Showing posts with label Eggs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eggs. Show all posts

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tastes Like Home

I don't remember my Grandma baking very much when we were kids. She was an excellent cook and made the best pot of beans, skillet fried chicken and potato salad, just to name a few. I always loved her potato salad just after she made it when the potatoes were still warm and soft. She always saved a bowl for me to enjoy at room temperature while the rest of it went into the refrigerator. In July, we took a road trip and visited my cousin for his 1st birthday and stayed at my grandparents house. On our last night there we had a cookout and I was able to enjoy her potato salad again. It's little things like that that take me back to my childhood. My mom still makes potato salad, and while it's similar (and delicious), it's not my grandma's. 

This little guy had a field day playing with the ice cream maker. When he thought I wasn't looking, he'd stick his fingers in the top and sneak a few licks of gelato. At one point he even climbed up onto the island and tried to put his face into the machine. You could say he's a fan of this rice gelato, just like his momma. 
When my grandma did make "dessert" it was often a bowl of atole de arroz, which is kind of like rice pudding but not as rich or creamy. It's more of a rice porridge, made with white rice, sugar, water, milk and cinnamon sticks. During the summer months, a man would walk all over town pushing a cart of Mexican popsicles, called paletas. We called him "The Paleta Man" :-). And just like the ice cream truck, we'd hear him ringing his bell, run outside and flag him down as he approached our house. We would make our requests and he'd reach into his mint green chilled chest and pull out colorful treats on sticks. I liked the fresh strawberry and the rice paleta the best. The rice paleta was milky, creamy, lightly sweetened and had a dusting of cinnamon on it. What made it different from the rest was that it had nibbly bits of rice in it. I loved that. 

When I came across this recipe for Rice Gelato from The Perfect Scoop, I knew it would be making an appearance in my future. The original recipe called for adding strips of orange zest to the rice mixture, but cinnamon sticks seemed more up my alley. It's what reminds me of home, so that's what I used. I also added a bit of ground cinnamon to the mixture after the rice was cooked. The smell of the sweet rice cooking filled the house like perfume. This gelato is much creamier and richer than anything my grandma ever made, but this is gelato after all, and it should be creamy. The rice softens and plumps up during the cooking process- half of it is blended really finely and the other half stays whole for optimal texture.While this dessert is frozen and is great on an end of summer day, there's something about it that comforts and soothes the soul. And that to me, is the best of both worlds. 

Rice Pudding Gelato 
adapted from The Perfect Scoop

  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 large egg yolks 
  • 1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a 2 quart baking dish, mix together the rice, milk 1/4 cup of the sugar and the salt. Add the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick and cover the dish with aluminum foil. 

Bake for 1 hour. Remove the rice from the oven and remove the foil. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then continue to bake the rice, uncovered for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove the rice from the oven a second time, remove the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick and briskly whisk in the egg yolks at once. Then whisk in the half and half or cream, round cinnamon and nutmeg.

Puree half of the rice mixture in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Then stir it back into the cooked rice.

Place the rice mixture in the fridge until completely chilled. Then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

NOTE: This gelato freezes really hard. Let it sit out at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving, if necessary. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Playing Catch Up With Lots of Random Photos

I was going to share with you my top recipes of 2012 but I haven't gotten my act together and compiled that list yet. Instead I thought I'd share some pictures that I've taken over the last couple months of recipes that I've made, sunsets from my backyard and a few pics of Hayden thrown in for good measure. And a caterpillar- can't forget him! Sound good? Here we go!

I photographed this breakfast casserole for a holiday magazine. This time I made it with ham and cheddar. Looks good enough to eat! One of my favorite casseroles to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

This boy loves marshmallows and steals them out of the pantry every chance he gets. This particular time, it was for breakfast. Busted!

I made this pecan cheesecake pie for Thanksgiving but never got around to taking any more photos of the completed pie, then it all got eaten and there was nothing to take pictures of. It's a pecan pie with a layer of cheesecake filling in it. It was yummy served cold!

My little man stirring up something delicious. 

