Chicken Pie Revisited and Revamped

Back when I first started my Blog I posted about Trisha Yearwood’s Chicken Pie. Like I said, when I made it the first time it was more like soup.All I did this time was added 12 oz of frozen mixed veggies and some more salt and pepper and it was MUCH better! The sauce was […]

Sunday Breakfast

I made my Banana Bread last night (minus the blueberries). Anytime I have those almost black bananas around I ALWAYS make Banana Bread. I really need to find something else to do with them. But my Banana Bread is sooooo good I cant help myself. This was the conversation in the house last night… Husband: […]

A winning Lemon Loaf

My lemons were starting to getting soft on me, so I had to make something quick. I am trying soooooo hard not to waist as much food around this crazy house of mine.While looking at my unnecessary large amount of cookbooks…I was drawn to Ina Garten’s Yogurt Lemon Loaf. But I noticed something strange about […]

Far from "Perfection" Pound Cake

I told you before in a video post that I made Dorie Greenspan’s “Perfection Pound Cake”Hmmmm..obviously there wasn’t too much “Perfection” going on in my kitchen that day!Everything went as planned..I read all the wonderful tips on making pound cake and followed the directions to a T. I decided to spice it up a bit […]

Carpal Tunnel Creators!!!

I have been stalking one of Rita’s posts over at the Clumbsy Cookie. No for real..seriously stalking this post for Cookie Chips Chocolate..I think I posted 3 comments and visited it about 10 times. I was drawn to these little suckers like a mosquito is to one of those blue bug zappers!!! I love chocolate […]

AWARDS!

I am soooo very thankful for everyone who reads my blog. And especially thankful for those of you who leave comments. I would have no clue who stops by my blog if it weren’t for the comments..so THANK YOU! I have recently received a few awards! YIPPEE! No..I am not giving another video acceptance speech..MIGRAINE= […]

And the winner is…..

Random Integer GeneratorHere are your random numbers: 11Timestamp: 2008-08-02 19:21:24 UTC And I believe the 11th person who left a comment is ANGIE!!!!!!! Well congratulations Angie! You are now the proud owner of the cute little Pink Measuring set!!Contact me by email so I can get your address! I would have posted a funny video […]

I survived my 2nd Daring Bakers Challange!!

Chris from Mele Cotte honestly tried to kill the Daring Bakers this month! She choose the Filbert Gateau for July’s Challenge from Great Cakes by Carol Walter. I had never heard of a “Filbert Gateau”. I read the directions OVER and OVER and OVER again and I was still baffled! So I had my darling […]

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY

Apple Cake 2 large eggs1/2 cup sugar1/4 cup skim milk2 Tbsp Butter1 Tbsp Vanilla1 cup self rising flour, sifted1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch1 large apple, peeled and thinly sliced1 tsp cinnamon1 tsp sugar Preheat oven to 400.Coat 8″ round cake pan with cooking spray Beat eggs and 1/2 cup sugar until lightStir in milk, melted butter […]

Dont forget to vote!

My video posts are in your hands..I put up a pole so please vote(its located to the right at the top). I don’t want to annoy anyone with my complete dorkyness. So please let me know if I should continue with the videos by casting your vote! Thanks a Bunch!

BC/AC.(before coffee/after coffee) +giveaway!!

BEFORE COFFEE AFTER COFFEE Enough said! I NEED coffee..and I look like shit in the morning!!!

Beef..its whats for Dinner!!

My Brother-In-Law John told me this morning he was very disappointed the I had never posted a “Beef” dish.(visit him @ Stanton’s Space) I know it seems like I only cook chicken in my house, but that is far from the truth! I am a steak and Potato kinda girl! I love love love red […]

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Chicken Pie Revisited and Revamped

Back when I first started my Blog I posted about Trisha Yearwood’s Chicken Pie. Like I said, when I made it the first time it was more like soup.
All I did this time was added 12 oz of frozen mixed veggies and some more salt and pepper and it was MUCH better! The sauce was still a tiny bit too thin. I am going to try it one more time..I will make some roue’ to add the the sauce to thicken it up and add some sherry to give it some more richness! The hubby said it was much better this time. Much more hearty with the vegetables.
I am sure he will add his two cents next time..ya know because he is a professional chef and all!!!HA!

