The Search For The Perfect Birthday Cake…

Hello My  Lovelies!

It’s begun…the search for the perfect birthday cake!! One only turns 29 once right? So a few of my favorite things…lemon and chocolate. I was talking with HB the other night and he asked me what was my favorite kind of cake…and I replied and said well I LOOOOOVE lemon cake….but I LOOOOOVE chocolate too…and then he sent me this….

Hello Best Birthday Cake Ever! #LemonChocolate

So this weekend I shall be trying my hand at the Cake Walker’s Lemon Chocolate Cake recipe. HB and I share a birthday week so we shall critique it in honor of turning 29.

How cute are those little beehives and lemondrop drips? (You do realize that I’m so OCD making those little beehives perfectly is going to kill me right?)

XoXo,

One Drooling Lemon

 

Wanna make it? Check out the recipe below!

Lemon Chocolate Cake

Source: Lemon Chocolate Cake

This delightful cake will quickly become your “go to” favorite when you desire something unique and special—it has surely become a favorite in my house. The moist, lemony crumb is a citrus celebration, but the tango it does with the dense chocolate frosting is completely tantalizing. What’s more, the surprise burst of zest in the chocolate ganache leads the delicious dance, pleasing the palate much like a fresh lemon twist does to the first sip of espresso.

Makes one 8 or 9-inch two-layer cake.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice of 3 lemons (approximately 2 loosely packed tablespoons zest and about 1/3rd cup juice)
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd (from your favorite recipe or store-bought variety)
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature

Frosting

  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), room temperature
  • 2 lbs. sifted powdered sugar (32 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3rd cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate (Use chips or cut bars into small pieces. For best results and flavor, select a brand with 63% cacao content.)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest.

Lemon Drop Drips

  • 1/2 cup hard Lemon Drop candies

 Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Grease two 8×2”, or two 9×1 1/2″ round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, grease the paper and then flour the pans. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together; set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla, zest, lemon juice and lemon curd, beat in until incorporated. Scrape the bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add the dry ingredients and wet ingredients to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. After the last addition, mix the batter until just incorporated. Scrape the bowl and stir gently to mix in. Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Smooth the tops with an offset spatula.
  • For 8-inch pans* bake approximately 43-45 minutes, 9-inch pans bake for 34-36 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The tops will be golden brown and the cakes should just start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove cakes from the oven and cool on racks for 12 minutes; remove from pans (discard the parchment). Cool completely on racks.
  • While the cakes are baking, make the Lemon Drop Drip garnishes. Fit a sheet pan with parchment paper and tape the paper to the pan along one long edge—this will be the “top” of the pan; set aside. In a small non-stick pan over medium-low heat melt the lemon drops until completely melted to a viscous syrup state. Turn the heat to low and work quickly to spoon small puddles on the parchment-lined pan. Once you have a few puddles, tilt the pan up to create drips, maintaining the tilt until the desired drip length is reached; lay pan flat. Repeat in different places on the paper until you have about 12 or so drips. You may not choose to use all 12, but it’s good to have extra in case of breakage.
  • Prepare the frosting. Add the measure of instant espresso powder to the milk and stir to dissolve; set aside. In a large mixing bowl add the butter, half the powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla, salt and half the milk mixture. With an electric mixer, begin mixing SLOWLY at first to prevent a cloud of dry ingredients from pluming out all over, and gradually increase the speed to medium until incorporated. Add the remaining sugar and milk mixture?mix in slowly at first, increasing speed to medium low; blend until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Recipe yields enough to frost the cake including a bottom border and piped dollops on top with perhaps a small amount of leftover.
  • Assemble the cake. Place one cake (bottom or flat side down) onto a serving plate; frost the top with a nice fill. Place the second cake (bottom or flat side up) on top. Crumb coat (thin application) the top and sides. Place cake in refrigerator for a few minutes to set the frosting. Leave the crumb coat as is on the top, but frost the sides with a nice finish coat. Return the cake to the refrigerator to set for several minutes.
  • In a small sauce pan over medium low, heat the heavy cream until it just begins to slightly simmer. Reduce heat to low and add the chocolate chips; let sit for about a minute. Remove from heat. Stir or whisk the ganache to blend until completely smooth, uniform in color and pourable. Stir in the lemon zest. The ganache should be lukewarm*. Pour the ganache onto the top center of the cake. With an offset spatula, quickly spread the ganache outwards toward the edges of the cake; gently nudge some of the ganache with the spatula over the edge to drip down in multiple areas around the perimeter.
  • In an icing bag fitted with the tip of your choice (a #12 circle was used on the cake in the photo), pipe a border around the base of the cake. Similarly, choose a tip of your choice (a #24 round was used) to pipe dollop decorations on the top of the cake evenly spaced around the perimeter. The photo depicts 8 of these, but you may make as many as desired or have garnishes for. Pipe the dollops wide and tall enough to provide a sturdy base to support the lemon drips. Garnish each dollop by inserting a Lemon Drop Drip into the center of each dollop?gently pressing the candy drip through the dollop until it touches the cake. The cake is best served at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator covered in plastic for up to 3 days.

