Archives for the month of: March, 2012

What do you get someone who has a sweet tooth for their 90th birthday? A giant chocolate cake, that’s what!

Martin’s pop turned the big nine-oh last weekend and to celebrate family and friends gathered from across the globe (all the way from Canada!). I needed a cake that would serve the crowd and knock the socks off as well, so I turned to my new favourite baking book – Baked In America. Those David’s really know what they’re doing.

I had a tough choice narrowing which layer cake recipe to make and finally decided on Coke Layers. Coca-cola and chocolate? You can’t get more indulgent, really…

So here goes, my adventure in a triple layer chocolate indulgence.

To get started, I melted butter with coca-cola in a bowl over simmering water.

Butter and cola

Then added three types of chocolate – plain, milk and super dark 81% chocolate. Seriously chocolatey… oh yeah… and marshmallows. (I think I gained 10 lbs just writing that sentence.)

Chocolate and marshmallow

Once the chocolate, butter, cola and marshmallows were all melty and gooey, I let it cool to room temperature and sorted the dry ingredients. Oh yeah, there’s more chocolate.

Dry ingredients

Once the chocolate, butter, marshmallow and cola mixture cooled, I added it to the eggs and sugar. It’s key to let a hot chocolate mixture cool to room temp, otherwise you’ll get scrambled chocolate eggs… yuck.

4 bowl process

This mixture makes 3x 9 inch layers.

Fresh from the oven

As recommended, I used a chocolate fudge frosting, which combines sour cream and melted chocolate.

ready for frosting

frosting in progress

And voila! A frosted triple layer chocolate cake!

finished

ready for celebration

Pop loved the cake, as did everyone at the party. He had a few helpers to blow out the candles.

make a wish

Happy birthday, Pop! Here’s to 90 great years and more to come…

Layers

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There’s so much to catch up on! Feb has been a VERY hectic month. And by hectic, I mean I didn’t even get a chance to enjoy a baking/cooking project since Valentine’s day. Thankfully, it’s now March and I have been able to slow down a bit and get back in the kitchen.

I love entertaining and throwing dinner parties, so whenever my husband’s family from Canada come to town I always make sure we put on a good spread.  This time we went with Tex-Mex for the meal – serving carnitas, black beans, fresh salsa, mexican rice, corn salad and homemade tortillas.  To follow, I thought a cheesecake would be the perfect foil.

I recently purchased a new baking book called ‘Baked in America‘.  If you didn’t know already, I am an American living in the UK.  This book is written by two Americans living in the UK. Perfect!  I am smitten with this book and am going to try out as many recipes from it as possible. But, before I get ahead of myself, let’s start with the first one. Enter the clotted cream cheesecake.

This was the second time I have ever attempted to make a cheesecake and I was pretty pleased with the results.  I poured over the cheesecake chapter taking in all of the two Davids’ tips and recommendations. So, here’s how it went:

I used a springform tin, as you do with a cheesecake, but I wrapped the bottom with foil to make it easier to remove the base to serve. This was a great tip from the book. Also, the cheesecakes I grew up with had a graham cracker crust. It’s difficult to find graham crackers in the UK and when you do find them, they are like £7 a box in specialty shops like Selfridges Food Hall. Anyway, digestives are the next best alternative, but mixing brown sugar into the digestive and butter mixture makes the crust taste like graham crackers. Top work, sirs!

digestive biscuit crust

There is a lot of cream in this cheesecake recipe. Don’t be afraid…

cheesecake ingredients

mixing it up

I don’t know the difference between a baked cheesecake and a non baked cheesecake. I suppose since I lived in New York, I am more partial to a New York Style cheesecake, which is baked in the oven.

in the oven

The cheesecake looked like a souffle when it came out of the oven.

Souffle pouffe

And then looked like an alien when it cooled. It has a rustic look, which went well with the Tex Mex fiesta.

cooled cheesecake

And once it was sliced, it didn’t matter what it looked like because the texture inside was perfect.

slice of cheesecake

There was nothing left on anyone’s plate.

cleared plate

This cheesecake serves 12 people easy. There were six of us and we sent our guests home with a second helping each.

Cheesecake vultures

This cheesecake recipe will definitely be in high rotation when it comes to desserts. The clotted cream added a flavour and texture that reminded us of ice cream from Cornwall. Since this recipe came out so well, I cannot wait to get started on my next baking adventure out of Baked In America. I just hope it doesn’t make me miss back home too much.

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