Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Julie & Julia

My dad gave me the movie "Julie & Julia" for Christmas. I hadn't actually seen the movie before, but he knew that I loved to bake and that I had a baking blog, so it was a perfect fit. My husband and I watched it the first night back in our home after the holidays. And you know what? I liked it. It made me think, "Why didn't I think of that?" If you haven't seen the movie and have no idea what I'm talking about, can borrow it from me!

The bad thing about this movie is that now I just want to bake. I've got all of these yummy ideas for treats swirling around in my head and I don't know if I have the energy (or time or willpower) to make them all.

After a bedtime battle with my daughter, I came downstairs thinking I just wanted to veg in front of the tv. But something inside me led me to the kitchen where I proceeded to make Bread Pudding with Lemon Butter sauce. Why? Baking calms me. It's my release. I just get excited about what creations you can make with simple ingredients such as flour, sugar, butter, salt.

So, here's to baking. And Julie. And Julia.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chocolate Cherry Cake

When my mom was visiting this past summer, she made this cake one night. She got the recipe from my brother's friend who made it when she was visiting. As she was gathering the ingredients, I wasn't sure what we were going to get. A box of cake mix. A can of pie filling. Not two ingredients that typically go together.

When I took a bite of this cake, I was pleasantly surprised. It was very moist and chocolatey, with a hint of cherry. Delicious. And the ganache was amazing.

Last night we had a Christmas dinner with some friends and I decided to make this cake. I've had the ingredients on hand, and I thought it would be a perfect ending to a holiday dinner. I think I was right. It was a big hit, and tasted just as good as the first time I tasted it.

The best part? It's SO easy! And I keep thinking of all of the variations you could do - white cake mix with peach pie filling, yellow cake mix with apple pie filling, etc. Try this cake. You will not be disappointed.

Chocolate Cherry Cake

1 box devils food cake mix
2 eggs
1 can cherry pie filling
1 tsp almond extract

Mix eggs, pie filling, and almond extract together. Add cake mix. Mix until moist, but don't over mix.

Bake in 9” springform pan at 325 degrees for 55 min. or until done.

Ganache Frosting

2 1/2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 c. sugar (powdered)
1/2 c. high quality dark chocolate chips

Melt together. Pour frosting over cake as soon as cake comes out of oven after taking out of pan.