I searched high and low for the perfect pumpkin pie recipe. My brother absolutely loves it and every year he buys several pies from a BBQ restaurant here in town. To be honest they're really not that good. They're kind of dry and bland so I made sure to make an extra special pie for him. And you know what? It was delicious and spicy and creamy and tender. One of the best pumpkin pies I've ever eaten, actually. My brother said it was good but immediately followed it up with a criticism. That's pretty typical. Come to find out, he likes cheesecake and pumpkin pie to be hard and dry in texture. That's his personal preference, but if you like smooth and creamy and spicy pumpkin pie with a special ingredient, this pie is for you!

Fuzzy little guy!
I made these for Christmas as plate decorations for the neighbors to go along with their Christmas cupcakes. I also had a few with cocoa. :-) These are so easy to make. Just like your pan with wax, parchment or a Silpat. Put your mini candy canes together to form hearts, fill with melted chocolate and sprinkle with non-pareils. Allow to set up at room temperature and you're done. 


Didn't have time to get family photos done this year, so I took some of Hayden by himself in from of the tree to use on our Christmas card. He's a pretty handsome guy, if I say so myself!

Here we are Christmas morning, before opening gifts. I set the time on the DSLR and kept running back and forth to make sure the lighting and composition were set up correctly. About 50 pictures and a not-so-amused-husband later, I realized I didn't even bother to brush my hair. Oh well. Merry Christmas!

And lastly, my Aunt Mary's Sugar Cookies. Made with powdered sugar instead of granulated so they're extra tender. These really aren't the kind you top with icing, but they're still fun to decorate with colored sugar and sprinkles. I make these every year with different cookie cutters. 

Hope you enjoyed my catch up post. Have a great rest of the week!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Festive Muffins for Eating and Sharing

I promised you all another eggnog recipe, and here it is! Only this one uses real eggnog and is enhanced with rum extract and nutmeg to heighten the eggnog flavor throughout the muffins. And nothing says its the holidays more than eggnog and cranberries nestled together in a spicy crumb topped  muffin. There's freshly ground nutmeg in the muffin, as well as cinnamon and more nutmeg in the topping. They're warm and spicy, then you get a tart little bite of the bright cranberry. They're moist and tender, then crumbly and crunchy. Delicious and perfect when eaten with an eggnog spiced hot coffee. 

I've made these a couple of times now, tweaking along the way until I was happy with them and now I'm sharing with you...and the neighbors. I made a fresh batch yesterday morning to take to the neighbors on either side of us. They usually bring over my favorite pecan butter balls and tins of still-warm-from-the-oven gingerbread. I love eating homemade baked goods, that I didn't have to labor over, don't you? So whether you choose to make these for yourself on Christmas morning or as gifts, keep in mind that this recipe only makes 9 muffins, which might be a good thing, if you can't seem to put down the cookies and need portion control (like me). 

Cranberry Eggnog Crumb Muffins from Monica h

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For the crumb topping:
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
For the muffins:
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup eggnog
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line 9 muffin cups with paper liners.  

To make the crumb topping: In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir to combine. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until a coarse, sandy mixture forms. Refrigerate the mixture, while you make the muffin batter. 

To make the muffins: In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, melted butter, egg, eggnog, vanilla and rum extract. Stir until well combined.  

Add flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg to the wet ingredients and stir just until incorporated.  The batter may appear thick and dry, once you add the cranberries, it will loosen up a bit. Fold the chopped cranberries into the batter, but do not overmix. 
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin liners, filling them about two thirds of the way full.

Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly on top of the muffin batter.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or a until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  

Makes 9 muffins. 

I have one more festive recipe for you, so I'll be back in a couple days. Happy Wednesday! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Whatever Happened To Sunday Dinner?" Cookbook Review & Giveaway

Two savory recipes in a row! No, I'm not sick and yes, I have more sweetness coming your way, but first I have a cookbook to share with you- Whatever Happened To Sunday Dinner? by Lisa Caponigri. This is such a clever book. The concept behind this book is bringing back Sunday dinner. "Fifty-two menus are presented in the Italian tradition: an antipasto (usually a crostini to pass at the table), a primo (first course: almost always a pasta), a secondo (call it the main course) served with a single contorno (side dish) and finally, dessert. Every menu is different; not a single repeated."

