Snowy Easter

BUNNY CAKEWhat happens when it snows on Easter weekend? A few years back it did just that so I made a little Easter chocolate cake in response. Just when our corner of the world is having its spring awakening, winter won’t let go. This cake is a wave goodbye to that darn cold season and questioning, “What the heck is that white stuff doing on the back of the Easter bunny!”

Chocolate leaf cupcakes

cucakes creme anglais chocolate leaves (4)I was asked to bring dessert to a party last minute. I popped some cupcakes into the oven but how was I going to decorate them?
I looked in my cupboard for inspiration and found a small box of chocolate leaves that were given to me as a gift. Perfect! I filled the cupcakes with some creme anglais, then piped on some buttercream, a drizzle of melted chocolate and then topped them with the moulded leaves. I think it worked really well.

 

Torta di pera e cioccolata

Torta de pera e cioccolateIt was -20C outside over most of the weekend and I just didn’t want to face it, so I baked. This week’s food section in the Ottawa Citizen featured “The rustic flavours of Florence” and I thought anything that gave even a small suggestion of Tuscany in this tundra-world I live in, might warm things up around here.
The cake they featured was a gorgeous thing called Torta di pera e cioccolata. Pears and chocolate. I had a couple of pears kicking around the house. Why not give it a try?
The challenge for me was there were no cup or teaspoon measurements in the directions. All weighed ingredients in either grams or ounces. So I pulled out the trusty scale and gave it a go. And I think it worked really well. It tasted great!
Recipe from the book: Florentine: The true cuisine of Florence by Emiko Davies (Hardie Grant, Chronicle Books, 2016).

Happy National Chocolate Cake Day

chocbarbs-60thI think it’s pretty funny that every day of the year is designated as a national food holiday. Believe it or not, there’s a Lobster Thermidor Day (Jan. 24), a day dedicated to Cold Cuts (March 3) and even one called Something on a Stick Day (March 28).
January 27th has been deemed National Chocolate Cake Day. Now there’s a day I can get behind! Happy National Chocolate Cake Day to all!
If you want to see all 365 days and their particular food designations, here’s the link: National Food Holidays.

Gardener’s chocolate cake

floral-for-sigrunA friend of mine celebrated a milestone birthday this past weekend and I offered to make her a cake. Her only request? Chocolate.
Sigrun is a long distance runner, a cook extraordinaire and a gardener who has an encyclopedic knowledge of flowers. She’s also a very accomplished artist and has taught art classes too. So…what to make. A running shoe cake? Buttercream flowers? Hmmm.
I decided on doing something a little more free than my usual cakes…something that recognized the gardener in the birthday girl but also the artist.
So, I piped flowers from coloured chocolate and placed them on a four-layer chocolate cake, topped with a dark chocolate ganache drip.
A super bright and happy cake for a gal with a sunny disposition.