Monday, October 29, 2012

Best Chocolate Cake EVER!

Peanut butter, previously: Peanut Butter Brownies and Peanut Butter Cookies
One year ago: Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Adapted, only barely, from Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes

This cake is INTENSE. Serve it in the thinnest slices possible, and keep a glass of milk handy.

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake; serves 12 to 16 (the book says, I say a heck of a lot more)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanut brittle (I skipped this)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Deb note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Deb note 1: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. Deb note 2: Once the cake is fully frosting, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.)

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces seimsweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of d double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Rich Yeast Dough

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 t. salt
1 egg

In large mixer bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Heat together milk, butter, sugar and salt just till warm (115 - 120 degrees), stirring occasionally to melt butter. Add to dry mixture in mixer bowl; add egg. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. By hand, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Place dough in greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover; let rise in warm place till double, about 1 1/2 hours. Turn out on lightly floured surface. Divide in half and form each part into a ball.

To make Almond Syrup:
While dough is rising the first time, melt 1/2 cup butter in saucepan. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 T milk, 1 t lemon juice; bring to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in 3/4 cup sliced blanched almonds and 1/2 t vanilla. Set aside to cool.
On lightly floured surface, roll out 1/2 recipe of Rich Yeast Dough to 13 x 9 inch rectangle. Carefully lift dough into well greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Pat out to fit bottom of pan. Spread cooled Almond Syrup over dough. Cover; let rise in warm place till almost double, about 1 hour. Bake in 375 degree oven 15 -20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool on rack.

This is the family recipe from my sister (who got it from my mother). I don't bake; she does, and when I've had this it's been delicious, as it was when my mother made it. However I notice that there's no indication in this recipe of what happens to the other 1/2 of the dough: I seem to remember the filling being just that, a filling. Is it possible that the other half is rolled out into a rectangle, placed on top of the first rectangle and the filling, then the whole thing rises and is baked?

Unfortunately my sister goes to bed early so I can't call her now! I can try tomorrow morning, but I wanted to get this much off to you now. If you're what I call a real baker, the recipe will make more sense to you than to me.
BTW, that's just the taste: yeasted, but not bready. MMMMMMM, I can taste it. Hope this is helpful and not just a tease.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I finally decided to update my blog. Most of the time when I'm on my laptop, I'm on Travian. I am so addicted to that game. Don't play it. It will ruin your life! I love it, but it takes up so much time.

Sooo... forever ago, I made a Nutella, strawberry sandwich. The croissant was heaven! I forgot where it was from but it was SO good!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Another Thin Mint Recipe

I played around with some different ingredients to make my own thin mint recipe.


1 cup (2 sticks) of butter
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup flour
2-3 teaspoons of milk (if needed)

1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture turns into a ball
2. Put the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
3. Take it out and roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick.
4. Use a round 2'' cookie cutter.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes.
6. Take it out and let it cool on the baking sheet.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Double Chocolate Cookies

Last week I made a cheesecake and I dropped it. Lately I keep dropping things. I made these cookies for a friend, I put them on cooling racks, and when I picked up the cooling rack I don't know how it happened but all the cookies ended up on the floor. I should have just picked them up and given them to her anyway haha. I like these cookies because they're almost like brownies. I saw this recipe on Martha Stewart.

Double Chocolate Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 pound good-quality milk chocolate, 4 ounces coarsely chopped and 4 ounces cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Melt 4 ounces coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; let cool slightly.
  2. Put chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.
  3. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop (it looks much prettier when you use a 1 1/2 inch scoop. the 1 inch scoop makes them look kinda awkward), drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces crack, about 15 minutes (Check at 10 minutes and remove them as soon as they crack on top. I overbaked them). Let cool on parchment on wire racks. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Semisweet Chocolate on Foodista

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thin Mints

I tried two Thin Mints recipes. The one I liked more was from Moms Who Think. I would still change something about it though to make it taste ... more like a cookie if that makes any sense at all.

The one on the right is the one from Moms Who Think and the one on the left is from the other site.


8 ounces butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup flour

Chocolate Peppermint Coating:

1 pound semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon plus a couple drops of natural peppermint extract


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and process it. If it is seems like it's too dry, add a bit of vodka to it to get it to come together. Adding vodka helps it come together and will evaporate while it's baking so it won't affect the final texture of the cookie too much. This works on pie crusts as well.

3. Flatten the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and set it in the refrigerator for around 1/2 an hour.

4. Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness.

5. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet. I tried lifting it up while it was hot and this is what happened.

