Friday, July 31, 2009

Elise's Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

These were delicious! And super easy to make. I didn't use a whole cup of chocolate chips--just a half a cup. That turned out to be plenty for me. Then I used a half a cup of pecans as well. I thought it was perfect! And instead of the espresso powder, I used cinnamon. I couldn't really taste the cinnamon that much so next time I'll put a tad more. They made 14 muffins for me, but maybe I didn't quite fill each muffin cup enough. (I always get scared that they are going to overflow and make a mess of my oven. I HATE cleaning my oven.)

I ate three of these yesterday (whoops) because they were so good. Violet ate two whole muffins by herself so they were quite a hit with her as well. I will definitely be making these again!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Congrats to Deanna who got engaged last weekend!!

Deanna, I hope you don't mind me posting this, but I saw it on your blog and thought it was post-worthy. :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Danielle's Pear Plum Crisp

I actually saw this listed as the upcoming recipe last week, and I made it yesterday because I wanted to have it before Max left for LA (to take the bar, yay!).

If Melanie hadn't picked this recipe, I probably would've never made it. I'm not really drawn to cooked fruit type of desserts. But this was fantastic! The crisp topping was better than any I've had. The sugar was carmelized and perfectly crunchy. And the lemon and orange along with the cinnamon added a very nice flavor.

I couldn't find nutmeg, so I just left it out. I'm sure it would've been good with nutmeg, but I thought it was still perfect. I want to try this with other fruits, but if I make this with pears again, I think I'll peel off the skins. I didn't really like the texture of the pear skins in the finished dessert, and let's face it, I'm not really going for healthy here even with this fruit based dessert.

Overall, this is an excellent dessert and I think one that will come up again in my dessert rotation. And it was definitely one of the easier recipes we've tried. You can't really screw it up. It's a winner!

Pear Plum Crisp

This week's recipe is going to be Pear Plum Crisp from the Baked cookbook, pg. 113. I haven't made it yet so no picture.

I've only had my cookbook for about a week now and have only been able to glance through it, and this is one recipe that stuck in my mind. I know crisp-type recipes are traditionally saved for autumn time, but I think it will make for a light, sweet, and tasty summer dessert! Plus, it looks really really easy and I'm all for yummy foods that are really easy. :)

Do you have any pet peeves?
Something that really bothered me while I was living in Ecuador were strangers coming up to me and telling me their opinion about or what to do with my baby. The most annoying was when they'd tell me he was cold, particularly because it was rarely ever cold there! It might be 60 degrees and they'd be bundled up in puffy winter jackets and hats. They just don't know real cold. I dared not leave the house without him wearing socks and shoes and a jacket or else I was guaranteed to get comments from people about him being cold!

Any other hobbies besides being an amazing cook?
Let's see...I enjoy going for walks, jogging, a little crafting here and there, and of course spending too much time on the interent.

What is your favorite summer activity?
In Chicago, it's spending as much time outside as possible. Lots of walks and parks. Can't do that in Arizona summers though, so growing up it was spending as much time inside or at the pool as possible.

Are you a morning or a night person?
Definitely a morning person. I'm no fun at night because I get so tired so quickly. It's no fun for my husband when we try to watch a good movie and I fall asleep! And then my days feels so much more accomplished when I can get a good early start on the morning.

Are you a go-go-go sight-seeing kind of vacationer or lie-on-the-beach-all-day kind of vacationer?
I seem to always take go-go-go sight-seeing vacations. When I visit a new place I don't want to miss anything! There are just too many cool things and places in this world to miss them!

What is your favorite store?
Target. Love that store.

What is your favorite beverage?
Strawberry lemonade, the kind with real fresh strawberries in it.

If you had to go back to school, what would your major be?
Not really sure. I always thought it would be fun to be an optometrist, I don't know why.

-Melanie W.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cami's Chipotle Chicken Nachos

These are so tasty! I love that they have a spicy kick at the end but it doesn't overpower the other flavors. The avocado cream was so perfect and good. I'll have to make another batch just to eat as a dip.

I wanted to make the mango salsa but the mango I bought was very far from ripe. I've never had such poor luck with mangoes before. I'll have to make it next time because it looks really good.

I served these with beans and rice. It was a great meal.

