Super Moon Monday

Tonight the moon will be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter – a super moon, according to NASA. This will be the closest the moon has been to Earth since 1948.

Moon on Saturday night, with an ice crystal halo. The moon will be full tonight, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016.
Moon on Saturday night, with an ice crystal halo. The moon will be full tonight, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016.

The forecast for tonight is for some clouds, so if the past couple of nights is any example, it should be quite spectacular. Not spectacular enough for me to pull the lounge chairs out of the garage and stare at the sky for an extended period of time, given that it is mid-November and all. But I will watch it rise as I take the dog for his evening stroll around the neighborhood. I might even dash out in my jammies right before bed to take another look. And I will give thanks that I don’t have to don the shearling boots and heft my nightie up to climb over a snowbank to do it.

The weather has been so delightful, I’ve been keeping the back screen door open while I bake in the evenings. The fresh night air has been cooling of the kitchen delightfully and keeping some of my little burned pieces from stinking the whole condo up.

I was experimenting with a muffin recipe from Martha Stewart that involves tender muffin filled with a seasonal jam and topped with a crumble. While I’m a fan of Martha at times, I also have difficulty with some of her recipes. In this case, there was too much muffin mix for 12 cups. I should have realized when the muffins were filled to the brim before going into the oven that it was going to overflow, which it did. Which stinks up the kitchen with burning sugar.

The muffins themselves have great potential with strawberry jam in the spring, followed by raspberry, blueberry, cherry, peach, plum, apple and pear through the fall. The recipe is worth keeping, I just need either the extra-large muffin tin or the tall muffin baking cups. So I ordered the fancy cups (take up less space than yet another pan) and will see if they are sturdy enough to bake the muffins on half-sheet pans.

In the meantime, I tried a New York Times tried-and-true Thanksgiving recipe, according to the Times’ Cooking site. The recipe was for Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Mousse Cake. 

Sprinkled with some powdered sugar, it is as pretty as a full moon.

I made a couple of changes, adding orange zest, instant espresso and a little bit of vanilla – all to coax the chocolate to its fullest potential. If you aren’t a fan of orange and chocolate, skip the zest. But do add the espresso and the vanilla. Top with real whipped cream for an extra treat.

Print Recipe
Super Moon Monday
This cake is best made a day ahead and allowed to refrigerate overnight to develop the flavors.
Course dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. You are going to need 3 bowls; 1 9-inch springform pan; 1 pan large enough to hold the springform pan with room around all the sides and at least 1 -inch deep; and foil to wrap the pan (so water doesn't leak in). You will also need to have a kettle or pot with about 4 cups of boiling water.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Prepare your springform pan by wrapping the bottom in 2 layers of foil to prevent water from seeping into the pan. You will be cooking this cake in a hot water bath. Grease pan. Place it in a large roasting pan (or a pan that has at least 1-inch of room between the edges of the two pans).
  4. In one medium-sized bowl, add butter and chocolate. Microwave in 30-second intervals. Stir after each interval. Repeat until butter and chocolate are melted. Allow to sit at room temperature while you move on with the recipe. The chocolate needs to remain warm.
  5. In the meantime, in separate deep-sided medium bowl, beat your egg whites until frothy. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar. Continue beating until peaks form. You do not want to keep beating until dry (this isn't meringue).
  6. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until frothy and lighter in color. This will take about 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla, salt, orange zest (optional), and espresso powder. Fold in chocolate mixture.
  7. Now fold in egg whites in 1/3 increments. Keep it as fluffy as possible.
  8. Pour into springform pan (which should have foil on the bottom and be in the roasting pan). Place roasting pan with cake into the oven on the middle shelf. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan so it is about one-half way up the side of the cake pan.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes. Top will be firm.
  10. Remove pan from oven. Remove cake pan from roasting pan and place on a cooling rack. As the cake cools, it will pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove outside ring. Wrap loosely and refrigerate.
  11. Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.
Recipe Notes

The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate. If you need to substitute semi-sweet, lessen the amount of sugar by 1/4 cup.

 

Adapted from New York Times

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Marniemead

Mom, blogger, former magazine editor in who loves family, friends, good food, and adventure. She is the owner of Meadballs, LLC, which delivers farm-fresh meals she has cooked in her northwestern Pennsylvania kitchen.

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