Monday, September 29, 2008

Choco-Nilla Cake!!, For a Sweet New Year.

The other day was Rosh Hashuna, and being the great jew that I am, I decided to bake this lovely, and hugggge cake and bring it to my aunts house for dinner tonight.

I asked her what sort of cake she wanted me to bake, and she suggested either a carrot cake, vanilla cake, or a chocolate cake. While searching for the perfect one to make, I stumbled upon this recipe from the wonderful Bakers Banter blog.

Perfect!! I could give my family the best of both worlds by combining both a chocolate cake, AND a vanilla cake! I was excited. 

This cake looks like a lot of work, but is really not much at all. I was surprised at how easy it was to put together! I seriously do recommend trying this recipe for the next time your on the fence between chocolate or vanilla cake.

My dad eating his he devoured it, I managed to hear him say he absolutely loved it. So that was a good sign! Go check out the recipe, and I guarantee you, this a great cake to have on hand!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Best Lemon Squares!!!

These really are the BEST lemon squares i've made so far.
Like everyone with the chocolate chip cookie recipe, i've been searching for that one, great lemon square recipe. And I THINK, i may have found far!
They're just the PERFECT texture, and perfect amount of lemon flavor. Soo creamy, and just greattt.
Possibly the best ever Lemon Squares
3/4 plus 2 tblsp. all purpose flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar-plus extra for garnishing
2 tblsp. cornstarch
3/8 tblsp. salt(use 1/4 tsp. plus extra pinch)
6 tblsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces 

2 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tblsp. all purpose flour
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tblsp. half and half
1/8 tsp. salt

Don't preheat oven quite yet. Line an 8 inch square pan with foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
Pulse flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt in food processor. Add butter and process to blend, 8-10 seconds, then pulse until coarse. Pour what will seem like a very *dry* mixture into the lined pan and press over the pan bottom. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. While it chills, you can make the filling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. When oven is preheated, bake pre-chilled crust for 18-20 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned.
Filling: Lightly beat the eggs, sugar, flour together in a bowl. I used a fork. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, half and half, and salt and mix well.

Reduce oven temp. to 325 degrees. Stir filling again, then pour over **warm** crust. Bake for 20 minutes or until filing no longer appears wet and shaky. 

Set on wire rack to cool to room temp. Lift from pan, place on cutting board, dust with powdered sugar and cut into bars.

***I put mine in the fridge, and chilled the bars.
Chilled overnight makes them even better if u ask me!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

TWD: Chocolate Chunkers

It's tuesday, and you know what that means...another fabulous recipe from Dorie.
Claudia of Fool For Food suggested these addicting chocolate cookies this week, and I am SO glad she did.

I kind of have a bad addiction to ANY type of chocolate cookie, I dont know why, but something about that dark, rich, dense, chocolaty flavor just makes my mouth water! And you'll ALWAYS find me first in that cookie jar whenever they're around.

These cookies were absolutely amazing! And they weren't hard to make at all. Just throw in a bunch of chocolate, some nuts, and raisins, and your done!...they're also very versatile so you can basically put any type of mix in, in them.

All in all, I very much enjoyed these cookies, and so did my family, and friends who I shared them with as well! 
Dorie's done it once again!

Mmm, chocolaty goodness =]]

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

Well, happy belated birthday. it was really on Sep. 4th. but I was just WAY too busy to do a post that day. 
A bunch of my girlfriends, plus my parents took me to the Hotel Bel Air sunday, for the loveliest brunch i've ever had in my life.
Not only was the food absolutely amazing, but just the whole entire atmosphere was so beautiful and elegant, I could honestly live there.
I, of course took some pictures of just some of the food we had.

Maple-Bourbon creme brulee French Toast
This, we thought, out of ALL the food on the table, was the best BY FAR. Think of the best french toast you've ever had in your life, then times that by 1 million, and that's how amazing this was!

Lobster Ravioli with Spinach and Mushrooms
This is what I ordered, and it was, no surprise, the best ravioli ever!

Strawberry Melba on a belgian waffle with vanilla ice cream
Now dessert, we of course had more food, but I was too busy eating to take pictures :P
This dessert was verrry good. Fresh, but still decadent.

Warm Chocolate cake

Homemade cookies and chocolates
Mmm...fresh, hot cookies

Then, just when I thought dessert was over, the waiter brings us this beautiful tray of cupcakes! From the picture, i'm sure you can guess that their vanilla cupcakes, with chocolate, and vanilla frosting. And of course, the ones with the carrots on them, are carrot cake!...these were absolutely amazing!...and on the top of the tray, it said "Happy birthday bronte" on a thin, big piece of white chocolate...yummmm.
Andddd, one of the coolest parts about it all, the Hotel Bel Air pastry chef himself!, came out to personally wish me a happy birthday, and I of course bombarded him with questions and what not. He was so nice, he didn't even charge us for those wonderful cupcakes!

All in all, this was really one birthday I will never forget!

Monday, September 1, 2008

TWD: Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

I'm back!...after a 2 week vacation to NYC, and another short break, it's finally time to get back to baking.
I was very excited when I saw that this weeks TWD, chosen by Stefany of Proceed with caution, was cookies. A nice, easy way to ease back into things. 

These cookies were SO extremely easy, and required a lot of ingredients you'd have on hand.
I really liked the peanut butter combo with the oatmeal, and chocolate chunks, and these made my house smell absolutely delish!

Make sure to check out the other cookies, and see what all the other 200+ bakers did!