6. Melt the chocolate and add the extract.

7. Dip the cookies in the chocolate...

Or you could just put some chocolate on the bottom of 2 cookies and put them together.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Onion Rings

2 large onions, peeled, sliced into 1/4 inch slices, separated into rings
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (by Progresso)
25 Club Cracker crumbs
1/2 cup potato chips
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Put the flour, salt, and pepper in resealable bag and shake it up a bit before putting in the onions. Make sure the onions are evenly coated in flour.
2. Mix the egg and milk together.
3. Put the crackers and chips in the food processor and process them until they look like bread crumbs.
4. Coat the onions in the egg mixture. Then coat the onions with the crumbs and set them on a baking sheet. Drizzle a bit of oil on the onions.
5. Bake them at 350 degrees for around 25 minutes.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Oreo Truffles

So I'm sitting in class right now and I should be working on some project. But I did the last project for my partner, so it's her turn now. Yay! (Totally random thought ->) Isn't it annoying when people make eye contact and just hold it but they just don't wave or say hi? It's the awkwardest thing ever, like they're waiting for you to say hi, and it's not even like a random person on the street. These are people that I know and talk to at least 3 times a week. I think next time this happens I'm just going to stare back and not say anything haha Anyway, I got this recipe off Bakerella. I didn't do a lot of measuring and just kinda threw everything together haha

Oreo Truffles
Makes around 16
12 Oreos
2.5 oz cream cheese
8 Oreos with the cream removed

1. Put 12 oreos in a food processor. Process them until they're finely ground(<- that sounds akward haha)
2. Put the "processed" oreos into a bowl and mix into the cream cheese until its a homogeneous ...blob? Sounds appetizing doesn't it?


Mmm... Tasty haha

3. Seperate it into about 16 equal chunks.
4. Shape them into little balls.
5. Put the oreos without the cream in a food processor until they're chopped up into bits.
6. Roll the balls in the oreo crumbs and you're done!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bailey's Irish Cream Truffles

So two weeks ago I wanted to make some mousse because I saw a fabulous mousse recipe on Cannelle et Vanille, which is one of my favorite blogs ever! It's like a cookbook, just way better! What I ended up making, just because I got lazy, was...were? chocolate truffles. I have to go to the dentist soon which is a total bleh. Last time I went he was like "Wow! Your teeth are really straight!" and I was like "Thanks! That's really nice of you to say so." Then he's like "But they could use some whitening." I was thinking "WOW! Thanks! Now I kinda just want to keep my mouth shut so you don't need to see them!" Anyway here's the recipe.

Bailey's Irish Cream Truffles
20 oz chocolate (I used bittersweet)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2-3 tablespoons of Bailey's Irish Cream (you can add more if you like)
Candy Molds (I just went to Michael's and got the Wilton's Truffle Molds)


Melt about 8 oz of the chocolate. Pour enough into the candy molds to coat them. Save enough chocolate to make a bottom for the truffles. Let it set while you heat the heavy cream.

Chop up the chocolate and put it in a bowl. Add the Bailey's Irish Cream.

Pour the heated heavy cream onto the chocolate and wait about a minute before gently stirring it. Pout it into the chocolate coated molds.

Wait until it sets a bit before pouring some of the leftover chocolate over the ganache to form the bottom.

Et voila!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mmm... Samoas

Oh my goodness! I almost finished writing this entry when Firefox just chose to have a problem and chose to not respond! Anyway, I was looking through a bunch of cooking blogs and I saw an amazing recipe for Samoas on Once Upon A Plate! They looked so amazing that I just knew I had to make them! I used the recipe but I switched up the way I made them. So here they are.

Homemade Samoas
(also known as Caramel de-Lites)
Makes about 3 1/2 to 4 dozen

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
up to 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions :
Preheat oven to 350F.
I just threw everything except for the milk into the food processor and whirled it around until it looked like bread crumbs. Then I added the milk little by little until it clumped together.

It's easiest to roll the dough out in 2 or 3 batches (between pieces of wax (or parchment) paper to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut out the cookies with a 1 1/2'' cookie cutters. Place on a parchment lined (or on silicone mat) baking sheet and make a hole in the center. I used the small end of a large round piping tip. Reroll as many times as you need to

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are very lightly golden brown around the edges.

Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, to allow them to firm up slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-ounces good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
8 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips will do)

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and dip the bottom half of the cookie in chocolate. Let them set on parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (F)

Spread coconut evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Once it starts changing colors, it goes really quickly so watch it!

Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Use a double boiler to melt the caramel. You can add the milk before or after the caramel is melted.

Mix in the coconut.

Getting the caramel on the cookies was not quite so fun. I just used two spoons to put on the caramel. Dipping the spoons in water helped for a while.

Mmm... I want some right now! But it's like past midnight right now and I made them like three weeks ago...

Drizzle some chocolate on with a fork.