Melanie W.'s Chicken Chipotle Nachos

These nachos were super tasty! At first I was worried it wouldn't be enough food to fill us up for the main meal, but I was wrong! As you can see, I made up a HUGE plate and ended up eating only half of it. I liked how cute the individual nacho chips looked, and I started out doing that by scooping the chicken mix onto each chip. But then I got hungry and impatient and decided to just glob on the avocado cream and mango salsa rather than add it to each chip. And it still tasted yummy!!
I had never made anything with chipotle peppers before, though I love chipotle! I need to add more chipotle recipes to our menus, so Danielle I just may have to get that cookbook! We like food spicy around here, so I threw in two peppers and still didn't think it was too hot. It was perfect. I loved the avocado cream and the mango salsa. At first I wasn't going to make the salsa but then I just happened to have both a mango and a red pepper on hand, uncommon for me! I'm glad I made it because the sweet mango was a nice compliment to the spicier chicken. Instead of fresh jalepeno pepper I just used a few slices from a jar. I like those better anyway.
I would love to make this again, but it's not something you can easily make when you're in a hurry as it took quite a bit of time to chop everything, prepare, and scoop onto the chips. I do think it would make an excellent appetizer for a gathering if you're looking for something nice and different.

Updated Nacho recipe

Hey everyone. LuAnn brought to my attention a mistake in the recipe I posted. I accidentally left cumin out of the ingredients (although it was included in the instructions). Sorry! The recipe calls for 1 tsp. cumin to be added to the chicken mixture. The recipe below has been updated.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

LuAnn's Pie

That's right...this is no longer called PB Pie. It is MY Pie! I love PB and chocolate...and cream cheese and heavy cream are 2 of my favorite ingredients! I loved my THIN slice of this pie (it is sweet and my belly can only handle so much sweet).

Like Danielle and Cami suggested I added 1.5 tbsp. of cream to the chocolate. It was great...2 tbsp. would have been fine. I also increased the crust a bit (I used chocolate Teddy Grahams because that was the only chocolate cookie I could find) because the crust is usually my favorite part of the cake. I thought it was perfect! There is one more piece in the freezer and my mouth is watering.

I took this to a gathering with the Tuckers and Strongs (and one other U of C grad...can't remember his name) who are all out here in D.C. I felt bad that nameless grad was allergic to peanuts. I've also come to learn that Europeans are generally unaccustomed to the flavor of PB. So take note.

This pie will definitely make an appearance at my Thanksgiving dinner this year...if not sooner!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Nacho Pictures

So I don't normally take photos of dinner foods, but I do actually have some photos of the nachos that I took awhile back. These were taken before I discovered the mango salsa.

Chicken Chipotle Nachos with Avocado Cream and Mango Salsa

[Sorry, this is an extraordinarily long post!]

This recipe comes from Seasonal Southwest Cooking. I can't recommend this cook book highly enough! It's amazing! Everything I've tried out of it is incredible, and I cook out of it at least a couple of times every week. Buy it! You'll love it! (Unless you don't like chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. Because 90% of recipes in the book call for it.)

Anyway, this recipe is my favorite.

Chicken Chipotle Nachos with Avocado Cream and Mango Salsa

Chipotle Chicken:
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 - 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped (stick with 1 unless you can handle a lot of heat)
3 tsp. finely chopped red onion
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1.5 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese

Avocado Cream:
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Mango Salsa:
1 mango, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 c. diced red bell pepper
1 jalapeno chile
1/4 c. findely chopped red onion
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. grated lime zest
salt and pepper to taste

Tortilla chips (as many as needed)

To prepare mango salsa, combine all salsa ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Let stand one hour to allow flavors to mellow.

With an electric mixer, cream together the cooked chicken, cream cheese, chipotle, red onion, garlic, cumin, and shredded cheese. Mix well.

Prepare the avocado cream. In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat broiler. Evenly spread each chip with a generous amount of the chicken mixture. Arrange chips on baking sheet and broil about 3 minutes away from the heat until puffed and golden. Transfer nachos to a platter and top each with a teaspoon of avocado cream. Serve warm.


1. The recipe in the book doesn't actually include the mango salsa. I got it from another recipe in the book, but I love it on these nachos. You can do without it if you don't have time to make it or don't want to buy the ingredients, but I highly recommend it. You could also do without the avocado cream if you want to just have the salsa on them instead. But you need something to go with the chicken.

2. This makes a TON of nachos! I usually make the full batch and make as many nachos as we want and then keep the rest of the chicken mix in the fridge. It's super easy to throw together once you've got the chicken mix made, so we usually end up eating it for lunch for a few days until it's gone.

