Raspberry, Dark Chocolate Chips and Almond Streusel - do I even need to say anything else? Raspberry and dark chocolate might possibly be the best flavor combination every created. It is good in EVERYTHING - Godiva dark chocolate bars with raspberry filling, raspberry and chocolate in ice cream and now ... raspberry dark chocolate coffee cake!!! What better way to start your day?
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Coffee Cake
3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, cold
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (64g) slivered almonds
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup (180g) dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet, milk chocolate, or white chocolate)
1 and 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) unsweetened raspberries
Bring on the coffee - this coffee cake - takes the cake.
I feel like an inadequate blogger - my 3 year blogaversary has come and gone and I didn't even stop to acknowledge it.
I'm not surprised that it slipped past me without so much as a second look - it happens at one of the busiest times of the year. (July 20th)
In honor of my blogaversary, I went back and reread some of my very first blog posts. It was so much fun to see some of my first writings and pictures. (The pictures of the kids from three years ago really made me cry though.) When I first started blogging, I really had no idea, exactly what I had stumbled upon or what I was getting myself into. I never dreamed that this blog would become a multi-year journey of the recipes and stories of my life.
I remember how uncomfortable and awkward I was when I first started to photograph food in restaurants and grocery stores. (Three years later, I don't even think twice about pulling my camera out and asking fellow restaurant patrons if I can a snap picture of the meal of their plate too.) I love my job as a food blogger. It's super fun and strangely addictive. It's also a great excuse to cook things that I normally wouldn't make just for myself.
Since becoming a food blogger, my camera has become a permanent addiction to my kitchen and I've learned to accept the fact that it will always be covered in flour. My family has been conditioned not to eat anything until given the "all-clear" which indicates that all the pictures have been taken. I also can't resist the urge to tear new recipes out of magazines so I can share them with all of you. (I think I'll always be a food blogger at heart.)
Like most food bloggers, I spend countless hours looking through recipes that I find on the internet. I ran across one for Honey Oat Bread on bakingdom.com that seemed like the perfect way to commemorate my three year blogaversary. (Just because I love bread - and oats - and honey.) I think you're going to like this one too.
Honey Oat Bread
Makes 1 9×5-inch loaf
3 cups (381 grams) whole wheat white flour
3/4 cup oats (I have used instant or old fashioned)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1/4 cup (62 ml) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter or margarine
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons honey, warmed
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons oats
Add the butter, stirring until melted, then stir in the water and honey.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1/2 to 1 hour.
Once doubled, place the dough on a clean, dry work surface. With your fingers, flatten the dough into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Tightly roll the dough, tucking the ends as needed, into a loaf. Place the shaped dough into a 9×5-inch loaf pan, cover with a clean dry towel, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1/2 to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Place an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven and bring 2 cups of water to a boil. When the loaf is doubled again, brush the top with the warmed honey and sprinkle with the oats.
Place the bread in the oven and pour the boiling water into the empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and the internal temperature is about 190 degrees.
Spread butter over warm bread or drizzle with honey.
Well, even though it's a month late, Happy 3 year Blogaversary to me! There's always hope that next year, maybe I'll remember it ON July 20th.
I have to admit that it took some time for me to really appreciate the little town in Georgia that we've called home for the past 9 years. It really has grown on me over the years and without me even realizing it, I've fallen in love with this little town.
From the Friday night summer concert series to the farmers market on Saturday mornings to the live nativity at Christmas, this town is never lacking for entertainment. The once vacant store fronts are now home to some of my favorite places like the pizza shop and my favorite lunch cafe, an amazing bath store and a darling little boutique. I find myself taking advantage of everything that my little town has to offer, now more than ever.
Last month, the town invited several food trucks to serve lunch and dinner. It was a huge success. I went for lunch with Courtney and some friends and it was PACKED. The lines to order food from the trucks were outrageous but we chose to wait in the blazing hot sun for a food truck taco anyway because it's not everyday (or ever) that food trucks pull into our little town. I was thrilled to see so many people coming out to support the trucks - who knows - maybe this could be a regular event in town.
The taco from gezzos was yummy but there weren't a whole lot of healthy options for customers ordering lunch from the trucks. Surely, there are some food trucks out there that serve healthy food.
Let's face it, eating out is never really the healthiest option so it's healthy eating at home for us. This walnut crusted salmon is a great way to eat healthy and not miss out on delicious flavor.
Walnut Crusted Salmon
4 salmon filets
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons honey
2 slices whole grain bread, pulsed into crumbs
3 Tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
You can tell from my lack of pictures that this is a super simple dish to prepare. There really isn't any fussy prep work or complicated cooking technique. Mix up a few ingredients, put it on the fish, toss it in the oven and voila - dinner.
