Birthday Cake

Recently I baked a birthday cake for my good friend, Susan Fae. It was a special birthday and I thought it deserved a special cake. The recipe is from Caprial’s Desserts by Caprial Pence. I am not including the recipe because it is a compilation of four recipes. To make it reasonable, you need to spread the construction out over a few days. I like to allow 3 days. I baked the cake layers about a week ahead and froze them. I took photos once I started the rest of the recipes to give you a glimpse of the process. I give you the Chocolate Toffee Mousse Cake.cake layers toffee toffee pieces cake filling chopped toffee filling with toffee building the cake chopped chocolate chocolate melting in cream ganache mixing ganache cake almost done birthday cake

Simply Delicious Chocolate Caramel Finale!

Yumm! That’s what you will say when you taste this outstanding recipe that I found on the Martha Stewart website. I’ve made it a couple of times and it has always been a scrumptious finish to a meal. If you have any leftovers, this tastes like a giant chocolate truffle when it is cold out of the fridge. You can make the caramel sauce a day or two ahead if you’re entertaining.  Store it in a covered container in the fridge, but bring to room temperature to serve. You will have more caramel sauce than you need for this cake recipe, but it shouldn’t be a problem. You can believe me when I tell you that this is excellent, and I’m a bit of an expert with regards to caramel so take my word for it. The cake can be done early in the day and refrigerated and baked while you eat dinner. My photos show a double batch as there were 6 people for dinner. 2 desserts leftover. Drat! The sacrifices I’ll make for my friends…

ready to serve

Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes with Caramel Sauce

6 tablespoons (3 oz.) cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus more, room temperature, for ramekins

1/3 cup sugar, plus more for ramekins

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks

1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

whipped cream for serving

Caramel Sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter four 6-ounce ramekins, then coat lightly with sugar, tapping out excess. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and chocolate. Microwave until melted, about 1 minute; stir until smooth. (Or melt mixture in a heatproof bowl set over, not in, a pan of simmering water.)

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, yolks, flour, and salt; add chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Fill each ramekin three-quarters full with batter; place on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate 15 minutes.

keeping busy

Poppy asked about a photo of my wreath on the door, but I couldn’t decide where it looked best.  The first photo is the door to a shed at the side of the house, the second is our front door. I like it against both colors of wood. Unfortunately for the wreath, it actually hangs on a weathered grey wooden pantry door. Oh well.

wreath on purple door

wreath on blue doorRecently I’ve done some sewing. I have sewn quilts for 3 of my 4 children, which they have received sometime after graduating from high school. Marc has been very patient, as he just turned 24 and is still waiting. (Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be last in line.) In my defense I did start his years ago, but once the center blocks with star appliques were completed, I sort of lost interest. I made an almost identical quilt for his older brother, and I couldn’t get excited about doing the same thing. Fast forward a few years and I know I have to do something with these blocks. The first 3 photos show some of the blocks as they have been for years. The 4th block has started growing, and the last photo shows a new improved and expanded block. I hope to make them all the rectangular blocks into squares and then play around with them. I’ll let you see when I’m finished. It won’t be before Christmas, but I have high hopes for 2013!

star block

star block 2

star block 3

star block 4

star block 5I wrapped the fruitcakes that I made in November. I have had the cakes wrapped in cheesecloth (that was soaked in liquor) for several weeks. About once a week I unwrapped them, resoaked the cloth and wrapped them up again. They reached saturation point so it was time for packaging. As there were 50 cakes, it took en entire evening to wrap them.

cutting cello

starting to wrap

finished cake

gluten free cakeThe last cake has a different wrap and ribbon because it is gluten free and I don’t want to mix them up. I love how distorted the cakes look in these photos. Can’t tell if it was the way I was holding my camera or what! They were all lovely and regular in shape when I wrapped them – honest!




easter and a ginger poundcake

I was looking for an excuse to include this recipe on my blog, and along came Easter. So, I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter – even if you don’t make this cake. If you don’t celebrate Easter, this recipe has absolutely nothing to do with Easter, so you can make it anyway. I hope I haven’t excluded anyone. Unless of course you don’t like ginger, and then why are we having this conversation? Please let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it. (It will tell me a lot about you.)

easter tree

easter decorations

fabulous new egg