3. I never strictly follow the recipe for the avocado cream (in fact, the ingredients for the avocado cream above have already been altered by me). For the avocado cream I usually just mash up an avocado, add a spoonful of sour cream, squeeze half a lime into it, and add as much cilantro, salt, and pepper and I think looks good. You can adjust any of the ingredients to your liking.

4. I also never follow the recipe for the salsa. I just chop up veggies till it looks right in proportion. And I never use more than half of a jalapeno. And I usually forget to add lime zest. It tastes good however you make it!

5. If you have thin tortilla chips, keep an eye on them while they bake. Thin chips can burn before the chicken mix is hot enough.

Do you have any pet peeves?
Too many unfortunately... One thing I hate is when a store or restaurant is either out of or discontinues one of my favorite things. Especially if I'm really craving something. So disappointing.

Any other hobbies besides being an amazing cook?
Running, photography, reading, and wasting time on the internet. :)

What is your favorite summer activity?
As a kid it was swimming but I don't get to do much of that these days. This summer it has been sitting on the porch in the sun reading a good book.

Are you a morning or a night person?
Neither. I'm an eight-hours-of-sleep kind of person. Although I try not to stay up too late so I can get up at a decent time.

Are you a go-go-go sight-seeing kind of vacationer or lie-on-the-beach-all-day kind of vacationer?
I definitely lean towards lying on the beach. Mmmmm... Mexico...

What is your favorite store?
Two favorites -- Anthropologie (clothing) and Wegman's (groceries). Oh how I miss Wegman's!

What is your favorite beverage?
Water, but when I'm letting myself live a little, I like flavored lemonades and limeades.

If you had to go back to school, what would your major be?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Melanie W.'s Cheesy Squash Pasta

Just playing a little catch-up here.

I had every intention of making this recipe the week it was posted, but for some reason I couldn't find a butternut squash in Ecuador that week.

I'm glad I tried it, because I liked it. I had never cooked with butternut squash before. The extent of my experience with it is making it for my baby. I like that it's a sneaky way to get more veggies into your diet. Like Cami mentioned, I also think it would be great with another vegetable. The only thing I would change is to add a little more pasta because I thought it was too saucy. I'll be keeping this in my recipe files!

Melanie W.'s Peanut Butter Pie

(sorry for the glare in the picture)

Wow, talk about sinfully delicious!! This reminded of me of the Peanut Butter Mood smoothy from Jamba Juice. I've never had it, but it's supposed to be the most unhealthy smoothy in America. I think this probably even surpases it!! But this was really yummy. I'm also a PB lover, and wish I had thought of topping it with peanut butter cups like Deanna.
I'll start from the bottom up: I loved the cookie crust. I usually buy my crusts, but think it's must better to make a cookie crust. I didn't listen to Danielle's advice and I added the chocolate layer just as instructed. With the frozen pie it made it impossible to cut through the chocolate! I would rather not have any chocolate at all, or do what Deanna did and just use the fudge sauce instead. I used a tad bit less cream cheese than called for because it's all I had, but I don't think it made any difference at all. I loved the creaminess of the PB filling!! Yum. I also used the chocolate sauce, and glad I did. It was divine, though it hardened pretty quickly on the cold pie. I halved the sauce recipe and glad I did because I still have a lot left.
This was a yummy pie, but I don't think I'll be making it any time soon, unless I make it for a large crowd. I could only get through half a piece before feeling sick because it was so rich! And we still have a ton of pie in the freezer. Yummy, but surely not a good one for the waist line!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Deanna's Peanut Butter Pie

Hi, my name is Deanna and I'm a Peanut Butter-oholic. I confess that I eat it straight from the jar by the spoonful. I'll even admit that, when I was in junior high, I would come home from school and stick a wooden spoon in the jar of peanut butter and then stick it in whatever sugary cereal we had (Captain Crunch was a favorite), and just go to town. Now I prefer the more sophisticated, dip the spoon in the peanut butter and then in the chocolate chips. When I was deciding on what recipe to pick for my week, this one was SCREAMING out to me. I just knew this pie was going to be amazing as soon as I had a little taste of the peanut butter filling (prior to adding in the whipped cream). Oh, so dense and scrumptious!