Sunday Breakfast

I made my Banana Bread last night (minus the blueberries). Anytime I have those almost black bananas around I ALWAYS make Banana Bread. I really need to find something else to do with them. But my Banana Bread is sooooo good I cant help myself.
This was the conversation in the house last night…
Husband: ” You know what I want for breakfast?”
Me: ” oh God, give me a break, what do you want for breakfast now?”
Hubby: “Banana Bread French Toast.”
Me: “Are you kidding me?”
Hubby: “um, no”
Me: “Where in the Hell do you come up with this stuff.”
Hubby: “It just makes sense, Banana Bread French Toast…yep, that’s what I want”
Me: “Cook it yourself”
Hubby: Sad puppy dog eyes..with a half smerk smile
Me: “Fine”
(we are very sarcastic with each other in a VERY loving way..LOL)
Let me just say..my husband doesn’t even Grill…I know I know..a man that doesn’t grill?? Strange but true! I do 100% of the cooking in the house. Unless you count putting a waffle in the toaster oven for the kids??!! He always comes up with the craziest things in the food department. It will be so easy for me to take care of him when he is old with no teeth..he mixes all of his food up in the first place. So it wont be a big deal for me to puree all his food together!
Wahoo for me!
THE VERDICT………
GONE!!!!!

It was pretty darn good!

If you wish to try this crazy dish..just make your french toast like you normally do, but substitute banana bread for your normal bread! And there you have it!

A winning Lemon Loaf

My lemons were starting to getting soft on me, so I had to make something quick. I am trying soooooo hard not to waist as much food around this crazy house of mine.
While looking at my unnecessary large amount of cookbooks…I was drawn to Ina Garten’s Yogurt Lemon Loaf. But I noticed something strange about this recipe. NO BUTTER???!!!.Oh, there must be a misprint..a cake with no butter??? It isn’t humanly possible for me to cook without butter! My Grandma cooked with only real butter, my mom cooked with only real butter and I cook with only real butter..lets just say buddah runs through my veins..or maybe my veins are sooo clogged nothing is running through them!!LOL
Despite my hesitation..I decided to make this loaf.
This was just about the easiest cake I ever whipped up. The flavor of this cake was delightful. It was all about the Lemons. The lemon simple sugar that you pour into the holes makes it SOOOO moist. And the Lemon glaze on top is just perfect! I did find the texture of this cake a bit odd. It was like a really wet dense sponge. I have never had a cake before with this texture..but it still didn’t take away from the superb summery lemon flavor!

LEMON YOGURT LOAF

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

1 1/3 cups sugar, divided

3 extra-large eggs

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan.

Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, poke a bunch of holes in the cake and pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Far from "Perfection" Pound Cake

I told you before in a video post that I made Dorie Greenspan’s “Perfection Pound Cake”
Hmmmm..obviously there wasn’t too much “Perfection” going on in my kitchen that day!
Everything went as planned..I read all the wonderful tips on making pound cake and followed the directions to a T. I decided to spice it up a bit and do the Marbled Pound Cake. (I mainly wanted to practice my “marbling”). I took the loaf out of the oven just as the toothpick came out w/ only a few crumbs on it. When I cut into it, I immediately knew something was terribly OFF. I know pound cake has a dense texture. But this seemed extra dry.
Picture this..I know it has happened to most of us…….You take a bite of a Saltine Cracker and someone makes you laugh, and you spray everyone at the table with dried cracker bits. Happened to you before right??!!LOL!!
Well, that is what happened when I took the bite out of this little piece of “Perfection”.
As soon as I took my bite, my son asked me a question, I went to answer him and the dry sand like cake went spewing across the kitchen and I felt like I was sucking on a cotton plant. I know what you are saying mom..”you shouldn’t have been talking with your mouth full in the first place!” Yes..this I know…but I just had to give y’all the visual!
Oh and another thing..you could literally flick the chocolate portion and it would separate from the regular part of the cake! Hmmmmm???
Well with all of that said..it sure does take a pretty picture!
Here is the recipe if you want to give it a go!!!

