STRAWBERRY CAKE

I needed a birthday cake for a friend’s birthday yesterday. SHHHH!!!! it’s a secret for later today. Not a BIG party or anything, but just a little surprise. She manages a sports bar and we’ve arranged for a dozen or so friends to pop in for a little get together. In case you hadn’t guessed, her favorite fruit is strawberry which makes for a very pretty cake.

I found this adorable little pedestal for part of her present. It’ll work for her small personal cake or for a soap holder or ???? whatever she chooses. We ate this cake. What? It had to be taste tested. I baked her a fresh one as well as the same recipe as a sheet cake for easy cutting with the group.

STRAWBERRY CAKE
1-2 cups sugar
1 small package (3 ounce) strawberry gelatin
1 cup butter, softened
3 JUMBO eggs
2 ¾ cup cake flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 cup WHOLE milk
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla extract
½ cup strawberry puree (use FRESH-preferably or unsweetened frozen strawberries that have been thawed and drained of excess moisture)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray three 9 inch round cake pans with baking spray. (I got creative with this one because it was for a birthday present fitting on a specific size pedestal)
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
  • Add puree and vanilla, blending well.
  • Combine flour and baking powder.
  • Add the flour and milk alternately to the batter beginning with flour and ending with flour.
  • Pour into prepared pans.
  • Bounce pans to remove air bubbles.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. DO NOT OVER BAKE!!
  • Cook pans on a wire cooling rack for 8-10 minutes.
  • Turn cake out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before icing.

STRAWBERRY ICING
½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup strawberry puree
3 1/4-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • Using an electric mixer, cream all ingredients together until smooth. 
  • Frost, cover and chill until serving.

NOTE: Change the flavor by changing the gelatin and fruit. Peach and cherry work really well.

PLAIN ‘ol PUMPKIN PIE SPICED DUMP CAKE

Is it pie? Is it Cake? Is it creamy? Is it crunchy? Who cares – it’s delicious! 😀

PUMPKIN PIE DUMP CAKE – a pumpkin pie and a spice cake all rolled into one!

15 ounce can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
12 ounce can evaporated milk
3 LARGE eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon QUALITY ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 box spice cake mix
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1/2 pecan pieces
3/4 (1) cup unsalted butter, melted
Whipped cream
FRESH grated nutmeg
FRESH grated cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar and cinnamon until well-combined. It will be very liquidy.
  • Pour this pumpkin mixture into the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly on top of pumpkin mixture.
  • Sprinkle coconut pieces and pecans all around the top.
  • Drizzle melted butter over the top.
  • Bake for 1 hour. 
It might still be just a bit jiggly in the middle when done, but it will continue to set up as it cools.
  • 
Let it cool for AT LEAST 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • Top with FRESH whipped cream and a sprinkling of FRESH grated nutmeg and cinnamon.

BLACK FOREST DUMP CAKE

There’s an original version of this cake from the 1980’s, but there are ever so many possibilities to build on the flavors and make your own version! BLACK FOREST is one of my ALL time favorite versions. The other is the CARAMEL APPLE PECAN. 😀 That recipe will be coming up soon. 😀

BLACK FOREST DUMP CAKE
1 LARGE can crushed pineapple, drained, but save the juice!
21 ounce can COMSTOCK country cherry pie filling
1 box MOIST devil’s food cake mix
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1/3-1/2 cup crushed pecans
1/2 cup butter, melted

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Lightly spray 9×13 cake pan with non-stick spray.
  • Pour crushed pineapple into pan.
  • Pour cherry pie filling into pan. You can stir to mix them up a bit, but it is not necessary. Let your OCD decide 😀
  • Evenly sprinkle dry cake mix over the pineapple cherry mixture and press down lightly.
  • Whisk together the pineapple juice and the melted butter.
  • Pour butter mixture over dry cake mix evenly making sure to cover all the dry cake mix.
  • Sprinkle with coconut and pecans.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes.
  • Cool slightly.
  • Top with whipped cream if desired

