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 not in awhile. I am 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.

Do not  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 do not 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 is 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.





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.



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 have made these from scratch – no, I did not 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.


Pineapple Upside Down Cake Blaise the Baker


Chew This! Jack’s Donut Bread Pudding

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

For those who follow me on social media ( 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 could not get any better…

Jacks Donut Bread Pudding

Jack’s Donut Bread Pudding

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 19th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Leftover donuts reinvented into show stopping dessert!
Blaise Doubman

I have fond memories of my Grandma Barbra and I eating at “Jack’s Donuts” in New Castle for years when I was growing up. We would sit up at their bar area (in the old entrance area – directly across from the “Dairy Queen” and its parking lot) and eat and talk and laugh. I would always order my donuts first. I always had the same thing – three tiger tails, chocolate frosted Persian roll and usually a handful of donut holes. Oh, and two cartons of white milk. My Grandma Barbra would always say “Who are you ordering for? You can’t possibly eat all of this…” And every time – I did. The customers would always get a kick out of hearing and seeing us visit. Memories like this are why “Jack’s Donuts” bring me such great pleasure. I can’t bite into one of their delicious donuts without thinking of my Grandma Barbra and I sitting at the bar, or my parents stopping and buying me some for a late night snack.

Still to this day, I think of those memories so many years ago and they fill me with joy. When I was younger, I dreamed of desserts that could be made with donuts. Why couldn’t I find a donut cake? Donut cookies? I guess you could say I was slightly obsessed. Finally, I decided to make that dream a reality – and that’s what I did with this recipe. I love bread pudding, and wondered why I couldn’t make a donut bread pudding with just as much flavor (or more) than regular bread pudding. I recipe developed for a couple of weeks, and then created the perfect recipe, which I’m sharing with you here. A childhood dream comes true! Serve this for company, and have people talking…

Jack’s Donut Bread Pudding

This takes the traditional bread pudding recipe, but replaces the bread with vanilla yeast donuts. Vanilla cake donuts can be substituted, but the flavor and texture will be slightly different. Instead of using 4 vanilla yeast donuts, use 6 vanilla cake donuts, and allow to soak in the milk mixture for an extra ten minutes. The use of cardamom in this recipe really brings the flavors together, as well as bringing a bright and almost floral, citrus taste to the dish. Make sure and use only the ¼ teaspoon – it is very strong. If you don’t have cardamom feel free to add a little orange and or lemon zest instead.

For the bread pudding…
4 vanilla yeast donuts, each chopped into 6 pieces
2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
5 large eggs
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cardamom
Pinch of salt

For the glaze…
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Splash of whole milk

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and spraying a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the whole milk, light brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, ground nutmeg, cardamom and salt. Whisk together to make sure all ingredients are combined thoroughly.

Next, add the chopped donuts to the mixture and gently stir to make sure the donut pieces get evenly coated. Let stand at room temperature for 8 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and place in preheated oven for 48 minutes exactly.

While the pudding is in the oven, make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. Whisk in a splash or two of the whole milk to reach desired consistency.

After 48 minutes, remove the pudding from the oven, and allow to cool slightly before cutting and drizzling with glaze.

Leftovers can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days.


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 did not 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 am 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…

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.


Cookbook Corner – Trisha’s Table

I am in LOVE with Trisha Yearwood’s new cookbook, “Trisha’s Table”! I loved her first two cookbooks – but this one – she has really hit it out of the park. There is a fabulous mix of “lightened up” classic favorites, as well as many “sinfully delicious” southern recipes that she is known for. The photographs are beautiful, the recipes are unique, easy and amazing, and (as usual) her family stories really add to the overall look and feel of the book. It is with my pleasure to add, “Trisha’s Table”, to my “Cookbook Corner”…

Trisha's Table_FinalCover

“Trisha’s Table” By: Trisha Yearwood

I LOVE this cookbook (as I said before) and highly recommend you buy not only this cookbook, but her two previous cookbooks as well. (These cookbooks AND SEVERAL RECIPES can be found on her personal website.)

Trisha has divided this cookbook up into nine categories. Breakfast, Snacks & Appetizers, Soups & Salads, Beef & Pork, Chicken Turkey & Fish, Pasta, Sides, Cakes Cupcakes & Pies AND Cookies brownies bars & more.

Let me start with the writing. Trisha does a fabulous job writing about, and sharing with everyone her family memories and family history. I love a cookbook that produces more than just great recipes. I want stories – history – memories…and this book gave me everything.

