DEAR SOS: With the great Latino influence in our cooking, I'm sure many of your readers would really love to get their hands on a recipe for the chocolate cake I had at Tamayo's restaurant in Los Angeles. I do know that it was made with Ibarra, a Mexican chocolate. Can you help?
DEAR ROSE: Delighted. And so was Tamayo's executive chef, David Barber, who graciously provided the recipe. Yes, the recipe does use Ibarra chocolate, which can be found at any Mexican grocery store or in the Mexican food sections of supermarkets.
TAMAYO CHOCOLATE CAKE
(Pastel de Chocolate)
1/3 pound semisweet chocolate, cut up
1/3 pound Ibarra chocolate (or other Mexican chocolate), cut up
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 tablespoons whiskey
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon boiling water
Melt chocolates together in top of double boiler. Cream butter and add 1/2 cup granulated sugar until pale yellow in color. Add melted chocolates and egg yolks alternately, mixing well.
Add vanilla, whiskey and whipping cream. Add 1/2 flour. Mix soda in boiling water in small bowl. Mixture should foam when water is added to soda or cake will not rise. Add to creamed mixture. Add remaining flour, stirring to blend well.
Whip egg whites in another dry, clean bowl at medium speed until fluffy. Increase speed and slowly add remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Quickly fold half egg whites into cake mixture, then fold into remaining whites.
Butter and flour 3-inch-high 8-inch springform pan lined with parchment. Place pan on baking sheet for double thickness to prevent cake from scorching underneath.
Pour into pan and bake on center oven rack at 350 degrees 50 minutes or until wood pick inserted in center comes out barely clean. Do not overcook.
Invert onto serving plate. Cool. Do not remove ring until completely cooled. Dust cake with powdered sugar. Store at room temperature. Makes 1 (8-inch) cake.
DEAR SOS: I really would like the recipe for the Creole gumbo I had at the Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans. It was once printed in your newspaper and I would love to see the recipe again.
DEAR JEAN: So would many of our readers, we think, because it's a perfect main dish for family or friends during this time of year. File powder, from the leaves of the sassafras tree, is a thickening and flavoring agent that often replaces or enhances the flavor and texture produced by okra. It is widely available at most supermarkets these days.
FAIRMONT HOTEL CREOLE GUMBO
1/2 cup shortening
5 tablespoons flour
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 pounds bay shrimp
1 pound crab meat, cut into pieces
1/2 cup tomato paste
4 quarts fish stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 bay leaves
1/4 bunch parsley, chopped
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen okra, thawed
3 tablespoons gumbo file
2 cups water
Melt shortening in large stockpot. Add flour and stir until smooth. Add garlic and cook, stiring, until golden brown. Add onion, green pepper and celery and cook until onion is transparent. Add shrimp, crab and tomato paste. Simmer 10 minutes.
Stir in fish stock, blending well. Add thyme, bay leaves and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook 1 hour. Add okra and cook 20 minutes longer. Mix gumbo file with water and add to gumbo, blending thoroughly. Taste to adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve over steamed rice, if desired. Makes 12 servings.
DEAR SOS: When my children were small, they made frequent requests for a Grape-Nuts pudding, which was then printed on the side of the Grape-Nuts box. I have never been able to duplicate it. Can you help?
DEAR VESTA: It's an exceptionally good pudding for children and the elderly, but anyone who craves old-time desserts will enjoy it, too.
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (3 3/4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix.
Lightly beat eggs and combine with sugar and salt. Beat until thick. Scald 2 cups milk and add to eggs gradually, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla. Sprinkle cereal into 5 to 6 greased custard cups or greased 1-quart baking dish to form 1/8-inch layer. Pour custard mixture into prepared cups and bake at 325 degrees 40 to 45 minutes for cup custard or 1 hour for large custard. Cool slightly.
Prepare instant pudding according to package directions, then dilute to thick sauce consistency with additional milk, as needed. Invert custard on serving dish and serve topped with vanilla sauce. Makes 5 to 6 servings.
Only recipes of general interest will be printed. We are unable to answer all requests. Please include restaurant address when requesting recipes from restaurants. Send your letter with self-addressed, stamped envelope to Culinary SOS, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.