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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lemon Bliss Cake

Don't let the mild-mannered photos fool you. This might be one of the most delicious/addictive things I've ever baked. 

I know. I usually go for decadence over simplicity. The more peanut butter, marshmallows, caramel, and chocolate, the better, but seeing that "Lemon Bliss Cake" was one of the top-rated recipes on King Arthur Flour, I figured I'd give it a shot. I mean really, how good could it be? Then again, among the 2,613 recipes on the site, a boring "Lemon Cake" must be pretty good to beat out Chocolate Cream Pie

I was in trouble.

This is to die for.
Moist, soft, and delightfully lemon-y. Then you add a lemon-sugar glaze on top that creates a perfect crust.

Mmmm crust.

I followed this recipe almost exactly.

1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup milk
finely grated rind of 2 lemons OR 3/4 teaspoon lemon oil (I used rind of 2 lemons AND 1/2 teaspoon of Fiori di Sicila)

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10" tube pan, or a 9" to 10", 9- to 10-cup capacity bundt-style pan. (I didn't have a bundt pan - seriously - and just used a 9"x13" pyrex dish)

1) Beat together the butter, sugar, and salt, first till combined, then till fluffy.

2) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

3) Add the baking powder, then add the flour alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until smooth. Stir in the grated lemon rind or lemon oil (or Fiori di Sicilia).

4) Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.

5) Bake the cake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. (It took 45 minutes in my over with the 9x13 pan)

6) While the cake is baking, make the glaze by stirring together the lemon juice and sugar. Set it aside.

7) Remove the cake from the oven, and set it on a rack. After 5 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen, and turn the cake out onto a rack. Place another rack on top, and flip it over, so it's right-side-up. (I acutually skipped this step and just glazed it right in the pan)

8) Poke the hot cake all over with a cake tester or toothpick.

9) Stir the glaze to combine, and immediately brush it on the hot cake. Let it sink in, then brush on more glaze, continuing until all the glaze is used up.

10) Allow the cake to cool before slicing.

11) Try not to eat all of it in one sitting.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Super Brownies

I'm about to share with you my hands-down, super favorite, super fudgy, super dark, shhhh...super secret brownie recipe. There are actually a couple secrets to this...things that will make these the brownies of your dreams...things that will make all your chocolate recipes better...things that you'll "forget" to tell people when they ask for the recipe :). 

Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating...a little.

Super Brownies

These are very moist and dense.
These are no cakey brownies.
You've been warned.

Super Brownies

So now that you're tempted...what's the secret recipe?

Super Brownies

(adapted from King Arthur Cookie Companion)
3/4 cup butter (1.5 sticks)
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's dark chocolate)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder (that's secret #1)
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1 cup flour
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (secret #2)
1 cup chocolate chips (secret #3)


  1. Buy a brownie edge pan (secret #4).
  2. Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease said recently purchased brownie edge pan.
  3. Over low heat, melt butter. Remove from heat and add sugar. Heat again, but just slightly (not bubbling). This will dissolve more of the sugar and will give the brownies a nice shiny coat crust top. (secret #5).
  4. In a double-boiler over low heat, melt unsweetened chocolate and chocolate chips.
  5. Add cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla to the melted butter.
  6. Whisk in eggs and melted chocolate.
  7. Add flour and stir until combined.
  8. Spoon into prepared pan.
  9. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (or with minimal crumbs). If you do use the brownie edge pan, start checking the oven at 25 mins, as it will cook faster.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Super Brownies

It's up to you which secrets you'd like to "forget" when people ask you for the recipe.

Another One Bites My Dust

Remember this little list? My 24 things to do before I turn 30?
My initial idea was to complete one item a month and I well, that hasn't really been going to plan. But I was able to cross off another item this morning.

#11 - Run a 5k

First 5k

This is the before shot of me and my friend Liz. She's done a number of these so I was glad to have her along to make sure I didn't jump off the first bridge we came to. She was awesome at keeping me going. Thanks sweetie!

I finished it in 39:02. I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with that.

And here's us after. 

First 5k

Notice that Liz looks great - happy, refreshed, like her heart rate is normal...
And I look flushed, exhausted, and rather confused as to why I'm standing in a park at 9AM on a Sunday. 

Now that I've recovered I have to say I feel great and I'm ready to do the next one. But before that, I'm going to celebrate and undo everything I just did by making some of my deep dark chocolate fudgy brownies. So check back for those in a little bit :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Corina's Cute Wedding

Last week, Corina emailed me some adorable photos from her DIY wedding. 

She handmade all her centerpieces from branches and paper flowers (just like yours truly)

I love how she used so many bright colors. Everything looks so fresh and festive!

I also love how she used them to decorate her dessert table!

Great job Corina and congrats!!

All photos by Jessie Pyne
(UPDATE: Jessie emailed me with a link - check her out!)

Friday, April 1, 2011

♥ 4.1.2011 ♥

Seeing that all of our friends are pregnant (with boys nonetheless).
Seeing that we've only been married 7 months
Seeing that today is the first day of April.
Seeing that when you load a Facebook profile you only see a small blurry thumbnail photo...
The boy and I decided to have a little fun with our friends today. :)
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