|Fallen Chocolate Cake with Cherry Red Wine Sauce|
Canada is a relatively new country and our cuisine is still in its youth. Wineries, craft breweries and artisanal cheese makers are emerging and adding a new dimension to our native cuisine, enriching it and extending it well beyond it's traditionial boundaries. West coast salmon, New Brunswick lobster, Ontario cheddar are all being paired with wonderful Canadian wines and locally harvested fruits and vegetables. Foodies are in heaven and locavores are finally coming into their own.
As environmental issues create awareness of the high cost of transporting our food from distant farms, even from other continents, a new movement began to encourage consumption of locally-grown foods. The added benefit is that items are picked closer to their peak of freshness, enhancing taste, texture, and nutrition, and have had less time to spoil increasing shelf life in your kitchen. This awakening spawned a book, "The 100-Mile Diet," a memoir by a Canadian Vancouver couple who, for a year, ate only what was grown, raised or fished within a 100-mile (160 kilometres) radius of their home.
The average North American meal travels 2,400 km to get from field to plate and contains ingredients from 5 countries in addition to our own... that’s a lot of “food miles!!!!!” When you eat locally, you eat what's in season. You'll remember that strawberries are the taste of summer. Even in the winter, comfort foods like squash soup and pancakes just make sense...a lot more sense than flavourless fruit from the other side of the world. This is hard to do all year round when you live in the "Great White North" but we support our local producers as much as humanly possible. On a personal level I try and buy local but sometimes it is too hard to resist produce such as those gorgeous California strawberries so prevalent on the grocery shelves right now...and at such a good price too.
Lets see what we have cooked up for you for this months theme. If you would care to join in either link your post using local ingredients or add your link to the Linky tool below.
First of all Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen starts our 100 Miles of Flavour menu off by highlighting local blueberries and honey from her home State of Georgia with a tantalizing salad of Mixed Greens with Blueberry Vinaigrette.
To amp up our 100 Miles of Flavour menu Jamie of Mom's Cooking Club compliments the menu with an appetizer of Grilled Ginger-Lime Shrimp highlighting Gulf of Mexico seafood from her native Florida.
Jerry of Jerry's Thoughts, Musings and Rants brings the King of entrees highlighting province of Ontario beef and red wine from the Niagara region with Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom-Red Wine Sauce. I can imagine the tender meat with luscious gravy!
Roz of La Bella Vita compliments our meal with that WOW factor with a side of Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms and Marscapone Cheese made with local rice from the State of South Carolina. Creamy risotto would compliment any meal!!!
Next Sandi of The Whistlestop Cafe wowed us with a salad of Peas and Orzo with Pesto highlighting basil and peas from her garden and substituting Southern pecans for the walnuts.
To accompany our meal I brought along an outstanding dessert of Fallen Chocolate Cake with Cherry Red Wine Sauce with cherries and red wine from the Okanagan Valley here in British Columbia. Whether it was the advent of the 100-Mile Diet that started it, or the migration of "slow food" from Europe to North America, or even our growing frustration with the perils of processed food, something is cooking right here in the Okanagan. Farmer's markets are rising in popularity, our wineries have emerged from a place of vineyards to homes of fine cuisine, and pressure is mounting on local stores to bring in local, and organic. Our food is in transition.
This moist, dense, rich cake contains no flour or other grains, making it appropriate for Passover or a 100 Mile Supper. This cake uses a total of 7 eggs so be prepared!!! To achieve the cake's fudgy texture, be sure to pull it from the oven when a wooden pick comes out nearly clean. You can prepare and chill the sauce a day ahead. It's like a huge fudgy brownie only better!!!! Serve with the sauce warm or cold. With only 262 calories per serving this cake is a winning combination.
Notice the cake platter that I won from Mari of Once Upon a Plate from CSN Stores. It comes in very handy!!!
**Fallen Chocolate Cake with Cherry Red Wine Sauce**
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup kosher red wine
1 pound frozen pitted unsweetened cherries
1/2 cup shelled pistachios (you could also use sliced almonds)
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup water
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped ( I prefered to use semi-sweet or milk chocolate for a less bitter flavour)
Dash of salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
4 large egg whites
To prepare sauce, combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 2 cups (about 30 minutes). Chill.
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, place pistachios in a food processor; process until finely ground. Sprinkle ground pistachios over bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.
Combine 1 cup sugar and water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate and salt, stirring until chocolate melts. Add cocoa, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in extracts.
Beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out nearly clean. Cool to room temperature; run a knife around outside edge. Serve with sauce.
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