sour cream

525,600 minutes measured in sweets

Well everyone, today my little blog is 525,600 minutes old +/- depending on what time you read this post. 😉

So, I thought it would be the perfect day to share with you how I measured this year:

“In daylights, in sunsets,
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

How about love?

How about love?

How about love?

Measure in love.”

OK, enough with the mushy stuff… let’s celebrate!

Devil's Food Chocolate Cake
What better way to celebrate than with a slice of cake right? This cake was inspired by the little “TLC Cake Crew” image I proudly began displaying on my blog as of April.

Devil’s Food Cake
adapted from Baking Illustrated by the Editors Of Cook’s Illustrated

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa
1 1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup plain cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate covered cocoa nibs (optional garnish)
9 large strawberries (optional garnish)

Position racks in the bottom and top thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter three 9×2-inch round cake pans and line each with a parchment round. Butter the parchment, then dust with flour and knock out the excess or spray them with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine the chopped chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl, pour the boiling water over it and whisk until smooth. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until combined for about 3 minutes.

Reduce the speed to medium; add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined, for about 10 seconds. On low speed start adding about 1/3 of the flour mixture then about 1/2 of the chocolate mixture, repeat and and with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined, about 15 seconds. Make sure you don’t over beat the batter.

Remove the bowl from the mixer; scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and stir gently to thoroughly combine.

Devils Food Cake Batter ready for the oven
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans and smooth the batter to the edges of each pan with a rubber spatula. Place 2 pans on the lower middle rack and 1 on the upper-middle rack. bake the cakes until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 18-21 minutes.

Devil's Food Cake right out of the oven
Cool the cakes on a wire rack 15-20 minutes. Run a knife around each pan perimeter to loosen. Make sure the cakes have cooled off completely before you assemble the cake.

Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-1/4 cups Nutella
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
milk

Cream together the butter and shortening. Whisk together the cocoa and sugar, and gradually add to the creamed mixture. Add one tablespoon of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached. Finally add the hazelnut spread and vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy.

Chocolate Hazelnut Crumb Coat
Devil's Food Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Ganache

1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan heat up the heavy cream, make sure it doesn’t come to a boil. Stir in the chocolate chips and whisk to combine. It’s ready to use once it has cooled down to room temperature.

Devil's Food Chocolate Cake

To Assemble
Place a thick layer of Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting between each layer of devil’s food cake. Then coat the entire cake with a thin layer of the frosting and place in the refrigerator to harden. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and finish frosting the cake with a thick layer of frosting.

Place a ring of chocolate covered cocoa nibs on the base of the cake. Drizzle the cake with ganache starting from the center. Dip the strawberries in the ganache and place on top of the cake.

Snippit “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical Rent, written and composed by Jonathan Larson

{ 8 comments }

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Who loves strawberries?

I Do… I Do…!

I mean just look at them aren’t they one of the most beautiful fruits you’ve ever seen?
READ MORE >>

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Burnt Orange Panna Cotta

Some thoughts on burning…

Here are a few scenarios in which burning is not quite a good thing:

  • Getting called out for something you know you did wrong and didn’t want to admit. BURN!!!
  • Thinking you are getting a good deal, then come to realize you got burned.
  • Not wearing any sunscreen and end up with a terrible sunburn.

These on the other hand, I don’t mind in the least:

  • Burning a few calories during a workout or other activities.
  • Burning through a few gallons of gasoline on a nice drive.
  • Burning some wood in the fireplace.
  • The sun burning off the fog.
  • And last but not least… Burning a little orange zest to make this very yummy dessert, a very good thing!

Burnt Orange Panna Cotta

from The gourmet Cookbook

1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3/4 cup sour cream
2 navel oranges

Lightly oil six 4-ounce molds or ramekins.

Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small bowl and let stand for about 1 minute to soften.

Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, salt, and 1 cup heavy cream in another small bowl.

Heat granulated sugar in a dry small heavy saucepan over moderate heat, without stirring, until zest is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir cream mixture and carefully add to caramel (it will bubble and harden). Cook over moderately low heat, strirring, until caramel is dissolved. Add gelatin mixture and remaining 1 teaspoon zest and stir until gelatin is dissolved.

Stir in orange juice, remove from heat, and let stand just until cooled to room temperature.

Pour caramel mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.

Beat remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream in a small bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds soft peaks.

Whisk sour cream in another small bowl until smooth. Fold whipped cream into sour cream, then fold into caramel mixture until well combined.

Spoon into molds and refrigerate, covered, until firm, at least 8 hours.

When ready to serve, dip molds into a bowl of hot water for about 30 seconds.

Then run a very thin flexible knife around the edge mold, while tilting mold so panna cotta pulls away from side.

Invert mold onto center of a dessert plate, holding mold and plate at a 45-degree angle so panna cotta slips out. let panna cotta stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.


Top your Panna Cotta with a drizzle of dark chocolate syrup, a couple of sections of orange and if you really want to go all out… how about sprinkling the tops with a few chocolate covered cacao nibs. Mmmm, mmmmm, mmmm!

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Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

It was Thursday night, I was checking out Facebook looking for a good laugh, a cute picture, an interesting post, someone ranting over someone else’s meaningless post, you know some good stuff.

I was about to log out when I came across a post from one of my co-workers in which he was updating us on his status.

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Blueberry Streusel Cake

How would you like to provide your body, with a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber?

I give you the Blueberry…

A true powerhouse, it’s nutritional scorecard is off the charts compared to other popular summer fruits.

And… if by any chance you happen to have some at home why not enjoy them than in this yummy streusel cake?


Blueberry Streusel Cake

adapted from Gourmet Magazine July 2009

Streusel Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Stir together flour, sugars, cinnamon, pecans, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture forms large clumps.

Cake

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 lb blueberries (3 1/4 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. with rack in middle.

Line bottom sides of a 9 inch square baking pan with heavy-duty foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides.

Butter bottom and sides of pan, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and beat until well blended.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with sour-cream mixture and mixing until just combined.

Sprinkle lemon zest over blueberries and lightly toss. Gently fold blueberries into batter.

Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top (preferably with an offset spatula). Crumble half of the topping evenly over batter.

Bake 25 minutes, then remove from oven and crumble remaining topping evenly over cake. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes more.

Cool in pan 10 minutes. Lift out cake using foil and cool completely on rack.





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