Heartland Cuisine: Exploring new flavors

By Plainsman Staff
Posted 4/10/24

New cooking class offered at Iroquois High School

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Heartland Cuisine: Exploring new flavors


In the springtime at Iroquois High School a brand-new class all about cooking began — Exploring New Flavors. Led by teacher candidate Geralyn Wipf from South Dakota State University (SDSU), and watched over by Vicki Dant, this class was all about discovering tasty recipes and having fun with food. Only one student, Rosalie Wehlander, was in the class, making it extra special.

Geralyn Wipf, the teacher helping Rosalie in this culinary adventure, had a blast too. Her favorite moment was when they made red velvet molten lava cakes. “The recipe that was the most fun to teach was the red velvet molten lava cakes,” Geralyn shared. “Once it came out of the oven, and we were ready to cut it open, we saw that it turned out perfectly!”

But Rosalie didn’t just stick to baking. She also tried out a cool project where she made a healthy recipe and asked her friends for their opinions. “I picked a healthy recipe and served it to a group of people. Then, I had them complete a survey about what they liked and how they would want me to change it. After that, I changed the recipe and served it to them again,” Rosalie explained. It was neat to see her working hard to make her recipes even better!

Rosalie had lots of fun making chocolate zucchini bread. “My favorite thing we made was chocolate zucchini bread,” Rosalie said. “I liked that I could change the recipe based on other people’s comments and make it more like what the majority of them liked.”

Geralyn also loved seeing Rosalie’s creativity shine while making healthy chocolate zucchini bread. “The recipe that was my favorite was the healthy chocolate zucchini bread,” Geralyn said. “I loved that Rosalie was able to find a recipe, make it, test the recipe with her peers, and then make changes based on her peers’ feedback. It was fun to see her creativity come to life and see her make the recipe her own.”

In this special cooking class at Iroquois High School with the help of Geralyn Wipf and Vicki Dant, Rosalie’s cooking journey blossomed, leaving a tasty memory at Iroquois High School. Next year this class will be back. Maybe more students will join in the fun of cooking up delicious dishes in the future!

1 cup sugar
½ cup flour
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable/canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Grease a 9x9 baking pan with cooking spray

In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Crack eggs in a separate bowl. Stir into sugar mixture. In a separate bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Gradually stir into the egg mixture until well blended. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
2 cups zucchini, grated
¼ cup applesauce, unsweetened
½ cup milk
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon instant coffee
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon of salt

Add the lemon juice to the milk and allow it to sit for 10 minutes and curdle.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan and dust with cocoa powder, or line with parchment paper hanging over the sides.

Prepare zucchini. Wash with water and soap or vinegar, raw, unpeeled and whole zucchini. Then grate it. Press it into a strainer to squeeze out water. Then squeeze it several times between several pieces of paper towels to remove yet more water. Reduce the wet 2 cups of grated zucchini to 1 cup of grated zucchini with water squeezed out.

Into a smaller mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, stir the wet ingredients — applesauce, milk, lemon juice, butter, vanilla, corn starch and sugar and instant coffee. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient mixture. Mix batter with a hand mixer, spoon or stand mixer. Fold in the zucchini, and add the batter to a loaf pan.

Bake for 50 minutes to possibly 60 minutes, but start checking at 45 minutes, and check every 5 or 10 minutes after that. Bake until a tester comes out clean. Let cool 20 minutes before attempting to remove the loaf from the pan. Set the loaf on a cooling rack and allow it to completely cool, about 30 minutes.

1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup dairy-free milk

Melt the chocolate and microwave the milk, and combine the two, then pour it over the top. Allow to set at room temperature.

Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 large egg
1-2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1-2 teaspoons red gel food color
Butter to coat the ramekins

Pre-heat oven to 450F (conventional) and prepare 2 6-ounce ramekins by generously brushing butter inside them.

Add chocolate and butter to a heat-safe bowl, and microwave in 20 second increments until both have melted. Stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, add the egg, sugar, salt and vanilla. Use an electric hand mixer to whisk for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is light, frothy and almost triple in volume.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until just combined. Sift in the flour, and use a rubber spatula to gently fold until the flour is mixed in. Take care to be gentle and not to overmix.

Add the red food color and gently fold. You can adjust the quantity based on how strong you want the pay-off to be.

Divide the batter between the two ramekins. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes until the edges are done but the center is still molten (you can tell by a wobble in the cakes).

Let the cakes cool inside the ramekins for 1-2 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto your dessert plates. Dust with powdered sugar, and serve!

Blueberry Muffins
The key to making great muffins is not over-mixing the batter. Once the liquid ingredients are added to the dry, mix the batter just until the flour is moistened, for no more than about ten seconds. Too much mixing can cause the muffins to be dry, tough or misshapen.

1 ¾ cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk
¼ cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup blueberries or chocolate chips
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease muffin cups with cooking spray

In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Make a well in the center of dry ingredients

Add egg to liquid mixture

Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture.

Stir just until moistened; batter should be very lumpy. Stir in blueberries. Distribute batter between 12 cups.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.