I made a similar Pear Almond Galette for Thanksgiving. Or should I call it Almond Pear Galette? I can’t decide. Either way it was simple yet beautiful, nearly elegant, with only a couple ingredients. (Simplicity is prime these days.) By the cover, it was a sure winner. But you know what they say—don’t judge a book by its … they were right. Read more
Last week we fought the moving blues with a galette, eating it amongst the half-packed boxes. Morale was low. Had there been an exit-earth-button, it would have been pressed a time or two. I’m being overly dramatic, but honestly, moving is a drag. I’m not telling you anything new. After it was all said and done, we decided movers probably hate moving more than we do. Read more
I’m fighting against the seasonal clock to make as many rhubarb infested treats as possible. The window is short. Too short. I nearly broke out in sweat on a cool 70° morning at the farmer’s market this week. Was I late? Where’s all the rhubarb? Oh, it was there alright. At the very last stand. Read more
Thanksgiving is next week. And pie is kind of a must. (Apple for me!) So now that we’ve got the pie basics covered, it’s time to kick it up a notch, and show that crust some love. Sure you can throw another rolled out crust on top and call it a day, as seen here. Or you can impress your guests with a fancy crust. If you choose option B, don’t fear. Perfection is not the name of the game with these two techniques. Perfectly imperfect, aka rustic, is more like it. People will think you slaved away all day on the pie. Go ahead, let them think what they want. Read more
This cake was supposed to be easy. I was going to brag about how fast I whipped it out. Ha Ha Ha. Oh the irony. One thing got in the way. That stupid virtue. You know the one. Patience. I’m scowling at the word as I type.
This recipe is easy. You just have to be patient. Don’t worry—I was impatient for you. I’ll let you know when you’re about to derail this simple recipe, making it complicated.
I really needed this cake to be simple. I got home from work at 5:30 pm, and had to be somewhere by 7:43 pm—leaving me a little over 2 hours to make a cake. Not bad. So while I made the cake, graduate school husband went to the grocery store to pick up the goods for the icing. Made the cake, no problem. I was home by 11 and ready to whip up a quick icing. In my defense, the word ‘icing’ was deceiving. Ganache would have been a better word choice. Needless to say, I exercised impatience. The icing wasn’t thickening as fast as I wanted to go to bed. So, I whipped up a meringue and added it to the icing thinking it would help it to stabilize. It was a runny mess. However, I proceeded to pour it all over the cake. What was I thinking? Meanwhile I looked at the remnants of the bowl with the orignal chocolate icing. Guess what. It had thickened up. In an abnormally calm manner, I directed graduate school husband to make another batch of ganache. He normally doesn’t involve himself in my baking adventures, but he was so helpful. I proceeded to scrape the cake of the runny chocolate mess. No lie, I wiped it down with a wet paper towel. We let the ganache set overnight and went to bed. 12:30pm. By morning, the ganache was perfect, so I re-iced the cake. Sprinkled with powdered sugar and shaved dark chocolate.
I was so thankful the cake was still salvageable. I’m not sure if this congrats sign ended up being for me or for my graduate school husband, although it was intended for him. He and his coworkers just finished up their practicum for the year and had a BBQ to celebrate/say goodbye. I’m going to miss those guys. They welcomed me into the group as if I were one of them. They gave me a nickname. They ate my food.
And they devoured this cake. Thank the Lord it turned out. I promise to be more virtuous.
Chocolate Chip Cake
recipe from United Cakes of America
1/4 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. AP unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. lightly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1. Preheat oven to 335° and place rack in middle position. Line the bottom of two 9-inch round pans with parchment paper.
2. Combine wet ingredients in a bowl. Combine dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in separate bowl. Set aside.
3. Using a spatula, toss 2 tablespoons of the wet ingredients with the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the dry ingredients. Toss again to coat evenly. This will keep the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
4. Mix butter and sugars in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment until well creamed, about 3 minutes.
5. Add egg and egg yolk one at a time.
6. Alternately add dry and wet mixtures about a quarter at a time without pausing between additions.
7. Removed the bowl and fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. The dough will be thick—more like cookie dough than cake batter.
8. Divide dough into prepared pans. It will be too thick to fill the pan to the edges, but will spread under the heat of the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until edges crown and surface is browned.
9. Cool the cakes in pans to room temperature, then invert them using a small offset spatula to release edges.
10. Make ganache. Spread thick layer between the two cakes. Dust the top with confectioners sugar. Shave dark chocolate and sprinkle on top.
1 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of sea salt
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring cream and sugar to a light simmer, stirring occasionally. Place the butter, chocolate, vanilla, and sea salt in a large bowl.
2. Pour hot cream over ingredients in the bowl and let stand for a few minutes to melt the chocolate. Whisk until smooth and set aside to cool, but do not refrigerate. Here’s the part where you may derail if you neglect that virtue. Be patient. It will set up.
3. Once the icing has thickened, stir it with a flexible spatula to a spreadable consistency.
For a downloadable PDF of the cake banner and instructions, click here.