Chocolate Pound Cake with White Chocolate Ganache

Awhile back, a friend of mine sent me a recipe for chocolate pound cake, and wondered if I had ever tried it before. I have – but hadn’t in awhile. I’m not really sure why – because I LOVE a good pound cake – especially a good CHOCOLATE pound cake! I researched a little about the history, did some recipe research and came up with a recipe that is smooth, chocolate filled (without the chocolate chips because I wanted a “smooth” texture to the cake) and one that is made how I remember my Grandma Barbra making “scratch made” cakes when I was little.

Adding the flour and liquid to the batter alternately (starting and ending with the flour) really ensures things are well mixed, and is a popular mixing method when making a “scratch made” cake.

Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate a good cake mix once in awhile – but with this, I really wanted that “homemade taste” and there really is no other way of getting that – without starting from scratch.

You don’t have to add the white chocolate ganache at the end, but I really think it looks nice – and tastes pretty good too! If you would rather leave naked – go ahead. OR dust with some powdered sugar would be good too.

As with anything baking – all ingredients should be left on counter until room temperature before starting.

Chocolate Pound Cake with White Chocolate Ganache Blaise the Baker

Chocolate Pound Cake with White Chocolate Ganache

For the cake…
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 sticks unsalted butter (4 oz. each)
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
3 cups white granulated sugar
5 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the ganache…
12 oz. white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees-F, and grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Make sure you grease and flour generously – you want this to come out of the pan when flipped. I use “Baker’s Joy” spray and use a little extra than normal – works perfectly every time.

Next, in a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, fine sea salt, instant coffee granules, and unsweetened cocoa powder. I whisk things instead of sifting – I just prefer it for something like this. Whisk until everything is combined.

Next, in another large bowl, combine the unsalted butter, solid vegetable shortening and sugar and stir until light in color and fluffy in texture.

In a liquid measuring cup, measure out the 1 cup of milk and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to sit while you continue on with the recipe.

Go back to the bowl with the light and fluffy butter, shortening and sugar. Add one egg to the mixture and stir about 50 times. I use a wooden spoon for this – if using a stand mixer, mix what you think 50 strokes would be. Do this with each addition of the eggs. Add the eggs one at a time, stir 50 times with each egg addition, and so on until all 5 eggs are added and incorporated into the batter.

Now comes the fun part. Add the sifted flour mixture a little at a time, alternately adding the milk and vanilla mixture, until everything is combined. Remember – start and end with the flour mixture.

Once everything is combined, pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.

Place in preheated oven for 65 minutes exactly.

Once baked, remove from oven and allow to sit for about 30 minutes before trying to remove from pan.

To remove from pan – carefully run a sharp knife around the cake. Place a plate on top of the pan, carefully flip it over, and remove the top. This needs to be done very carefully.

Allow to cool before adding the ganache.

In the meantime – make the ganache…

In a medium sized bowl, microwave the white chocolate chips 30-seconds at a time until melted. This should take under 2 minutes. Stir once it’s melted to make sure everything is melted and it’s smooth and nice. Add the heavy cream and stir until combined. Drizzle over the cake in any design or pattern you desire.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690240618803/

Week In Review

Here’s a recap of my “Blaise the Baker” recipes that were featured this week…

Blaise the Baker recap

Jack’s Donut Bread Pudding (featured in “Chew This”)
MAKE IT: https://blaisethebaker.com/2015/04/19/chew-this-jacks-donut-bread-pudding/
PIN IT: http://pinterest.com/pin/570901690240507747/

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
MAKE IT: https://blaisethebaker.com/2014/02/06/chocolate-mayonnaise-cake/
PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690235920424/

Brown Sugar Crumble Pineapple Upside Down Cake
MAKE IT: https://blaisethebaker.com/2015/04/21/brown-sugar-crumble-pineapple-upside-down-cake/
PIN IT: http://pinterest.com/pin/570901690240541212/

Homemade French Fries
MAKE IT: https://blaisethebaker.com/2015/04/22/homemade-french-fries/
PIN IT: http://pinterest.com/pin/570901690240552249/

Hope you enjoy!

Homemade French Fries

I love these simple and delicious french fries. Better than anything you can buy at a drive through. 

  
Homemade French Fries

Slice potatoes into thin “fry” shape. 

Place parchment paper on baking sheet – then crinkled sheet of foil on top of that. Spray foil with non-stick spray. 

Place fries on foil and drizzle on olive oil – and sprinkle with sea salt. 