The photographs are amazing (as usual in Trisha’ books) and make you want to literally dive into the pictures and start eating.

Now – to the recipes – fabulous! Like I said – over half “lightened up” recipe versions (lightened up but still tasty – believe me when I say this…) and the other recipes – full of fat, flavor and sugar! Ha! Delicious, and expected in a delightful way… and I love them.

The first recipe I tried was the “Cinnamon Orange Rolls” (page 19). I made them for some family members – and they loved them! I am not the biggest fan of orange cinnamon rolls, but I really enjoyed these. The glaze was not overpowering (as many are), and the rolls came out tender and delicious in the middle.

“Hummingbird Pancakes” (page 25) were also a favorite of my Grandma. She LOVES hummingbird cake – and this recipe takes that basic recipe, and morphs them into the most flavorful pancakes you could ever imagine.

Flipping through the book you will find other recipes like “Mel’s Banana Muffins” (page 28), “Avocado and Pineapple Salsa” (page 34 and FABULOUS with homemade tortilla chips), “Caramelized Onion Dip” (page 37 and “lightened up with Greek yogurt – you would never know – and SO delicious), “Cream Cheese Roll-ups” (page 42), “Garth’s Taco Pizza” (page 49), “Power Balls” (page 57 and “healthy” – packed with protein!), “Black Bean Chili and Rice” (page 62) and “Creamy Asparagus Soup” (page 65).

You will also find, “Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Croutons” (page 82), “Beef Stir-Fry” (page 86), “Sausage and Peppers” (page 101), “Broccoli Slaw Chicken” (page 113), “RASPBERRY CHICKEN” (page 114 – I used ALL CAPS FOR THIS ONE! It is  AMAZING…and I am sharing the recipe at the end of this post! MUST TRY!), “Turkey-And-Dressing Casserole” (page 120), “Citrus Cod Bake” (page 124), “Angel Hair Pasta with Avocado Pesto” (page 132), “Peanut Butter Pasta” (page 141), “Gwen’s Coleslaw” (page 153), “Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios” (page 156), “Mama’s Cornbread” (page 164) and “Grits-And-Greens Casserole” (page 168).

Amazing desserts are also featured such as, “Chocolate Orange Cake” (page 179), “Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Strawberries” (page 185), “Hawaiian Cake” (page 186), “Lemon Poppy Seed Cake” (page 187), “Texas Sheet Cake with Chocolate Ganache” (page 190), “Baked Apples” (page 199), “Brownie Batter Cookies” (page 201 AND SO GOOD!), “Chocolate Marbled Brownies” (page 207) and “No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Squares” (page 211 and needs to be the first recipe you try – after the raspberry chicken of course…)

I mean, how delicious does all of that sound!? And there is more where that came from! This book is packed with delicious recipes that I just know you will enjoy…

So please – do yourself a favor, and buy this book. How? Click here…

So now – this is usually where my “Cookbook Corner” posting ends. But not this time… I am sharing a recipe directly from Trisha – directly from the book – and it is one of my favorites! So excited! Try it!


Raspberry Chicken
Serves 4

Boneless, skinless chicken breast has been one of my go-to proteins in my quest to eat a more moderate diet, and it can get boring if I’m not creative. This raspberry chicken is so good—even though it’s a newer addition to my recipe box, not a family recipe—I cook it so often it feels like I’ve been making it for years! Fresh raspberries can be expensive (and not always so fresh looking), so frozen are fine to use in this easy sauté. It’s an elegant dish to share with company. I like to serve mine with a side of crisp green beans and fresh creamed corn. When I’m trying to drop a few pounds, I skip the breading step. You won’t miss it. I promise!


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup olive oil
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
6 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups)
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a large, shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken in it and shake off any excess.

In a large skillet set over medium heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmers, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and sear until slightly brown, 2 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Add the shallots and garlic to the same pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and stock, and cook until reduced slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms, reduce the heat to low, return the chicken to the skillet, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the raspberries, lemon zest, butter, and balsamic vinegar. Continue cooking, uncovered, until the butter melts, about 1 minute. If needed, add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the chicken to plates and spoon the raspberry sauce and mushrooms over each piece.

Courtesy of Clarkson Potter. Trisha’s Table: My Feel-Good Favorites for a Balanced Life available now at:

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 Clarkson Potter and Trisha Yearwood for this opportunity.