Perfection( cough) Pound Cake

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour (or 2-1/4 cups cake flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Getting Ready:Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan or an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, a full 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beater and reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 to 2 minutes after each egg goes in. As you’re working, scrape down the bowl and beater often. Mix in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it is incorporated – don’t overmix. In fact, you might want to fold in the last of the flour, or even all of it, by hand with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top.
Put the cake into the oven to bake, and check on it after about 45 minutes. If it’s browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. If you’re using a 9×5 pan, you’ll need to bake the cake for 70 to 75 minutes; the smaller pan needs about 90 minutes. The cake is properly baked when a thin knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, transfer the pan to a rack and let rest for 30 minutes.
Run a blunt knife between the cake and the sides of the pan and turn the cake out, then turn it right side up on the rack and cool to room temperature.
Storing:Wrapped well, the cake will keep for 5 to 7 days at room temperature (stale cake is great toasted) or up to 2 months in the freezer.

Marbled Loaf:
After the batter is fully mixed, transfer 1/2 the batter to another bowl and mix in 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled. Alternate large spoonfulls of the light and dark batter in the prepared pan, then run a knife in a zigzag pattern for the marbled pattern.

Carpal Tunnel Creators!!!

I have been stalking one of Rita’s posts over at the Clumbsy Cookie. No for real..seriously stalking this post for Cookie Chips Chocolate..I think I posted 3 comments and visited it about 10 times. I was drawn to these little suckers like a mosquito is to one of those blue bug zappers!!!

I love chocolate chip cookies and I love chocolate..so when someone reinvents the process, I get intrigued.

This photo is of the Stars of the Show. These my friends are itty bitty “Cookie Chips”.

How did you get them that small you asked? You freekin pipe 3 full cookie sheets of these little bastards(can you tell I am a bit bitter?) Ok..now imagine piping regular consistency cookie dough through a tiny tip!!!???!!!! Um, Ya, it sucked! I was cursing Rita after about 3 minutes!LOL. But let me tell you, it was well worth it. My husband was sad when I packed them up to put them in the fridge for the evening! He REALLY enjoyed these!

On the top photo, I would love to say that I spritzed the food with water for a fancy photo. But nope, that is HUMIDITY! AGGGHHHHH! The second I walked outside, the water condensation was everywhere!Not to mention what my hair looked like!

Here is how to make em..

Rita’s Cookie Chips Chocolate

1/2 stick (4 oz) butter room temperature
6 tbs sugar
6 tbs brown sugar
1 egg
6 1/2 oz flour
1/4+1/8 tspn salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
9 oz chocolate of your choice

Beat butter and both sugars just until they come together. Don’t over-beat. Add the egg and beat just until incorporated. Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder and add to the batter. Stir just until blended and put into a pastry bag with a small round tip.
Drop into a cookie sheet pulling up so the dough get a thin point, characteristic of the chips. Bake into a preheated 325ºF oven, for 5 minutes.
Let them cool while you melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler. Poor the chips over the chocolate and mix until they’re all coated, being careful not to break them. Reserve some to decorate the top of the cookies. Drop by teaspoons onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Decorate with 3 or 4 cookie chips and take to the fridge to harden.

AWARDS!