Roast in 450 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until desired crispness. 

Remove and allow to cool slightly.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690240552249/

Cookbook Corner – Grilling with House of Q

Grilling season will be here before you know it – although today in Indiana it seems more like October – and my latest “Cookbook Corner” will get you prepared for the perfect BBQ.

Grilling with House of Q Cookbook Corner

“Grilling with House of Q” By: Brian Misko

I’m in love with this book! Do you like grilling!? Loved grilled food? Skip this review, and just buy the book – you’ll be glad you did – and you can thank me later… The book is divided up into several sections including, how to grill like a pro, appetizers, sausages and burgers, pork, beef, poultry, seafood, competition bbq, vegetables salads and sides, desserts (my favorite chapter – more on that later) and brines rubs sauces and spreads.

The section on how to “grill like a pro” is worth the price of the book alone – everything you need to know about grilling – from beginning to expert – everyone will learn something here.

Brian has done a fabulous job in compiling recipes that everyone will love. There is really something for everyone here – and then some.

Just some of the delicious recipes include, “Cedar-Planked Brie” (page 18 and so delicious you won’t believe it), “Dinosaur Eggs” (page 25 which are really like mini meatloaves with a delicious and surprisingly tender center), “No-Fail Smoked Chicken Wings” (page 29), “Handmade Italian Sausage Burgers” (page 36), “Val’s Award-Winning Apple Burgers” (page 43), “Maple and Mustard Pork Tenderloins” (page 53), “Southern Rubbed Strip Steaks” (page 62), “Big Dog Beef Ribs” (page 72), “Whole Smoked Turkey” (page 88), “Maple Salmon” (page 98), “Championship Slow-Smoked Ribs” (page 114 and according to a friend of mine “the best thing to hit the lips”), “Grilled Asparagus Tart” (page 136) – and several other recipes for baked beans, mac and cheese, more asparagus recipes and even a recipe for grilled cornbread. The deliciousness doesn’t stop there…because the next part is my favorite…the desserts!

I had honestly never thought about grilling desserts – until now! “Granola-Stuffed Apples” (page 147), “Grilled PB ‘N’ B Sandwiches” (page 149 – and served with a delicious whisky cream sauce!), “Grilled Cinnamon Toast with Fresh Fruit Pan Sauce” (page 150) and even (for the bacon lovers) “Bacon Baklava” (page 154).

Brines and sauces finish out this beautiful book… I highly recommend this for those who love grilling their food – and for those who have always wanted to (like me)…

Fabulous book, great recipes and perfect photographs run throughout this book. Brian’s love for BBQ is purely felt throughout this delicious book.

To buy “Grilling with House of Q”, please click here…
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1927958105/ref=pdp_new_dp_review

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. Shout out and special thanks to Figure1 Publishing and Brian Misko for this opportunity. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.

Blaise

Brown Sugar Crumble Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Yesterday was “National Pineapple Upside Down Cake”, and of course I had to make one – and if you ask me…it was fabulous! I make mine a little different than most, by adding extra butter and brown sugar (color you surprised, right!?) – but it really makes a difference! It adds almost like a “brown sugar crumble” on top of the cake that is super sweet and really adds to the cake, and forms a delicious crust around the edges of the cake. You really must try it…

Yes, I’ve made these from scratch – no, I didn’t yesterday. I used a cake mix because honestly, it is the cake mix version of this recipe that I remember from childhood, and I needed a trip down memory lane yesterday. If you want to use this recipe with your homemade pineapple cake recipe, please feel free. It will work out either way.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Blaise the Baker pic

Brown Sugar Crumble Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1 box of “Duncan Hines” pineapple supreme cake mix and the ingredients to go along with it (eggs and oil)
1 can of sliced pineapple rings in their own juice (20 oz.)
Small jar of maraschino cherries (without their stems)
1 stick of salted butter (4 oz.)
2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees-F. Place the stick of butter in a 13×9-inch cake pan and place it into the oven, to melt, while the oven is preheating.

Open the can of sliced pineapple rings, and drain the juice into a measuring cup. Fill the rest of the measuring cup with water until it reaches the “1 cup” mark and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cake mix, eggs, oil and pineapple juice/water until there are no more lumps in the batter, and it’s smooth and pale in color.

Carefully remove the 13×9-inch cake pan from the oven. If the butter is completely melted (if not – place back in oven for a couple of minutes), sprinkle the brown sugar all over the top of the melted butter, evenly.