NOTE: If you still have dry cake mix showing, use a sheet of wax paper over the top of the cake and lightly press coconut and pecans into cake mix and butter. You can use a fork instead of the wax paper, but it takes a bit longer and then you have to lick the fork at the end. 😀

P3 #2 PUMPKIN PINEAPPLE PECAN DUMP CAKE

P3 #2 PUMPKIN PINEAPPLE PECAN DUMP CAKE

I found the basic recipe somewhere, but it just seemed soooooo plain that I had to rework it and embellish it to bring out the best of the season.  The pineapple adds a sweet, yet tangy bite. The nuts add a bit of crunch that this dessert really needed and the FRESH grated nutmeg on top adds a fresh, rich aroma and a woody, bittersweet flavor with a hint of clove.

P3 PUMPKIN PINEAPPLE PECAN DUMP CAKE gets its name because you literally just dump the ingredients in, bake and voile you have a cake with NO real mixing, just a little whisking having been done! It is a pumpkin pie and a spice cake all in one yummy bite!

15 ounce can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 LARGE can crushed pineapple, DRAINED REALLY, REALLY WELL
3 LARGE eggs, 1 WHOLE and 2 yolks
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons QUALITY ground cinnamon
1 box moist spice cake mix
scant 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 – 3/4 cup crushed walnuts or pecans (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, drained pineapple, nutmeg and cinnamon until well-combined. It will be very thin, don’t worry!
  • Pour into the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly on top of pumpkin mixture.
  • Drizzle melted butter evenly over the top.Use a fork to gently press down any exposed cake mix so that the butter completely covers the dry mix.
  • Sprinkle with nuts if using.
  • Bake 55-60 minutes. It might still be a bit jiggly in the middle but as long as the edges are set it will continue to set up as it cools.
  • Let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Chill if not serving immediately after the 30 minutes. Let come to room temperature before serving.
  • Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle of nutmeg.

CRUST LESS APPLE PIE ~ FAITH & FOOD FRIDAY #11

I’m still featuring my Mary & Martha GRACE meal prayer box on Faith and Food Friday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

THIS WEEK’S PRAYER: Fo.r life and love, for rest and food, we thank you Lord, for You are good. We praise  Your name for all You do, for daily help and blessings too. Amen

CRUST LESS APPLE PIE slightly adapted from Red Drummond

SPICES
2 tablespoons QUALITY ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon FRESH ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional, but delicious)

  • Whisk together the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom in a small bowl.

APPLES
3 LARGE Honeycrisp apples, peeled, halved vertically and cored (Granny Smith work well too)
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 HEAPING tablespoons brown sugar
1 orange, zested and juiced (about 3 tablespoons juice and 2 teaspoons zest)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup chopped walnut pieces
1/3 cup currants or golden raisins
Pinch kosher salt
QUALITY Honey, for serving
“Vanilla” ice cream, for serving (see notes)

  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • Place the apple halves core-side down on a flat surface. Before slicing, place chopsticks or wooden spoons on either side of them to make sure you don’t cut all the way through.
  • Slice almost all the way to the bottom of each apple half at 1/4-inch intervals, then place them on a sheet pan.
  • Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the butter, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of the apple pie spice and the orange juice in a mixing cup.
  • Drizzle over the apples, making sure they are well coated and the drizzle goes into the slits.
  • Bake until they are just starting to get tender, about 15-20 minutes.

 

  • Meanwhile, mix together the oats, walnuts, salt, remaining melted butter, remaining brown sugar, orange zest, raisins or currants and remaining apple pie spice.
  • Sprinkle the oat mixture over the apples, making sure to get some between the slices without breaking the apples.
  • Bake until the topping is slightly crisp and golden, another 10-15 minutes.
  • Drizzle with honey and serve with ice cream.

NOTES: A local ice cream company makes an absolutely WONDERFUL lemon bar ice cream that is just completely decadent and absolutely perfect for this dish. We actually had this on July 18th (third Sunday in July), National Ice Cream Day!

