April 23, 2016

Deep Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake

A recent conversation between my friend and I:

B: "Next time you bake can you make something chocolate?  You know how much I love it."  

Me: "Hmmmm...I'll think about it."

Anyone who knows me well would not be surprised by my response.  Now don't get me wrong, I do like chocolate - especially the dark variety - but it's not my preferred flavor profile.  I tend to lean more towards vanilla, lemon and other fruits.  Despite my less than fanatical reverence towards all things cacao I ended up making this chocolate pound cake for a couple of reasons.  1) I was looking for an excuse to use this recently acquired Nordic Ware Party Bundt pan and 2) I had a ton of sour cream in my fridge.   

In retrospect I was doing myself a disservice by not making this cake sooner.  The recipe comes from Tish Boyle's The Cake Book, a must-have for any cake lover out there.  I've made several recipes from this book and none have disappointed. As promised by its title, this cake has deep chocolate flavor with a moist and tender crumb.   Utterly delicious!  While the cake is fantastic on its own it tastes even better when topped with the ganache glaze.  

I have a strong feeling B will approve.

April 11, 2016

English Muffins & a Giveaway

I'm a creature of habit when it comes to breakfast.  My trusty standbys range from fresh fruit with Greek yogurt and crunchy granola to Honey Nut Cheerios or hard boiled eggs.  But one of my all time favorites has to be English muffins.   I even have a toaster oven in my cubicle at work specifically for this purpose.  Is there anything better than the smell and taste of a freshly toasted muffin smothered in butter?  I think not.

Recently I received a copy of  "Cook It In Cast Iron" from my friends at Cook's Country.  If ever there was a versatile workhorse in your kitchen it would be a cast-iron skillet.  And the fact that you can buy a fantastic one for under $35 makes it all the more appealing.

Cast iron is renowned for it's heat retention which makes it ideal for frying and searing on the stove top, but did you know it's also great for baking?  Me neither!  As I was browsing through the cookbook I was amazed at the number of bread and biscuit recipes there were but the one that immediately caught my eye was for English muffins.  I'd never dreamed of making this breakfast staple at home but why not give it a try?

Believe me when I tell you I am now a convert to homemade English muffins, especially when they bake up so fluffy, tall and delicious.   Don't be intimidated by this recipe at all because it's really straight forward and easy to follow.  All I can say now is, Thomas' who???

Here's your chance to make them at home yourself.  Two lucky readers will win a free copy of Cook It In Cast Iron from Cook's Country.  All you have to do is leave your email address in the comments section of this post and I'll randomly select two  winners.  Deadline for entry is Fri April 22, 2016.   Only one email per entry.  NOTE: You must have a U.S. mailing address, sorry, no international addresses.  Good Luck!

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