Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Where were we?

I think we were discussing fruit sugars, or other sugar substitutes. Which I am still really interested in and I think we could explore that topic in a lot of depth. Unfortunately, I am more excited about some other things right now, so we'll get back to that one soon.

Gosh, where has the cooking gone? Don't you miss it? Well, I haven't stopped, but I did stop or significantly decrease the pictures of the stuff I have been making lately. I have been enjoying my kitchen and there have been successes (white bread that turned out great!) and failures (white bread that turned out really yummy, but looked funny), and then a lot of old standbys. I made lasagna about a week ago, I made biscotti the other night, I've been savoring the end of summer tomatoes in a simple salad, sliced with lemon olive oil, salt, pepper, and shavings of romano cheese. We had chicken picatta, mushroom risotto and spinach salads last night, and it has all been wonderful. I am sorry that I haven't shared these, I just needed to cook without thinking for a while. Please share the comfort foods you make when you don't want to think about it- sometimes those simple things are the best.

Okay, before there is a riot from all this teasing and no pictures, I do have something fun to share. Hope you enjoy...
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake:
Before you start thinking that you have to have an excuse to make this cake, you totally don't. I promise that your co-workers won't object! The cake is a one-bowl process, as you can see, I didn't even use my stand mixer. I was a little disappointed because I never like to over bake things, but then my cakes shrunk a bit, so I would keep them in the oven for the full time. The recipe gives a range, and I always check at the front end, but these could have used the extra 5 minutes. It's a sour cream based cake, which in my experience is always yummy and rich, but can benefit from a little longer in the oven without drying out. As a warning (which really shouldn't be a surprise), this cake is ultra rich.
Whipping the cream cheese, sugar, and butter for the PB frosting. I usually put my frostings in the fridge for a couple minutes before I start actually frosting the cake. It seems like that helps everything come together. I was worried that this might not be enough frosting, but there were leftovers (darn...).
This cookbook has been fun, most recipes are 3 layers of 8 inch round cakes. It's nice though, because unlike 2 9 inch layers that you have to slice, these you just layer one on top of the other. It keeps the layers nice and even, but still makes the cake fun and tall with no shortage of icing. Lots of the cakes in the book have a different filling or icing for in between the layers than on top, or unique topping and decorating ideas. It's a fun book to just look through, if nothing else!
Once you have frosted the cake, return it to the fridge to set, and then make the chocolate peanut butter glaze. Ummm, yea, that's what I said. Seriously, this was the best part of the cake in my opinion and I hopefully will find another place to use this in the future.
Once the glaze is finished, pour it over the top and spread it with a cake frosting spatula allowing it to drip down the sides. (In an oh-so-temptingly way, of course!) I recommend making the cakes 1-2 days ahead, wrapping them tightly and storing them in the fridge or freezer once completely cooled. Then make the frosting and assemble the night before your event so that everything has 1 full night in the fridge to stay together. Then drive very carefully to work the next day to share with your coworkers! It will be worth the effort.

No comments: