We celebrated the hubby’s birthday not too long ago. Although he doesn’t put as much stock in birthdays as I do, I like to make the occasion special. After bugging him for a week about what he wanted for his birthday dinner, he finally told me he just wanted something with ingredients from our garden. Brilliant! I can work with that.
Since the chard is growing like weeds out there, I immediately honed in on it as the central ingredient. I decided to go with a rustic galette and add in some caramelized leeks for good measure. Although it sounds kind of fancy, this was actually a meal I was able to put together relatively quickly in between entertaining the toddler (which is always a plus around here!). I made the filling and dough ahead of time and then rolled out the dough and assembled the galette right before baking. Bing, bang, boom.
Of course, any good birthday meal needs a dessert to complete it. The hubby is not much of a cake person, so I am always trying to come up with a new and exciting annual sweet treat for him. This year I hit the jackpot with chocolate-coffee bourbon cupcakes.
These cupcakes contain just a tiny amount of flour, so they are thick, rich, and smooth. The richness didn’t stop us from eating two each, though, or from taking them as dessert for our Texas wine country picnic the next day.**
** More on that later. I have a lot of blogging to catch up on, apparently!
So, in honor of the hubby’s birthday, as well as Nora’s new favorite song, please join me in a spirited rendition of “Happy Birthday, Daddy!” Or you could just enjoy these lovely recipes, whether it’s a special occasion or not.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp sugar
- 6 oz unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup ice water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2-3 leeks, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
- 1 large bunch of chard, leaves removed from stems and roughly chopped, stems finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 6 sprigs thyme
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp flour
- Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the food processor. Cut half of the butter into the flour mixture and pulse until the dough is roughly the texture of cornmeal.
- Add the other half of the butter in marble size pieces. Pulse a couple of times, leaving the butter in unevenly incorporated bits. Add the ice water and pulse just until evenly moistened.
- Divide and gather the dough into two balls, cover separately with plastic wrap, and knead very lightly through the plastic wrap, forming the dough into two even disks.
- Refrigerate the dough and let it rest at least 1 hour. It can be kept for a day in the refrigerator and or frozen for longer. Allow time outside the refrigerator for the dough to warm until it is just soft enough to be rolled out.
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the leeks and thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the leeks are almost tender, about 7-8 minutes.
- Add the chopped chard stems and sauté until softening.
- Turn the heat down to low and cook until the leeks are meltingly tender, stirring occasionally.
- Turn the heat back up to medium and add the chard. Sauté until wilted, about 5-7 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Roll out the pastry dough into a 12-inch circle about ⅛-inch thick and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle the dough with flour a thin layer of parmesan cheese. Spread the leek and chard mixture evenly over the dough up to about an inch from the edge. Fold the outside inch or so of dough over the filling to enclose it, and brush the outside crust with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan.
- Bake on the lowest shelf of the oven until crust is nicely browned, about 30-35 minutes.
- 1 cup coffee bourbon, divided
- 1⅓ cups sugar
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup simple syrup***
- 5 large eggs
- 1½ Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1½ Tbsp cocoa powder
- Combine ½ cup coffee bourbon and the sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate and butter. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Line cupcake pans with liners. Mix the remaining ½ cup coffee bourbon with the simple syrup and set aside.
- Transfer the chocolate mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then fold in the flour and cocoa powder. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pans, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Set the pans in a large roasting pan filled to a depth of 1 inch with warm water.
- Bake for about an hour, basting with the coffee bourbon syrup every 15 minutes after a crust has developed on cake's surface (which should happen after about 15 minutes in the oven.
- Serve the cake warm with ice cream, or refrigerate and serve cold. Either way, it'll make your day!