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE with PINK PEPPERCORN CARAMEL

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE with PINK PEPPERCORN CARAMEL adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli

CAKE
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large pineapple, skinned, cored and cut into eight or nine 3/4-inch-thick slices  OR 1 LARGE can of pineapple slices or crushed works too
3/4 cup dark brown sugar 
1/2 cup WHOLE buttermilk  (do NOT use light or reduced fat)
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
3/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Maraschino cherries 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Heat a cast iron 9-inch skillet over medium heat and melt 2 tablespoons butter.
  • Add the slices of pineapple in a single layer and sprinkle the brown sugar over the fruit.
  • Add a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.
  • Cook until the pineapple browns slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pineapple slices. Turn off the heat and keep warm.
  • Whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, eggs and the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a medium bowl until smooth.
  • Use a rubber spatula to stir in the flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda until completely smooth. (The batter will be fairly stiff)
  • Pour the batter over the pineapple.
  • Transfer the skillet to the center of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake emerges clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Cool for about 10 minutes before carefully inverting onto a serving platter. Cooling any longer may make cake stick. If you cool too much, quickly heat the bottom of the skillet before inverting.

CARAMEL
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup 
Juice from 1 LARGE lime 
1/4 cup COLD water
2 teaspoons (pink) peppercorns 

  • Combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, lime juice and 1/4 cup cold water in a medium stainless saucepan.
  • Stir in the pink peppercorns and bring to a gentle simmer, cooking until the sugar is dissolved, and then cooking 10 minutes more.
  • Pour through sieve to remove large pepper pieces.
  • Set aside to cool slightly.
  • After cake is inverted pour the caramel over the cake.

 

LEMON CAKE with LEMON CURD FILLING, LEMON BUTTER FROSTING & CANDIED LEMONS

You’ll want to make the Lemon Curd and Candied Lemon slices first so they have time to chill and set up before you need them to assemble the cake.

LEMON CAKE with LEMON CURD FILLING, LEMON BUTTER FROSTING & CANDIED LEMONS

LEMON CURD FILLING
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons butter
3⁄4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks, beaten

  • In medium saucepan, mix together lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth.
  • Add butter and sugar, bringing mixture to a SLOW boil over medium heat.
  • Boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
  • In small bowl, with a wire whisk, beat egg yolks until smooth.
  • Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan, whisking well until well blended.
  • Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until thick DO NOT BOIL.
  • Pour mixture into medium bowl.
  • Cover with saran pressing so there is contact with the surface to prevent a skin from forming as it cools.
  • Cool to room temperature.
  • Refrigerate 3 hours.

CANDIED LEMON SLICES
Candied Lemons are super EASY to make!

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons FRESH lemon juice
2-3 lemons sliced to 1/8-inch thickness

  • In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and add lemon slices in a single layer.


  • Simmer over medium-low for 15 minutes, gently flipping once or twice during the cooking process.


  • Transfer the lemon slices to a wire cooling rack or waxed paper and let cool.

 Let the candied lemons sit at room temperature for up to 24 hours before storing in an air-tight container.

CAKE
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup butter
1 1⁄4 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 cup milk

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

 

  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
  • Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.
  • Invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

FROSTING
2 tablespoons FRESH lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon curd
2 tablespoons WHOLE milk

  • Cream butter.
  • Add lemon zest and lemon juice.
  • Gradually add in powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk until well blended.
  • Add lemon curd, blending until smooth.

ASSEMBLY

  • With long serrated knife, split each cake layer in half horizontally, making 4 layers. THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL! I actually prefer just 2 layers most of the time. 😀
  • Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a serving plate.
  • Spread with half of the lemon filling.
  • Top with another layer, and spread with 1/2 cup frosting.
  • Press on final cake layer, and frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.
  • Top with candied lemons.
  • Refrigerate cake until serving time.

