Monday, July 26, 2010


I have decided to start posting recipes and meals that I and my wife cook for ourselves and our friends; mostly to have a record, and a live-action recipe collection. We live in Charlotte, NC and have other jobs, but love FOOD. So enjoy.

Also, if any more experienced Bloggers, or people associated with any other media or food brands I mention read this, can you tell me the appropriate way to link or cite your material to give you credit?
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I was inspired to do some baking this weekend: "Baking is science for hungry people." (Questionable Content No. 1679) So, I made cakes and pie, and this past weekend we had some friends who had just moved to Charlotte over for Sunday dinner. They liked the desserts I made; so I'm posting the recipes (maybe next time I'll remember to take photos before noming).

I started with a store bought cake mix, made half the recipe, and divided it into two 4 inch mini-cakes so I could have two flavors. P.S. I highly recommend the Arrowhead Mills Organic cake mixes, both Vanilla and Chocolate. For this I used the Vanilla as a base.

Cake 1: Blackberry Filling with Lemon Whipped Cream

Blackberry Filling

1 1/2 Cup Blackberries
1/2 TBSP Honey
1-2 TSP Lemon Marmalade (homemade)

I used some left over Farmers' Market Blackberries and made a fruit compote for a filling. I reduced about a half cup of blackberry puree (about 1 cup and a half of blackberries) with some Magners Cider and honey, then added lemon marmalade I had on hand. After a few hours, I added some water and reduced again (probably unnecessary). I let it cool and added a tiny amount of gelatin to thicken the compote.

Lemon Whipped Cream

8oz Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
Pinch of gelatin
1/4 Tsp Lemon Zest

I poured the cold whipping cream into the work bowl of my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer, added the sugar, and began whipping it to med-stiff peaks. I took about 1/4 of a packet of gelatin, placed it into a 1/3 cup measuring cup, added water and heated over the stove to "bloom". I added about 1/3 of the gelatin to the cream as I was whipping it to have the foam hold its coherence. After 2-3 minutes, I grated a small amount of lemon zest, probably about 1/4 teaspoon, into the whipped cream and mixed for a few seconds to combine.

Next, I took one of the cooled vanilla mini-cakes, cut it into 2 layers and spread the compote between them. I thin iced the cake with some homemade Lemon Whipped Cream frosting. (If a more experienced baker can give me a good explanation of the difference between icing and frosting, I'd appreciate it.)

One note: Probably would have worked better to have chilled the whipped cream and the cake before icing.

Cake 2: Aztec Chocolate Ganache Cake

This flavor is inspired by my favorite chocolate, the Vosges Haut Chocolat Red Fire truffles, bars, and cookies, that I got to eat when living in Chicago. I recommend everyone eat as much as they can find.

Chocolate Ganache

80z Dark Chocolate Chips
80z Heavy Cream
1/3 Tsp Cayenne Pepper Powder
1/3 Tsp Chipotle Pepper Powder
1/3 Tsp Chili Pepper Powder
1/3 Tsp Cinnamon

Put the cream on the stove in a small sauce pan, and simmer over med-low heat for 3-4 minutes. Put the chocolate in the work bowl of your food processors (I used an 11 cup) and pulse 4-5 times to crumble. Add the simmered cream to the chocolate and pulse 5-10 times to combine. Add the spices.

Next, I spread some ganache between the other divided mini-cake. I then chilled the remaining ganache in the work bowl of my stand mixer, along with the whisk attachment, and cake for about 1 hour. Then, I pulled out the ganache and began whipping air into it with the mixer to make it more a frosting than a filling. I again added about 1/3 of the previous gelatin for cohesion. I then frosted the second cake. Finally, I let my wife/ sous chef lick the bowl before washing up.

I'll post about the Key-Lime Pie later...


  1. hey, I do more than just lick bowls clean!

    I think we should put some of the leftover frosting/ icing on cookies. Yum!

  2. So, in communicating with other Bloggers, I was directed to a good website about food blogging and "Recipe Attribution" by David Lebovitz over at Food Blog Alliance ( Thanks Phoo-d.