifty chocolate melter. No more melting chocolate in microwaves for me! Mwahahahahahahahaha! Yeah.
We melted the chocolate and butter in the pot, then beat the whole eggs and the egg yolks with the sugar, and poured the chocolate mixture in.
Very chocolate-y and whatnot. Then, it was time to beat the egg whites.
I’m still not entirely sure that I did this right — I mean, the cake turned out decently so I guess I did? But the recipe said to beat with the sugar until it was firm but not too stiff, which I think I did. I think.
In any case, what I was supposed to do next was put a dollop of the egg whites in the chocolate mixture and then fold in the rest of the egg whites. Instead I just dumped it all in there at once because I’m cool like that.
It seemed fine, though.
Rob lined the pan with parchment paper, only not just the bottom, but along the sides too. This caused the cake, when it came out of the oven a while later, to have this odd ridged edge, like a pie. The cake also wasn’t very tall, so it really looked like a pie after I made the whipped cream later that night and poured it on.
Please excuse the bad photo, by the way. I forgot to take a picture with my proper camera after I had sprinkled the cocoa powder on top, and so this picture I took on my phone to send to Rob is all I have of the finished product. Tears.
Anyway, so that was done, and the following day was the dinner party! Rob drove us to Sophie’s house, where she and I began assembling the chicken.
I had tried this recipe already several weeks ago just to see how it came out, and I already knew it was going to be delicious. I had also pretty much memorized the recipe, so it was nice not having to look over at a computer monitor or a book every two seconds to see if I was doing everything right.
Although, there was a mishap with the lemons. As I was chopping them up, I accidentally cut my finger and didn’t notice until I was done, so my blood got all over half of the lemons. But we just rinsed them and didn’t tell anyone, so ssshhh, it’s our little secret!
(I don’t have any diseases so it’s okay, don’t worry)
We were left with some chicken left over and no more garlic, though, so we used a spare lemon Sophie had to in the fridge, sprinkled on some paprika and rosemary, and voila! Some Lemon… Rosemary… Paprika Chicken! Yay!
If you notice that these pictures look nicer than the one I usually take, it’s because I’d forgotten my own camera, and so I had to use Sophie’s better, more expensive one. It’s a hard life I lead.
Anyways, we covered the two roasting pans in foil and had them sit in the oven at 310 degrees for two hours. While that was going on, Sophie started her pasta and I went and bothered Rob, who was sitting in the living room watching The X-Files.
After that was done, she did the scallion pancakes, which I can suddenly kind of smell from my memories.
You can read more about the pasta and scallion pancakes on her entry here.
After the two hours, I snatched the aluminum foil off of the pans and cranked the temperature up to 450 degrees. The chicken smelled fucking delicious. The scent of lemon, garlic, thyme, and meat was permeating the kitchen, and it was making my stomach rumble.
Finally around 4, when the guests were set to arrive, the chicken was done and I arranged it “artfully” on a platter.
Beth was the first to arrive at around 4:20, and after we had all sat outside Bonner came at 4:30 or so. We sat and ate the scallion pancakes, which were tasty, and the juice Sophie had made, which was very refreshing. The chicken was brought out, wine was drunk, laughs were had, stories were shared, and Rob played games on his iPod. All in all, it was a lovely day spent cooking and eating delicious food and having fun with friends. It’s something we’re definitely going to have to do again.
I don’t have time at the moment to type up both of the recipes, so I will instead direct you to the links at cookstr, which is a fantastic website you should give a look-see.
Chocolate Cloud Cake (I actually wasn’t particularly a fan of the texture of this cake, but some might like it.)
Slow-Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken (This. Is. So. Fucking. Good. You will not regret making this, trust me. And it’s super easy. You don’t even need to cut a chicken if you don’t want and it’ll still be amazing. I will definitely be making this again sometime.)