I'd like to thank Danielle for her advice on the bottom chocolate layer. I ended up just making the hot fudge topping and spreading some of that on the crust instead. It was the perfect consistency. I chose to do mine in a spring form pan because I always have difficulty getting these cookie-type crusts out of a pie dish without making a total mess. I threw a bunch of crushed Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on top before freezing and thought this added a little extra texture and flavor. This pie is not hard to make, but look forward to a lot of dirty dishes. I would recommend this to anyone and will definitely bake it again. The result is very pretty and professional looking, like something you would get at a fancy restaurant. Your friends will be impressed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Round 2 / Adminstrative Stuff

Hello delish makers. I'm thrilled that we are starting a new round of the recipe rotation next week. We are going to be switching the type of recipe we select. So, for example Danielle chose a Baked recipe last time and she will be choosing a cooking recipe this time. You can see the recipe rotation here to find out when you will be choosing the recipe.

If you need to switch which week you choose a recipe, just let me know. Also, if you want to opt out of this rotation or aren't interested in being a part of this group anymore, please let me know. I promise I won't be offended.

As we start over with a new rotation we will obviously be starting over with new 'get to know you' questions. If you would like to suggest a questions, please leave a comment. Otherwise you'll be stuck with whatever I want to know about everyone.

Cami's Peanut Butter Pie

This was also a huge hit for me! It was relatively quick and very easy. I obviously made a few changes which I loved. Next time I'll stick to the recipe to see how that tastes, but here's what I did.

My husband has been doing the grocery shopping. Bless him. He couldn't find the chocolate wafer cookies so he came home with the vanilla wafers. They worked very well and tasted great. I did add a little cocoa powder to it but not enough to do anything, I don't think. I agree with Danielle that the chocolate between the pie and the crust gets pretty hard. Adding cream is a great idea.

I made the pie part exactly like one should and then I already had some salty caramel sauce that we used for the Sweet & Salty Cake(I love that stuff) in the fridge so I drizzled that over the top. It was divine. Again, next time I'll do a chocolate crust and chocolate sauce but if you're looking for similar but different, try this. It's delicious.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hyeyoung's Summer Chicken Wraps

I'm not sure where the last couple of months went, but I'm hoping to keep up with these recipes again. I have to admit that I haven't been baking as much lately, mostly because of the feedback I've been reading from others about how time-intensive some of these desserts have been, but also, Greg and I have been trying to avoid having an entire anything of something decadently tasty in the house...

That being said, I made Whitney's chicken wraps last night and it was a big hit. The hardest part of it for me was to remember to take the chicken out of the freezer the night before. And having done that, I liked that I was able to come home from work and get dinner on the table in about 30 minutes or so. Mine ended up pretty saucy, and while that as well as the parsley and pepper bits initially worried my children, they liked the chicken very much. We had ours with lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, black bean dip (from Trader Joe's) and cheddar/monterey jack cheese. If I had fresh salsa, I think it would have been good with it as well. Like Whitney, I also used the cook-it-yourself tortillas from Costco, which are awesome! (My sister who lives in Arizona got me hooked on these while I was visiting, so I was super excited when Costco in Chicago started carrying them). I'll definitely be making these again!

(And no, I did not take a picture of it since my visiting teaching companion was sitting in her car waiting for me while I inhaled my dinner in approximately 1.5 minutes.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Danielle's Peanut Butter Pie

This pie gets a big two thumbs up from me! YUM!!

Not only is it super tasty, but at an hour and a half, it's the quickest recipe I've tried yet! The recipe was really easy to follow and easily surpassed my expectations.

I only made one change to the recipe as I made it. It called for about 1.5 cups of crushed cookies, but I just smashed up my whole package which turned out to be maybe close to 2.5 cups of crushed cookies. To make up for the extra cookies, I used a whole stick of melted butter.

Also, I would recommend starting out with just a half batch of the hot fudge sauce. I made a half batch figuring I could make more hot fudge later if I needed to (it's super easy to make), but I'm certain the half batch will be plenty for the whole pie.

Oh and one more suggestion. You might want to try adding a little bit of cream to the chocolate that goes between the pie crust and the filling. Once it's chilled, that chocolate layer turns pretty solid and is really hard to cut through with a fork. I ended up shooting crumbs across the table when I broke through the chocolate layer on my first bite. I learned to be more careful after that, but it's still a little precarious trying to cut through the chocolate. So I think a softer chocolate layer is something I'll try next time, maybe something closer to the consistency of the refrigerated hot fudge.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Peanut Butter Pie

For this week, I've chosen the Peanut Butter Pie from the Baked book (p100). I am so excited to be joining this baking group because I LOVE this book and can't wait to try as many recipes in it as possible. It makes me happy to know that there are other Baked fanatics out there :) I have a blog of my own, Occasional Sugar and am very new to the baking/blogging world and very eager to learn all that I can from other experienced bakers/bloggers.