Chew This! Unbelievable Meatloaf

Happy Easter Sunday! And Happy “CHEW THIS!” Sunday! Today’s recipe is a personal favorite of my Grandma Barbra… a FOUR ingredient meatloaf! Yes – you heard that right…only FOUR ingredients and it is so unbelievably delicious and easy to throw together… well – you just will not believe it!

Unbelievable Meatloaf

Unbelievable Meatloaf

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 5th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

A four ingredient meatloaf, wins approval for ease and flavor!
Blaise Doubman

I don’t know how many times people have messaged me with questions on what they can fix for dinner, what they can fix with the least amount of ingredients possible and how they can make something fast – but flavorful. I love answering questions like this, and really helping “brainstorm” to find a solution. More times than not, after thinking for awhile, and seeing a limited ingredient list, a new and delicious recipe is born. Recently, I got to thinking about what I could do to make a meatloaf that would be quick, flavorful and made with as little ingredients as possible. Could I develop an uncomplicated meatloaf recipe that would be an approachable recipe for even the beginning cook?

Meatloaf usually contains two types of meat – usually a mixture of ground beef and ground sausage (sometimes veal). Just about every recipe also calls for ketchup, herbs, spices, eggs, milk and some type of crackers or bread. What could I eliminate without eliminating any of the flavors? I had to keep the meat, that was a given, and the egg helps “hold” the meatloaf together. But what about the herbs, spices, crackers and or bread…? And then it hit me. I remembered seeing a recipe where store bought “cornbread dressing” mix was used in making meatballs. Why not use the same concept for a meatloaf? That was it! I could use the “cornbread dressing” mix, and that would take care of the herbs, spices and the crackers that are needed in your more traditional meatloaf. The water would help cook the meatloaf and help “plump” the cornbread dressing mix (which would provide plenty of herbs and spices) – helping the egg hold everything together. This recipe is super simple to throw together, and so delicious, it’s unbelievable.

Unbelievable Meatloaf

This recipe is so delicious you won’t believe it! And with only 4 ingredients! (Water, salt and pepper don’t really count as “ingredients” in the cooking world). I use “Stove Top” brand cornbread stuffing mix for this recipe. It contains the perfect amount of herbs and spices needed for this recipe. This can be served with any side dish you desire – mashed potatoes, green beans, macaroni and cheese or even roasted vegetables would be perfect. This is also delicious sliced and served on bread the next day, for the ultimate “comfort food” sandwich.

1 pound ground beef
1 pound hot sausage
1 cup water
1 egg, beaten
1 box cornbread stuffing mix
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and spraying a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix together until thoroughly combined. The easiest way to do this is with clean hands.

Next, place the mixture into prepared baking pan and form into a loaf shape.

Place in preheated oven for one hour.

Remove from oven, and let rest for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

I have had a lot of questions about what type of “stuffing mix” to use.

Here is the box I use…



Cookbook Corner – The Baking Bible

The Baking Bible Blaise the Baker Cookbook Corner

“The Baking Bible” By: Rose Levy Beranbaum

Rose Levy Beranbaum is the queen – the absolute QUEEN of baking books (anyone heard of “The Cake Bible”!? It changed my life…) and this book is the absolute best work she’s done so far… “The Baking Bible” is a MUST for all of those who love to bake! The tips, tricks, techniques and recipes that fill this book are way to numerous to list here in a single posting – but let me tell you – wow!

Amazing book…

Let me list some of my favorite recipes so you will know what types of deliciousness fills this book. There are numerous delicious recipes for cakes, cupcakes, pies, tarts, cookies, candy, breads, on and on and on. It’s fabulous. Let me share some of the recipes… How does a Blueberry Buckle sound? Cran-Raspberry Upside-Down Cake, Pink Pearl Lady Cake, White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Mousseline, Banana Split Chiffon Cake, Lemon Icebox Cake, The Polish Princess, Marble White and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake, Flaky Cream Cheese Scones, Sour Cherry Pie, Frozen Lime Meringue Pie, Pumpkin Pecan Pie, Molasses Sugar Butter Cookies, Lemon Jammies, Woody’s Black and White Brownies, Praline Pecan Meringue Ice Cream Sandwiches, Crumpets, Babka, Monkey Dunkey Bread, Caramel Buns and even Sour Cherry and Currant Jam!

How delicious do all of those recipes sound?! Imagine these – and so many more, that fill this amazing book. This cookbook just goes to prove, once again, that Rose is the Queen of the baking book world…

To buy “The Baking Bible”, please click here…

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 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Rose Levy Beranbaum for this opportunity.