Sunday dinner according to Lisa is not just about eating. It's about getting the family together in the kitchen and dividing up the tasks so that everyone is involved and contributing to the family meal, whether it's by chopping, baking, stirring or setting the table. "Sunday dinner doesn't have to be elaborate, just delicious." There are 260 recipe in this book to choose from. Obviously you don't have to follow each menu as written; you can mix and match recipes from different menus to create your perfect meal. The idea is to get comfortable in the kitchen, eat, linger at the table, relax and share the highlights of your week. "Sunday dinner is irreplaceable, the meeting place of memories that will last a lifetime."

You can feel Lisa's passion for Sunday dinner through her family photos, words and menus. As I read about her love of food and family, I started planning my own Sunday dinners. We often have Sunday dinner at my mom's house, but that usually means my mom does most of the cooking and I provide dessert. We all sit down together, share stories and laughter and enjoy a great meal. But I realized after reading Lisa's stories that we could all help out a little more and make it more of a family activity.  

I flipped through page after page of this book. The recipes are enticing and the photos are gorgeous. This really is a handsome book, and hefty at that. And because there is so much variety, you could cook through it all throughout the week, not just on Sundays. I chose to make Pasta alla Carbonara and Pesto Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes, only to simplify things I used store bought pesto because it's what I had on hand. I made the pasta recipe as written but I added my thoughts and notes below. Both were delicious and easy enough to make on a  busy weekday. To win a copy of "Whatever Happened To Sunday Dinner?" scroll down. 

Pasta Alla Carbonara- Pasta with Eggs and Bacon

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Recipe serves 8, but can easily be halved-
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter* (see note)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound thick-sliced bacon or pancetta, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • head of garlic, separated into cloves and chopped
  • 2 pounds of spaghetti
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups grated pecorino romano 
  • freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the olive oil. Add the bacon and garlic and cook until the bacon is very crisp, taking care not to burn the garlic* (see note). Remove the bacon and garlic from the skillet, using a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. 

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl, beat together the eggs, cheese, and pepper to taste. Stir in the bacon and garlic. 

Drain the pasta and add to the bowl. Toss until the pasta is well coated with the eggs and cheese mixture and serve immediately. 

NOTE: I didn't find that cooking the bacon and garlic in butter and olive oil was necessary. It just resulted in a lot of grease in a pan that had to be thrown away. The bacon yields a lot of fat on it it's own- next time, I'd crisp up the bacon then just before it's done, add the garlic. I found cooking the garlic along with the bacon just overcooked it.

Pomodorini Ripieni Di Pesto- Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Pesto

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  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5 Tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes
Place the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, salt, olive oil, and Pecorino in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. If the pesto is too thick for your taste, add a little more olive oil. 

Cut the tops off the tomatoes. With a small spoon scoop out the seeds and pulp, taking care not to puncture the skin. Fill the tomatoes with the pesto and serve at room temperature. 

NOTE: Don't use grape tomatoes to make this- they won't stand upright and the filling will spill out.

To win a copy of "Whatever Happened To Sunday Dinner?" by Lisa Caponigri all you need to do is leave me a comment below telling me about your family meals. It doesn't have to be Italian, it can be anything. Do you have a tradition of getting the family together on a regular basis, cooking and eating? Tell me about it! 

Be sure to leave your contact info so if you win I know how to get a hold of you. I'll announce a winner next week and ship the book out. One comment per person, please. Giveaway open to US residents only. Good luck!

My little helper!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Road Trip Recap and Breakfast For Dinner

We headed out last Friday for a road trip to see family last weekend. I was concerned about travelling with Hayden but in reality he was wonderful and I could not have asked for a better travel companion. We did have some hiccups along the way, but surprisingly they had nothing to so with Hayden. We loaded up the truck and piled everyone in. We got about two hours out of town and started having issues with our vehicle. Out of nowhere it overheated and we found ourselves on the side of the road in the blistering heat, with white smoke pouring out the tail pipe and fluids bubbling under the hood. Not good. 

My brother and Mr. H saved the day and we barely made it to the nearest Ford dealership, only to be held up there for 3 hours. We had lunch, the service department diagnosed the problem and we tried to track down a rental car to get us to our destination. Long story short, our 9 hour strip turned into 13. Hayden got (understandably) restless about two hours out so we stopped, stretched our legs and got some dinner. Once we got back on the road he passed out and was peaceful the rest of the way, though we were all crammed into a minivan and uncomfortable. We made it to my grandma's house nearing midnight and had a great weekend. We ended up staying an extra day than planned but we got to visit family that we hadn't seen in years, including my new cousin that's only 3 weeks old. Love. 

