Don’t you just love Facebook? This morning, someone posted something about eating chocolate cake for breakfast, and I had to remember making Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting, and promising my friend that I would make cake today.
Low and behold, when I went to my refrigerator, I found no milk, and didn’t feel like going out to get any. However, I had a large container of plain, yummy yogurt, and I knew that it would make a really rich cake.
Just a warning, make sure you use Baker’s Joy or some other means of getting your Bundt pan completely greased. This cake likes to stick, and when I make it in a regular cake pan, I always use parchment paper. Alas, you can’t use parchment paper in a Bundt pan, so just make sure you really spray the pan well with the Baker’s Joy.
This is one of my favorite desserts. I haven’t made it in quite a while, because I have a minor child, and A) don’t want to share with him, and B) don’t want to eat the whole thing myself. So when Easter came, and I knew people were coming over, it was a perfect opportunity.
We have a wonderful Persian bakery, Flor De Cafe, in Glendale, and that was where I was finally able to find real lady fingers. Real lady fingers are crisp and readily absorb liquids. The stuff at the supermarket that comes out in Strawberry season is spongy and will not absorb the liquids correctly for this classic dessert. Ergo, another reason I have made this in a long time.
I was able to find Mascarpone, a wonderful Italian cheese with a texture reminiscent of cream cheese. Mascarpone is slightly sweet, and has a silky texture. It is made from cream and some kind of citric acid. It’s expensive, another reason I don’t make this dessert very often. Well, I found some at my local Armenian store, from the wonderful folks at Sadaf, and it was great. As I was writing this, I came across a method for making homemade Mascarpone, so I will be doing that from now on.
We have a wonderful Farmer’s Market in Glendale on Thursdays, and I was able to get some big, lovely, organic strawberries form my Tiramisu. It made it very special.
I recently joined a great MeetUp, Entrepreneurs Professionals Glendale, and wanted to bring something nice for everyone to share. One of the members, Aron Ganz of Ganz Media gave the berries their name, Strawberry Torpedoes, a much shorter name, and I am grateful for that!
This is a group of entrepreneurs and professionals, who own small to medium businesses. We are not drones of the corporate world, and realize that even though being self-employed has its difficulties, it has huge rewards. Our group, led by Lynn Sarkany of MarketFinders, meets to exchange ideas to help our businesses, share stories, and network with each other. If you are a like-minded individual, you might consider joining us. Please visit Entrepreneurs and Professionals to find out more.
I had recently found a whole bunch of baking chocolate on sale, had some strawberries and a package of cream cheese. But, instead of making the Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Dipped Strawberries that I made last time, I thought I would add a little more adult flavor to the dish.
I added cocoa, coffee, vanilla, almond and cinnamon to the cream cheese filling, and I injected the berries with balsamic vinegar. When you bite into these berries, they explode flavor into your mouth.
Ah, the first day back at school! This year, not only does Spane get a new teacher for 5th grade, the school also gets a new Principal. I think it’s important to make a good impression. Spane is a good student, but it never hurts to grease a few palms with an appreciative gift. I already made Trinket Boxes, and special Scrunchy Bows for the gift bag, but I wanted to put something else inside. I was wrestling with myself over this, and then I remembered I had a bag of butterscotch chips that I had gotten on sale at the local supermarket. Everyone likes cookies, and if they don’t they can give them to someone who does.
These Mocha Butterscotch Cashew Cookies will be rich, so I will also be giving a plate of cookies to the front office, some to my neighbor who gives me figs and apples, some to Spane’s Lemonade Stand co-worker, and still be able to have some for Spane and I.
Cookies for the Principal, the Front Office and the Teacher
I love going to the resale shops, finding bargains, and occasionally finding something old that comes back home with me for a new life. I have a friend who had this interesting jar with a top that you would push down on and she would use it for chopping onions. I always wanted one of those, and I was lucky enough to find one recently. I also found out that they were used for chopping nuts. Well, they do a great job at both!
When I was a little girl, and I had been very, very good, my mother would make my favorite dessert, Cherries Jubilee. Okay, so now you know how old I am because that was a popular dessert in the 1960’s. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that dark chocolate covered cherries are my favorite candy.
At some point, a can of dark cherries found their way into my pantry, and I decided to make them into Cherries Jubilee. But, I didn’t want them ordinary, I wanted mine to sing the praises of chocolate!
Considering the recent birth of the British royal baby, George, I wanted to make something “English”, even though the chef who created the dish was French.
The dessert was created by Auguste Escoffier, who prepared the dish for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Originally, the dish consisted of pitted cherries which were flambéed with Kirschwasser. Someone decided later to serve that over ice cream. Because the dessert was impressive it became very popular, and everyone was doing it. Of course, that set its death knell. Well, it’s back, probably because of the popularity of Mad Men, a television show set in the 1960’s.
And now, The Good Plate’s version of Cherries Jubilee with Chocolate Cherry Sauce….
Yes, I know that Red Velvet Cake is all over the place, and mostly nasty, truly horrific. When Red Velvet cake became popular all over the country, short cuts were made, and what resulted was a dense, flavorless cake, with a greasy shortening “cream cheese” frosting, that I am sure was made with cream cheese flavoring, and nary a bit of real cream cheese. I make a real Red Velvet Cake, that uses real cream cheese, cake flour, and vinegar/baking soda leavener.
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I just can’t make an ordinary anything, I always have to umph it up a bit, and this cake was no exception. Instead of using white vinegar, I used Balsamic vinegar. I also used a Mocha frosting instead of the traditional cream cheese frosting. It was a real hit.