Viking Cake

This isn’t the last you’ll hear of Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego. Lucky for you, I have Karen Krasne’s Extraordinary Cakes cookbook. Unfortunately, it’s in transit from San Diego to Middletown right now, meaning it’s not with me where it should be. I knew how much I loved the challenges that come from this book and asked my parents to scan over recipes so that Abbey and I could make a monstrosity cake when I was visiting her in San Antonio.

What I love about this cookbook is the amount of labor and steps that go into a single cake. It takes a serious and committed baker to go on one of these adventures. It’s almost too many pieces to list, but I’ll do what I can. Just to preview, the components are below:

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
Cocoa Simple Syrup
Semisweet Kahlua Ganache
Chocolate Creme Brulee
Milk Chocolate Chantilly
Chocolate Almond Praline

Viking Cake (altered a tiny bit from Extraordinary Cakes)

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
1/3 cup butter (cubed), plus 2 tbsp (melted but not hot)
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 cup water, boiled

1. Preheat oven to 275. Grease 9in x 3in springform pan, put line bottom with parchment round.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip the eggs and sugar until the mixture is very thick and lightens in color, about seven minutes.

3. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder.

4. Melt chocolate in small, heatproof mixing bowl over a small saucepan of boiling water.

5. Add cubed butter, then sour cream to mixer and mix until each is fully incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add dry ingredients, careful not to overmix.

6. Boil 1 cup water and add it to the mixer. Mix on low speed until combined and smooth.

7. Pour the cake into prepared pan. Bake until the cake springs back when pressed lightly and a knife blade comes out clean, about 50 minutes.

8. Allow to cool completely, run a knife around the outside and remove the cake. Wrap entire cake in plastic wrap store in freezer until ready to use.

Cocoa Simple Syrup

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over a medium-high heat. Bring to boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.

2. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa powder.

Semisweet Kahlua Ganache

4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp Kahlua

1. Place chocolate chips in a medium, heatproof mixing bowl.

2. Bring heavy cream to a boil, stirring occasionally. Pour cream onto chocolate chips and allow to sit for five minutes. Mix with rubber spatula until chocolate is melted.

3. Add Kahlua and mix with immersion blender.

Chocolate Creme Brulee

7 oz bittersweet chocolate (70%), coarsely chopped
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup lowfat milk
2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 250.

2. Melt chocolate in medium, heatproof mixing bowl over a small saucepan of boiling water.

3. In a small, heatproof mixing bowl, mix egg yolks with sugar.

4. In a medium saucepan, bring cream, milk, and vanilla to boil, stirring occasionally. Pour this onto egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Strain into chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.

5. Pour into a 9in x 2in round cake pan and bake 25 minutes until set. The top may crack and the center will jiggle slightly. Allow to cool to room temperature, wrap in plastic and freeze four to six hours, until firm.

Milk Chocolate Chantilly

6.5 oz milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Place chocolate chips in a medium, heatproof mixing bowl.

2. Bring heavy cream to a boil, stirring occasionally. Pour cream onto chocolate chips and allow to sit for five minutes. Mix with rubber spatula until smooth and homogenous.

3. Cover with plastic wrap anad refrigerate overnight (I froze about 30 minutes because I ran out of time).

Chocolate Almond Praline

3 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp lowfat milk
1/3 cup butter, cubed
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup slivered almond, lightly toasted

1. Generously grease a baking sheet.

2. Bring cream, milk, butter, corn syrup, and sugar to a boil in a small, heavy saucepan over a medium-high heat. Continue to boil 7-8 minutes, until thick and slightly lighter in color.

3. Remove pan from the heat, mix in cocoa powder. Stir in almonds.

4. Spread onto baking sheet and set aside to cool.


1. If cake is frozen, allow to thaw a couple hours. Cut off top 1/4″ cake with long serrated knife to even top as necessary. Slice the remaining cake into three equal layers.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip chantilly until stiff peak form.

3. Using a pastry brush, moisten the bottom cake layer with 1/3 of the simple syrup. Spread 1/2 cup ganache over the syrup, then cover with the frozen creme brulee.

4. Top with the second layer, and brush with 1/3 of the simple syrup. Spread 1/2 cup ganache, then chantilly.

5. Top with the third layer of the cake, brush with remaining syrup. Cover top and sides of cake with remaining ganache.

6. Grind praline to a medium powder in a food processor (hopefully yours is cool enough, because mine wasn’t!) Press pralines into sides of the cake (if it ground finely enough) and sprinkle the rest on top of the cake.

7. Serve slightly chilled.


Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

So Miss Olivia over at Morsels and Chips is all into her healthy baking thing, and as I’m staying (read: baking) with her, I have to pretend to be on follow along. I promise most of my posts won’t be this health conscious, don’t worry.

Let’s make a quick list of things I love:
Peanut butter

Where does that put me? Obviously, with Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. (adapted from Brown Eyed Bakers)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
scant ¼ cup Country Crock Light buttery spread, at room temperature
scant ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
½ cup crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar or sweetener
¼ cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. Cream together the butter, apple sauce, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour until just combined. Stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.

4. Scoop dough (~1 tbsp) and pat lightly onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Hello world!

After all I’ve taught about bullying, I never thought I’d let peer pressure get to me. Looks like I lose this battle. A combination of a vow to get more into food photography, getting even more into baking (CAKES!), an attempt to get into real cooking (healthy, what?), and a lot of pressure from staying with Olivia over at morsels and chips has led to this blog. We’ll see how often I update it.

Just continue to pressure me, Olivia.