Thursday, November 5, 2009

Well we can blame the fact that I haven't posted on one of two things. Either I have been busy and forgotten, or, I am just SUCH an awesome cook that I have not been able to decide what to post because I have sooo many wonderful options. I choose to believe the latter of the two.
Anyway, here is my peace offering. Hope you enjoy!!!

Zuppa Toscana
Okay I made this soup for dinner at a friend's house and seriously it is so good!!! It tastes almost identical to the zuppa toscana at Olive Garden which is divine! A lot of oil winds up settling on top and so I let it settle and then just drug a paper towel over the top to soak it up, that worked pretty well actually! Although I'm sure its not the most "food handlers permit" friendly.

Devild's Food with Strawberry Cream. (i.e. heaven)
This was what I made for a couple of birthdays this month and let me tell you... it. is. AMAZING. especially if you are as much of a chocolate lover as I am. I would suggest putting the cake in the refrigerator or even freezing it for a little bit (if you will have time for it to thaw before serving) before you frost it. Otherwise when you try to spread the frosting around the sides the cream goes with it =) enjoy!!

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 pint strawberries, hulled, halved lengthwise

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup sour cream, room temp
2 cups confectioners sugar

Heat oven to 350degrees F.
Coat 2 round 9" cake pans with nonstick spray or 3 round 8" cake pans.
Line bottoms with wax paper. (a springform works great to just line the bottom and then close the springform edge around tyhe wax paper.
In bowl, whisk sugar, flour, cocoa, soda and powder to blend.
Melt chocolate and butter 1 min. in microwave, stir to blend.
With mixer, beat buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and chocolate mixture into dry ingredients until blended. Beat 2 min. or until smooth.
Scrape into pans.
Bake 42 min. or until done.
Cool in pans 20 min. turn cakes out of pans, cool.
Beat cream and sugar in bowl with mixer until stiff peaks form.
Place 1 layer on serving plate.
Spread on half the whipped cream to 1/2 inch of edge.
Top with concentric circles of strawberries.
Spread remaining cream over strawberries.
Top with second cake layer.
Refrigerate cake.
Melt chocolate and butter in glass bowl in microwave 2 min. or until chocolate is soft and shiny, stir until completely melted and smooth.
Fold in sour cream, gradually beat in confectioners sugar until smooth and shiny.
Spread cake with frosting.

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