BLACKBERRY LEMON CURD CREAM CHEESE PIE

BLACKBERRY LEMON CURD CREAM CHEESE PIE
8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 LARGE egg
Juice of 1 lemon (1 1/2 tablespoon)
1 can COMSTOCK blackberry pie filling
1 cup lemon curd (jarred or FRESH made)
Prepared pie crust
whipped cream, for topping (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Beat cream cheese until fluffy.
  • Add sugar, salt, lemon juice and egg, mixing until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour into prepared pie crust.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Spread blackberry filling evenly over cheese mixture.
  • Bake another 20 minutes.
  • Spread with lemon curd.
  • Bake 5 minutes more.
  • Cool COMPLETELY and/or chill before serving.
  • Add a dollop of whipped cream and serve.

BLUEBERRY LIME NO BAKE CHEESECAKE

BLUEBERRY LIME NO BAKE CHEESECAKE
CRUST
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • Stir together the graham crackers, ginger and brown sugar.
  • Add the melted buttered mix until well blended.
  • Press the crumbs firmly into bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
  • Place in refrigerator while you prepare the sauce and cheesecake.

SAUCE
1 1/2 cups WILD blueberries
1/8 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water

  • Stir together the blueberries, sugar and water in a medium saucepan.
  • Cook over 5 medium heat 5 minutes until berries break down.
  • Use an immersion blender to blend well.
  • Pour entire mixture through a sieve into a clean sauce pan.
  • Cook a few minutes on medium heat until mixture thickens slightly.
  • Cool in refrigerator also while preparing cheesecake.

CHEESECAKE
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2-8 ounce cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
2 teaspoons FRESH, FINELY grated ginger

  • Whip whipping cream 2-3 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer bowl until stiff peaks form.
  • Transfer whipped cream to a clean bowl and refrigerate.
  • Add cream cheese and sugar to stand mixer bowl.
  • Mix on medium 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth.
  • Add line zest, powdered sugar, vanilla and fresh ginger, mixing 1-2 minutes until fully incorporated.
  • GENTLY (so as not to deflate the whipped cream) fold in one third of the whipped cream with a spatula to lighten the cream cheese.
  • GENTLY fold in remaining whipped cream until ALMOST fully incorporated.
  • Pour over chilled crust and smooth out evenly.
  • Drop several spoonfuls of blueberry sauce over cheesecake.
  • Using a thin knife or wooden skewer, swirl sauce into cheesecake.
  • Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

LIME WHIPPED CREAM
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons lime zest
1 teaspoon powdered sugar

  • Whip the whipping cream on high 3 minutes until stiff peaks form.
  • Add the lime zest and powdered sugar, whipping until incorporated.
  • Serve the cheesecake with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of blueberry sauce.

NOTE:

  • Using a copper mixing bowl and beaters that have been chilled in the freezer make a for quicker whipping and fluffier whipped cream.
  • Blackberries substitute really well also.

P3 ~ PISTACHIO PLUM PLATZ

Anyone remember the old nightclub on the show Charmed? That is what inspired me to name this wonderful German Platz aka coffee cake.

P3 ~ PISTACHIO PLUM PLATZ
CAKE
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter,SOFTENED
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup WHOLE milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
3 LARGE black plums, sliced

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray shallow baking dish(es) with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the softened butter with a pastry cutter or using gloved hands (my preference) until mixture is like coarse crumbs.
  • Stream in eggs, milk and vanilla until well combined. Be sure to scrape down sides with a spatula to incorporate all the dry mixture. Mixture will be thicker and possibly lumpy JUST like it should be 😀
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out evenly.
  • Place plums slightly overlapped on top of batter. Set aside and make crumb topping.

CRUMB TOPPING
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup crushed roasted with salt pistachios

  • Mix all together using your hands again until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Distribute topping evenly over top of plums.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes or until fruit is soft and cake is cooked through.

NOTES: Other fruits that substitute well are peaches, cherries or nectarines .

AUNT SHARON’S CHOCOLATE BUTTERMILK CAKE, OR IS IT?

