chocolate birthday cupcakes with strawberry marshmallow frosting

chocolate birthday cupcakes with strawberry marshmallow frosting

there’s kind of nothing i like more than chocolate cake with pink frosting. maybe it’s because i am super into the pink and brown color combo. i don’t know. but to me, chocolate cake tastes exponentially better when iced with something pink. thus, it should come as no surprise, that when my younger son and i began our annual birthday cake discussion, and he revealed to me that he was hoping for chocolate cake with some kind of strawberry vibe, i was ecstatic, as i knew that if the strawberries made their way into the icing, we’d have pink frosting in the house.  read more

s’more icebox cake

tara donne photo

yes, there is a s’more icebox cake in my newly released cookbook, icebox cakes, and yes, the above gorgeous photo is from the book (credit to tara donne, photographer par excellence), and yes, the recipe for the cake is below, and yes, i recommend making it sooner rather than later (if you were wondering). now, this cake is totally one of my faves from the book cause – big surprise – i love the combo of marshmallow and chocolate kind of a lot (am actually thinking about a chocolate cake with a strawberry marshmallow frosting for this kid i know who’s turning ten on sunday . . . but i digress).  read more

Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

slices o' chocolate chip snack cake

i have onlywildly enthusiastic things to say about the taste of this cake. with its crisp, caramelized, chip-studded top, amazingly moist, vanilla-infused light crumb (reminiscent of a box-cake: my fave), speckling of chocolate morsels throughout, and sweet, but not too sweet, overall vibe, it’s kind of the perfect (snack) cake. moreover, it comes together in a heart-beat and is (for all intents and purposes) one-bowl. and if you eat it warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, well, you’re welcome. however, truth be told, the developing of this cake was kind of intense, like in a bad way. the issue? sinking chips. here’s the story. i’ll try to be brief.recently i decided to try tackling some of the sweets in my collection of old-school recipe pamphlets. you know the ones, by westinghouse and general foods, betty crocker and nestle. the desserts of yonder-year are kind of always my thing anyway, and i thought it might be fun to make my way through the pamphlets, revamping the recipes with a modern twist or two, as i went. the “chocolate chip cake,” from a nyt pamphlet entitled “party cakes,” (circa a-long-time-ago) caught my eye. the recipe was essentially for a simple, shortening-based white cake, calling for cake flour and milk, among other things. a little internet research revealed that the cake itself (sans chips) was not dissimilar from this one, this one, and this one, save for these all subbed oil for the shortening.i decided i would do the same oil for shortening substitution. to get that chocolate-chip-cookie feeling going, i traded some of the white sugar for brown, added a hearty glug of vanilla and some salt. and the cake was good to go. i moistened and floured my mini chips (apparently moisture helps the flour to adhere to the chips, which keeps the chips from sinking, and mini chips sink less than regular-sized ones (although not in my case)), folded them into my batter, transferred the batter to my pan and popped it in the oven. 50 minutes later i removed my gorgeous, golden snack cake from the oven, let it cool (slightly, i’m impatient) and sliced into it. and much to my chagrin, every single chip was on the bottom of the cake. like everyone. nary a chip had succeeded in suspending itself in my cake’s delightfully moist and fluffy crumb.and so began my sinking chip saga, whereby i made no less than 8 (okay, maybe 10, i stopped counting) chocolate chip snack cakes in an effort to get those darn (yes, i’m thinking of another word here) chips to stay suspended in my cake. the culprit was obvious: a too thin batter, but (at first) i was committed to my cake flour and my milk. and so i troubleshooted in a variety of ways with which i will not bore you. finally, i threw in the towel re: the cake flour and milk, substituting all-purpose and sour cream, refrigerated the batter for at least an hour (got that tip here) and froze the chips. and, i’m happy to report nary a chip sank. no, my resident testers will not be asking for chocolate chip snack cake again any time soon (they kind of had their fair share), but you should be. the cake is delicious and easy and has the most gorgeous spattering of delectable mini chips throughout. read more

coconut macaroons with mini chocolate chips

so, these macaroons are beyond scrumptious. they are a bit crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, chewy, uber-coconut-y, and studded with the perfect amount of tiny melted chocolate morsels in every bite. and yet, i feel the need to tell you that, developing a recipe for them was not my idea. i was in flour bakery in boston over the winter, and my neice’s fiancee mentioned his deep love of, and slight obsession with, the bakery’s coconut macaroons (i think they make a plain version and one with chocolate chips, and i think he was extra fond of the ones with chips). and, if memory serves (which it really doesn’t, cause i can’t remember anything anymore) he asked me to develop a recipe for such a treat. and, honestly, i am always so delighted to be asked to make something (there will be a milk chocolate florentine lace cookie making its way to this blog some time soon, at the request of a friend/reader) that i immediately added it to my list of recipes-in-need-of-development. and now, because passover is almost upon us and because i have yet to jump on the gluten-free band wagon, the timing for developing such a recipe seemed just right. read more