Tag Archives: Dessert

Chocolate Ganache Whiskey Tortes

I believe I can chalk up my extended absences here to a variety of reasons.  Experts tell me I’m not supposed to address it but I’ve decided to ignore them because these days, it seems everyone is an expert on how to blog.   To some extent, mentioning it does feel a bit like having to explain to a teacher why my homework isn’t done.  And sadly, I no longer have a dog, but if I did she wouldn’t have eaten my homework so I cannot use that excuse.  Excuse as in please excuse me for my absence here.  

Let’s chalk it up to the following:

  1. Not wanting to look at, be around, or discuss food that isn’t in the realm of possibility for me right now — even in moderation.  If I want to enjoy recipes clicking about the web, then ogling cheese seductively oozing from a simple grilled sandwich on white bread will not work — I don’t care how fantastic the quality of the cheese or bread is.  Nor will stuffed cookies or cupcakes, or recipes drowning in fat.  Sorry.  This isn’t to mean I will never enjoy these indulgences again, but that I’m working hard to understand I cannot have them whenever I want.  And I’m succeeding with great progress so don’t want to spoil that.
  2. Avoiding sitting on the ginormous ball I roll up to the Mac when I write or edit photos.  Regardless of whether I take numerous opportunities to do strength exercises on said ball throughout the time I’m on it (no, there will never be photos), I have been trying to stay physically active with projects around the house — and goodness knows, there are plenty.  Closets, the garage, a kitchen cupboard reorganization, keeping up with the deadheading on the patio plants.  Busy.  Well, except for this week.  I’ve been keeping that ball warm and procrastinating.  I can be very good at it.
  3. Getting caught up in what seems to be the mode of the food blogging day.  Everybody has a list of what to do and not to to if you have a food blog.  It tires me to no end having to think of doing this as one might approach a job.  I just can’t wrap my head around it and it annoys me so I have to step away from the Mac in search of a bit of balance.  This usually involves absentmindedly reviewing why I started this blog while sweeping my old cat Precious’ fur balls into a neat pile for the third time in a day.  And then I snap out of it.
  4. I’m just now figuring out I’m retired.  Honestly, if you could wake up every day and think as I do that you might do just about anything you’d like, would you sit in front of a computer?  I did for years until I realized it was perfectly fine to enjoy life and so that’s what I’ve been doing.  (see the first two items above)  It’s not glamorous by any stretch of the imagination, but I look forward to it every day.
  5. Walking.  Lots and lots of it.  I try to average an hour or more a day four times a week and although I’ve logged quite a few miles, I’m constantly fighting with myself to get out there.  I’m not obsessed, but processing what’s important to me at this point in my life (being mentally and physically healthy as I age) takes time and thought.  It’s a pity that all my rumination doesn’t burn calories.
  6. Preparing less complicated, healthy food.  Trust me, I love a decadent recipe with eight-thousand steps.  I do.  But for the last five months, I’ve been thinking less is more — just to reboot my system.  I will always be someone who indulges in an amazing recipe with all the right ingredients, but for now, I’m restraining myself.  This adds up to not much to post on the blog, but  I’ll get there.  I will.  Maybe.  But I’m thinking posting a hummus recipe and shooting it with my usual bowl of sliced cucumbers isn’t going to work.  Editing photos and writing the post would take longer than making the hummus!

The good news is we do enjoy dessert, although not nearly as much as we used to.  I’ve given it some thought and would say we average about once a month and the occasion is usually connected to a dinner party or informal get together.  I think that’s good because I’ll never give up eating dessert.  Considering what kind of dessert, how much, and how often is more the idea.  With that in mind, we enjoyed these Chocolate Ganache Whiskey Tortes on the evening of the Academy Awards when one of my older sons was visiting.

If you love chocolate and only need a little bit to satisfy a sweet tooth, this is a perfect dessert.

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German Chocolate Cake: Inside-out

My sister celebrated a birthday recently, and since we both believe that sending a card or present across the country for this event is necessary, I’ve been trying to think of other ways to celebrate.  You know — it’s the thought that counts sort of thing.  Two years ago, I posted a tribute to her.  Last year, my husband and I held a candle and snapped a photo in mid, “Happy Birthday to You…” and this year?  I thought I’d make her a cake.

When I first thought of this, I really didn’t think she liked any type of cake, but I asked to make sure.  After all, if someone who doesn’t really enjoy cake is going to have to appreciate a cake they’ll never get to taste, then it should at least seem appealing to them, don’t you think?

Not only did I get a response from her, I got three:  Angel food, German Chocolate, and cheesecake with coffee.  The mention of angel food brought back memories of a cake she introduced me to, and that’s saying quite a bit because my sister doesn’t really enjoy cooking.  So I thought about recreating that cake, but decided to save it for another time.  Cheesecake is something I adore and make several times a year, so I passed on that one quickly.  But German Chocolate cake?