I am soooo very thankful for everyone who reads my blog. And especially thankful for those of you who leave comments. I would have no clue who stops by my blog if it weren’t for the comments..so THANK YOU!
I have recently received a few awards! YIPPEE! No..I am not giving another video acceptance speech..MIGRAINE= looking like complete ASS! So the Harry Winston’s will remain in the safe for tonight!

The first award of the evening is The Brillante Weblog Award..I received this from not one but TWO wonderful ladies.

Katie from Salt and Chocolate. All of her goodies on her site are breathtaking. She just celebrated her 100th post..so stop by her site and congratulate her!!

Christy from Southern Plate. Her site is new..but it looks like it has been around forever. It is packed full of down home Southern recipes. And all her posts give step by step photo instructions, which is wonderful! You want comfort food?..Christy will give it to ya!!!


And the second award of the evening is the Yum-Yum Award from
Lina at My Life is Yummy. Her site is full of delicious professional looking items and but it is also rich in cultural photos! Love it.

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

And the winner is…..

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers: 11
Timestamp: 2008-08-02 19:21:24 UTC

And I believe the 11th person who left a comment is

ANGIE!!!!!!!

Well congratulations Angie! You are now the proud owner of the cute little Pink Measuring set!!
Contact me by email so I can get your address!

I would have posted a funny video post announcing the winner..but I have a Migraine and well lets just say I look like I have been hit by a bus!

I survived my 2nd Daring Bakers Challange!!

Chris from Mele Cotte honestly tried to kill the Daring Bakers this month! She choose the Filbert Gateau for July’s Challenge from Great Cakes by Carol Walter. I had never heard of a “Filbert Gateau”. I read the directions OVER and OVER and OVER again and I was still baffled! So I had my darling husband read them(our children haven’t sucked his brain out like they have mine!!)

After I got all of my ducks in a row, I did the cake a few steps at a time over 3 days!

I have to say I did not like the taste of the cake at all! It was a bit dry and boring in flavor! I must say the Praline Swiss Buttercream was to dye for! However, when I brought my sister one of the mini cakes to try, she was outside at the pool and all of the ganache and the buttercream literally melted and slid right off the cake. It was amusing to watch!

The decorating was a pain in the ass. Probably because I cut the 10″ cake into 6 mini cakes. I tried everything to get those damn sides smooth, but nothing worked. The tops were as smooth as glass, but the sides were far from perfect!

I hate to say this but I threw all but 1 of the cakes in the garbage. First I didn’t like the taste and second I didn’t like the way they looked! I blame it in my perfection gene!

I am glad that I was challenged to make this cake, however I will not be making it again!
View all the other BEAUTIFUL DB’s creations here!

Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream From Great Cakes by Carol Walter

1 Filbert Genoise
1 recipe sugar syrup, flavored with dark rum
1 recipe Praline Buttercream
½ cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 recipe Apricot Glaze
1 recipe Ganache Glaze, prepared just before using
3 tablespoons filberts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Filbert Genoise

Because of the amount of nuts in the recipe, this preparation is different from a classic genoise.

1 ½ cups hazelnuts, toasted/skinned
2/3 cup cake flour, unsifted
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
7 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar, divided
¼ & ¾ cups1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. grated lemon rind
5 lg. egg whites
¼ cup warm, clarified butter (100 – 110 degrees)

Position rack in the lower 3rd of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10” X 2” inch round cake pan. Using a food processor, process nuts, cake flour, and cornstarch for about 30 seconds. Then, pulse the mixture about 10 times to get a fine, powdery mixture. You’ll know the nuts are ready when they begin to gather together around the sides of the bowl. While you want to make sure there aren’t any large pieces, don’t over-process. Set aside.

Put the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, and beat until thick and light in color, about 3-4 minutes on med-high speed. Slowly, add ¾ cup of sugar. It is best to do so by adding a tablespoon at a time, taking about 3 minutes for this step. When finished, the mixture should be ribbony. Blend in the vanilla and grated lemon rind. Remove and set aside.

Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl of the electric mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed, until soft peaks. Increase to med-high speed and slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, over 15-20 seconds or so. Continue to beat for another ½ minute. Add the yolk mixture to the whites and whisk for 1 minute.

Pour the warm butter in a liquid measure cup (or a spouted container). * It must be a deep bottom bowl and work must be fast.* Put the nut meal in a mesh strainer (or use your hand – working quickly) and sprinkle it in about 2 tablespoons at a time – folding it carefully for about 40 folds. Be sure to exclude any large chunks/pieces of nuts. Again, work quickly and carefully as to not deflate the mixture. When all but about 2 Tbsp. of nut meal remain, quickly and steadily pour the warm butter over the batter. Then, with the remaining nut meal, fold the batter to incorporate, about 13 or so folds.

With a rubber spatula, transfer the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the spatula or back of a spoon. **If collected butter remains at the bottom of the bowl, do not add it to the batter! It will impede the cake rising while baking.

Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when it is springy to the touch and it separates itself from the side of the pan. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto a cake rack sprayed with nonstick coating, removing the pan. Cool the cake completely.

*If not using the cake right away, wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap, then in a plastic bag, then in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If freezing, wrap in foil, then the bag and use within 2-3 months.

Sugar Syrup
Makes 1 cup, good for one 10-inch cake – split into 3 layers

1 cup water
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. dark rum or orange flavored liqueur

In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the liqueur. Cool slightly before using on the cake. *Can be made in advance.
Praline Buttercream
1 recipe Swiss Buttercream
1/3 cup praline paste
1 ½ – 2 Tbsp. Jamaican rum (optional)

Blend ½ cup buttercream into the paste, then add to the remaining buttercream. Whip briefly on med-low speed to combine. Blend in rum.

Swiss Buttercream

4 lg. egg whites
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 ½ -2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier or liqueur of your choice
1 tsp. vanilla

Place the egg whites in a lg/ bowl of a electric mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the whites are foamy and they begin to thicken (just before the soft peak stage). Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Then, whisk in the sugar by adding 1-2 tablespoon of sugar at a time over a minutes time. Continue beating 2-3 minutes or until the whites are warm (about 120 degrees) and the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should look thick and like whipped marshmallows.Remove from pan and with either the paddle or whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and sugar on med-high until its a thick, cool meringue – about 5-7 minutes. *Do not overbeat*. Set aside.

Place the butter in a separate clean mixing bowl and, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for 40-60 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. *Do not overbeat or the butter will become toooooo soft.*

On med-low speed, blend the meringue into the butter, about 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, over 1 minute. Add the liqueur and vanilla and mix for 30-45 seconds longer, until thick and creamy.
Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before using.

Wait! My buttercream won’t come together! Reheat the buttercream briefly over simmering water for about 5 seconds, stirring with a wooden spoon. Be careful and do not overbeat. The mixture will look broken with some liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Return the bowl to the mixer and whip on medium speed just until the cream comes back together.

Wait! My buttercream is too soft! Chill the buttercream in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes and rewhip. If that doesn’t work, cream an additional 2-4 Tbsp. of butter in a small bowl– making sure the butter is not as soft as the original amount, so make sure is cool and smooth. On low speed, quickly add the creamed butter to the buttercream, 1 Tbsp. at a time.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 6 months. If freezing, store in 2 16-oz. plastic containers and thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for several hours.

Praline Paste

1 cup (4 ½ oz.) Hazelnuts, toasted/skinless
2/3 cup Sugar

Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and lightly butter.
Put the sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat on low flame for about 10-20 min until the sugar melts around the edges. Do not stir the sugar. Swirl the pan if necessary to prevent the melted sugar from burning. Brush the sides of the pan with water to remove sugar crystals. If the sugar in the center does not melt, stir briefly. When the sugar is completely melted and caramel in color, remove from heat. Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon and separate the clusters. Return to low heat and stir to coat the nuts on all sides. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble. **Remember – extremely hot mixture.** Then onto the parchment lined sheet and spread as evenly as possible. As it cools, it will harden into brittle. Break the candied nuts into pieces and place them in the food processor. Pulse into a medium-fine crunch or process until the brittle turns into a powder. To make paste, process for several minutes. Store in an airtight container and store in a cool dry place. Do not refrigerate.

