Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Craving Chocolate

I know that I am not the only woman who craves chocolate when the hormones are running high!  Well, let's be honest, the hormones don't have to be out of whack to crave the chocolate, they just have to be present...and that is always with me!  I have had a huge hankering for chocolate cake, and not just any cake...Beatty's Chocolate Cake!

Several months ago, I was looking for a chocolate cake recipe and found, what has become my go-to chocolate cake recipe.  It is super moist and chocolaty, plus with the frosting...oh, the combination is explosive!

Just looking at this picture makes me salivate!
 It's what I am craving RIGHT NOW!  I am going to share the recipe with you and go make it for dessert tonight.  I am planning on eating a slice before then, though. Ha!

Beatty's Chocolate Cake w/ Chocolate Buttercream {Recipe}
Slightly adapted from Ina Garten


  • 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 (I use cream)
  • 1/2 cup oil (I use a combination of olive and coconut)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-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 Frosting

  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 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.

NOTE: Last time I made this cake recipe into cupcakes and didn't need as much frosting, so I cut the buttercream recipe in half, didn't add the yolk or the instant coffee and it was still fabulous!

This cake is actually easy to make and the frosting is also a cinch!  Now I can hardly stand to wait another second to make it.  It just goes to show you I have absolutely ZERO will-power!

Do you need something to make you feel a little bit better about giving into your craving and consuming chocolate?  There are studies that have shown that eating chocolate reduces risk of stroke in women, prevents heart disease, lowers risk of miscarriage and more!  So no more feeling guilty; indulging a little can be a good thing!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rainbow Party Theme done . . . New Party Theme Found!

My Princess Cupcake is going to be 7 years old in a month.  I try to pick a theme for her party early, so that I can keep an eye out for decor, favors, ideas, etc.  I find that I save a lot of money when I have longer to plan a party shop for the party, if it's last minute I don't have a choice.  However, here we are with just over a month and so much to do!   I do have to admit, though, that I work better under pressure.

Last year we had a "Rainbow" theme...

The birthday girl...with lipstick, which is prohibiting a "real" smile!

Colored water for decoration...really cost effective!

Rainbow fruit tray

Rainbow Jello Cups

Rainbow Colored Beads

Rainbow Cake

It was awesome!

Favors!  Rainbow Clippie attached to a bag of Rainbow Cookies.

The bigger kids put the tutu on my little guy! 
 We have had so many fun themed parties for the kids and I enjoy every minute of searching and planning for them...well, most of the time:-)

This year we have officially found a theme!  And it is (drum roll, please)...OWLS!

I think this theme will be so adorable and fitting as we are going to do a "Night Owl" pajama party, and my princess cupcake is most definitely a night owl like her mama!

 Check out some of the links I found for ideas below.  Prepare yourself to be wowed!
I love everything about this Night-Owl party from SnowyBliss
The invitation from really have to go check out the whole party!
Check out this adorable compilation from mygoodgreetings

Pin the tail on the donkey, E-Mealz, birthday party ideas
Cute game idea from Make Time for Family for her "Whoooo's Turning One?" Party
This little guy is fabulous!  Head over to Button Bird Designs for the tutorial!
As I sit here writing this post, I can hardly contain my excitement! Now I must set off to work...I will definitely be dreaming of owls for the next 4 to 6 weeks! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pecan Cream Scones with Raspberry Butter

I hosted coffee this morning for three of my friends.  I love hosting it and I love being able to catch up with them!  Even though we all have very different personalities and views, we all seem to mesh well together and I love them.  We all have kids the same age; we actually met because of that at pre-school and play groups, and have kept in touch since.  We get together monthly, at least we try, for coffee or lunch or even a rare girl's night out.

Today I made Pecan Cream Scones and Raspberry Butter for the occasion. The scone recipe I use often, but the butter was new today.  It was a great combination and turned out to be super yummy!

Pecan Cream Scones {Recipe}
Adapted from my Mom's friend, Nina

2 1/4 cups Flour
1 Tbls Baking powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Ground pecans, toasted
1 1/2 cups Heavy whipping cream

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl.  Stir in cream with wooden spoon.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead slightly until it forms a firm dough ball.  Divide dough in half equally and then flatten each half into a round disc that is about 1-inch thick.  Transfer discs to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Cut each disc into 8 pieces (like a pizza...I actually use a pizza cutter to do it and it works awesome!) but do not separate the pieces.  Brush with heavy whipping cream and sprinkle with course sugar.  Bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until slightly golden brown on the edges and bottom.  Cool on a cooling rack, serve and enjoy!

Raspberry Butter {Recipe}

1/2 cup Butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup Raspberries
2 Tbls + 1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla

In blender or food processor, add berries, sugar and vanilla to mix.  Add butter and mix until smooth. 

Yes, I added a name tag.  I'm just cool like that!

I hope that this post and recipe inspires you to invite some of your girls over for coffee and scones.  After all, we all need friends to chat with and vent makes up better people.  Well, it does for me anyway!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year! Resolutions?

It's 2012!  Happy New Year!
Do you have a resolution?  Or a long list of resolutions?  

Pinned Image
From via Pinterest

In the past few years I have come to realize that if you're not serious about resolutions, nothing is going to change.  I quit making resolutions when I noticed that I continue to resolve to do the same things each year, usually with no avail.  As I was considering dropping the whole resolution thing, I took a hard look and concluded that I need to work on being the best me I can be, always.  So, it's official that I am back on the wagon.

Here's to you and your resolutions!