I have an event this Saturday that I will be bringing this pie to for dessert so my post will come later in the week.

When did you start baking / cooking?
I started baking with my mom when I was very young. We'd bake chocolate chip cookies. She would measure out the ingredients and let me throw them in the bowl. Of course, my favorite part was sampling the dough. I remember once in 5th grade, my mom snuck some cookie dough into my packed lunch. My teacher was so appalled that my mom would do such a thing, like she had packed me rat poison or something. My mom and I still laugh about how ridiculous she was.

What is your favorite kitchen tool?
Oh man, I LOVE to buy new gadgets. I call this condition GAS (Gear Acquiring Syndrome). Of course I love my KitchenAid Standing Mixer, but I also get very excited when I think about my Progressive Cherry-It Pitter. Pit four cherries at once with no mess!

Do you have a favorite spice? If so, what is it?
Cardamom. I would love to try more recipes that use it.

What is your favorite book?
The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I would be so happy if I could take some time off and backpack through South America. I'm just dying to see Machu Picchu and Patagonia.

If you had to change your first name right now, what would you change it to?
No change, I like my name :)

Where do you currently live?
Walnut Creek, California

Where are you from?
The same place I currently live.

If you could eat one thing for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Dim Sum!!

Cami's Summer Chicken Wraps

This is all I have for a decent picture. And that's arguable at best.

I really enjoyed these. I will be making them again for sure. Probably within the next month. They are so easy and quick. I made the full recipe since, as you can see, the missionaries came over. They at them all. Good stuff. I served mine with avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, black beans, cheese and plain yogurt. I used frozen chicken so I took it out the day before and marinated it in the chili powder, cumin and oil. I don't think it made a difference but I guess it's always an option.

Thanks for such a good recipe Whitney!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Melanie W.'s Chicken Wraps

I love burritos and wraps, so I definitely had to try these. I only used 2 chicken breasts and kept everything else the same. I topped mine with black beans, avocado, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and sour cream. I thought they were pretty good, but surprisingly weren't as spicy as I had envisioned them to be! Next time maybe I'll keep a few of the jalepeno seeds in there, or use Danielle's idea and throw a little chipotle pepper in. That sounds yummy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Danielle's Chicken Wraps

Again, no picture. Taking a picture of my food is the last thing on my mind when I'm getting dinner ready. And I can't stand to let my food sit there getting cold while I take pictures of it (I can't just snap one quick one, I just can't do it).

Anyway, kudos to Whitney. This was a great dinner! I love a recipe I don't have to go out and buy any extra ingredients for. I was able to make these with everything I already had on hand. (Luckily Max's mom had buttermilk in the fridge. I think that's something I'm going to start keeping around. Buttermilk is one of my new favorite ingredients!)

In the sauce, I used a chipotle pepper instead of jalapeno because I discovered that my jalapeno had gone bad. I'm sure it would've been good with jalapeno, but I love the flavor added by chipotle. I think I'll make it that way all the time.

We topped ours with cheese, corn salsa, avocado, and tomatoes. Yum!

Monday, July 6, 2009


We are so honored to be featured on the Baked blog. Thanks a bunch guys! We are really enjoying the book!

Whitney's Summer Fresh Chicken Wraps

4 chicken breasts
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oil

1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 c low-fat mayo
3 T fresh parsley (chopped)
1 juice of a lime
1 large jalapeno pepper (seeded & chopped)

2 tomatoes
1 head of romaine lettuce
10 flour tortillas
optional, but delicious with it: 1 avacado, cheese, black beans, sour cream

Cut chicken into strips. Place chicken, chili powder, cumin and oil (I used less than recommended) in plastic bag - shake bag to coat. Stir fry in pan 5 minutes. Combine sauce ingredients well and add to chicken, cook 3 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Dress tortillas with chicken and garnish and wrap.

This is such a simple recipe and it's a healthy, summer dish. If you want to get fancy, try to make your own tortillas (I used Costco's uncooked tortillas). I adjusted the recipe for just the 3 of us, but used the same amount of sauce. It had a little kick, but I think my jalapeno was especially hot. ENJOY!