I’ve always called this Aunt Sharon’s Chocolate Buttermilk cake because I got the recipe from her when I was a teenager, but I have been making it from scratch with my own flourish (specialty quality ingredients as in the homemade rum vanilla, cocoa and cinnamon) for more years than I care to admit, so is it hers or is it mine now? I have tried other recipes over the years, always looking for that new PERFECT recipe, but ALWAYS come back to this one because it just works EVERY time!

CHOCOLATE BUTTERMILK CAKE

CAKE
2 cups KING ARTHUR all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup QUALITY buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 LARGE eggs
2 sticks butter, room temperature
4 heaping tablespoons QUALITY cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 cup boiling water

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • If you are going to cut and layer this cake prepare the jelly roll pan with parchment paper and non-stick cooking spray, otherwise leave it un-greased.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, stir together the buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla and eggs. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the cocoa.
  • Whisk together to combine.
  • Pour the boiling water in the pan and allow it to bubble a bit, then turn off the heat.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture stirring together for a minute to cool the chocolate.
  • Pour in the egg mixture, stirring together until smooth, then pour into a jelly roll pan (rimmed baking sheet) and bake for 20 minutes.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING for sheet cake
1 3/4 sticks butter
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
6 tablespoons WHOLE milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups (1 pound bag) powdered sugar

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth.
  • Add the milk, vanilla and powdered sugar, stirring together.
  • Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, pour the warm icing over the top. You’ll want to avoid doing much spreading, so try to distribute it evenly as you pour.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM for layer cake
1 pound butter, softened
7 cups (2-1 pound bags) powdered sugar
4 heaping tablespoons QUALITY cocoa powder
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 tablespoon WHOLE milk

  • Cream butter.
  • Sift together the cocoa, cinnamon and powdered sugar into the creamed butter and blend well.
  • Add vanilla, blending well. If too stiff add 1 tablespoon WHOLE milk to thin.

CHOCOLATE CHINESE FIVE SPICE CAKE

So, I admit it, the Kid’s Baking Championship inspired me on this one! If they can do it, I can do it I figured and this time it worked! 😀

CHOCOLATE CHINESE FIVE SPICE CAKE

CAKE
1 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice Blend
1 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
2/3 cup finely chopped or grated bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup brewed coffee or espresso, Chai tea, or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, Chinese Five Spice Powder and baking soda in a bowl.
  • In a small bowl, mix the coffee (or chai tea/apple cider vinegar) and diced chocolate.
  • Stir vigorously until the chocolate has fully melted – don’t leave any lumps of chocolate.
  • Add vanilla extract and buttermilk to mixture, and blend well.
  • Set mixture aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg and sugar in a bowl until light and airy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the chocolate mixture and mix well with a large spoon.
  • Add the flour mixture and stir until fully mixed with no lumps.
  • Pour mixture into two well prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove cake pans from oven and let cool fully to room temperature.
  • Remove from cake pans.
  • When pans are cool to the touch, remove from pans and let sit on cooling rack at least another hour to cool, otherwise chocolate ganache will melt if cake is still warm.

GANACHE
1 cup heavy cream
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder

  • Place chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.
  • Sprinkle with Chinese 5 spice powder.
  • Heat heavy cream to JUST before boiling.
  • Pour over chocolate chips and spice and let sit for 4-5 minutes – do not stir.
  • Whisk the mixture until it thickens and becomes a rich, dark chocolate brown.
  • Pour a small amount of ganache over top of one layer of cake and top with other layer. Set aside to cool.
  • Let remaining ganache cool to room temperature, so it is thick, but still spreadable.
  • Generously coat cake in ganache, running a flat spatula along the sides and top to make a smooth cake.
  • Top with chocolate sprinkles, cinnamon Sticks, and a very light dusting or five spice powder or cinnamon sugar, or crushed walnuts.
  • Chill for 2 hours, up to two days before serving.
  • Cut into slices and serve.