Notes

*If you choose the 8-inch pans you must be sure you have the ones that measure 2 inches up the side, otherwise your batter will overflow during baking. When filling the 8×2 pan with equally divided batter, the fill level will be about three quarters full for each. The batter should not overflow during baking. The benefit of using the 8×2 pan is you get a taller cake. There should not be overflow issues with the common 9×1 1/2 pans other than a shorter baking time as indicated. Please use caution when working with melted candy or any hot liquid sugar. If the chocolate ganache is too warm, it may slightly melt the frosting when poured on top causing it to sag. Additionally, not all heavy cream is manufactured with consistent fat content. Therefore, if the ganache is too thick to pour once it’s blended together, you may want to add an additional tablespoon or two to thin it.

http://cakewalkr.com/lemon-chocolate-cake/   //   Cakewalker 2016

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Happy Fall Y’all!

Hello My Lovelies!

I am currently in Denver, Colorado for a conference and y’all! It is blissfully like fall here <3 I am slightly dreading going back to hot old SC tonight.

With fall comes a few of my favorite things…Pumpkin Cranberry Bread (thank you momma!), Spiced Tea, Vests (I’m a complete vest addict) and crunchy leaves.

We always know it’s fall when my mom makes the first batch of her famous Spiced Tea. When you walk into her house, it smells deliciously of orange & clove and you instantly want to grab a blanket and snuggle with a mug. She’s been making Spiced Tea since we were little kids. I remember grabbing my mug and standing by the stove anxiously waiting until she would deem it the perfect time to dip us out a scoop.

It’s one of her signature recipes and my absolute favorite to make for a fall party or Christmas event!

Spiced Tea

Momma’s Spiced Tea

2 Cinnamon sticks
2 TBSP WHOLE cloves (about 16)
3 cups sugar (can sub 1/2 Splenda & 1/2 sugar)
1 qt. boiling water
1 qt. strong tea (Like REALLY STRONG y’all!)
Juice 3 lemons (Or lemon juice)
1 cup pineapple juice (I prefer Dole’s)
1 cup orange juice
3 quarts boiling water (Or sub 1/2 apple cider!)

Directions:

Bring 1 qt water (or cider/water blend) to a boil, add cinnamon sticks, cloves, and sugar (Mom throws in a dash of nutmeg). Boil for 5 minutes, then add tea and remaining ingredients. Keep on low for about an hour to encourage the flavors to blend. Serve hot or cold!

I will tell you a little secret about the spices. Momma splits them into two large tea balls and puts one on each side of the pot.

It’s good right after she makes it….but it’s AHHHHHMAZING the day after. All of the flavors and blended into this synergy of taste that I’ve yet to find anywhere else.

So go home, dig your favorite mug out and make a batch!

You can find more of my fall party favorites here!

XoXo!

One vest wearing, mug huggin’ Lemon

 

PS: Reply to this and I’ll send you my mom’s Cranberry Pumpkin Bread recipe! It pairs beautifully with Spiced Tea!

