Queen of Sheba Cake

Oh Julia, you do know best. You changed the world of home cooking forever and we are so grateful for it. No one will be able to impact the professional and domestic inspired way of cooking like she did. When I first purchased her very famous book I could barely contain my excitement every recipe is pure gold. We try to cook out of it as often as possible all the recipes we have made taste perfect. This cake was no exception. It was dense and moist, and the rum flavor just made it sing. The frosting, oh my goodness, the frosting. I could have ate a bowl of it, and for someone who does not like chocolate frosting at all this was a big deal. This frosting tastes like chocolate silk. My one word of advice for this cake is do not, by any means skimp on the quality of the chocolate you use. You will taste the difference and for utter and complete decadence use a high quality 55-65% cocoa chocolate bars or buttons.

Since I had not made this cake before I wanted to make a small sample to test it. To see what I may have to change in regards to temperature, technique, and flavor. Why would I question Julia Child? Well it was because I have never made an almost flour-less cake like this before so I was a little concerned, completely unwarranted as it turned out perfect of course. When the trial cake came out of the oven Frank would not stop eating and said “I want to smear this all over my face, it’s so good.” In the movie Julie and Julia they make this cake seem very decadent as Julie’s husband smears it all over his face moaning “it is so good”. We used to laugh at it and think how odd, and what a waste of cake. Now we completely agree with the reaction in the movie it is spot on. This is now his favorite chocolate cake, and it was hard for him to admit that after the Chocolate Ginger Cake.

The recipe was taken directly from the book. I didn’t make any variations or changes, so the recipe will not be posted. I highly recommend you pick up Mastering the Art of French Cooking: by Juila Child. This is a book that should be in every cook’s kitchen, even if you think you cannot cook. The way the recipes are written makes it so that just about anyone with any amount of skill in the kitchen can succeed at making french food and just might learn a few things in the process. Now that I say that I think that maybe I should send my sister-in-law a copy…

Bon appétit!

Chocolate Ginger Cake w/ Bourbon Butter Caramel Sauce

Back in October we went to my favorite restaurant for dinner and the dessert of the week was a chocolate ginger cake. One bite and I had to try to replicate it, it tasted like Christmas. Yes, I realize this is late for a Christmas cake, but it’s also an ideal winter cake.  The cake has a thick, fudgy texture that feels sinful to eat. What really makes this cake sing though is the bourbon caramel sauce. Serve it warm with some toasted pecans and crème fraîche and you have a highly complex, impressive dessert that is decadent and leaves you wanting more (usually because the person next to you kept stealing bites). This dessert will ruin your New Years diet resolution, so I am sorry.

The great thing about this recipe is it’s a one pot wonder. The bundt pan I used was a gift for my birthday, and gave an amazing look to the cake. I have mentioned before about the trick to use dark pans vs light pans is to turn down the oven slightly by with a darker pan to avoid an over cooked outside with a undercooked interior. So keep that in mind when making this cake the temperature will go down 25°F if you will be using a dark aluminum pan.

The caramel is a basic butter caramel I have made before with some adjustments to make it dark and rich with the amazing flavor of the added bourbon. The leftover caramel sauce can (should) be saved in a sealed container in the refrigerator, because it is simply amazing on ice cream. Give this a try for your next party, or just to warm and spice up a cold winter dinner, you will not be disappointed.

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Japanese Christmas Cake, a little Early

Japanese Christmas Cake, Anime Strawberry Cake, Strawberry Cream Cake, whatever you call it, it is amazing.  Simple and delicious, sweet and tart, I can go on and on about this recipe.  I like many others searched for this cake because I always see it enjoyed in anime’s yet never knew the name.  All I knew was, while watching anime’s the characters enjoy this lovely layered cake with strawberries and cream.  It looks like perfection, so elegant looking yet simple and delicious.  I found the name of the cake, largely in part to anime fansites, so I went on a hunt.  I wanted to keep it on the Japanese side, so I went with the japanese style of this cake from the sponge, to the trick to thickening the whipping cream, by using agar agar.

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Apple Almond Coffee Cake

Usually there is something that inspires me to cook, a memory, an event coming up.  This time it was just to get rid of ingredients in my pantry.  The bonus is it’s something that my husband can take to work for breakfast with a yogurt.  Also, it turned out a lot better then I thought, the spices were great and subtle, and it isn’t an overly sweet cake. This would make a lovely addition to your brunch table or tea/coffee with guests.  I of course made some changes, but those are shown below.  Hope you enjoy.

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Blueberry Pound Cake

This is another recipe from my Cooking Light Cookbook, that has not failed me.  I tried it a week ago and it was utter kitchen failure.  However, it was not the recipe it was the baking pan that was too small and very dark.  Which conduced the heat to the sides and made it rise faster than the center and it caused this weird concave issue in the middle.  I bought a new loaf pan and my funds were quite well spent.  I love Fat Daddio’s bakeware.

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Chocolate Guinness Cake

A Chocolate Guinness Cake, with Bailey’s Swiss Buttercream Frosting, and a Jameson Ganache.

Happy birthday to my husband! I have been wanting to do this cake for some time now. A few months ago I asked him what he wanted for his birthday cake this year. He said car bomb cake, and immediately I knew my plan. I wanted to clean up the look and make it not only taste amazing but look amazing as well. Since it is just the two of us who get to consume this bad boy, I went with a very small 6″ cake in 3 layers.

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Along the way

Along the way in your cooking adventures you learn things, by reading cookbooks, watching cooking shows, or attending classes. You pick up on things that may or may not be common knowledge. Little tips or tricks that help you be a better cook. They are little cooking gems.  Knowing them let’s you take a whole new look on an old recipe that may not have worked as planned or just not at all.   It is often those little gems that can set you apart from someone making the same recipe.   They have helped me grow as a cook, and cannot wait to learn more.  In no specific order, here are a few of the questions I had, and the things I learned along the way in my adventures.

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