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No seriously, it really is. I managed to find a recipe for “That Chocolate Cake.” So perfect for me, right? And also really, really delicious.

I put on the Etsy apron That Husband gave me for my birthday a few years ago and got to work.

I know this is really unlike me, but I have no pictures of the cooking process. The focus of this project was the food, not the photography, although someday I hope to be good enough at it to take pictures at the same time. Also I hope to live in a place with better light. When we start apartment hunting next year I’m going to ask “Does it have light? I want to live somewhere with lots of light.”

I assembled all of the ingredients on my counter, and pulled up the recipe. I substituted Black and Green organic cocoa powder and Bakers 100% Cacoa unsweetened chocolate for the Scharffen Berger ingredients.

That Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

Cake

  • Unsalted butter and flour for pans
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup Scharffen Berger unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup boiling water

Frosting

  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 ounces Scharffen Berger 99% Cacao Unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method

For the Cake:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter and flour the parchment and the sides of the pans.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, mixing on low speed. Min in the eggs, oil, and milk.

Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the water. The batter will be soupy.

Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then turn the layers out onto the rack and cool completely.

When the cakes have cooled, check the frosting. It should have the consistency of mayonnaise. If it is still too thin, allow it to cool longer.

For the Frosting:

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and cream and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 6 minutes. Add the chocolate and butter and stir until melted. Pour into a bowl and stir in the vanilla.

To Frost the Cake:

Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread the frosting with a hot palette knife or icing spatula to give the frosting a beautiful shine. Run the knife under hot tap water and dry with a towel. Spread about ¾ cup of the frosting over the top of the first layer. Top with the second layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, heating the knife again as necessary.

Serves 8 to 10

There was one disaster during the process, but crisis was averted when That Husband offered to run to the grocery store to pick up another pint of heavy whipping cream for a second attempt at the frosting. Don’t take your eyes off that boiling cream and sugar for even a moment. Not even if you think your favorite character on the TV show you are watching while you bake might be dying.

After the cakes had cooled I used a trick I learned from a fantastic baker I lived next to growing up. I cut as much of the crust off of the cake as possible. It makes the cakes look ragged before the frosting is applied, but it means that no one gets an “end” piece. Plus you get to eat whatever you cut off, kind of like a pre-cake snack.

I frosted the first layer and That Husband was ready to dig right in. “Get away!” I screeched. He didn’t realize that this was going to be a double layer delight.

Just so you know, I spent about 15 minutes attempting to clean up all the frosting on the rim of this plate so I could take this picture. So pretty! But I wanted to take things a step further.

When I decided to run a hot knife over the frosting to give it this shiny smooth look I wasn’t thinking about how hard it would be to photograph. I don’t think it looks very good in this picture, but after it was in the fridge for a day the shine wore off and it looked as delicious as it tasted.

Would I reccomend you make this cake? Heck yes! I was told by our friends that it was better than the cake they like to buy from a bakery they like to visit in their neighborhood. Success!

Don’t mind the slightly creepy Stepford wife look I have on my face. My eyes are trying to say to you “Did you sign for the challenge? Make that cake!”

It was Sunday night. We were both craving a treat, but alas, we don’t shop on Sundays. What could I make with items already in my cupboard?

I went to allrecipes.com and used their nifty little ingredient search tool to find a recipe using the ingredients I had on hand. I put in coconut, walnuts, and cocoa and was pointed to the recipe for Dream Bars II. That Husband really likes them, but they taste a little bit too much like flour to me. Maybe next time I shouldn’t use the cocoa? Also I should made the crust thinner and cooked it until it was really golden brown, not just sort of golden brown.

Dream Bars II

INGREDIENTS

* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*
* 3 eggs, beaten
* 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
* 1 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the 1 1/2 cups of flour. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan. Bake the crust for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together the eggs and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar. Stir in the vanilla. Combine the 1/4 cup flour, cocoa (if desired), baking powder and salt; stir into the egg mixture. Fold in the coconut and walnuts. Pour into the pre-baked crust.
4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm. Cool and cut into squares.

I’m not supposed to eat any more while he is out of town, but I really want to try drizzling some caramel on top and topping that off with some Cool Whip. Maybe just a taste tomorrow.

Last week I made two delicious things. Well maybe the brownies were a little overdone, but they were my first ever brownies from scratch and I am still learning.

Thanks to Julie for the delicious Mexican Lasagna recipe! Go ahead and visit her blog to get the recipe, she has step-by-step photos on how to make it! Of course we used the tortillas to make it. Any recipe that requires tortillas is our new official favorite.

Mexican Lasagna

That Husband was gone from 5 AM Monday morning to 7 PM Thursday night, so I made brownies to celebrate his return. Not just any brownies, Peppermint Patty Brownies, as invented by Coconut & Lime. I love Coconut & Lime. Beautiful photography combined with delicious food.

Find the recipe here.

The secret is lining the middle of the brownie batter with broken up pieces of Peppermint Patties. She used mini’s but I couldn’t find them, so I just bought whole ones.

peppermint pattie brownies

I love eating the sections with the almost-burnt oozing filling. They are perfect with a glass of milk and a little bit of whipped cream on top. Please note that I made these brownies with eggs, flour, sugar, and the like. Not from a box thankyouverymuch.

Oozing Peppermint Pattie BrowniesSuper rich and so delicious!

Whitney reminded me that it is NaBloPoMo! So I didn’t technically post on this blog on November 1st, but I posted on That Bride and the rules are “Post every day for a month” so I figure I can still count myself as successful.

As Ethidium Bromide recently began doing, I’m going to start posting some recipes. Not because I actually know how to cook. No, I am doing it because I love broadcasting all of my mistakes to you, my dear readers (I hope there will be a few successes as well).

My first cooking attempts were from my two favorite blogs, Coconut & Lime and Bakerella.

Autumn Vegetable Chowder

My chowder:

Thoughts on my chowder:

Why is mine orangey/green and hers is white? I have absolutely no idea. Maybe she only blended her cauliflower, but I blended everything except the broccoli and potatoes. I really liked it that way.

A little bit of salt ground on top made it so good.

That bread you see in the background is Asiago cheese bread. I could eat it with every meal.

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies With Maple Brown Butter Frosting

My cookies:

Thoughts on my cookies:

I used 72% dark chocolate chunks. Although a good choice, I put too many inside and they overpower the pumpkin. That Husband likes it though because he doesn’t like pumpkin that much.

The frosting was delicious, but a failure compared to that fluffy stuff Bakerella made. Maybe it’s because I used margarine (filled with trans fat, ooops!) instead of butter.

Why are my cookies oblong and shaped all funny? And hers are perfectly round? What is the secret to this roundness?

Do not eat one of these and then try to eat an apple. It just doesn’t work.

Things I learned overall:

I want a new camera. A fancy pants DSLR.
I want to live somewhere with better lighting.
I should start cooking in the middle of the day in order to have better lighting.
I should try not to be sad when my food doesn’t look exactly like that of the pros. (Hey, I consider these bloggers to be pros okay?)

Should you make the soup? Yes!

Should you make the cookies? Yes!