Apricot Glaze
Good for one 10-inch cake

2/3 cup thick apricot preserves
1 Tbsp. water

In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and preserves to a slow boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, add water as needed.

Remove from heat and, using a strainer, press the mixture through the mesh and discard any remnants. With a pastry brush, apply the glaze onto the cake while the cake is still warm. If the glaze is too thick, thin to a preferred consistency with drops of water.

Ganache Glaze
Makes about 1 cup, enough to cover the top and sides of a 9 or 10 inch layer or tube cake
**Ganache can take on many forms. While warm – great fudge sauce. While cool or lukewarm – semisweet glaze. Slightly chilled – can be whipped into a filling/frosting. Cold & solid – the base of candied chocolate truffles.

6 oz. (good) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, like Lindt
6 oz. (¾ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier, Cointreay, or dark Jamaican rum (optional)
¾ tsp. vanilla
½ – 1 tsp. hot water, if needed

Blend vanilla and liqueur/rum together and set aside.

Break the chocolate into 1-inch pieces and place in the basket of a food processor and pulse until
finely chopped. Transfer into a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Heat the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan, on low, until it reached a gentle boil. Once to the gently boil, immediately and carefully pour over the chocolate. Leave it alone for one minute, then slowly stir and mix the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream. Carefully blend in vanilla mixture. If the surface seems oily, add ½ – 1 tsp hot water. The glaze will thicken, but should still be pourable. If it doesn’t thicken, refrigerate for about 5 minutes, but make sure it doesn’t get too cold!

Assembling Cake

Cut a cardboard disk slightly smaller than the cake. Divide the cake into 3 layers and place the first layer top-side down on the disk. Using a pastry brush, moisten the layer with 3-4 Tbsp. of warm sugar syrup. Measure out 1 cup of praline buttercream and set aside.

Spread the bottom layer with a ¼-inch thickness of the remaining buttercream. Cover with ½ of the whipped cream, leaving ¼-inch border around the edge of the cake. Place the middle layer over the first, brush with sugar syrup, spreading with buttercream. Cover with the remaining whipped cream.

Moisten the cut side of the third layer with additional sugar syrup and place cut side down on the cake. Gently, press the sides of the cake to align the layers. Refrigerate to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Lift the cake by sliding your palm under the cardboard. Holding a serrated or very sharp night with an 8-inch blade held parallel to the sides of the cake, trim the sides so that they are perfectly straight. Cut a slight bevel at the top to help the glaze drip over the edge. Brush the top and sides of the cake with warm apricot glaze, sealing the cut areas completely. Chill while you prepare the ganache.

Place a rack over a large shallow pan to catch the ganache drippings. Remove the gateau from the refrigerator and put it the rack. With a metal spatula in hand, and holding the saucepan about 10 inches above the cake, pour the ganache onto the cake’s center. Move the spatula over the top of the ganache about 4 times to get a smooth and mirror-like appearance. The ganache should cover the top and run down the sides of the cake. When the ganache has been poured and is coating the cake, lift one side of the rack and bang it once on the counter to help spread the ganache evenly and break any air bubbles. (Work fast before setting starts.) Patch any bare spots on the sides with a smaller spatula, but do not touch the top after the “bang”. Let the cake stand at least 15 minutes to set after glazing.

