“Extreme” Chocolate Cake

You know when you crave cold, rich chocolate cake and there is no other way to suffice your craving than to make a deliciously moist chocolate cake, cut it in two and frost that sucker nice and thick? And then as soon as it’s beautiful and perfect you cut a slice and ruin the whole presentation that you and your cousin (well, mostly your cousin) spent 45 minutes slaving over? Sounds like my afternoon!

This recipe is a keeper. My darling cousin (who is a serious baker) found it and swears by it. It’s from allrecipes.com which always has the best recipes, if you ask me. The description says, “the best cake in the entire world.” Allllright, that’s a little lofty, but I’m sorry, IT’S TRUE! Make it, it’s  easy, slap some frosting on that thing, let it chill out in the fridge, yank it out, and devour. At least that was my plan of action.

I really don’t have any more words. I’m too busy finding another excuse to dig into it again…

I’ll leave you with a photo that is maybe even sweeter than this cake. A photo of my cousin’s first born, experiencing his first encounter with marshmallow fluff. Be still, my heart!

Advertisements

Citrus Frosting

Oh, I have been into baking lately. What is it about taking a bunch of ingredients, mixing them all up, and then creating this tasty, sugary treat? Baking has to be the woman’s version of building a birdhouse, or bench, or whatever men like to do with all those hammers and nails and such. All I know is that this little baking kick I am on CANNOT be good for my waistline.

Anyways, the other day I bought my first frosting knife, or spatula if you may. I could not let this milestone in my life go unnoticed so I decided to whip up some cupcakes. I was so caught up with these babies that I forgot to take more than two photos.

The batter for the yellow cake was delicious. Is telling you that I eat cake batter giving away some deep, dark personal detail? Whatever. It was buttery, thick, and overall seemed as if it could, too, be frosting. And that is why it did not turn out too well. The recipe I used from Bon Appetit seemed awesome but it turned out SO heavy. I possibly over baked it? But, I do know that I over beat the batter. It’s just so fun to see it get all fluffy and thick. Am I weird?

So, the winning recipe that I would like to share is this simple citrus buttercream frosting. OH MY GOD. Everyone loved this stuff. My dad ate the frosting out of the mixing bowl when I stepped out of the kitchen. Gotcha, dad.

Citrus Frosting:

7 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

4 teaspoons fresh orange juice

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

This recipe is also from Bon Apetit. The directions are as follows: Using an electric mixer, beat the butter first for four to six minutes. Then, add the powdered sugar and beat together for another four minutes. Finally, add the juices (I used regular juice instead of fresh and it still turned out amazing.) and then beat for another seven to ten minutes. I know that sounds like a lot of beating but that’s what really makes the buttercream. Also, beating it makes it easier to frost, duh!

This stuff was delicious. And made me a curious girl. What if I were to add mango juice? Or blood orange juice? Oooh, the ideas are endless and with an easy recipe like this, why not?

Zucchini Sandwich

My favorite way to cook is with fresh produce. Finally, winter is over (fingers crossed) and as spring shows itself, so is my beloved produce! I was at the grocery store the other day and I saw that my favorite vegetable, zucchini, came out of hiding. I knew I had to make one of the most delicious sandwiches. One of my best friends taught me how to make it this summer after we munched on them over a picnic. Fortunately, she also has a blog dedicated to her love of food and cooking, All Hail Honeybees.

Here is my version…

Ingredients:

2 small zucchinis (large zucchinis don’t taste the best to me)

1 large red onion

3 tomatoes

1 log of fresh mozzarella

1 batch of fresh basil

lotsa balsamic vinegar

pesto

First, chop zucchini and red onions. Toss in balsamic. I like to toss the onion first with an ample amount of balsamic, then use the extra onion-infused vinegar with the zucchini.

Roast the doused vegetables on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, flipping once. After this, your work is basically done! I told you it was super easy. Find some tasty, crusty bread and toast it. Top the toast with all the ingredients…

I topped mine with balsamic glaze. Can I ever get enough balsamic? The answer is, duh, no!

The great thing about this recipe is that is so versatile! During different seasons, add in other vegetables. Change the spread or the fresh herbs. What would you add?

Motown Mozzarella

Ah, deep frying. A magical thing that makes yummy food even more delectable by drenching it in hot, boiling fat. To me, it can be a bit intimidating…

If I haven’t said before, my roommate Ryanne is a genius. For example, today during a usual brainless TV-watching session, she told me she had been thinking of something for awhile. Really pondering. What was it?

“Let’s make homemade mozzarella sticks.” 

Yes. 

Especially since my dearest mother gifted me with a huge bag (mmm, sounds delicious already) of string cheese from her last trip to the cheese factory.* Is there any other way to utilize string cheese other than make mozzarella sticks? Well, I had never made them before, but it was a very promising idea.

Like clockwork, my neuroses set in.

“Dude, are we going to burn down the apartment? We need to have a plan! Ryanne, what if we burn this kitchen down?” 

Her response, “well, we probably wouldn’t get our security deposit back.” UM, WHAT. I feel like the consequences would be a leeettle more severe.

So, onto the cooking-with-two-inches-of-hot-burning-oil. We used this recipe.

First, those little sticks had to take a egg bath and then play in a sandbox-like panko breading.

I basically watched and then decided the Motown Pandora station was the perfect mozzarella making music. Then, we decided to be cautious and take the temperature of that terrifying oil.

Ryanne amazed me even more by showing me what the retro dance move of “The Mash Potato” was as she was wrangling some HA-OTT oil. Look at that thumbs up.

Presenting, the final product:

Life-changing. Earth-shattering. So unbelievably delicious.

I like to rate things we make on the scale that a restaurant could serve the dish. Is that weird? I don’t know, I think it works. But, this gets a 13 on a scale from 1 to 10. Ah-may-zing. Yum.

Have you ever tried deep frying anything? Any fun fire stories?