Monthly Archives: September 2015

Dark Chocolate Orange Cake

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Dark chocolate and orange are a classic combination in this decadent dessert. With Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur), orange juice, and orange rind strips on top, this cake is zinging with citrus.

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Ingredients

Cooking spray
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
1 tablespoon hot water
Dash of salt
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Powdered sugar (optional)
Orange rind strips (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Coat an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray; line bottom of pan with parchment or wax paper. Wrap outside of pan with aluminum foil.

3. Place 3/4 cup sugar and eggs in a bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed 7 minutes.

4. Combine cornstarch and cocoa in a small bowl; set aside. Place juice, liqueur, water, salt, and chocolate in a small glass bowl; microwave at high 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring every 20 seconds until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture; whisk until smooth.

5. Gently stir one-fourth of egg mixture into chocolate mixture; gently fold into remaining egg mixture. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Place pan in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; add hot water to larger pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes or until top is set. Remove cake pan from water; cool 5 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula; cool to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with powdered sugar and rind just before serving, if desired.

New York Fashion Week and the Project Runway Finale Show

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Words cannot express how excited I was to get in to see this show.  Great big fun meeting all the designers!!

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NYFW- The Mimi Plange Show

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Mimi Plange is an architect turned fashion designer. These fashions represent her 5th year collection.

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New York Fashion Week and My Birthday!

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On Wednesday, we arrived in New York, another town where I have lived and miss more than I can say. As part of my birthday week, some friends decided to help me take my town back. My birthday is 9/11 and I have not visited New York on my birthday since the day became something else here. Since Fashion Week falls during my birthday celebration, the timing just seemed right.
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At An American in Paris on Broadway. Simply awesome!!

Sunday Reflections

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BIRTHDAY WEEK 2015!!!

I am eagerly looking to the week ahead, another birthday for TenaciousM!! Happy Sunday and stay tuned… the best is yet to come!
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The Quiet Joy of Mindfulness

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Ahhh, lest we forget. Here’s a voice for reason in our often crazy, stressful lives.

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Mindful imageEvery day we have so many things to do and so many tasks and goals to complete that it can be difficult to be mindful, to be aware of what we are doing and how we are doing it, to be present and awake, to attend to our own existence, to let ourselves be enveloped by the here, by the now, by the moment we are living in, which is the most valuable thing we can ever have. But being mindful is essential to reaching the depths of who we are.

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Chocolate Biscuit Cake

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How did I miss this chocolate gem for so long? You can create it in variations as well. You can replace the pistachios with pecans, toasted almonds or macadamia nuts. You can replace the figs with raisins, sultanas or dried cherries. Keeps for up 2 weeks, although it seldom lasts that long, once people know that it is there!

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Ingredients

For the cake:
12 ounces butter (3 sticks)
3/4 cup golden syrup
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup cup dark chocolate
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup packed soft, plump dried figs
1 pound ‘McVities’ biscuits

To Decorate:
2 cups dark chocolate
2/3 cup white chocolate
Selection of small chocolate sticks and dark and white ‘Maltesers’ or ‘Whoppers’
Special equipment:
One 8-inch round or square cake tin or flan ring, or one 8-inch x 3 1/4-inch loaf tin

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Directions

1. Melt the butter with the golden syrup in a heavy based pan. Do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder, dark chocolate and vanilla. Stir until you have a very smooth, glossy mixture.

2.Slice the figs and crush the biscuits. Add the pistachios, figs and crushed biscuits to the chocolate mixture and mix well.

3. Line the base and sides of your chosen shape of cake tin with baking parchment or plastic wrap. Place the mixture into the tin and press it down well into the corners. Leave to cool thoroughly at room temperature before covering and chilling in the fridge. It will take about 2 hours to set completely firm.

4. When set, remove from the tin and place it on a cooling rack. Melt the dark chocolate and white chocolate separately. Spread the dark chocolate all over the cake.

5. Decorate with the Maltesers before the chocolate sets, so that they stick to the cake. Position chocolate sticks as desired and drizzle with the white chocolate. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.