To garnish the cake, fit a 12 – 14-inch pastry bag with a #114 large leaf tip. Fill the bag with the reserved praline cream. Stating ½ inch from the outer edge of the cake, position the pastry tube at a 90 degree angle with the top almost touching the top of the cake. Apply pressure to the pastry bag, moving it slightly toward the center of the cake. As the buttercream flows on the cake, reverse the movement backward toward the edge of the cake and finish by pulling the bag again to the center. Stop applying pressure and press the bag downward, then quickly pull the tip up to break the flow of frosting. Repeat, making 12 leaves evenly spaced around the surface of the cake.

Make a second row of leaves on the top of the first row, moving the pastry bag about ¾ inch closer to the center. The leaves should overlap. Make a 3rd row, moving closer and closer to the center. Add a 4th row if you have the room. But, leave a 2-inch space in the center for a chopped filbert garnish. Refrigerate uncovered for 3-4 hours to allow the cake to set.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving.Leftover cake can be covered with foil and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY

Apple Cake

2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup skim milk
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1 cup self rising flour, sifted
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 large apple, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 400.
Coat 8″ round cake pan with cooking spray

Beat eggs and 1/2 cup sugar until light
Stir in milk, melted butter and vanilla
Combine flour and cornstarch
Fold into flour mixture into wet mixture
Pour into pan
Layer apples in circular pattern on top of cake batter
Combine cinnamon and sugar, sprinkle on top of apples

Bake 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
Cut into 8 pieces

Point Value: 3
Servings: 8

This weeks entry into Weight Watcher Wednesday is just as yummy as the previous 2!
My husband said it reminded him of French Toast. He said it tasted “eggy” but not in a bad “egg” way! I must admit ..I forgot to add the milk! Dork! After I put the cake in the oven, I turned around and saw my perfectly measured out milk still sitting on the counter! For about 1/2 of a nanosecond I thought about remaking the cake, but I said screw it! Even though it took more time for the oven to heat up than to actually prepare the cake, I was feeling lazy and let it slide! The cake was pretty good even without the milk!
As always check out Em’s sites The Repressed Pastry Chef and Weight Watcher Wednesdays!

Dont forget to vote!

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Beef..its whats for Dinner!!

My Brother-In-Law John told me this morning he was very disappointed the I had never posted a “Beef” dish.(visit him @ Stanton’s Space) I know it seems like I only cook chicken in my house, but that is far from the truth! I am a steak and Potato kinda girl! I love love love red meat. And I like it rare! Cut off its horns, wipe its ass and put it on my plate!Yep that’s how I like it. My husband likes it cooked to shoe leather. Like, whats the point of eating a fine piece of meat if you are going to KILL it??? But to each their own. I actually have him eating it Medium well now! OOOHHHH go me!! Again as I said before I am limited in my dinner photography because I rely on natural light. And dinner time=crappy lighting!
Well this is for you John..a mighty yummy piece of London Broil. I remember my mom always making London Broil and marinating it Wishbone Italian Dressing. While it is great like that, I had to find some alternate way to marinate it! And the search began…
I happened upon an Emeril’s recipe that looked tasty!
Marinated London Broil
1 (2 1/2 pound) tri-tip London Broil or flank steak
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon Creole mustard, or other spicy whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon Essence
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Place the flank steak in a large, plastic resealable bag. In a large, glass measuring cup, combine red wine vinegar, red wine, olive oil, Worcestershire, soy sauce, mustard, essence, salt, pepper, and garlic. Pour the marinade into the bag with the steak, seal and place inside a large, glass baking dish to prevent possible spills. Marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours (or at least 6 hours). Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat. (Alternately, preheat the broiler). Remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Place the steak on the grill (or under the broiler) and cook to desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes before carving. Slice across the grain into thin diagonal slices.
Make sure you ALWAYS cut AGAINST the grain. If you cut along the grain, you will feel like you are chewing on a rubber band! No so good!!!
I paired the steak with simple fresh green beans with salt and pepper. And also Pan Rosemary Potatoes, that I saute in butter and olive oil with some season salt, rosemary, garlic powder and onion powder until fork tender!
Simple dinner..DONE