The trip back home was a little less exciting but we were all so tired, hot and easily agitated. I don't think I've ever been so happy to back in my own home- I forgot how good it smelled and how great the A/C works :-). All this to say, that we survived our first road trip with the boy. And don't tell Mr. H, but I'd do it all over again just to spend more time with my family. I guess now it's time for me to talk about this breakfast casserole. It's delicious and I've made it several times over the past few months. I've made it with different meats and cheeses and it's always a hit. I make the full recipe and we eat on it for about 3 days, for either breakfast or dinner, and never tire of the leftovers. That's a rarity. 

  • 1- 20 oz. bag  Simply Potatoes shredded hash browns
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 lb. sausage, cooked and crumbled (ham or bacon works well too)
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup half n half or heavy cream
  • A few dashes of hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place potatoes in a large bowl. Pour melted butter over potatoes and stir until well-combined. Line  anungreased 9x13-inch casserole dish with buttered potatoes, and press to make a crust. Bake 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are just crisped and brown on the edges. Remove dish from oven and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk eggs, half n half or cream, hot sauce, salt and pepper.

Sprinkle sausage over potato crust then sprinkle the cheese over sausage to create even layers. Pour egg mixture over ingredients. 

Bake 12-20 minutes or until the eggs are set in the center and the edges are golden and bubbling.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Fun At The Pool

Whew! It has been a week, let me tell you. Hayden caught a virus that gave him a high fever for several days. He was okay until Wednesday night when he couldn't keep food down. Then he stopped eating and drinking and started to get dehydrated so we took him to the ER Thursday afternoon. The doctor there gave him some anti-nausea medicine that helped settle his stomach, which in turn allowed him to eat and drink and keep it down. It worked, he took a nap, drank milk, felt better then started flirting with the nurses. The doctor was happy with his progress so he didn't have to be hooked up to an IV afterall. Thank goodness. After the fever broke, he got a rash for a few days and that is finally going away. He is just about back to normal and acting like his silly self again. 

Over the weekend we went swimming at a family friends' house. Hayden has never been in a swimming pool before but we hoped he would like splashing in the water. He loved the water and was so relaxed by it. Instead of splashing around and having fun, he took a nap- twice! The water was so soothing and he was so relaxed in my arms that he just drifted off. He did have fun lounging in his floaty too. And I have to tell you, he is so darn cute in swim shorts and a cap :-)

I made these bars about a week before my birthday and they were freaking delicious. If you like key lime pie, you will love these. It's essentially the same recipe but in bar form and it uses lemon juice in stead of lime. These bars also have the summery addition of blueberries too, but raspberries or blackberries would be just as good. Heck if you want to use lime juice, go ahead and make them your way. These bars are the epitome of summer- they're bright and citrusy, fruity, tangy and creamy. I made them on an ordinary day but they're the perfect treat to enjoy poolside to beat the heat. 

Blueberry Lemon Bars slightly adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Printer Friendly Version 

For the crust: 
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
For the filling:
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 (14 ounce can) sweetened condensed milk 
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and lemon zest. Stir until graham cracker crumbs are moist. Press crumbs firmly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of prepared pan. Bake the graham cracker crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
To make the filling, combine the egg yolks and condensed milk in a medium bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir until mixture is smooth and begins to slightly thicken. Gently fold in the 3/4 of the blueberries, reserving some for the top. 
Pour the lemon blueberry filling evenly over the graham cracker crust then top with the remaining blueberries. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just set.
Cool for 10 minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate until completely chilled. Cut into bars and serve. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tall, Dark, Rich and Handsome

This past Sunday was Father's Day. And there's nothing better than a tall luscious chocolate cake to celebrate with so I was thrilled when The Cake Slice Bakers chose this cake to bake for the month of June. Mr. H is a true chocolate lover and this cake hit the spot on so many levels. There's light and fluffy cake loaded with cocoa, a fudgy chocolate pudding to fill the layers and then it's lovingly swathed in dreamy chocolate buttercream. And just to gild the lily, you take some of the cake, crumble it up and pat it into the frosting. This is a true man's cake. 