Ben ate two pieces of this salmon - one as and entree and the other as a sandwich between two pieces of homemade chiabatta bread. Apparently it was really tasty as a sandwich as well.
I bought a jar of Nutella at the grocery store with a specific cake recipe in mind and I knew that I had a limited amount of time to get the cake made before my kids discovered the chocolatey spread and started to eat it. They both love Nutella and I don't buy it very often so when it's in the pantry - it gets eaten - QUICK.
When I found a recipe for a dark chocolate cake, layered in creamy Nutella frosting on Sweetopolita.com, I knew that it would be a hit.
This cake will satisfy even the biggest chocolate cravings.
There are days when I think I could eat this entire cake in one sitting.
Dark Chocolate Nutella Cake
For the Cake:
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups superfine sugar
1 1/4 cup dark Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/4 cup brewed coffee or espresso
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
4 1/2 cups (565 grams) confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (280 grams) Nutella (or other hazelnut spread)
3/4 cup (180 ml) full-fat sour cream
11 ounces (330 grams) best-quality dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Put all of the ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until smooth and glossy, about 1 minute. The frosting will be very soft. Refrigerate the frosting until it thickens slightly, about 15 minutes.
Apply a coat of frosting to the cake. Holding a tall pastry comb in your dominant hand, press it gently against the side of the cake and keep it steady. Use the other hand to slowly rotate the turntable until you have gone all the way around the cake. Gently press some chocolate sprinkles into the top of the cake.
Fit a medium pastry bag with a medium-large closed star tip, such as 1M, and fill about 2/3 full with frosting. Pipe a border around the top of the cake. Chill the cake until the frosting border firms up, at least 30 minutes.
I have a new favorite cake. I know I say that all the time - but it's true. If I could have any cake right now - it would be this one - a Cherry Vanilla Cake with Fluffy White Frosting.
I found this recipe on Sweetapolita.com. (She's fabulous by the way.) It reminded me of the cherry chip cakes that my mom used to make for my brother and I when we were kids. It was basically a box of white cake mix with tiny "chips" of what I'm fairly certain were artificially flavored cherry candy pieces, mixed into the batter. I can remember being so excited when my mom made this cake - it was sooo good.
You can imagine how excited I was to stumble upon a website that had a very similar version of my childhood favorite. The only difference is that this cake is not made from a box and it has real cherries and real cherry juice.
Cherry Vanilla Cake
For the Cake Layers:
3-1/3 cups (370 g) sifted cake flour
1-1/2 tablespoons (20 g) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (7 g) salt
1-3/4 cups (415 ml) whole milk, at room temperature
6 egg whites, at room temperature
3 tablespoons (45 ml) cherry juice/syrup (from the jar of cherries)
1/4 teaspoon (1.75 ml) almond extract
2-1/4 cups (450 g) vanilla sugar (or regular sugar)
1-1/2 sticks (173 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (178 ml) finely chopped maraschino cherries
For the Whipped Vanilla-Cherry Filling:
1 cup (2 sticks)(227 g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
2 cups (250 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon (15 ml) milk
1 tablespoon (15 ml) maraschino cherry juice/syrup (from the jar of cherries)
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
a handful of finely chopped maraschino cherries
For Nanny's Old-Fashioned Frosting:
3 egg whites
1 cup (200 grams) of vanilla sugar (you can substitute regular sugar)
1/4 cup (59 ml) light corn syrup
3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) pure vanilla extract (optional)
Fold in finely chopped cherries.
Place all ingredients except the vanilla (if using) into a large heatproof bowl that fits snugly atop a medium saucepan of simmering water on the stove (about one inch of water). Heat until warm to the touch.
Remove the bowl from the saucepan, wipe the bottom of the bowl dry, and place on the counter. Continue to beat until the frosting is cool (or at least just slightly warm) and beat in the vanilla extract, if using.
Trim any doming or top crust from cake layers using a very sharp serrated knife.
Use a cake turntable, if possible, for filling, frosting and decorating. Place a small dollop of frosting in the center of a cake plate or 8″ round thin foil-covered cake board, and place the bottom cake layer on top, top side up (face-up).
Place ~1 cup of Whipped Vanilla-Cherry Filling on top of the cake layer, and spread evenly with a small offset palette knife.
Gently place 2nd cake layer, face up, on top. Repeat, then place your third layer face down.
Put a generous scoop of Nanny's Old-Fashioned Frosting on top, spreading evenly from the top down to the sides until you have smothered the entire cake in the frosting. Use the back of a spoon or small offset palette knife to create the swirly texture.
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