 

 

 

Herbs…

I love summer! As I sit here curled up in my big yellow chair, the smell of my herb garden is flowing through my house. I keep my herbs by the bay windows in my sun room and I love to fiddle with them. I have loved watching my tiny little seedlings grow and flourish this summer. Some of them I grew from seeds and others were tiny seedlings when I rescued them from Lowe’s (they were severely dehydrated…it was a close call).

This year I grew a few new herbs… Lavender, Parsley, Citronella; along with a few of my favorites: Lemon Balm, Basil, Purple Basil, Sweet Mint and Rosemary.

South Carolina heat can be a beast in the summer..and my poor little purple basil got fried. Whoops…

But! I had three full harvests of my regular basil so plenty stored for winter this year. My citronella plant took off! I highly recommend planting that bad boy in a planter…he took over the box.

One afternoon, I was looking around the internet for a fun way to use my fresh herbs and stumbled upon this recipe by SARA MOULTON. I had several events to go to the past few weeks and hosted a few get togethers at my house, so I tried it out! It was so easy to make and everyone loves chatting over cheese and crackers!

Roasted-Garlic-Herb-Cream-Cheese_Boursin

 

FRESH HERBED YOGURT CHEESE

Start to finish: 2 1/2 days plus 20 minutes (20 active)

17.6 ounce container (about 2 cups) Greek yogurt, full-fat or low-fat, your choice

3 tablespoons minced shallot

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

 —–

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and black pepper

Toasted baguette slices or crackers

—–

Line a large strainer with a triple layer of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth and set the strainer over a larger bowl. Pile the yogurt into the strainer, spreading it out. Cover with plastic wrap, top with a plate and a weight such as a can of tomatoes and let the yogurt drain in the refrigerator for 48 hours.

Transfer the drained yogurt to a bowl and stir in the next 7 ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. If time permits, cover and chill the cheese for up to 8 hours (to develop the flavor). Shape the cheese into logs or rounds and serve with toasted baguette slices or crackers. Makes a little over 2 cups.

—–

Nutrition information per 2-ounce serving: 76 calories; 43 calories from fat; 5 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 4 mg cholesterol; 56 mg sodium; 3 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 5 g protein.

— recipe by SARA MOULTON —

 

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

XoXo,

One Cheese Loving Lemon

Raw Cashew Dreamcake

Hello Dahlings!
I am so ready for summer! I love the food of summer :) Cold salads, salads and scrumptious frozen treats. I’ve been looking around for some “clean” recipes to try and found this recipe (& the best raw brownie recipe!) on My New Roots – Follow her blog for great raw eats :) I never thought I would find a cheesecake-like recipe that would be healthy and yummy to eat. As a lactose intolerant fittie, I struggle with finding dairy that my tummy likes too. The rest of me is crazy about it but tummy not so much. So I was thrilled when I discovered mynewroots’ blog about raw eating. Mine wasn’t quite as pretty as hers (pictured below) but it tasted like a dream!

Image courtesy of mynewroots

Raw Cashew Dreamcake

Ingredients for the Crust:
1/2 cup raw almonds (pecan or walnuts will also work)
1/2 cup soft Medjool dates
¼ tsp. sea salt

Filling:

1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours, overnight is best
juice of 2 lemons
the seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean (or 1 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract)
1/3 cup raw coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup raw honey (solid or liquid.)(Vegans use agave nectar.)
1 cup raspberries (thaw completely if using frozen)

Directions:

1. Place nuts and dates in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness (process a finer crust longer than a chunky one). Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect. Scoop out crust mixture in a 7” spring-form pan (if you don’t have a spring-form pan, use a pie plate lined with saran wrap), and press firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout. Rinse food processor well.
2. Warm coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Whisk to combine.
3. In the most powerful food processor / blender you own (you decide which one has the most torque) place all filling ingredients (except raspberries) and blend on high until very smooth (this make take a couple minutes so be patient). If you have a Vita-Mix, absolutely use it.
4. Pour about 2/3 (just eyeball it, you can’t make a mistake!) of the mixture out onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. Add the raspberries to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling. Place in freezer until solid.
5. To serve, remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to eating. Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices. Serve on its own or with fresh fruit. Store leftovers in the freezer (what leftovers?).

It’s a perfect summer treat :)

XoXo!

One Raw Cheesecake Loving Lemon