Tag Archive | baking

Decadent Chocolate Ganache Cake

Hello Darlings!

February is here and love is in the air. Shops are overflowing with flowers and big boxes of chocolates. It seems as if the whole world is swathed in pink and red hues. Don’t you just love l’amour?

One of my favorite things about the Valentine season is baking up something special for my one true love (who, by the way, has one serious sweet tooth). This year I made him the richest, most decadent, ooey-gooey, chocolate ganache cake. I’d love to share it with you for you to share with someone you love…or just eat it all yourself. It’s that good.

dollymarloweganachecake

Decadent Chocolate Ganache Cake

Prep time: 25 minutes

Start to finish time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Serves: 12

Ingredients:

(Cake)

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour or 2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 2/3 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

1 1/4 cups water

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

(Ganache)

2/3 cup whipping cream

6 oz semisweet baking chocolate (chopped, chips work as well)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350* F. Grease bottom and sides of two (9″) or 3 (8″) round cake pans; lightly flour.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat all the ingredients (except for those for the ganache) on low speed for 3 minutes, scraping to bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for an additional 3 minutes. Pour equal portions into pans.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until each cake passes the toothpick test. Let cool 10 minutes. DO NOT ALLOW TO COOL COMPLETELY IN THE PANS!!! Remove from the pans and allow to cool for 1 hour.
  4. While the cakes are baking, heat the whipping cream in a 1 quart saucepan over low heat util hot, but not boiling.
  5. Add in chocolate and stir obsessively, do not let it burn (chocolate can burn quickly). Once the chocolate is melted, remove from heat. The ganache will thicken as it cools. It’s ready when it mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon.
  6. Spoon cooled ganache between the cake layers. Pour over the top layer and allow it to drip over the sides of the cake. Spoon as much as you like to cover the cake.

**Tip: for an extra gooey cake, pour the ganache between the cake layers whilst it is still relatively thin, allowing the cake layers to absorb the moisture. Top the rest of the cake once the ganache has thickened up a bit.

Serve warm with a scoop of homestyle vanilla ice cream and a glass of cold milk.

Enjoy!

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

Beer Bread the Way Grandma used to Make… Well, sort of

Hello Darlings!

The weather has decided to be unreasonably cold today. It seems as though Mother Nature is thinking of snow, but hasn’t made up her mind just yet. I’d really appreciate it if she would. Two days ago we enjoyed temperatures in the low 70’s, torrential downpours yesterday, and icy winds in the 30’s today. Needless to say, tonight is a comfort food kind of night. I thought I would dust off this recipe for one of my favorite quick breads inspired by my grandmother.

One of my fondest memories as a wee lass was visiting my grandmother’s beautiful home. It was always tastefully decorated (especially around Christmas), the gardens were full of the seasons best flowers, fruits and veggies, and the smell of freshly baking bread wafting from the kitchen seemed to permeate everything! My grandmother was, and still is, the most elegant woman I’ve ever known. Glowing porcelain skin, a vast knowledge on everything from organic gardening and cooking to the most fashionable make-up techniques and beauty routines, she can do all! She has the fragrance of an English garden and the most delicate and graceful mannerisms to match! I was always fascinated, if not a little intimidated by her. She is, for me at least, the feminine ideal.

My beautiful grandmother in her garden

Now that I have my own home, I catch myself looking back and referencing my childhood memories for things my grandmother use to do. One thing that has always vexed me was the smell of freshly baked bread! Being a vintage gal in a thoroughly modern world is no easy task. Between running my on-line boutique, raising my family, charitable obligations, and if I’m lucky, my own hobbies and pursuits, how on Earth will I ever find the time to bake fresh bread?!

I am not a woman easily daunted. Through trial, error, and just a pinch of cheating (stealing the ingredient list from some premixed breads and throwing in some bits from my other quick bread recipes), I’ve got a fool-proof recipe for fresh baked beer bread that is not only delicious, but will leave your home smelling just like grand-ma-ma’s! And it wont take you all day, either!

Beer Bread

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 60 min

Ingredients:

3 cups flour (I like to mix white and whole wheat)

1/3 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

12-oz of your favorite beer (my mother swears by cooking with the cheap stuff, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I use whatever gourmet/microbrew My Mr stocks in the icebox. I highly recommend a lemon shandy).

3 tablespoons melted butter (optional)

**For a prohibition approved loaf, one may substitute ginger beer for the real thing. Remember to subtract the sugar from the recipe.

Preheat your oven to 350* and set the rack to the center setting.

Combine the (sifted) flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Gently fold in the beer. Mix until all of the dry ingredients are wet. The batter will be sticky… REAL sticky. Lightly grease a standard size (5×9, I think it is) bread loaf pan, and plop the batter in. Do not attempt to smooth it out, the bread will fill out as it bakes. Also, the rustic appearance is part of its charm! Pour the melter butter on top and pop it in the oven for about 60 min (or until it is golden brown and it passes the clean toothpick test). Let it cool and then serve it up OR make the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich known to man! My Mr just rips hunks out of the loaf and snacks on it all day.

Garlic and Parmesan Beer Bread Grilled Cheese Sandwich and a side of French Onion Soup.
The perfect winter luncheon.

So, while this recipe is decidedly more lazy than what my grandmother crafted, it does the job nicely. I do hope you enjoy!

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe