Sunday, December 27, 2009

chocolate cake + orange buttercream = my favorite

Recipe adapted from Hannah's blog.

Chocolate Cake
From Southern Living

2 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate baking bars, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water.

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) round pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper. Lightly grease parchment paper.

2. Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals.

3. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.

4. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. (Mixture will be thick.)

5. Stir vanilla into hot water. Gradually add water to batter in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pans.

6. Bake at 350° for 38 to 42 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire rack, and let cool completely (about 1 hour).

Spread Filling between layers, spreading to edges of cake and leveling with an offset spatula. Gently press top cake layer down. Spread Frosting over top and sides of cake. Swirl frosting using back of a spoon, if desired. Top with Candied Oranges.

Candied Oranges

2 large navel oranges, thinly sliced
2 cups sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split

1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 3- to 3 1/2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oranges. Return to a boil; cook 5 minutes. Transfer oranges to a parchment paper-lined jelly-roll pan, using a slotted spoon; discard water.

2. Combine sugar and 2 cups water in saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into water; add vanilla bean to water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Add orange slices. Return to a boil; cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, 35 to 45 minutes or until rinds are softened and translucent.

3. Remove oranges, using tongs; arrange on parchment paper-lined jelly-roll pan, folding oranges as desired. Blot with paper towels. 4. Pour syrup through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, reserving syrup and vanilla bean for another use. Discard solids. Let oranges stand 15 minutes.

Vanilla Orange Buttercream
5 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange extract
3 to 5 tablespoons milk


1. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter.
2. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. 3. Add extracts and milk and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more milk if needed for spreading consistency.

yum. yum. yum.

Here we go....

First real post on the blog! Let's try a recipe, shall we?

Robby has had this for Christmas breakfast since he was just a wee little we have continued on the tradition here in the little red house. It really is quite tastey, and very easy to make on any cold winter morning. (*pssst. it can also be made ahead of time!)

Robby's Christmas Breakfast

1 bag of Fresh or frozen hash brown potatoes (enough to cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan about 1 inch deep or what you like. )
6 oz grated swiss cheese ( I always buy the bag of swiss/gruyere mix that's already shredded)
6 oz of pepper jack cheese
Cubed or sliced ham ( I used my favorite archer farms ham from the deli)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of melted butter

Spread hash brown on bottom of 9x13 pan
Drizzle melted butter over hash brown potatoes and salt and pepper.
Layer cheeses over hash browns
Place ham over cheese.
Mix milk and eggs together and pour over all.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes

We like it with fresh salsa.

And hopefully your friend Tara will bring you over yummy cinnamon rolls to go with it.