Flourless Chocolate Cake w/ Berry Topping

Fourth of July is juuust around the corner, can you believe it?! Time to get your red, white, and blue on!

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I’ll be making the annual trip to our lake house for the holiday and I couldn’t be more excited about it. There are so many traditions and activities that I look forward to every single year. Picnics on the pontoon boat, swimming in the lake, reading on the hammock, bike rides through the woods, and of course the annual Independence Day festivities!

Last year my family officially took over the responsibility of hosting the bocce-ball-tournament/party for all the neighbors on our little lake. In preparation for this year, my mom enlisted everyone in the family to start brainstorming good, festive dishes we could serve. Obviously, my mind immediately drifted towards desserts.

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Here’s the thing. Flourless chocolate cake is…easy. You can make it ahead of time (it’s better that way, in my opinion!) And fun to dress up. And damn, is it good. Nobody asked for this information, but if you want to know my Official Ranking of The World’s Best Cakes, it’s this: 1st. Carrot cake. 2nd. Angel food cake. 3rd. My family’s poppyseed cake. 4th. Flourless chocolate cake. 5th. Cheesecake.

So, anyway, I figured a flourless chocolate cake that’s been dressed up with red, white, and blue toppings would be perfect. Viola! You’re welcome.

Flourless Chocolate Cake w/ Berry Topping

ingredients:

16 tbsp unsalted butter

12 oz high quality dark chocolate

5 eggs

1 + 1/4 cup white granulated sugar

raspberries and blueberries, for topping

powdered sugar, for topping/dusting

directions:

preheat oven to 350 F. grease a 100 inch cake pan with canola oil and then line it with parchment paper.

in a microwavable bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until completely silky smooth.

in another bowl, whisk together the eggs and white granulated sugar.

add the egg mixture to the chocolate, whisking everything until well combined. pour the batter into the cake pan. bake for 75 minutes, or until a fork that’s been inserted into the very center of the cake comes out mostly clean (no obvious liquid batter).

remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely. i even chill mine in the freezer, so that when you remove it from the cake pan there is no chance that it breaks apart.

carefully remove the chilled cake from the pan. top with powdered sugar, then assorted berries, and again with a bit more powdered sugar. serve immediately, and enjoy!

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cake (& Mark’s 26th Birthday!)

I love a good birthday surprise. I also love a good reason to practice cake and cake decorating. So when Mark turned 26 on the 26th of February, I got to do two things I love! #yaaas.

Mark’s been asking for an ice cream cake for years, but for some reason I’m just wildly unenthusiastic about the idea of ice cream cake. So, to compromise, I made him a regular cake that’s inspired by an ice cream flavor. I wish all relationship compromises were this freakin’ easy. And tasty.

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His birthday fell on a Monday, smack down right in the middle of my work week. So I had to be strategic about my baking and surprise set up. Luckily, I’m sort of a ninja when it comes to planning & executing surprises (one skill being in a sorority really taught me). On Saturday, after work, I made the cake layers. On Sunday, also after work, I picked & blew up balloons (hid everything in my car) and frosted the cake. Mark obviously saw this since it was hanging out in the fridge- but whatever. On Sunday night, after Mark had gone to bed (midnight, ugh), I snuck out to the living area and set up the streamers & balloons. There were 26 balloons, since he turned 26 on the 26th #nerd! This process was especially funny since his mother was visiting and sleeping on an air mattress in our living room…she probably thought I was insane. On Monday morning, I woke up extra early to make him confetti birthday waffles. And then I went into work. Pretty good, right?

Although I didn’t get to see his reaction, I was told he was pretty pleased. I mean, who wouldn’t be waking up to a view like this?! He deserves it.

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So anyway, the cake.

It tastes JUST like the ice cream flavor, you guys.

I followed this recipe, because cakes aren’t my strong suit yet and I’m still working towards understanding them enough to make my own creations. It obviously didn’t come out quite as beautiful as the creators. Oh well, gotta start somewhere!

The only modifications I made were: I used two 9-inch pans (I actually purchased another one, finally!) which made for a wider, shorter cake (not my favorite look), but whatever. Instead of making the mint meringues, I set aside 1/2 cup of buttercream to (sloppily) pipe little dollops. Less work, but also less aesthetically appealing. I used crushed thin mint cookie crumbles and mini-morsels in between cake layers and on top, which proved to be a good choice. The chocolate drip topping was more fudgier for me, so I had to “draw” the drip effect. But I reiterate: It. Was. BOMB.

If you’re a mint person, you’ll have to try this. I’ve been on a chocolate-peppermint kick lately. Something about March coming up, I think. Or maybe it’s because it’s Girl Scouts Cookie Season.

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The day after his birthday (yesterday) was less ideal. I’ll get real here: Our roommates sprung news that they want to move out like, now. Which would typically be GREAT news since I’ve been ready to move out for…years? But since it’s so short notice, and out of NOWHERE, and I’m in the middle of a transition period on a couple of personal fronts, I feel pretty anxious. I’m trying to remain calm and remember that sometimes the scariest of times is when something really great is on the horizon. But…it still sucks. If you have words of advice, plz comment because I’m preeeetty panic-y right now.

At least I have cake to eat. 😉

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Valentine’s Day Mini Chocolate Cakes

I think my biggest turn off to a recipe is a really lengthy ingredient list.

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Like isn’t it so annoying when a recipe calls for 20 v specific ingredients and you just think “okay so my entire grocery budget this week will be going to this one recipe” ?!

This is not like that.

This calls for 5 ingredients, most of which are probably lying around your kitchen/pantry right now. And it’s wicked easy. Bake time is 5 minutes. So if you need to whip up a lil’ something special for a certain holiday that’s coming up, I got you covered. Wink wink!

I think Mark and I are going out on an actual date for Valentine’s Day this year. But usually we like staying home and being cozy together. This is still not off the table. Which is why I think it’s necessary to have a quick and easy dessert that you can make for the occasion, so that the day feels special without being too much of a hassle. Ya feel me?

So, enter Mini Chocolate Cakes! Served with homemade vanilla ice cream and fresh raspberries. There are few things that taste as decadent as chocolate cake + vanilla ice cream. Ugh. So good!

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Mini Chocolate Cakes:

11 tbsp unsalted butter

5 oz bittersweet chocolate

3 eggs

3 egg yolks

1 1/2 c powdered sugar

1/2 c flour

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Add water to a small saucepan and bring to boil. Put a glass bowl over the saucepan so that it rests but doesn’t fall in, and so that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Add the butter and chocolate to the bowl and melt, stirring continuously. Once fully melted, remove the bowl and let chill in the fridge.

In a stand mixer, whisk eggs together. Add the powdered sugar and whisk till combined. Then add the chocolate mixture and flour, mix to combine.

Add the batter to a greased muffin pan. Fill each hole 3/4 full. Pop in oven and bake for 5 minutes. Maybe 6. NOT MORE! The top should juuust puff up, but the inside shouldn’t cook too much and you don’t want the lil guys to burn! So pull them out of the oven quickly.

Take a sheet dish, place it on top of the muffin pan, and then flip it over so the lil cakes fall out.

Serve hot w/ vanilla ice cream (I made ours the night before with my bangin’ new ice cream maker), some fresh raspberries, and a lil bit of powdered sugar. If all goes well, the inside will be gooey, maybe even melty. You’re welcome.