Blackout Chocolate Cake

Blackout Chocolate Cake.jpg

Things I Learned This, My Birthday Week, Living In The South: 

1. Sometimes when you arrange to buy a bag of weed it comes with a free puppy. And no, I don't have a new puppy. 

2. 39 in 2018 is not the same as 39 in 1992. So stop comparing yourself. 

3. All of life's answers can be found on TV. Namely Netflix's reboot of Queer Eye. 

4. And nobody owes you a birthday cake. If you want one make it your damn self. 

Blackout Cake


Disappearing Brownies

Disappearing Brownies.jpg

This weekend was one of those weekends that I had little to no desire to cook. So naturally I baked. And baked enough to make sure I didn't have to cook. There is nothing wrong with brownies or cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is a holiday weekend afterall. 

I got this recipe from a friend and coworker years ago. She and her husband made their money operating gas stations and car washes in suburban Minneapolis. She was always good for a story about a family getting trapped in a broken car wash one Sunday after church. 

She called these blondies, "Disappearing Brownies", because, "I put them out and they are gone before I get one."

Hunter S Thompson, Hittin' The Bottle and Happy Birthday Jeggings!

my cake. my bird. and some internet photo.

According to Facebook I have 27 "friends" who are celebrating their birthdays in the month of September. Which just shows that more procreation starts in the Winter months. And given the average age of my "friends" there was clearly nothing on television worth stopping the boom boom for in the late 70's and early 80's. With that I am thankful that many of my friends parents found each other attractive enough for the few minutes it took to mix that human cake batter.  

Of the 27 birthdays I made a cake for one this year...Jeggings. She invited me to her party and I can not attend a party with out some sort of gift.  

Being that it was Jegging's birthday I had to put a little extra love in the cake. And being that Jegging's has a passion for her Irish heritage and Hunter S Thompson I had to bring it all together. We broke cake with some of our close Supper Sluts and special guest Baby Maker Buckley (mother to Irish Car Bomb and Jeggings).

With Irish Whiskey.  

Jegging's Hunter S Thompson Birthday Cake (inspired by America's Test Kitchen)

11/2 C All Purpose Flour
1 C Sugar
1/2 t Baking Soda
1/4 t Kosher Salt
1/2 C Cocoa
2 oz Milk Chocolate Chips
1 C Black Coffee - HOT
2/3 C Hellman's Mayonnaise (there is no other)
1 Egg
2 t Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 - grease and parchment line an 8" square pan. 

Mix the first four ingredients together with a whisk and set aside. 

Let stand in a medium bowl the cocoa, milk chocolate chips and hot coffee - after 10 minutes stir with fork or whisk until smooth. 

In small bowl mix mayonnaise, egg and vanilla and set aside. 

In large bowl now combine the flour mixture and the chocolate mixture.  Once incorporated add in the mayonnaise mixture.  Stir until very few lumps remain.  

Pour into prepared pan and bake until done (use a damn toothpick). 

***For Jegging's cake I doubled the recipe and used two 9" spring form rounds. I also added a layer of caramel and sea salt in the middle for Jegging's.  She likes that "hue of food flavors". That is a direct quote.  

Jegging's Hunter S Thompson Birthday Frosting (from a friend of a friend + my own twist)

8 C Powdered Sugar
3 Sticks Butter
1/2 C Shortening
1/3 C Cream (+ more if needed)
1/4 C Jameson Whiskey (+ more for the chef)
1/3 C Milk Chocolate Chips - Melted

Cream the sugar, butter and shortening in a stand mixer. Still don't have one? They are on sale somewhere.  Go buy one. 

Now that you own a stand mixer...

Slowly add in cream with mixer running on low. Once incorporated SLOWLY add in the whiskey. Take a hit off the bottle and then add the melted chocolate (but make sure it's not too hot - it can cool quite a bit after you melt it and still be melted). Now whip the shit out of that frosting in then new stand mixer you own. Take another swig off the bottle.  The party starts in three hours and you still need to decorate the cake and find the perfect outfit because you never know who is going to be a the party.  

Now that you have whipped up some seriously good frosting. Take a spoon out of the drawer and sample it. Taste the whiskey? You should. If not take a shot.  

After a quick nap and allowing the cakes to cool you can decorate as needed. I suggest abstaining from the bottle until you are happy with the outcome. Or if you are like me just tell people it's abstract baking.

See final product above - it's the picture with the cake in it.  

In other news I roasted a chicken yesterday. I have been really craving Chicken Wild Rice Soup and since Sister was kind enough to gift me a first edition Byerly's cookbook for Christmas last year I now have the recipe in my box. I'll talk more about that next week though. 

After speaking to the roast chicken publicly on Facebook and Instagram (I finally figured it out - follow me TWOBRDSONESCN) my Faux Cousin reached out asking if I could tell her how to replicate without having to use a full bird. So here goes...

