I finally activated my Twitter account! I signed up for it ages and ages ago, but never got around to using it. Until Shannon & Erin doubleteamed me and showed me the wonder and magic that is Twitter. So, now you can follow my not-always-intriguing-or-interesting rambles at http://twitter.com/chocolatefool. The blog is linked to my twitter account, so the tweets should show up here on the side bar =) Oh, the wonders of wordpress!
Speaking of Shannon and Erin, we had a lovely lunch the other day that Erin cooked for us. Shannon made corn, Erin made burgers, and I brought a modified version of the pecan praline caramel crack(er) bars. We sipped iced tea while catching up, and watching the dreary weather through Shannon’s kitchen window. This summer is taking it’s sweet time arriving in Toronto. Last summer was filled with lots of laughter, picnics, ice cream and sangria for my best friends and myself. This year, sadly, everyone is busy making lots of money for various things such as rent, school and internships. We don’t get to see each other as often, or even get a chance to talk endlessly on the phone, but I’m fairly certain that we each know that we can count on each other. I love my soulmates, Opie & Savo, and wish every day could be a sangria-by-the-harbour-front kind of day.
By some fluke, Savo and I had a day off and all to ourselves, so after some sleeping in, we decided we’d bake a cake. The recipe was going to produce a pretty, velvety smooth and rich chocolate vanilla zebra cake, but although we followed instructions, our cake did not come out with zebra stripes =( It ended up being very chocolate-heavy which probably distorted the stripes and resulted in a marble cake instead. Hey, I’m not complaining though – chocolate is chocolate is chocolate. I think I’d probably leave out the lemon zest that was called for, but keep everything else the same. We were also going to drizzle the semi-sweet chocolate ganache with melted white chocolate for a dramatic effect, but had a little mishap….and thereby kept the cake classy and simple. The chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream made everything better, though. After an adventure with Savo’s devil mixer from hell (it looked/sounded/worked like a chainsaw rather than a handmixer), and making a huge mess in the kitchen, these pictures make it all worth it. Savo is a photographer, and these photos are all his. Thanks to him and his kitchen with awesome windows (and natural light! something that my kitchen doesn’t have) we ended up with these amazing photos – which he emailed to me and allowed me to use. Now that is love!
vanilla & lemon
mixing in the sink to avoid making a huge mess with savo's mixer from hell
black & white yummines
we thought we did it right...
...it looked like the zebra cake would work out!
covering the cake in simple ganache
a simple & elegant exterior....
....and yet, no zebra stripes =(
thank goodness ice cream and chocolate ease disappointments
even though there are no zebra stripes, it's still pretty!
in the end, it still tasted good
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups pastry flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl, with a hand mixer or stand mixer, combine the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and creamy.
- Add in the oil and milk and continue beating until well blended. Add the vanilla extract.
- In a second bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet batter. Don’t overbeat the mixture.
- Divide the batter into two equal parts. Add the cocoa powder to one bowl, and mix well.
- Grease a 9-inch pan with oil or butter, and line bottom with parchment paper.
- Now, taking turns, scoop a ladle-full of yellow batter and cocoa batter into the pan. Pour a ladle-full of yellow batter into the centre of the pan, and then pour a ladle-full of the cocoa batter right on top of the yellow batter. Continue alternating the two batters until you’ve finished both bowls.
- Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife arounf the inside of the pan to loosen the sides, and gently invert onto a cooling rack. Let cake cool for another 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, melt the chocolate and heavy cream in the microwave or over a double boiler. Once it has reached a smooth consistency, spread it all over the cake and try to make it look pretty. If you like drizzle white chocolate over top for a dramatic (and yummy) effect. Enjoy by itself or with vanilla ice cream!