September 23, 2012

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

This rich chocolate sour cream Bundt cake is AH-mazing and super easy. It's a one bowl recipe and you mix it entirely by hand. No need to pull out the bulky mixer! HOORAY!
I used dark, dutch processed cocoa powder... it makes for a much richer, intense chocolate flavor and the sour cream keeps the cake moist for days! The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate, but I used a king-size Hershey's "Special Dark" chocolate bar (4.25 ounces) and kept the rest of the recipe the same. The glaze seemed a little thin for me, so next time I will start with a 1/4 cup of cream and increase slowly until I get the right consistency.

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake
For the cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1/3 cup (1 ounce) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup water
2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the glaze
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar


Make the cake

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F (176°C). Butter and flour a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa powder, salt, and water and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring, just until melted and combined. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. Place the flour, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Add half of the melted butter mixture and whisk until completely blended (the mixture will be quite thick). Add the remaining butter mixture and whisk until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until completely blended before adding the next egg. Whisk in the sour cream and vanilla until smooth.
4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then invert onto a rack. Let cool completely before glazing.

Make the glaze
5. Just before glazing the cooled cake, place the chopped chocolate and agave nectar in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the heavy cream and sugar in a small saucepan and put over medium heat. Stir constantly until the cream is hot and the sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. If the glaze is exceptionally runny, let it sit for a minute or so to thicken.

6. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, allowing it to drip and dribble down the sides
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September 17, 2012

Tamale Casserole

My beautiful friend just had a baby (her second beautiful little girl) and I offered to bring them dinner so they can spend as much time being parents as possible. I asked if there were any food preferences/dislikes/allergies etc and was told there were none. Of course a one dish meal (casserole) is ideal so there's not a lot of storage space needed. I've made this casserole many times and it is SO good. It's very easy to make this low-fat by subsituting chicken for beef, egg substitute for an egg, etc.

You really can customize this however you like, but I will post the recipe I used and a link to the others I've found.

Tamale Casserole #1 
Tamale Casserole # 2 - Cooking Light

Tamale Casserole
Serves 8-12 
8 oz shredded cheese (I used a Monterey jack)
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (Jiffy works great)
1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce
1 pound ground beef (turkey or chicken work just as well)
salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine the cheeses in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of the combined cheese, the milk, egg, cumin, red pepper, corn, muffin mix, and the green chiles. Stir until just combined.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes or until just set.

While the cornbread is baking, cook your ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until cooked completely through. Drain, if necessary, and salt and pepper the beef.

Remove the cornbread from the oven and pierce all over with a fork.

Pour the enchilada sauce over the corn bread.

Top with the beans, beef and remaining cheese.

Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro or parsley if desired and serve.
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September 16, 2012

Sprinkles Cookie!!

I'm sort of obsessed with sprinkles. I have no idea what but I just really, really love them! I would be perfectly happy if they were on every dessert imaginable. I went to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies the other day, only to realize that I didn't have any chocolate chips in the pantry. Instead of chocolate chips I decided to use one of the 23 bottles of sprinkles I keep in the pantry. I don't really have 23 kinds of sprinkles in my kitchen, but I do have a lot. It turned out to be one of the best substitutions... ever! These got RAVE reviews at the office and by my friends.

Sprinkles Cookie
yields approximately 24 cookies


2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 5/8 ounces) bread flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed (7 ounces) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 oz sprinkles (whatever color/shape you like) (you can use more or less depending on your preference)


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. You want to bake these on the middle rack position in your oven, so arrange the racks accoringly. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or use a nonstick pan. Do no spray them with nonstick cooking spray bc it will turn brown in the oven and cause the bottoms of the cookies to burn a bit.

2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended and the sugar is disolved (appx 5 minutes in the mixer). Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the sprinkles. Chill the dough for 1 hour.

4. Roll 2 ounces (2 heaping tablespoons) of dough into a ball. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart. I put 6 on a large cookie sheet.

5. Bake until the cookies are light golden grown and the outer edges just start to harden yet the centers are still slightly underdone, 8-10 minutes. DO NOT overbake. Start checking the cookies at 8 minutes and then recheck in 1 minute intervals until the edges have just started to brown. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 10 minues then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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