Posts Tagged ‘Entertaining’

Glazed Chocolate Cake

May 13, 2010

I hosted book club a couple weeks ago. We read the Great Gatsby so it seemed appropriate that we had a cocktail party. So I made some horrible cocktails that just did NOT work out. Probably not enough booze. I need to work on that. I always have my cocktails made for me. Anyways, luckily for me, the cake turned out. It was very chocolatey and rich.

First, you coat the cake pan with cocoa powder:

Then mix all the dry ingredients:

I read somewhere once that you should bake with room temperature eggs so if I remember I take the eggs out early and pour warm water over them so they’re warm when it’s time to use them.

Then you mix together the butter, sugar, and eggs. Of course, I forgot to take the butter out early so I had to microwave it. I’m forgetful like that.

Then you mix in the dry ingredients and the sour cream. I never said this was healthy.

Pour the batter in your pan and smooth it out with a spatula. Also, tap it on the counter a couple times to get rid of air bubbles.

Don’t forget to lick the batter – it was quite tasty!

The final cake without the yummy ganache:

The chopped chocolate for the ganache: (Is it just me or is chocolate a complete headache to chop? Is my knife not sharp enough?)

Then bring your cream to a boil. This always makes me nervous because I don’t want to scald it, but it somehow worked for me.

Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and voila!

Just pour that deliciousness over your cake and you’re done!

Full Recipe:

Serves 10 to 12

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for whipped cream (optional)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Chocolate Ganache Glaze:
  • 1 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • Chocolate shavings, for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-round cake pan; line bottom with a round of waxed or parchment paper. Butter paper; dust bottom and sides of pan with cocoa, tapping out excess.
  2. Sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour.
  3. Spread batter in prepared pan. Tap pan firmly on countertop once to eliminate large air bubbles. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely (bottom-side up). Set rack with cake over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over cake, letting it run over sides; spread gently with an offset spatula or table knife to coat. Let set, about 30 minutes.
  4. If desired, whip cream and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Serve cake with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Stackable Chairs

May 10, 2010

For those two readers out there I am sorry for the lack of posting around these parts – I threw my back out Tuesday night and have been crawling around the house high on vicodin ever since.

Anyways, since nobody wants to hear me whine let’s talk instead about an issue I have with the fiance’s and my house. The living room isn’t really conducive to hosting great parties – there really isn’t enough seating. Of course we could buy more chairs, but there just isn’t that much room for them. I am constantly struggling with this because I had no idea how to go about fixing it.

However, I saw this great post on Apartment Therapy that mentioned that there are some great modern stackable chairs available. Now I have my heart set on a getting at least a pair. Specifically these from Target would be ideal.

DIY – Napkin Rings

April 22, 2010

I saw this DIY project for napkin rings on Martha Stewart weddings. I am already planning on having patterned napkins folded with the menu tucked inside for my wedding so this wouldn’t really work for me. However, I think it would be a great and easy way to dress up a dinner party. I am rarely organized enough to do this, but maybe one day I’ll get it together and could do this for a party. Plus it’s easy enough for even me to pull off – which is really saying something. I don’t think anybody in their right mind would describe me as “crafty”.