Friday, March 26, 2010

And The Winner Is.............

Wow, I can't believe all the buzz my little giveaway generated - this was so much fun!

I know you're all dying to find out who won, but first I want to explain the process I used to pick a winner. I was originally going to throw names in a bucket and blindly pick a winner, but when I saw how many bloggers were entering the giveaway, I needed to find a more efficient method.

Plan B - use, but oops, I offered to let bloggers have multiple chances if they tweeted and blogged about the giveaway, so I had to figure out a way to give them the extra chances and still be able to use to pick a winner. So I ended up assigning additional numbers to the bloggers who earned multiple chances. For example if I had total of 10 bloggers enter and 4 of them earned 2 chances, I'd have to increased the total number of chances to 14. I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, there were 109 bloggers, but a total of 121 chances to win, so I entered 1-121 into's automatic random number generator and it chose number 36.

So, without further adieu - the winner is:
Congratulations Judy!!!

Wow, this was really a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone who entered, and thank you all for your lovely comments - you guys are so wonderful.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Last Chance to Enter.....

Last chance to enter my Anniversary Giveaway (open until Midnight tonight).

I can't believe how many people have entered - over 90 so far!
Shall we try for 100?


Thursday, March 18, 2010

An Anniversary Giveaway!!!!!

Bouchon Chocolate ButterYum

Bouchon ButterYum
Forgive me for being away so long - I've taken on some added responsibilities that have proven to be more time consuming that I had originally realized. I even managed to miss my blog's 1st anniversary, but it's not too late to celebrate, so I'm hosting a giveaway for this neat Williams-Sonoma Silicone Bouchon Mold which retails on their website for $30.

Bouchon Mold ButterYum
What the heck are Bouchon you ask? They're cute little chocolate cakes made famous by the renowned chef Thomas Keller - owner of The French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon, and Ad Hoc Restaurants. WS used to sell a boxed mix for these Bouchon, but I don't see it on their site anymore. Thankfully there's a recipe printed on the bouchon box.

Bouchon Keller ButterYum
So I decided to try the recipe from the box, BUT I noticed a teeny-tiny detail which I thought might cause a problem. You see, the batter is supposed to fill the molds just below the rim, and the finished Bouchon are supposed to have flat tops, but the recipe included baking powder, which we all know makes things rise. I was worried the batter was going to overflow the molds - as you can see, I was right.

So I went on the internet and did a little research. Apparently there's another bouchon recipe out there, directly from the Bouchon Cookbook, and guess what, it didn't include baking powder.

Bouchon Bakery ButterYum Keller
Actually, not only did the recipe not include baking powder, it was completely different than the recipe from the bouchon box. So I gave it a go - they didn't over flow, but they didn't taste very sweet, and they were a bit on the dry side.

So back to the original recipe I went, but with a tweak or two.

Bouchons Keller Bakery Brownie Bites
My first tweak was to omit the baking powder from the recipe - that batch tuned out a lot better, but the tops weren't as flat as I hoped they would be (on the left).

The second tweak was to reduce the eggs in the recipe - that batch turned out perfectly flat on top with a wonderful brownie-like taste and texture (on the right).

My revised recipe is printed below, and I'll be sure the lucky winner gets a copy included with the mold. Whoever you are, have fun playing around with it... I'm already thinking of other ways to use it - cakes, jellos, ice creams... there are so many possibilities!

ButterYum Bouchon Keller
I piled 48 of them onto this platter and presented them to a group of hungry teens - this is what the platter looked like just 3 minutes later - they were obviously a huge hit!

Now for the giveaway:
One winner will randomly be picked from the comments left on this post. For multiple chances to win, simply mention this post (including a link to it) on your blog, twitter, facebook page, etc., and let me know in your comment how many chances you should get - honestly please!! A winner will be chosen next Thursday, March 25.

I look forward to picking a winner!

Chocolate Bouchon
makes 12

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1/3 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed - I tested both)
1/8 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Confectioner's Sugar for dusting

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Place the bouchon mold on a sheet pan. Prepare mold with baking spray or shortening.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate together gently until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Whisk the sugar, egg, and vanilla together. Set aside.
  • Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, and salt together. Add the egg mixture and melted chocolate mixture; combine.
  • Fill molds evenly (about 1/8-inch below the rim). Bake for about 20 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean when done.
  • Place mold on a cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes, then turn the bouchon out of the mold and cool completely. I like to chill my bouchon in the mold before removing.
  • Serve with a dusting of confectioner's sugar, a scoop of ice cream, a drizzle of fruit sauce, or pop them straight up.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Sour Cream Cake

So glad to get back to baking after taking a much needed blog vacation.
I missed you all!

I'll be hosting an anniversary giveaway in my next post. Are you wondering what it might be?
I'll give you two hints - Chocolate and Williams-Sonoma.
Stay tuned!


Okay, this week's Heavenly Cake Bakers selection was the Lemon Poppy Seed Sour Cream Cake from Rose's Heavenly Cakes. This cake can be made without the poppy seeds if you like, but I think they add wonderfully to the overall texture and appearance of the cake. The recipe also calls for 5 teaspoons of grated lemon zest, which add happy little yellow specks of flavor throughout.

I'm glad Rose's recipe included the gram weight for the lemon zest. After grating the zest from just 2 lemons, I weighed the zest to see how much more I needed, only to find I already had exactly the right amount (10g) - visually, it looked like I needed to zest at least 1 more lemon, maybe 2.

The lemon flavor is enhanced by the addition of a lemon syrup that's brushed on while the cake is still hot from the oven. Most of the syrup seeps into the cake, but some of it coats the surface and gives an attractive glazed effect - sticky, but oh so good.
A huge hit with the family.

The recipe calls for the cake to be baked in a 10-cup bundt pan. I don't have a 10-cup aluminum bundt pan, so I used a 10-cup silicone pan. You can see how my cake turned out a little too brown on the outer edges, but not at all on the inner edges. Not happy about that, but it was cooked properly throughout and I liked the finished shape in the end.

This cake was extremely easy to prepare - start to finish was about an hour, and I was half asleep when I mixed the batter. No flubs.

If you love lemon, you'll love this tasty cake.

I served this cake with Lemon curd Ice Cream (an experiment that turned out really well). It's extremely easy to prepare.

To make the cute little heart, place a small spot of fruit sauce in the center of a small puddle of melted lemon curd ice cream - then pull a skewer or a toothpick through from the top to the bottom.
Click here for the lemon curd ice cream recipe.

Most of the recipes featured by the Heavenly Cake Bakers are not shared online, but they can be found in the book Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  Thanks for visiting!

Lemon Curd Ice Cream

Lemon Curd Ice Cream Meyer ButterYum

Lemon Curd Icecream ButterYum

Lemon Curd Ice Cream ButterYum

Lemon Curd Ice Cream
recipe can easily be increased

1 cup lemon curd (you can use my easy recipe found at the end of this post)
1 cup heavy cream
sugar to taste (optional - I used 2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar)

If you love lemon curd, you're going to adore this recipe.... and it's one of the most simple to prepare - simply mix equal parts heavy cream and lemon curd (prepared or homemade). If desired, add sugar to taste; stir to dissolve sugar. Then process the mix in your ice cream maker. That's it!

Notes - my 2-quart ice cream maker will hold a triple recipe with some room to spare.