When did you start baking/cooking? Officially in college when I moved out. My mom didn't cook very much growing up. She struggled with her weight and always seemed to be dieting, so she didn't want to cook us something that she couldn't eat. She brought home meals from fastfood or restaurants at least 4 times a week and the other days we cooked up freezer meals in the microwave. It's amazing I didn't end up huge, seriously.

What is your favorite kitchen tool? My cheese graters - we just love cheese.

What is your favorite book? Can't say it's my favorite, but I recently read Confessions of a Shopaholic and thought it was great - an easy, fun read. I couldn't believe how different the movie was.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Europe, please.

If you had to change your name right now, what would you change it to? It's funny, I can't picture myself with any other name, but if I had to, I guess I'd choose "Carden" ... one of my favorites.

Where do you currently live? Orem, Utah just for the summer. We just moved from Chicago and are here while my husband studies for the Arizona bar. We're moving to Phoenix, AZ area in the Fall when my husband's job starts in September.

Where are you from? Orem, Utah

If you could eat one thing for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Ice Cream or Candy (if it wouldn't ruin my teeth)

Hope everyone had a Happy 4th of July! We had a lot of festivities, so I didn't have time to bake any goodies out of Baked, but these mini cupcakes were a hit. It's red velvet cake mix, with cream cheese frosting and blueberries (yay for the red, white and blue). Yum!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Cami's Sweet & Salty Cake

This was only half way bad for me. As you can see, I have a leaning cake. I think the problem was that the caramel doesn't sink into the cake very well, creating a slick spot for the next layer. The cake is very tasty and I have a plan for the next time I make this cake. (Yes, I will be making it again. Maybe for a special occasion or something.) It will add a lot of time to the already time intensive (5 hour) cake, but it should be worth it to have a pretty cake. I would frost the first layer with warm caramel and then frosting. Put it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to set the frosting. Repeat with the other two layers. If the caramel is warm maybe it will seep into the layers better. I was too impatient to do this since it was around 10:00 when I finished the cake. The actual cake didn't take that long to make, it was more the caramel and the frosting that needed constant attention and time.
As you can see, my slices still came out looking pretty and I had extra caramel that I drizzled on top. I love this caramel and will probably make it for popcorn or ice cream fairly regularly.

This was my first three layer cake. I walked right in to Walmart and picked up my 3 eight inch pans. Thanks for doing the ground work Danielle! I will try another three layer cake before I attempt this one again though.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Ok, so now that I've had a day to shake off my frustration, I'm actually entertaining thoughts of trying this cake again, probably not any time soon but sometime.

The cake tastes really good and I'd like to get it to work out. Based on what I learned from doing it yesterday, I think I could get a much better result next time.

So for those who haven't tried it yet and are still willing to after my post yesterday, here are some things I plan to do differently next time --
  • Use less cream in the ganache frosting. I thought it was too runny.
  • Chill the frosting for a little while before spreading between the cake layers. Mine seemed to just ooze all out when I started laying the second and third layers on.
  • Either cook the caramel (to layer in between the cakes) for less time or add more cream. Mine was too thick to "soak" into the cake. Err on the side of not cooking it long enough instead of cooking it too long.
  • Chill the three cake layers in the fridge before assembling the cake.
  • To save time, I think I'll combine the two batches of caramel into one. The water, sugar, and corn syrup are the same for both batches of caramel. I'll boil it all at the same time, then split it in half in separate bowls before adding the different amounts of cream.
I hope you guys aren't all afraid to try it now. It really is quite a tasty cake, so try it! You'll like it!

Even if it's not exactly presentable...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Danielle's Disaster Sweet & Salty Cake

As I was making this (spending ALL afternoon making this), I kept thinking, "Man, this cake better be worth it." Well, it maybe would have been worth it if my cake hadn't fallen to pieces as I slid the third layer on.

So I ended up with a pile of chocolate cake crumble, instead of a gorgeous three-layer cake. It could have been any of a number of things. Maybe I didn't cook them long enough (I was worried about over cooking them), maybe I didn't let them cool long enough, or maybe, and probably the most likely reason, because I used all butter and no shortening (I hate shortening and I didn't think I had any, however I saw some in the back of the fridge as I was sliding my mess of a cake in).

But hey, it's still super tasty. Although, I will not be making this cake again...