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Addictive Sour Cream Chocolate Snack Cake

Sometimes you just want a little chocolate cake. A little something not covered in frosting but consistently delicious. There are many chocolate cake recipes out there but this one is simple, there is not hot water or espresso powder-just simple ingredients you probably already have. 

Acme Addictive Chocolate Bundt

1 cup butter softened 

2 eggs room temp

2 cups sour cream

1 tsp vanilla 

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Cream sugar and butter, add eggs one at a time then the sour cream and vanilla. 

In a separate bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet and beat on medium speed for a few minutes. (3-5). 

Spray a bundt span with flour baking spray (or grease the pan and dust with cocoa powder). 

Pour batter into pan and slip into a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Until a tooth pick comes out clean. 

Cool and dust with powdered sugar. That’s it honest – keep it simple. 

Peanut Butter One Bowl Brownies

A little art from the kitchen

I like to keep things simple, delicious but simple. A few years ago I became obsessed with high quality chocolate that doesn’t have milk (making it a useful ingredient if you have lactose sensitive family or friends). I also love peanut butter and while there are a lot of recipes for peanut butter brownies, I found most wanted you to make a peanut butter frosting and I couldn’t be bothered. 

Peanut Butter Brownies

1 1/2 stick of butter (sliced)

7 ounces of good chocolate (I generally chop up high quality chocolate but you could use chips as well)

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Chop chocolate and put in microwave safe bowl with the butter. Heat until the butter melts and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. 

Add sugar and mix well. Then add the eggs and vanilla. Lastly, add the flour and mix until combined. 

Pour into a 9×9 or brownie pan lined with foil and either greased or sprayed with non-stick spray. 

Heat the peanut butter for maybe 30 seconds in a glass measuring cup. Stir and then drizzle on top of the brownie batter (bring on your inner jackson pollack. Well don’t splatter) 

Bake at 350 for anywhere between 30 and 40 minutes. You don’t want the center to jiggle. 

Cool completely and cut into 1 inch or so squares – these little guys are super rich! 

Acme Baking Company perfects the Salted Caramel

I am a novice candy maker, I have attempted three caramels in my lifetime and unlike a lot of fellow novice bakers I have had success every time. That being said, the perfect Salted Caramel still alluded me. So this year, for my boss’ birthday, she requested home made salted caramels and I accepted the challenge.

The resulting recipe is soft enough to bite into but firm enough to cut and wrap – they literally melt in your mouth.

Acme Baking Company Heavenly Salted Caramels
boiling, sugar, candy, caramel
Prepare an 8×8 pan – I chose to line the pan with parchment and then lightly sprayed the parchment with non-stick spray.

In a medium sauce pan heat the following over low heat while cooking the sugar mixture:
4 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt (I used table salt)
2 tsp vanilla

In a 3.5-4qt sauce pan cook the following to 310 degrees:
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup

When the sugar mixture reaches 310 degree, slowly add your heated cream mixture. This will bubble, spit and erupt furiously – don’t be afraid it will all calm down but be sure you add the cream slowly to avoid a boil over or any kind of accidental burns.

Once the mixture calms down a bit, stir it just a little (with a fresh utensil) and allow to come to “FIRM BALL” temp which should be around 250 degrees.

At 250 degrees, remove the mixture from the heat and add an addition 2 tbsp butter. Stir the mixture until the butter is completely melted and the entire thing looks smooth and shiny.

Pour the hot mixture into your prepared dish and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Then sprinkle with fleur de sel. Cool almost completely and cut long strips with a pizza cutter and then the actual pieces from each strip with a sharp knife. Wrap each piece individually.

If you are active on google+ I would rea

If you are active on google+ I would really appreciate if you could +1 me in your browser. 🙂 thanks

The last chocolate standing

This weekend was my last hurrah before really hunkering down and focusing on getting done with some important projects.
As mentioned in a previous post, last week was my birthday week and was feted with all kinds of ridiculousness. It was raining and cold out today so I decided to bake a chocolate cake (the one thing I can’t ever imagine giving up). I have not have much luck in the past with cakes from scratch but this one turned out fabulously. I used the Swans Cake Flour Easy Chocolate Cake recipe. I nixed the frosting because, unlike most, my favorite part is actually the cake.
Absolutely delicious! Now I need to focus on finding people with a penchant for sweet treats so I can bake and get things out of my house.
I had an interesting conversation at work where I was told “they” are trying to focus on health and maybe I should not bring in baked treats! That’s what I get for working with a bunch of women.
After searching the web over I did not find this recipe, so I am posting it here. It was a light cake, very sweet – I would probably lower the brown sugar if I were to make this again. It was a tender cake for sure!