Place the pineapple slices on top of the brown sugar. I place mine from left to right – 3 slices, 2 slices, 2 slices, and then 3 slices – 10 slices total.

Next, place single maraschino cherries in the hole of each pineapple slice. I also place a few of the cherries around the pan – just for extra – it’s really up to you.

Pour the cake batter, evenly, over the pineapple slices, cherries and brown sugar.

Place into preheated oven for exactly 44 minutes.

Once the cake is baked, remove from oven and allow to sit only 5 minutes before running a knife around the edges of the pan, and flipping it upside down on a piece of parchment paper. Be careful of this step – the pan is hot. If anything “sticks” to the inside of the pan, remove with fork or knife, and place back on the cake.

Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Blaise the Baker

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690240541197/

Chew This – Jack’s Donut Bread Pudding

Happy “Chew This” Sunday! Words can’t even begin to express how excited I am to share this recipe with everyone! I’ve worked on this one for awhile – and once you take a bite, you’ll be glad I did…

For those who follow me on social media (facebook.com/blaisethebaker) you may recognize this from about a month ago when I first started experimenting. I got SO many messages asking for the recipe, wondering if you could just replace the bread in bread pudding with donuts, what to do, etc. Well – here it is…

As if a DONUT couldn’t get any better…

Jack's Donut Bread Pudding Blaise the Baker Chew This

Jack’s Donut Bread Pudding

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/article_aaf1a996-e2af-11e4-b477-df7d234ed0bc.html

Believe me – you will WANT to try this… SO good!

Blaise

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690240507747/

Cookbook Corner – Twelve Recipes

Twelve Recipes Blaise the Baker Cookbook Corner

“Twelve Recipes” By: Cal Peternell

My friend, Ina Garten, recommended this book to me. Ok – so she is only a friend in my imagination…and she didn’t really recommend the book to ME (one on one). What really happened was…Ina posted a picture of this cookbook on her Instagram page (@InaGarten) and I seen it – had to have it – and LOVE it… So…now that we have THAT out of the way… This book is delicious…and now I’m recommending this book to YOU! I read through this book like a novel – from start to finish. The recipes are amazing, the photographs are amazing (they really let you in on Cal’s life at home with his friends and family – I loved them) and the tips and tricks that are spread out in this book are phenomenal. Once you get this book, you really need to read it from cover to cover. I so enjoyed it – and marked the recipes I wanted to try along the way.

The book is divided up into the categories of “toast, eggs, beans, salad dressings and what to dress, pasta with tomato, pasta otherwise, rice and polenta and mashed potatoes, vegetables, roast chicken, braising, grilling, three sauces and cake.”

Can we talk just a minute about having a whole section on “toast”!? Genius! Not many people know this about me – but I love toast – LOVE toast. Cal shows different ways of topping toast, that almost turns the toast and it’s toppings into a meal!

Delicious, comforting, recipes such as scrambled eggs, fried eggs, frittatas, bean soups, creamy mustard dressing, marinara, beans and greens, zucchini pasta, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, braised chicken legs, braised duck legs, chocolate mistake cake, cake-cake, blackberry crisp and sesame cookies fill this unique book.

I highly recommend this beautiful book for those who love to cook and for those who love to share their love and passion for food with others.

To buy “Twelve Recipes”, please click here…
http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Recipes-Cal-Peternell/dp/0062270303/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428026256&sr=8-1&keywords=twelve+recipes

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions. Shout out and special thanks to William Morrow Cookbooks and Cal Peternell for this opportunity.

Blaise

Book Club Selection – Very Good Lives

Welcome to my FIRST “Blaise the Baker Book Club” selection! I’m so excited about this first pick! It’s a book that you may have already HEARD actually… or seen something about. It’s a book that literally changed my life when I was first introduced to its words, and its message. I am gifting this book to everyone I know and once you read it – you will want to do the same. I’m so excited to announce that my FIRST “Blaise the Baker Book Club” selection is…

Blaise the Baker Book Club Selection

“Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination” By: J.K. Rowling

Words can’t express how much I am in LOVE with this book. A few years ago, I remember being utterly moved to tears hearing J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement speech. I remember thinking then “what a fabulous book this would be…” – skip ahead a few years, and here we are!

I’m so glad to actually have a physical HARD COPY in my hands to give as gifts, to flip over when I feel down and depressed, and to actually have sitting on the edge of my bookcase.

