Recipes of Laura

Circassian Chicken

(It's from Arto der Haroutunian, A Turkish Cookbook, Ebury Press, 1987

3 lb chicken cut into 8ths.
1 onion, skinned and coarsely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and cut into rings
6 oz walnuts
2 thick slice white bread
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon tarragon, finely chopped

Place the chicken pieces in a large saucepan, cover with water, add the onion, carrot and a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and, when cool enough tohandle, discard the skin and strip the flesh from the bones. Return the bones to the stock and simmer unti the stock is reduced.

Cut the chicken into strips.

Grind the walnuts and bread in a blender and turn into a saucepan.
Remove bones from stock. (cooks note: at this point, I use an immersion blender and smooth out the the carrots & onions) Stir in stock into bread & walnut mixture until you have a smooth paste. Season with the salt & pepper. If the sauce is too thin, simmer over a low heat until it thickins. Refrigerate chicken and sauce.

Put paprika and oil in bowl

Pile chicken into a serving dish. Mix in the sauce and make sure it coats and covers the chicken.

Dribble the oil and paprika over the top. Strew the chopped tarragon leaves on at the end.

Triple Chocolate Cake

First Make Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte (from Beranbaum's Cake Bible):

First, prepare the Pan: a 8 inch springform pan at least 2 1/2 inches high, buttered and bottom lined with buttered parchment or wax paper; outside of pan wrapped with a double layer of heavy-duty foil to prevent seepage.

One roasting pan to serve as water bath.


1 pound bittersweet chocolate (I used Callabauts) 1 cup unsalted butter
6 large eggs

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large metal bowl set over a pan of hot, not simmering water (bottom of bowl should not touch water), combine the chocolate and butter and let stand, stirring occasionally, until smooth and melted.

In a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water heat the eggs until just warm to touch. Remove from the heat and beat, using the whisk beater, until triple in volume and soft peaks form when the beater is raised, about 5 minutes.

Using a large wire whisk or rubber spatula, fold 1/2 eggs into the chocolate mixture until almost incorporated. Fold in the remaining eggs until just blended and no streaks remain. Finish by using a rubber spatula to ensure that the heavier mixture at the bottom is incorporated. Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth with the spatula. Set the pan in the other pan and surround it with 1 inch of very hot water. Bake 5 minutes. Cover loosely with a piece of buttered foil and bake 10 minutes (The cake will look soft, but this is as it should be).

Let the cake cool on a rack 45 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, about 3 hours.

To Unmold

Have ready a serving plate and a flat plate at least 8 inches in diameter, cover with plastic wrap. Wipe the sides of the pan with a hot, damp towel.

Run a thin metal spatula around the sides of the cake and release the sides of the springform pan. Place the plastic-wrapped plate on top and invert. Wipe the bottom of the pan with a hot,damp towel. Remove the bottom of the pan and the parchment. Reinvert onto the serving plate.

When this is finished, frost the sides and top with the following:

Mocha Glaze (from Bon Appetit, 12/86):

10 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup whipping cream
4 teaspoons instant coffee dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Place 10 ounces chocolate in bowl. Bring cream to a simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Sir in coffee and corn syrup. Pour over chocolate and stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Refrigerate glaze until thickened to spreading consistency (about 30 minutes)

cooks note: You'll have more frosting than you need for the cake, so frost the sides, than pile the rest of the frosting on top.

Put cake & frosting back in the fridge.

Ruffle-- About 1 hour later you're ready to decorate with the following (from the Bon Appetite Christmas, Conde Nast, 1994:

2 oz melted bittersweet chocolate
6 ounces white imported chocolate (like Lindt's) (NOT CHIPS!!!)

Place white chocolate in small bowl. Set over small saucepan of simmering water and stir until smooth. Remove from over water. **Wipe bottom of bowl dry**(very important--trust me) Turn 12 x 17 inch cookie sheet over. Immediately pour white chocolate over back of cookie sheet. Using metal icing spatula, spread white chocolate over cookie sheet, covering sheet completely.

Re-warm melted bittersweet chocolate. Dip fork into chocolate. Move fork quickly from side to side over white chocolate on sheet, creating freeform lines. Chill until just set and no longer shiny (about 3 minutes).

Line another cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove sheet with chocolate from fridge and let stand about 1 minute. Arrange sheet so that 1 short side faces you. Place 2 1/2 inch wide spatula at left edge of short side of sheet with tip under chocolate. Pressing firmly, push spatula down full length of cookie sheet, creating ruffles. (if chocolate breaks or cracks it is too cold and should stand briefly at room temperature. If chocolate sticks to the spatula, it is toosoft and should be refrigerated briefly.) Put on cotton gloves. Transfer ruffle to waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Gently lift adn arch ruffle into fan shape.

Cooks notes:
When all ruffles are made, put back in fridge before then arranging them in circles on top of cake.

I never use cotton gloves, I just work real quick and make sure my hands are cold.

You can make the ruffles a couple of days in advance.

Updated: January 13, 1997
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