Swans Down Cake Flour Easy Chocolate Cake
1 stick butter
1/2 c. light brown sugar (i told you it’s alot)
3/4 c. sugar (i amended the original blog post when I baked this cake again with white sugar instead of all brown sugar..which resulted in a much better cake)
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 ounces melted dark chocolate (cooled)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 c cake flour
1 c. sour cream
1 c. boiling water

Blend butter until smooth, add brown sugar and then eggs 1 at a time. Mix in vanilla and cooled chocolate. Then add baking soda and salt. Alternately add the cake flour and sour cream beating until smooth.
Add boiling water and stir with a spoon until completely mixed.
Bake 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. I did mine in a 9×13 pan (greased and floured) because I am lazy and just wanted cake. It would easily make 2, 8 or 9 inch rounds.

PS. the bowling party was a hit, the hangover the next day could have been skipped but the night was great. Next year will be the big 35 and I need to do something BIG BIG BIG for that one.. any suggestions?

Pumpkin pie…the gods are punishing me..

I am a single woman and as such am invited to many thanksgiving dinners, family and friend events alike. This year I couldn’t be with family so I opted to attend an “orphans” feast hosted by really great friends. Said friends were two guys, who produced a good turkey, but beyond that there was Stove-top stuffing, mashed potatoes that consisted of boiled potatoes and water, store bought pumpkin get the picture.
So, on Black Friday, rather than being foolish and braving the crowds in stores I stayed put at home. I decided to make a complete Thanksgiving feast in an effort to produce “left overs.”
No Thanksgiving can be complete without a good pumpkin pie but I had so much going on I decided to use a frozen pie crust. BIG MISTAKE! While the custard of my pie was absolutely delicious the crust never really cooked so it is still a little mushy and blah. NEVER AGAIN will I cheat. I can make a great pie crust with my eyes closed but I didn’t want to deal with another mess. I will redeem myself soon and make another pie with real crust.

Okay this isn’t about baking..

But the smell emanating from my oven right now is so delicious I had to share it. I spent a good 20 minutes searching the web for something yummy to do with a pork tenderloin..and finally “stumbled upon” what smells to be a winner.

Take your loin, trim it, wash it, pat it dry.

Take 1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs and brown in 1tbsp of olive oil
Remove from heat and in a bowl mix in 4tbsp horseradish, salt and pepper to taste

In a separate bowl mix 3tbsp spicy (or dijon) mustard and 2tbsp mayo (I used light mayo since the flavor will be pretty much masked by the mustard anyway).

Place your loin(s) on a baking sheet (I put parchment on my baking sheet) slather with the Mayo and Mustard combo. Then cover with breadcrumb mixture.

Put in the oven at 450 for 25 minutes. Let rest before cooking.. it smells really good and I had to write about it.

I am still resisting my urge to bake, although I did scour the web today looking for interesting baking blogs and found a bunch that I really liked. I think you can see them on my blog, so by all means venture out and visit some! Once the store gets off the ground I am going to be hosting an entire site with a community area and a favorite links page so that all of my CraftBake customers can have instant access to other CraftBakers from around the globe!

As for the rest of my night.. I just need to figure out what to serve with this pork..and what wine to drink!

There is nothing friendly about Amish Friendship!

I babysat this bread for 10 days, mashing the bag, adding ingredients, tending to it like a mama bird waiting for an egg to hatch. The day finally came to bake it off, I was hopeful but certainly not expecting a miracle. Which is a blessing because it was awful! I followed the instructions, sugared the pans, mixed the batter in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon, poured it in the pans and baked it as directed for an hour.
It didn’t smell great, it certainly didn’t look great, and it tasted horrid! Certainly not the success that my spring celebration carrot cake was. Which by the way it was DELICIOUS!

Apple pie filling in puff pastry..

Yeah, that’s a good day. I don’t like apple pie..but I do love good homemade apple pie filling in some puff pastry, a la turnover..all hot and delicious, swimming in vanilla ice cream.

That’s it for today..that’s my blog.. life changing, I am sure!

What are you going to sell?

I have been having more and more conversations about this dream of mine and every time I talk to guys I get a puzzled look and the following statement “What are you going to sell?”

It might be hard to imagine that this generation is embracing traditional values in a modern way. We aren’t closed minded and uninterested in the world but we do want to make personal connections with friends, family, and community at large. We no longer want to “buy” our place in society but rather we want to earn it. We want our families to grow with some tradition that does not involve a quick trip through the drive through. Not everyone can be a Betty Crocker but everyone can bake something and that’s what I am going to sell.

So many people think that the world is only going to be online and that everything will be bought and sold online exclusively but people like to feel connected and they are willing to pay a little more for some things if it means they can interact with real people. A real store, brick and mortar, provides a meeting place, allows you the opportunity to touch and taste and ask questions.

I decided that I really don’t want to sell all the small appliances that go with baking (the kitchen aid mixers, the food processors, blenders etc) they can all be bought online or at mass retail outlets and while I will have them in the store and reference them on the website it just doesn’t make sense to sell them. I want to see the ingredients and tools used to bake. Cookbooks, interesting tools, chocolate, extracts, flours, sugars, fancy things, basic things, some hardware.. I want to keep the prices reasonable but in reality there will be items in the store at every price point. My goal is to never have anyone leave the store without at least buying something.

But most importantly.. what I am selling is that old fashioned connection with a modern assist. No online store but certainly an online community.