We celebrated Father's Day with my family at my mom's house this year. My aunt, uncle and cousin were there as well as my in-law's. In total there were about 12 of us and 5 dogs- it was a full house! We had 4 different kinds of quiche (because real men eat quiche), a fresh fruit salad, Parmesan roasted tomatoes, fresh squeezed orange juice, coffee, this Brooklyn Blackout Cake (click the link to read the history) and a cheesecake that my MIL made. I'll share that one later on! There was so much food and I ate a big honkin' piece of cheesecake that I filled up and didn't get to taste the cake until the next day. But the slice pictured in this post, was all mine :-)

It just dawned on me as I was thinking of past Father's Day celebrations and June 20th, that this day in 2004 is when Mr. H asked me to marry him. I had been working that day and was tired, my feet hurt and I was hungry. Mr. H picked me up from work to take me back to his parent's house for Father's Day dinner. I remember calling my Dad on the way over there to wish him a happy day when I realized that we weren't going to his parents house. Mr. H made a detour and we were headed to Mount Bonnell (click the link to read about it)- one of my favorite places and also the place where we went on our first date 13 years ago. Mr. H was very nervous and I had an idea of what he was going to do but I wasn't totally sure. Shortly there after, overlooking the lake and a beautiful sunset, he asked me to marry him. All these years later, we have a sweet boy named Hayden Bonnell. 

Mr. H, Hayden and GrandBob
Brooklyn Blackout Cake from The Cake Book 

For the Chocolate Blackout Cake:
  • 1½ cups (6.4 oz/181 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2.9 oz/85 g) natural (not Dutch-processed) cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (14 oz/400 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
  • ½ cup (1 stick/4 oz/113 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240 ml) hot brewed coffee

For the Chocolate Pudding Filling:
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup (4.6 oz/132 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) heavy cream
  • 3 ounces (85 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Fudgy Chocolate Frosting:
  • 4 ounces (113 g) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 11 tablespoons (5.5 oz/156 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 cups (6.7 oz/191 g) confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9" round cake pans. (see me NOTE below.) Dust the pans with flour.

2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the granulated sugar and, using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed until blended.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. At low speed, add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients in a steady steam. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat at medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the hot coffee, mixing just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir the batter up from the bottom of the bowl a few times to thoroughly blend it. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly and smoothing the tops.

4. Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.

5. Invert the cakes onto the racks and cool completely.


6. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt at medium speed until pale, about 1 minute.

7. In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the water and cream and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk about half of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture. Whisk this mixture back into the remaining cream mixture in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to boil, whisking, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until completely melted.

8. Pass the filling through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until chilled.


9. Put the chocolate in a medium stainless steel bowl and place over a pot of barely simmering water. Heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the bowl from the pot and set the chocolate aside to cool until tepid.

10. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate, then beat until well-blended and creamy, about 1 minute.


11. Using a long serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half horizontally, to make 4 layers. Reserve one layer. Place another cake layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Whisk the chilled filling until smooth. Using a small offset metal spatula, spread half of the filling over the layer. Top with another cake layer and spread it with the remaining filling. Top with a third cake layer, smooth side up. (See my NOTE below.)

12. Break half of the reserved cake layer into large pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor (save the remainder of the cake layer for snacking). Process the cake to fine crumbs, and set aside.

13. Using a narrow metal spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake with the frosting. Pat a generous amount of cake crumbs onto the sides of the cake, pressing them lightly into the frosting. Sprinkle the remaining cake crumbs over the top of the cake. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

STORE in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for up to 2 days.

Yield : Makes one 9-inch cake, serving 10 to 12

NOTE: This recipe had you bake a cake in 2 9-inch layer then once baked and cooled, you slice them in half to make 4 equal layers. The cake uses 3 of those layers then half of the remaining cake layer is crumbled and patted into the frosting. Instead of having to cut the cake into equal layers and worrying about all the crumbs, I simply baked the cake into 3 layers and used about 1 cup of batter to make cupcakes for the crumbs on the outside of the cake. You can make it however you want, this was just simpler and less messy in my opinion and there wasn't any cake wasted. 

Hope you all had a delicious Father's Day!

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