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Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Classic. If you ask most people what their favorite cake is, they will answer, “Yellow cake with chocolate frosting.” It’s the cake of our fondest nostalgic imaginings, bringing to mind the best birthdays of childhood.

Not my birthdays, though. I was a child of the 70′s with more imagination [...]

Spiced Cocoa Buttermilk Pie

Spiced Cocoa Pie Let me tell you a tale – a tale of four five six pies. [...]

Foolproof Chocolate Cake with Pistachio Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Pistachio Cake
his is the easiest, most foolproof chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever made …
And because every cake deserves to be tarted up with frosting, I made this intensely flavored roasted pistachio buttercream frosting. The color is real, not artificial, from eight ounces of pistachio nuts. The frosting is very soft and fluffy at room temperature, but firms up nicely in the refrigerator, so plan accordingly, depending on how firm you like your frosting. [...]

Candy Cane Faux-Jo’s

Candy Cane JoJos4 Copy of Candy Cane JoJos 3 If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you may have gathered that when it comes to Christmas food, I’m a traditionalist. We’ve had the same meal for Christmas dinner every year of my life (even the year I spent Christmas in Florence, Italy), and the same meal for Christmas morning breakfast every year but one (hard to find turkey gravy in Italy). My Christmas baking tends towards either classic Americana, like ;Sugar Cookies or Bourbon Balls, or classic English Christmas, in the form of Christmas Cake or Mince Pies. And I feel very strongly about the necessity of waking up on Sunday morning and baking Christmas cookies, still in your pajamas. Copy of Candy Cane JoJos But sometimes I encounter a newfangled holiday treat that’s so tempting (or addictive) that it becomes a new holiday tradition. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you may have realized that I have a deep and abiding love for Trader Joe’s, and never more than at holiday time, when the crack, er, Candy Cane JoJo’s are available. If you’ve never had a Candy Cane Jo Jo, it’s basically an oreo with crushed up candy canes in the filling. Sounds basic, right? But the sum is so much more than it’s parts. The bits of candy cane stay crunchy in an entirely different way than the cookies stay crunchy. And the whole thing just begs to be dipped in a glass of milk and eaten. In vast quantities. [...]

Love and Chocolate — Molten Chocolate Rosemary Cakes

Chocolate Puddings

Ken and I have been together more than eleven years, and married for almost seven. Although on occasion he still makes my breath quicken and my heart go pitterpat, I think the real boon of a long love is that warm glow of contentment that comes from security. I know what to expect, whether its pizza and TiVo every Friday night, coffee in bed every morning (milk and a teaspoon of sugar, unless either one of us is sick, in which case we have tea), or the fact that neither one of us wants to empty the dishwasher. There is a comfort in routine that does not disappoint or catch you off your guard. And yet familiar does not mean boring. There’s a reason I chose this man to marry — I find him perennially interesting (except for maybe the in depth discussions of cars or macroeconomics — sorry, honey) and completely unique and I always want more. I love him because I know him, but I always feel like there’s more to know.

Chocolate 2

And that is why, on this Valentine’s Day, I’ll make him these warm chocolate rosemary puddings. Sure, chocolate on Valentine’s Day is something to be expected, but there are a reason cliche’s become cliches. And this cliche is utterly worthwhile. It looks simple and straightforward — almost like a brownie – but pierce the outer layer and you get depths of warm, flowing chocolate richness. The rosemary (which is optional, by the way) adds another layer to the flavor. As wonderful as chocolate can be, it’s so familiar that on its own it can seem one dimensional. These puddings have an extra little frisson, a haunting flavor and fragrance that you can’t quite put your finger one. This is a dessert you want to get to know better. It has hidden depths. [...]