Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This is Cracking Me Up

I watched my 3 year old nephew this morning and we took a little trip to the park so I could take his 3 year pictures.
I love this picture!
It looks like I hung him on the wall and snapped his picture but I guess I just got him at the perfect time when he was jumping up and down.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I know, I know. I keep saying that. But this one really is.

A couple weeks ago, my husband asked if I would make a cake because I hadn't made one in awhile. He really wanted a strawberry one but told him that is a spring cake and that I had a new one I really wanted to try.

I had recently pinned a chocolate cake by Rachel Ray. Honestly, I love chocolate but not usually a fan of the chocolate on chocolate cake.

I thought about making a boxed cake and adding the frosting.

After I made the cake and needed more unsweetened chocolate to make the frosting, I thought about using canned frosting on the cake.

I am so glad I did neither.

This cake was so moist and delicious and the frosting was so amazing that I could have eaten it plain with a spoon. I actually had leftover and we put it in the microwave to warm it up and used it as an ice cream topping. AMAZING!!!!

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 14.5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, 4 ounces coarsely chopped and 10.5 ounces finely chopped (I used pre-melted)
  • 15 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces and chilled
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper, then grease the parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. In a saucepan, dissolve 2 cups sugar in 2 cups water over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat, add the coarsely chopped chocolate and 6 tablespoons butter and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Beat in the eggs, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add the flour mixture, whisking until incorporated. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake until the cakes are springy to the touch and have pulled away from the sides of the pans, about 30 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and place on the racks. Let cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the finely chopped chocolate and the remaining 9 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon salt. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar to a boil. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes, then stir the mixture until smooth. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until thickened to a spreadable consistency, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
  4. Lay 4 strips of parchment paper around the border of a cake stand. Remove the parchment from 1 of the cake layers and place the layer on the cake stand. Place about 1 cup of the chocolate frosting in the center of the layer and spread to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Remove the parchment from the second cake layer and place the layer on top of the first. Apply a thin coating of frosting around the sides of the cake, rotating as you go. Top the cake with the remaining frosting and spread from the top of the cake down and around the sides. Discard the parchment paper strips.

I put the frosting in the refrigerator for 1 hour and 30 min and it didn't seem to be thick enough. I ended up spreading it in the middle and then as I poured it over the top it ran down the sides. I then stored it in the fridge and the frosting set on the cake. I'm not sure if this is a result of me using the pre-melted chocolate as opposed to using a bar or if it just needs to be in the fridge longer.

I also did not put the parchment strips around the edges. I'm guessing it is so you can remove them and not have the chocolate frosting that dripped down making the cake look messy. I like that little extra frosting to lick off the plate later.

Before I make my layer cakes, I do like to level my cakes with a bread knife. Note: you will not want to throw it out! Save it and eat it later or snack on it while you are frosting the cake.