Really?  Call me completely surprised!  My thinking about German Chocolate cake is wrapped in memories of a gooey exterior hiding a dry cake that isn’t chocolate enough.  It always seemed rude that the frosting promised something quite flavorful inside, yet it never lived up to my expectations.  But I seem to be in the minority because no sooner had I begun to mention that I was going to make a German Chocolate cake, that I found out it’s not only enjoyed my many — it’s a favorite.

Another surprise was finding out there’s nothing actually German about this cake.  It’s named after Sam German who created Baker’s Sweet Chocolate.  A Texas homemaker sent the now familiar recipe for German Chocolate Cake to a newspaper in 1957, and General Mills sent the recipe to newspapers all over the country.

My search for the perfect recipe sent me to David Lebovitz’ site first, but after a quick scan of the ingredients listed, I realized I didn’t have buttermilk.  Next stop was epicurious.  I couldn’t get past the idea of what they described as an “inside out” cake.  Evidently, a few people had decided it was a darn good cake since there were 236 reviews, most of which were raves.

The problem I had with that recipe was the Dutch-processed cocoa.  I can’t tell you how many stores I’ve searched in and have just decided to not deal with it anymore.  Yes, there’s a conversion for using regular cocoa, but it’s not advised.  And when it comes right down to it, there are just about as many recipes for chocolate cake out there as there are renditions of German Chocolate cake.

So guess what?  I made it my own, of course.  Sheer chocolate-coconut-dulce-de-leche-almond-crunchy-but-moist heaven.


Happy Birthday Lori!  This is your birthday song — it isn’t very long…

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Towering Coconut Mango Cake

6-Layer Coconut Mango Cake

It’s been a longer week than I care to think about with life’s semi-usual highs and lows and in this case, I’d say they were one in the same.  Dealing with bronchitis has kept me out of the kitchen and away from food, so I’ve gotten a break of sorts.  Some break.  But it has allowed me to stay put and finally move my blog to where you’re reading right now.  After much trial and error I was finally able to export the files at my old TypePad site, have them split, then imported here.

I’m nearly almost sort of maybe possibly feeling a bit techish over this.  But only a smidgen.

Each time I do something like this I learn so much:  more about technology, and far more about what my patience can tolerate.  Not once did I throw anything.

So I think cake is in order, don’t you?  A sky high cake layered with creamy tropical flavor and an incredibly moist crumb all slathered in whipped cream and sprinkled with coconut.   But before we get to the cake, can I ask a favor?  Please look to the right sidebar and sign up for a feed.  You can choose to receive my food talk either by reader or email which allows you to enjoy it when it suits you best.

Mmm…cake.  If you’ve been searching for a dessert recipe for a special occasion this Spring, this would be it.

This is a six-layer cake inspired by pastry chef Cynthia Wong’s beauty featured in Food & Wine’s “Last Bite.

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Chocolate Valentino Cake with Strawberry Banana Ice Cream











As the morning unfolds on this the day of the February Daring Baker’s reveal, I’m proud to say I finished my challenge a few weeks ago, which could imply that this post was written and ready to auto publish at midnight.  But no.  I guess that with respect to me, it is possible to be too organized.  Best laid plans, right?

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Upside Down Cutie Cake

With nearly two years writing here, it’s only been recently that I’ve begun to discover other foodies in and around the San Diego area.  Although I’ve found several, it still amazes me when a new one pops up and I add it to my mental list of, I should create a section just for us in my sidebar.  Now, I’m sure there are lots of reasons we add a new link to our sidebars — or in some cases, a special page for links, but for me, it’s more about keeping it where I can see it.  Then it’s easier for me to visit.

You’re laughing, right?  Because I know lots of people use readers, and I have a few myself.  But for some reason, I’ve never gotten into the routine of actually using it and so I find myself flitting from one place to another without a care in the world.

It’s shameful, this gadabout lack of organization, but lovely things do come from it.  I’ll call it serendipitous that I happened onto Food Blogga’s recipe for Clementine Upside Down Cake the other day.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it since I’ve had a box of “Cuties” for longer than I’d like to admit, thinking they’d end up in marmalade.

Sure, like I’d make marmalade. Well, I thought I might, tempted by all the amazing citrus in the markets right now and a bundle of fresh vanilla beans I purchased not too long ago.

My grandmother used to make pineapple upside down cake in her black cast iron skillet, and it’s been years since I had a taste of that.  But I’ve always been more fond of tangerines than pineapple — especially canned pineapple, so the idea of sweet tangerine flavor soaked into a light cake sounded perfect.

Looks like the marmalade will have to wait a bit longer, because I just had to make this cake.

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