Saturday, July 26, 2008

damn fine cake...

i am not really sure how i feel about this picture, well okay, i am pretty sure... but i needed to post a photo that gave an indication of how big this freakin' cake was. it was huge. i have done 2 layers before but never 3, in fact i did not even have a third cake pan. so darn, i had to go buy something new for the kitchen. 3 somethings new actually, i needed to make sure each layer baked evenly... it's ridiculous how excited i can get over new cake pans. they are super nice ones but maybe that is also saying something about how lame my life is right now. maybe. anyway, here is the recipe.

chocolate stout cake
from bon appetit (found on epicurious)

2 cups guinness (the good stuff)
2 cups unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (the good stuff)
4 cups all purpose flour

4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream

2 cups whipping cream
1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (i mixed the two types)

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Butter paper. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.

For icing:
Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently, about 2 hours.

Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake.

** this won't be surprising once you read the ingreds but be warned, i ate a small sliver of this cake around 11 and woke up at 4. at 6:30 i finally fell back to sleep. i blame the chocolate jolt.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


there are a few things in this world that i have a really hard time talking about without getting all stupid. some end in my having a kind anger-sadness hybrid meltdown which leave tears streaming down my face while i mentally plot relieving my anger with a bit of property damage. eventually i get my act together and stop crying. and while i do not give into these destructive desires i usually continue plotting- it's cathartic. anyway, laws against pit bulls tend to elicit this type of response.

lakewood, the town i live in just passed some of these laws. i don't have to move immediately, which i would completely do if i did not have a plate full of other crap at the moment. but now me and dixie get to jump through a series of hoops, some of which could cost quite a bit of dough. but whatever, it's only money.

what i am really pissed off about is the fact that now i cannot take my loving little bully out of the house without a 3 foot long chain with 300lb tensile strength and a muzzle on. this is just going to propagate even more fear of the breed. stupid fucking humans.

...but at least all the gigantic stuffed animals walking the streets of lakewood will no longer have to worry about my vicious pit bull eviscerating them...

(d. basking in the aftermath of one of her attacks)

(elvis, the other pit in the family, being ridden by a 2 year old- crikey and without a muzzle!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

damn fine cookies

for father's day, way back in june, i made what i might consider some of the best cookies i have ever eaten. i am a huge fan of oatmeal cookies, and home made is just about the only way to guarentee that they have not been soiled by the addition of raisins or other weird dried fruit. these are crispy, chewy, sweet, and salty. being a woman of contradictions, it is no wonder i love them so...

Cripsy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated by smitten kitchen

--> follow the smitten kitchen link for the receipe, i tried to copy it and the formatting got all wonky. i added semi-sweet chips for half of the white chocolate chunks that the receipe called for. these would be great either way but my ma has some very strong feelings about white chocolate not being chocolate at all, and i was afraid she wouldn't eat them...


the peppers are slowly growing... dispite my inability to remember to keep them watered. good thing that they are resiliant and the weather is wet (sometimes).

could go for a bowl right now...

i am usually pretty good about bringing my lunch to work, but there is a natural food store near work that has an amazing prepared food section, and occassionally i like to treat myself to some of their szechwuan eggplant. last time i went i was a bit early for the usual, and tried a blue cheese pasta salad instead. yumm. i recreated it for dinner lastnight...

toss some cooked pasta with olive oil that you have sauteed some garlic and shallot in, season with salt and pepper. let cool slightly. toss the tossed pasta with toasted walnuts, crumbled bluecheese (danish for me) and baby spinach. enjoy.

oh, also- remember to be careful when seasoning the pasta initially, as bluecheese can get a bit salty. better to go light and correct later... but of course you all knew that.


so i am sitting in my livingroom, messing about on the computer, when a song catches my ear. ms. dolly parton. i look up to see that she is the soundtrack for the newest target ad. man, give it enough time and everyone will be heard selling something or other...