Monday, February 19, 2018

MARTHA WASHINGTON'S DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE: Presidents Day!

Martha Washington was known for entertaining, and who better than to put forth a recipe for Devil's Food Cake than the First First Lady. Her Devil's Food Cake is a classic chocolate-buttermilk cake that has been handed down through the generations, republished (with variations) by baking chocolate companies and appearing on thousands of websites. Presidents Day is a celebration of Presidential Birthdays, and this is the perfect Birthday Cake.

This recipe is from Capitol Hill Cooks: Recipes from the White House, Congress and All of the Past Presidents by Linda Bauer (Taylor). The collection of appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts, from two centuries worth of politicos, is a benefit for Homes for Our Troops, which helps injured veterans build or adapt their homes for handicapped accessibility.

Martha Washington's Devil's Food Cake

Ingredients
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, divided
2 -1/2 cup cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-by-15-inch pan or two 9-inch cake pans.
Melt chocolate in double boiler. Add 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup buttermilk, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool.
 Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, baking soda, and salt and sift together three times.
Cream butter thoroughly. Add 3/4 cup sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add about quarter of the flour mixture, mix thoroughly. Add chocolate mixture and blend. Add remaining flour, alternately with buttermilk, a small amount at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla.
Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until done. Let cool. When completely cooled, trim edges and cut rectangular cake in half crosswise to make a two-layer cake. Fill and frost with icing of your choice.


Illustration: San Jose Mercury News Staff

Sunday, February 18, 2018

RED WINE BROWNIES: National Drink Wine Day

Of course you can drink a glass of wine on National Drink Wine Day, but why not accompany that wine with Red Wine Brownies. I've posted lots of wine and port and liqueur brownies, but this is an easy recipe! You can always make Brownies from Scratch. Here's a recipe for Merlot Brownies. But if you don't have time or the ingredients, here's a great easy recipe:

Red Wine Brownies

Ingredients
1 box Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownie Mix
1/4 cup bold Red Wine
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg

Directons
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease 8″ x 8″ baking dish.
In large bowl, combine wine, oil, and egg. Mix well. Stir in brownie mix.
Spread batter in prepared pan.
Bake for 45 minutes. Cool completely.
Serve with red wine.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

S'MORES SHOTS: Glamping!

A few weeks ago I attended a great event for the San Francisco Bay Area hospitality industry: Camp Pier 35! It was a great event with the entire Pier 35 transformed into a "Camp" with areas of the pier divided into food stations, bars, and entertainment. This event was put on by Metro Events, and Pier 35 was really tricked out to feel like the great (glam) outdoors. I had a fabulous time. Favorites bites were waffles with smoked butter and candied bacon, the Bacon Bar, Lobster Mac 'n Cheese, Hot Toddies, and S'mores in every conceivable variety. This was a true Glamping experience. Loved all the Airstreams and Florals and comfortable 'rustic' seating.

The S'mores Shots at the Glamping event were outstanding. They were served in tiny tins ... fab! So I thought I'd make my own variation on S'mores Shots. No need to wait until my next camping trip. Serve S'mores Shots in tins for that fun glamping experience or in shot glasses! This is not the only recipe for S'mores Shots, but it's easy and delicious. As always, experiment. Change it up as it pleases you!

S'MORES SHOTS!

Ingredients:
1/2 ounce Vodka
1/2 ounce Chocolate Liqueur
3/4 ounce cream or half and half
Chocolate syrup
Graham cracker crumbs
Mini-marshmallows

Directions:
Pour 1/4 chocolate syrup into bottom of glass.
Combine vodka, half and half, and chocolate liqueur in shaker with ice and shake for 15 seconds. Pour into glass. Add graham cracker crumbs and mini-marshmallows.

Optional: You can also do marshmallow/graham cracker rim (dip in marshmallow creme and roll in graham cracker crumbs) You can also add a skewered marshmallow over the top (take a torch to the marshmallows for authenticity!)