Barry's Chocolate Cake

February 28, 2010 08:48 by Suzy

Our good friend Barry is a wonderful cook and the official chef of most of our neighborhood parties.  He splurged and bought a Big Green Egg last year, and we reaped the benefits of that purchase all summer long.  I think houses in our neighborhood should get a 10-20% bump in price, just for the privilege of having Barry down the street.

This recipe is a neighborhood favorite.  Whenever Barry makes it, we all start singing "Barry's great!  He made us chocolate cake!" like that old Bill Cosby routine.  So when Bridget at Bake at 350 announced that Chocolate was the theme for February, this was the first recipe to come to mind, and Barry was kind enough to share.

Barry's Chocolate Cake

1 box devil's food cake mix
1 3.9 oz package instant chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm brewed coffee
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

8 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.

Cake mix and other goodies

Mix together the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil and coffee; beat for one minute. 

Chocolate Cake Batter

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. 

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fresh from the oven

Pour into prepared pan and bake 45-50 minutes.  Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Chocolate ganache

Prepare ganache:  Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Heat the cream to a simmer, then pour over chocolate.  Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

Barry's Chocolate Cake

Pour over cake.  Enjoy.

If you would like to move to my neighborhood and meet Barry, let me know.  You won't regret it.

Check out all the other Flavor of the Month chocolate recipes at Bake at 350!

Wasting away again in Margaritaville...

January 30, 2010 21:30 by Suzy
God bless that long ago Mexican who discovered the agave and the wonderful elixer that could be made from such an unassuming plant!  Is there a better combination of tastes than tequila, limes, and salt?  I think not!
I am famous among friends and family for these margaritas.  Or should I say, infamous?  The common name for them is Deatharitas.  I have been both celebrated and cursed for this fabulous cocktail.  So delicious, but you have to be careful, as they will sneak up on you!  (If you know our good friend BP, be sure to ask him about the night of the Margaritas and Brownies.)
Quick tequila lesson:  First, always use tequila that is 100% agave.  Look for it on the label.  "Mixto" tequila is not pure agave and you don't want it.  Second, there are three different grades of tequila:  Blanco, which is unaged and has the strongest agave taste; Reposado, which is aged at least two months in oak and has a smoother taste; and Anejo, which is aged in oak for at least a year and is incredibly smooth.  I prefer reposado tequila, as it is smooth but still has a distinct agave taste.  Anejo is delicious, but sort of wasted on a margarita.  Save the anejo for sipping.
Classic Margarita
from a recipe developed by JD
Margarita ingredients
1 1/2 ounce reposado tequila (my favorites are Sauza Hornitos, Cazadores, and Corazon)
1 ounce Cointreau or other high quality orange liqueur (I found some Patron orange liqueur and thought I would give it a try here...good stuff!)
3 ounces margarita mix (Jose Cuervo works fine; Trader Joe's is good if you can find it)
Splash of Grand Marnier

Salt rim of glass 

Run lime wedge around the rim of a cocktail glass or margarita glass.  Dip rim in coarse salt to coat.  Fill glass with ice.
Pour tequila, Cointreau, and margarita mix into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake vigorously.

Strain into prepared glass

Strain into prepared glass. 

Top with Grand Marnier

"Float" a small amount of Grand Marnier at the top of the drink.

Perfect Margarita

Prepare to be amazed.  Don't say I didn't warn you.
January's Flavor of the Month is Boozy!  Check out all the other Boozy recipes at Bake at 350!

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

December 12, 2009 18:19 by Suzy

Chocolate Chip Cookies1

These are my famous, award-winning chocolate chip cookies.  It's one of the few things that I think I can make better than anyone else.  At least, I have never eaten a chocolate chip cookie that I liked as much as mine. 
The original recipe was from the back of the bag of store-brand chocolate chips that my mom bought when we were kids.  I modified it a bit...changing from all butter to half butter and half shortening.  I think that combo brings the best of both buttery taste while still having the perfect chewy texture.  This is my go-to recipe whenever I need a crowd-pleasing treat.
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips


 (I made a double batch, so don't be confused by the quantities pictured.)
Preheat oven to 375.
Beat butter, shortening, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Mixture should look almost white.

Cream butter and sugar

On wax paper or in a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir into the butter/sugar mixture, just until combined.  Do not over mix.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake on the middle rack of preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.  Be sure not to overbake.  Cookies should look a bit underdone when you take them out of the oven.
Let cool on cookie sheet for a minute or two, then remove to parchment paper (or rack, if you prefer) to cool.  For these, I generally don't use cooling racks, because sometimes the warm cookies fall through the racks!  Obviously, these are best fresh from the oven, but if you can restrain yourself from eating them all, store in tightly covered container or zip-top bags.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Flavor of the Month