Thursday, October 31, 2013

Beatty's Chocolate Cake from Ina Garten

This is the second time I have made this wonderful cake and it will not be my last.  If you love choocolate like I do, you will love this.  Ina never fails on richness and elegance.  I would not hesitate to serve this cake to my most honored guests.   I plan to make it again at Christmas.  It is easy, moist, and just delicious.  The icing is addictive.  I love that it includes buttermilk.

Beatty's Chocolate Cake
Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee 

DirectionsPreheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Chocolate Frosting6 ounces good semisweet chocolate1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake

If you made an Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) dessert and you would like to leave your link here please do.  Click on the link at the bottom of the post.  Join our group!  The more the merrier they say.  We cook only once per month.  Next month will be Ina appetizers.  What a perfect time to join with the holidays coming up!

Also check out what the others in this group made this month.

An InLinkz Link-up

Welcome to TONGA!

In our group My Kitchen My World, we virtually travel each month to a different location and choose a recipe from that country.  This month we chose Tonga.  I do not personally know a lot about Tonga so I had to do a bit of research.  Just think polynesian.

If you do not know much about Tonga, it is located in the South Paciifc and is a group of 176 islands. The capital of the Kingdom of Tona is Nukualofa and it is also the largest city in Tonga.

One of the most popular recipes I found was the Tonga Toast.  It looks fabulous. . .all covered in cinnamon and sugar.  However, I went for the Banana Cake.  This makes a two layer cake, but since there are only two of us and we are trying to cut back on sweets, I halved this recipe and made in a loaf pan.  Looks a little more like tonga toast than cake, but cake it is.  The banana pudding in between the layers makes it so moist and rich.

Check us out at and see what the others in the group came up with.  Should be interesting!
If you are feeling like a little polynesian this week, try the banana cake!  Next month we check out POLAND dishes.  Come join us!

Ingredients for 2 layers, 9-inch round:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 medium bananas mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla, or 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp banana essence
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 plain yogurt or sour milk
  • 1 recipe banana pudding filling (recipe given below)
  • 2 cups whipped cream with 1 tsp vanilla and 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.   Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper, butter and dust evenly with flour.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg yolks, bananas, and vanilla.  Mix until well combined.
  4. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Set aside. 
  5. Sift flour, soda and salt together.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with the yogurt. Note:  if weather is very dry, additional yogurt may be needed.
  6. Immediately fold egg whites into batter.  Pour batter into prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Transfer cakes to cooling rack for 5 minutes.  Remove cakes from pans and cool completely.
  8. Fill with banana pudding between layers. (recipe given below)
  9. Cover top and sides with whipped cream.  Use a star tip and piping bag to decorate top and bottom edges if desired.
  10. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Ingredients for Banana Pudding:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten slightly
  • 1 tsp vanilla, or banana essence or banana liqueur
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed smooth
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  1. In a heavy bottom sauce pan over medium high heat, place sugar, cornstarch and salt.
  2. Slowly add milk whisking constantly until smooth.
  3. Temper the eggs with 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture and return to sauce pan.  Cook a few minutes more until custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Remove from heat.  Cool to room temperature.  Add banana and lemon juice. 
  5. Cover top of pudding with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.
  6. Use to fill between layers of cake.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Kitchen My World - Great Britain!

Great Britain - the land of kings and queens, princes and princesses, the stuff fairytales are made of.  Our group, My Kitchen My World, is exploring the foods of Great Britain this month.

There were so many wonderful choices this month.  My husband actually made the choice for me and asked, "why don't you make a quiche?"  So quiche it is.  However, I think the popular quiche in England is the Quiche Lorraine.  I like a little more of this and that in my quiche so I substituted ham for the bacon and I added some frozen, chopped, and thoroughly drained spinach to the mix.

Check out our website and see what the other cooks came up with for their British dish!  Click here:

I cannot wait to virtually travel next month as we go to TONGA.  That one might be a challenge for me.

If you are not in the mood for fish and chips, try a quiche.  Try quiche cold on a weekend lunch.  So many variables as to what ingredients to choose.  I love artichokes in mine.


  • 1 recipe pie dough or a prepared frozen pie crust
  • 1/2 pound of bacon (you can use more or less to your taste) (I used chopped ham)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste 
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated gruyere or other cheese (cheddar works too or mozzarella)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped chives


1.  I prebaked my crust for about 5-10 minutes in a 350 oven.
2 Cook the bacon.  Slowly cook the bacon, turning the strips over occasionally until they are nicely browned and much of the fat has rendered out. Lay the cooked strips of bacon on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat. Chop the cooked bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch pieces.
3 Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the nutmeg, salt, black pepper and chives and whisk a little more. Add the milk and cream and whisk vigorously to incorporate and introduce a little air into the mix – this keeps the texture of the quiche light and fluffy.
Arrange the bacon and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust.  Drain the thawed frozen spinach and squeeze in paper towels to get the liquid out.  Add to the bacon and cheese.
Whisk the egg-milk mixture hard again for a few seconds, then pour it gently into the pie crust. 
4 Put the quiche into the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. Check for doneness after 30 minutes by gently jiggling the quiche. It should still have just a little wiggle. (It will finish setting while it cools.) Cool on a wire rack.
Eat at room temperature, cold (a quiche will keep for several days in the fridge), or reheated gently in a 200-degree oven.  I let mine completely cool and then I froze it for later use.
Yield: Serves 6.