Crispy Roast Chicken A La Thomas Keller and Ina Garten (inspired by Club Narwhal)

1 Whole Roasting Chicken
1 T Cornstarch
1 t Table Salt
1 Lemon - Zested and then sliced into quarters
1 T Lemon Zest (see above)
2 Onions - Quartered
3 t Kosher Salt
Olive Oil

***Directions are from Club Narwhal - see link above. I followed all chicken related parts of the below.  And did my own veg thing. 

1. About 3 hours before you want to eat the chicken, rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Mix the cornstarch and table salt in a small bowl. Rub the cornstarch/salt mix into the chicken skin. Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken and stuff the cavity with a quartered onion. Let chicken come to room temperature.

2. About 1.5 hours before you want to eat, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables and place in a large roasting pan with the quartered lemon and the second onion. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with half of the lemon zest. Salt and pepper the vegetables and mix so everything is covered. Prepare the chicken for roasting by tucking the wing tips under the body and tying the legs together. See Thomas Keller's method in the video above. I don't bother trussing the bird, just use a strip of foil to tie the legs together. 

3. Rub a little olive oil on the chicken and sprinkle with Kosher salt, the rest of the lemon zest, and thyme. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Roast the whole kit and caboodle for 45-60 minutes, until the juices run clear when you cut above the leg. Take the chicken out of the pan and let it rest for 10 minutes covered loosely with foil. Continue roasting the vegetables until they look brown and caramelized. Carve the chicken and serve warm with a hunk of crusty bread, French peasant-style. A smear of good, grainy mustard doesn't ever hurt.


Instead of a whole chicken I suggest you buy a package of chicken breast with the bone and skin still with the bird - most grocery stores should have this. Follow the instructions above.  Just don't use all the cornstarch mixture and obviously don't stuff the cavity of the bird with the onion. Clearly there is no cavity at this point.  After you have gussied up the breasts just lay them in a shallow roasting pan surrounded by all the vegetables and shove her back in the oven.  Chicken is a testy ingredient. I would suggest you invest in a kitchen thermometer or trust your gut on the clear juices like your grandmother did.  Super easy and you have my number if you need to call for emotional support. 

I'm out people. It's Sunday and I have soup to make. And some left over frosting to eat when SAGL isn't looking.   

Coco Chanel, Chocolate Cake, and My Child

Chocolate Sourdough Cake

Chocolate Sourdough Cake

Those are really my cupcakes - and the other photos can be found on Google

As the weather turns and a chill in the air settles in (BECAUSE IT'S MEMORIAL DAY!) I naturally turn to the kitchen to warm up. 

If you are now one of the three dedicated followers of my blog you know that my roommate and myself acquired a "pet" last month in the form of a Sourdough Starter. If you haven't memorized my last blog post you won't know that we affectionately call him Hank. 

Anyway like most parents I am slightly obsessed with my baby boy. And today I wanted nothing more than to curl on up next to him as he gave of himself and helped me make Sourdough Chocolate Cake. 

I think you just spat up a little when I said, "Sourdough Chocolate Cake".

I understand.

You see when you have a wee one like Hank you have to actually kill him off a little every so often or he will become this massive life-force sucking black hole that takes over your fridge and makes you wonder if there is a Massengil product by Frigidaire that you need to buy to get rid of that smell.

So today I Googled "what else can I use my (HANK) Sourdough Starter for?". Google did not disappoint. 

Some blogger somewhere had a recipe that I thought looked good so I made it better.  Here's the recipe:




I made just a standard cream cheese frosting for the cake and a Dark Chocolate ganache to accessorize it. Coco Chanel said something about taking off one accessory when you leave the house. That bitch wasn't talking about my cake. 

So I FILLED my cupcakes with some cream cheese frosting and then DIPPED my cupcakes in the dark chocolate ganache. THEEEEEEN I had to take it one step further and make them look like Hostess cupcakes with the curlicue on top. Like a nice pearl necklace. I don't know a single man who would pass up a pearl necklace. Wait. I mean woman. 

This is now two weeks in a row of me talking about Hank. I'm sorry but I've had to put up with all my girlfriends postin' about their babies on Facebook for so long that it's my turn. Hank and I are registered at J Crew and Target. We DON'T need onesies. 

See you next week lovers...

Chocolate Rosemary Ginger Cake

As promised to a yet determined fan base...a picture of the Chocolate Rosemary Ginger Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache I "status updated" on Facebook yesterday.

My good friend, Lawyer, put in a request for a chocolate cake with the directions of, "do whatever you want". I took that as a chance to use whatever I had in the kitchen. Which thanks to some narcotic-like ground ginger and FRESH rosemary from our personal back 40 on the window ledge I cooked up some liquid wonder, Rosemary Ginger Simple Syrup (I imagine many new cocktail options or naked late night hits right out of the bottle while looking fabulous in the glow of the Frigidaire light).