Friday, March 5, 2010

Hamburgers and Chocolate Cake

Homemade Hamburgers.

Hamburgers are such a treat when they're done right. I didn't make the actual burger from scratch today, because they have burgers on crazy clearance right now and it's cheaper by the pound to get them pre-made.

When you are making your own hamburger you have to put a bit of

time in. Make a homemade barbecue sauce to mix in the meat before you make patties.

My Ever-changing BBQ Sauce:

Sautee onion and garlic until soft in a small amount of butter

Combine dry herbs and spices in food processor

I use: Salt, pepper, chili powder, parsley, basil, cinnamon, sometimes seasoning salt

Add 1 tbsp of each:

dark molasses


corn syrup or maple syrup

ketchup or tomato paste


Add onion and garlic, and puree

Stick a finger in UNPLUGGED processor and give it a taste! If you'd like more tomato flavor add more ketchup or tomato paste. Throw in some more cinnamon if you're making the bbq sauce for pork.

Put ground meat in large bowl, add bbq sauce (don't skimp) and get mixing with your hands. Form patties and chill until ready to cook.

Hamburger Buns

Now, if you've never had a hot hamburger on a warm-from-the-oven (NOT MICROWAVE) bun, you haven't had a real hamburger. Homemade buns are totally worth the effort, and if you're having company for a bbq - they are really impressive. You can make them ahead of time and let them proof in the fridge so you're not kneading dough with company over.

I half this if it's for 4 or less:


  • 2 cups warm milk - not hot! If you want to leave milk on the counter for an hour or so beforehand, just use the luke-warm milk and make sure your water is a bit hotter than normal to warm up the milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (not hot)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the milk, butter, warm water, sugar and yeast. Let stand for about 5 minutes.
  2. Mix in the salt, and gradually stir in the flour until you have a soft dough. Divide into desired size pieces, and form into balls. Place on baking sheets so they are 2 to 3 inches apart. Let rise for 60 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake the rolls for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool slightly, then split them in half horizontally to fill with your favorite burgers.

Chocolate Cake

For Dessert? The best chocolate cake recipe I've ever found! It's vegan, so if you know any vegans b

e sure to pass it along... oy this is a good recipe! This is changed only slightly from All


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour ( or 2 cups cake & pastry flour + 1 cup all purpose)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil ( or 1/3 cup oil and 1/3 cup applesauce)
  • 3 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Beat on medium for 1 minute. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool.

What to top it with? Well, we had some eggwhites left over from the beginning of the week so we made a homemade marshmallow fluff, compliments of Martha Stewart:

If you're not into marshmallow fluff (I'd love to meet you) make a standard icing by beating 2 tbsp butter and slowly adding icing sugar. I add a wee bit of milk when it's getting too difficult to mix and add flavour as desired (sometimes we use banana flavor which is a real treat!) but vanilla is the best on this super-chocolatey cake. Just stick your finger in and taste if you need more vanilla or icing sugar - it's hard to mess up icing. My sister makes a chocolate salt icing with big delicious flakes of salt - I don't have the recipe, but it's delicious and something to try.

* This cake recipe is great to make with kids. You can teach them the science behind mixing baking soda with vineager and of course they love to see the bubbles *


  1. Have I told you lately that I love you?

  2. matter what time of day or what I've just eaten, I am always very hungry after reading your blog. Yum!

    Wanna hint on your mallow fluff icing-you don't need to do the whites and the rest seperate-just put all the ingredients into a double boiler (or in a metal bowl on top of a pot of boiling water) and mix all the ingredients with a hand mixer until yumm-diddly-fluffy. Super easy!

  3. Yes, writing and reading about food does tempt the appetite. I find reading recipes is the best way to get in the kitchen - you get so excited you just have to try it.

    My Mom makes her fluff icing in a double boiler as well. It turns out a little more flexible that way (not quite as stiff) but I've never tried it. I'll give it a shot some time and see how much easier it is and how it differs in texture.