Friday, February 11, 2011

A Taste of Spring

Opportunity is missed by most people
because it comes dressed in overalls
and looks like work.
February 11
Birth date of Thomas Edison
He amassed 1,093 patents, the most patents ever issued to
single person in American history.

I went looking for spring and found it easily at a nearby conservatory. What a breath of fresh Spring air just to be inside with loads of greenery, eye-popping, vibrant colors to savor. The warm humid air was an added treat.
Lucky for my group we were able to see the last remnants of the Orchid show from the previous week. I posted some of the pictures for you to enjoy. One of the best parts of this outing was at the end we discovered a two toed sloth in the tropical section moving ever so slowing climbing up a tree. Looked just like a huge wig of hair moving!
All you need is love.
But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.
Charles Schultz
Peanuts cartoonist

Best Ever Chocolate Cake
Note: Over the years I have tried many, many chocolate cake recipes but I always come back to this one. It is a very moist cake and so easy to make. It has been posted before but worth a repeat just in time for Valentine's Day. If you have a heart shape cake mold be sure to grease well and lightly flour. It might need a little more baking time. A cream cheese, white buttercream or chocolate frosting pairs well with this cake.
  • 2-1/4 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup of strong coffee
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 jumbo egg
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 TB. Kahlua
  • Beat all ingredients 2-3 minutes
  • Grease and flour two cake pans
  • Bake @ 350 for 20-30 minutes but check at 20 do not over bake
  • Cool in pan a few minutes
  • Then invert to two plates lined with wax paper to cool
  • Place cooled layers on plate in freezer covered with wax paper for about 30 minutes
  • Remove and frost each layer-a chilled cake layer frosts better.
Ghirardelli Individual Lava Cakes
  • 1/2 bar (2-0z.) 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate baking bar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bar ( 4-0z) 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate baking bar
  • 1 stick butter (8 TB.)
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
Directions for center
  • Melt chocolate and cream in double boiler
  • Whisk to blend
  • Refrigerate about 2 hours till firm
  • Form into 6 balls
Directions for cake
  • Preheat oven 400
  • Grease six -4 oz. ramekins well with PAM
  • Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler -whisk to blend
  • With mixer blend eggs, yolks, sugar and vanilla on high speed till thick and light
  • Fold chocolate mixture and flour mixture into egg mixture just till combined
  • Spoon cake batter into ramekins
  • Place a chocolate ball in the middle of each ramekin
  • Bake 15 minutes or until cake firm to touch
  • Let sit about 5 minutes and then run a sharp knife around the inside of each ramekin
  • Place a plate on top, invert and remove ramekin
  • Garnish with raspberries and dollop pf whip cream
  • Serve warm
recipe taken from a magazine Ghirardelli ad

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