Tag Archives: desserts

The Best Chocolate Cake You’ll Ever Have – Good Housekeeping

And the search for the perfect chocolate cake continues. After a slightly disappointing recipe with the Tasty recipe, I decided to go for a slightly more traditional source and found this recipe for Good Housekeeping’s Best Chocolate Cake.

Chocolate Flavor: 9 – YAAAAAASSSSS!!! This is the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve had since THE chocolate cake.

Texture: 10 – Perfect

Frosting: 7 – A teeny bit of a let down with how amazing the cake was, but pretty good.

The “M” word: 9 – I liked these enough that I kept a few back and three days later they were still good.

Effort: 8 – A little more effort than the last recipe, but well worth the extra work.

Overall: 8.5 – Another rave from my testers, and with a different frosting recipe, I think this might be “the one”.

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 c. unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • salt
  • 3/4 c. Butter or Margarine, Softened
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk

Frosting

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
  • softened
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Directions:

  1. Prepare cake layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-in. round cake pans. Line bottoms with waxed paper; grease paper. Dust pans with flour
  2. On another sheet of waxed paper, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter and brown and granulated sugars until blended. Increase speed to high; beat 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to medium-low; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla until blended. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until batter is smooth, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.
  3. Spoon batter evenly among prepared pans. If necessary, stagger pans on 2 oven racks, placing 2 on upper rack and 1 on lower rack, so that top pans are not directly above bottom one. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. With small knife, loosen layers from sides of pans; invert onto wire racks. Carefully remove and discard waxed paper; cool completely, about 45 minutes. If you like, wrap layers well and store at room temperature up to 1 day or freeze up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before frosting cake.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare frosting: (see below) In small bowl, combine cocoa and boiling water, stirring until smooth. In large bowl, with mixer at medium-high speed, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar 5 minutes or until fluffy. Reduce speed to medium-low; add melted chocolate, then cocoa mixture, beating until smooth and occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. If frosting is too runny, refrigerate until just stiff enough to spread.
  5. Assemble cake: Place 1 cake layer bottom side up on cake plate; spread with 1/3 cup frosting. Top with second layer, bottom side up; spread with 1/3 cup frosting. Place remaining layer bottom side up on top. Spread remaining frosting over sides and top of cake.
  6. Make the frosting: • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa • 1/3 cup boiling water • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar •12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled


Sweet Daze Dessert Bar

Every once in a while you find something cool that makes you want to go places that you’ve never even considered before. Places like Richardson, TX. The wonder that is Instagram introduced me  Sweet Daze dessert bar. Unicorn cake, soft serve topped donuts, and fanciful layered confections; heck, they even offer vegan options so there is a little something for everyone. It’s tailor made for a sparkle sweet loving girl like me. 
This place is incredible! I wish so badly that we had something like this in Tallahassee; girls night and coffee/tea dates would never be the same again! You can check out their menu here; they have seasonal treats offered daily as well as entire decorated layer cakes that are available by pre-order. So what do you say? Who wants to meet me in Richardson, TX for some crazy elaborate treats and a nice frosty beverage?

 

Images from here & here


Blood Orange Tiramisu

This is another one of the recipes I found in my Baked cookbook, and again, it did not disappoint. Now, I am going to level with you guys. As shocking as this may be, the photo below is not a picture of the tiramisu that I made. Alas, mine, while delicious, was not the prettiest creation, so I decided to show you how things could be if you aren’t lazy and put your dessert in two tupperware containers instead of a beautiful glass dish. Okay, now to the important stuff, the recipe.

BB7

Serves 16 to 20

Ingredients

4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

¾ cup sugar

1 pound mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

Zest of 1 blood orange (about 1½ tablespoons)

4 tablespoons Grand Marnier

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

6 blood oranges, juiced (about 2 cups)

40 (4-by-1 inch) ladyfinger cookies

⅓ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder

Chocolate shavings (optional)

Directions

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture is light and starts to thicken, about 3 to 6 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment, add the mascarpone cheese, and beat until incorporated. Add the zest and 2 tablespoons of the Grand Marnier and beat until just combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and clean and dry the mixer bowl.

2. Place the egg whites in the clean bowl and fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the salt over the egg whites and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 4 to 5 minutes. Add half of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and gently fold together until almost incorporated; add the remaining egg whites and gently fold until completely incorporated.

3. Stir together the blood orange juice and the remaining Grand Marnier in a wide-mouth shallow bowl.

4. Working quickly, dip the first 20 ladyfingers in the juice mixture, making sure to soak each cookie from top to bottom (a second or two on each side), then arrange the ladyfingers to cover the bottom of a 9-by-13 inch pan in a single layer (reserve any leftover ladyfingers for the next step). Dollop about half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers and spread it into an even layer. Sift half of the cocoa powder over the mascarpone mixture. Dip the next 20 ladyfingers in the juice mixture as above and arrange them in an even layer over the mascarpone layer. Cover the ladyfingers with the remaining mascarpone mixture and spread it into an even layer. Sift the remaining cocoa powder over the top.

5. Cover the pan tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight (most people prefer tiramisu that has been chilled for at least 10 hours — if you can wait that long). Sprinkle with a few chocolate shavings, if desired, slice, and serve. The tiramisu can be kept, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes:

  • Considering there were only three of us in the house when I made this, I split the mix between two containers and sent one to work with Andy to share with his coworkers. Not as pretty, but nothing went to waste.
  • This was so much easier to make than I thought it would be. Part of that is because I have a Kitchen Aid mixer, but honestly if you have a little bit of baking savvy and a hand mixer, you can handle this no problem.
  • Andy and I both liked this a lot. Heck, Andy ate 80% of the container we kept, but my mom thought it tasted a little “boozy”. Then again, she has maybe one alcoholic anything a year so she is hyper sensitive to its presence in anything she eats or drinks. I don’t really drink much either, and I get what she was saying, but I don’t think it hurt the flavor at all.
  • This is a small thing, but it bothered me that this recipe contained no coffee. How can it be a proper tiramisu without that dark rich boldness? I loved the dessert, but I missed the complexity that the coffee brings to the table. The next time I make this I am going to use some of the chocolate orange coffee I keep in the cabinet, and it will be awesome.

Image from here.


Nectar & Stone

One of the things I love about Instagram is that it can be an amazing mental vacation during a busy day. Clients yelling, copiers jamming, deadlines looming – sometimes you just need five minutes to disconnect and look at something pretty. Of course I have friends and family that I follow so I can see what going on in their lives, but there are others that I follow simply because they have beautiful pictures. One of my new favorites is the  Nectar & Stone Instagram feed.

nec1 nec2 nec3 nec4 nec5 nec6 nec7 nec8 nec9 nec10 nec11 nec12 nec13

Gorgeous, right? I’ve don’t really consider myself much of a pink girl, but these pastel pastries have me reconsidering that. I am in love with that lavender and pink “Yay” cake. I’ve showed it to Andy a few times and commented on what an amazing birthday cake it would be. I think he gets the hint. If anyone would love a macaroon birthday cake, it’s this girl.