I highly HIGHLY recommend you buy TWO copies of this book. One for you – and one for a friend. This is a book that you will want to cherish, as well as give to as many people as you can…

J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement speech, was supposed to be, just that…a commencement speech for the graduating Seniors of the class. But – her speech went above and beyond just the graduating Seniors, and was related to and “felt” by everyone in the room – and then online – and now with this book.

You can watch J.K. Rowling’s Commencement speech here…

BUY “Very Good Lives” here…
http://www.amazon.com/Very-Good-Lives-Importance-Imagination/dp/0316369152/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427758913&sr=8-1&keywords=very+good+lives

What’s next!? Let’s EXPAND the conversation – and “book chat” online! Email me (blaisethebaker@gmail.com) and let me know what you think, leave your comments here, Facebook me, chat me, text me, tweet me – keep the conversation of great books going…

My NEXT Book Club selection will be on the FIRST of every month from here on out. This book has less than 50 pages – and is very short and to the point. There will be plenty of time to get the book, read and discuss before my next selection.

If you have any book club ideas or suggestions, drop me an email!

I would love to hear from you…

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions. Shout out and special thanks to Little, Brown and Company and J.K. Rowling for this opportunity.

Blaise

Blaise the Baker Book Club Giveaway WINNER

CONGRATULATIONS TO… 

Ashlie Silver Gerrish

You are the winner in my “Blaise the Baker BOOK CLUB giveaway”!!! THANK YOU to everyone who entered – and please stay tuned for more giveaways in the future! Also – check back tomorrow for the OFFICIAL launch of my “Blaise the Baker Book Club”!

Blaise 

Cookbook Corner – Mastering Pasta

I’ve been reading, and rereading my latest “Cookbook Corner”, and it’s quite the book! Let’s discuss…

Mastering Pasta Cookbook Corner Blaise the Baker

“Mastering Pasta” By: Marc Vetri

This book took Marc Vetri ten years of researching to complete, and it’s results are well worth the wait. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more complete or comprehensive volume on pasta – ever. It’s really amazing.

If you are a pasta lover, pasta maker – pasta eater…just do yourself a favor and buy this book – NOW!

The recipes are fabulous, the photos (a lot of them easy to follow “step by step” photos) and the history and research that has went into writing this book really blew my mind.

In the introduction, Marc talks about pasta being misunderstood…and I completely agree. He talks about pasta and sauce being two different words in most people’s vocabulary – when really “PASTA” should be just that – the pasta MARRIED with the sauce. I have said this all my life… WHO wants a mound of pasta with a little dab of sauce in the middle?! Nobody! Introduce the sauce to the pasta – combine – let them “marry” – and serve your PASTA dish.

The recipes that fill this book are (like I said before) absolutely fabulous! Just a FEW of the examples are…

“Egg Yolk Dough” (page 26 and has so many different combinations and so wonderful), “Fettuccine with Corn Crema and Charred Green Onions” (page 38), “Asparagus and Egg Yolk Rotolo” (page 53), “Swiss Chard and Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Fazzoletti” (page 63), “Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Lasagna” (page 68), “Ricotta Ravioli” (page 81), “Spaghetti with Pepper Ragu” (page 123), “Lemon Fettuccine with Scallops” (page 151), “Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Olive Oil-Braised Octopus” (page 168), “Strozzapreti with Green Tomatoes and Razor Clams” (page 199), “Potato Gnocchi with Corn Crema and Corn Salad” (page 206), “Cabbage Gnocchi with Sausage and Toasted Bread Crumbs” (page 216), “Tomato Risotto” (page 227), “Fish Stock” (page 243) and his recipe for “Tomato Sauce” (page 244).

Each recipe is perfectly described from start to finish, and really makes these “upper taste” recipes, accessible to even the beginning home cook.

Morel mushroom season is just around the corner – and his recipe for “Mint Pappardelle with Morels” will be getting a work out in my kitchen…

I highly recommend this book join your cookbook collection! If you are interested in “mastering pasta” – look no further than this wonderful cookbook.

To buy “Mastering Pasta”, please click here…
http://www.randomhouse.com/book/232094/mastering-pasta-by-marc-vetri-and-david-joachim

My friend Jenny has a fabulous review of this book on “Taste Book”, which can be found here…
http://www.tastebook.com/blog/speed-read-mastering-pasta-by-marc-vetri/?hc_location=ufi#_=_

Jenny also has a special Facebook group that is cooking their way through “Mastering Pasta”, which you can join here…
https://www.facebook.com/groups/masteringpastag/

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions. Special thanks to Blogging for Books for the reviewing opportunity.

Blaise