Posts Tagged ‘cake’

Food: Chocolate Brigadeiro Cake


As a belated birthday celebration for Chris, I made him a chocolate cake. But not just any chocolate cake. It’s filled with brigadeiro and raspberry preserves. It’s heaven on a dish. In fact, I barely managed to get a picture of the cake. I was planning on taking pictures of a slice of cake so you can see the interior, but Chris kind of massacred it this morning.


We thoroughly enjoyed the cake.

I was pretty proud of my rustic frosting job. It’s not perfect, but darnitall it looked quite tasty! Recipe below:


Fudge Chocolate and Brigadeiro Cake

Makes 1 chocolate cake | Prep time: 30 minutes to an hour | Cook time: 27 minutes



  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (dutch process is ideal)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease 2 8-inch cake pans and cut out 8 inch parchment circles and place inside the cake pans. Combine all ingredients. Pour into cake pans and bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool. Remove from the pans, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the freezer to cool completely.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk

Heat the saucepan with medium-high heat. Melt butter, add cocoa powder and whisk until incorporated. Add milk and stir for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cocoa powder (dutch process is ideal)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar

Whip butter until soft and smooth. Add cocoa powder, vanilla and milk. Blend until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar until desired consistency.

To assemble the cake: Slice cake in half with a bread knife. Separate two layers and spoon half the brigadeiro and spread evenly. Place one 8 inch cake on a cake plate. Spoon raspberry preserves on top of the first layer (I prefer Bonne Maman or homemade jam). Slice the second layer in half. Place bottom half of second cake on top of the first. Spread brigadeiro and place second half of the second cake on top. Place in the refridgerater to rest (10-15 minutes max). Spread an initial thin layer of icing onto the cake. Crumbs may fall into this layer. Place in the fridge a second time, then create a final frosting layer. Garnish with sprinkles.

Food: Best Orange Cake on the Planet


Thursday’s glorious fog and cold rain made me do it.

It was my “day off” (aka no computer screen time, but I admit there was more than enough phone and TV screen time). Penelope was on Fall break and we needed something to do.

So we made a cake. Correction. I made a cake while I ordered Penelope to watch.


I guess my desire for making a pretty cake overcame the desire to make it fun for Penelope. I’m ashamed to admit this, but I do that all the time. I crowd her out so she ends up watching or getting bored and going to her studio to craft.

Hanging out with the kids Thursday opened my eyes to two (okay more than that, but I’ll only mention two here) shortcomings of mine as a mom. I take over our creative projects and I rarely get the kids out of the house. My mom took us to galleries, museums, symphonies at least once a week growing up.

Time for some resolutions.


Back to the cake. I used what I had on hand, which worked perfectly for Lizzie’s Orange White Chocolate Cupcake recipe.

I have no idea what happened to my regular cupcake tins so a tiered cake was in order.

I also didn’t have a white box cake, oranges or white chocolate. I substituted butter pecan box cake, clementines and dark chocolate for the missing ingredients. And it was a major win.


I also filled the middle tier of the cake with blackberry preserves. I could’ve done the ganache in the middle, but I love how the dark chocolate lattice work could be mistaken for a spider’s web.


This quite possibly beats out the delicious cake served at our wedding. And that was an amazing cake.

Chris and his brother kept sneaking bites throughout the evening and next morning. Between the 5 of us, we devoured the cake in a matter of hours.  I felt triumphant.


Orange Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Your Cup of Cake (the book) by Lizzie Early


  • 1 box butter pecan cake mix
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • zest of 3 oranges


  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream

Orange Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar

Line two 8″ cake pans with butter and cut out and place discs of parchment on the inside of each pan for easy cake removal. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Mix egg whites, oil, orange juice buttermilk and orange zests in a large bowl. Add sifted cake mix and stir until smooth.

Bake cake pans for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (it was 15 minutes for mine). Remove cake from pans onto a cookie sheet. Allow to cool completely.

For Buttercream: beat butter until smooth. Add zest and juice. Add powdered sugar a little at a time while beating until you get to the right thickness. I used 2 tablespoons of orange juice and 3 cups of powdered sugar.

For Ganache: mix chocolate and cream in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan on medium/low. Stir with a wooden spoon until completely melted.

Devilishly Good Cake


It was Chris’s Birthday on Saturday! Sadly enough, we spent the whole day car shopping. It’s probably the worst thing ever, besides getting all of your teeth pulled all at once. We had already planned on having family over on Sunday so we treated Sunday night as his real birthday. We had his brothers & sisters over for dinner, cake & a rousing game of Bridge. Chris’s request was to have chocolate instead of cake. I found this to be the perfect mixture of both.

I’m over on This Week For Dinner sharing A flourless chocolate cake recipe. Believe me, you don’t want to miss it. It’s called Chocolate idiot cake & it only has 5 ingredients. It’s definitely my kind of cake.

Back to Chris. I just want to say how happy I am that he’s here and in my life. He’s hilarious, smart, goofy, an awesome dad & is really, really strong. Here are a couple of things that I love about him:

  • He’s a fast learner & his enthusiasm for learning is contagious
  • He’s a fantastic guitar player, even only a year after starting (and teaching himself!)
  • He writes the best songs that make me smile
  • He’s a fantastic dad & doesn’t shy away at a chance to play/cuddle with the kiddos
  • He can dead-lift like a million pounds
  • He likes to have input in our home decor
  • He’s a fantastic listener
  • He speaks Portuguese
Happy Birthday, my Christopher. I love you.

Mind Exploding Cupcake Recipe


My motivation for making the cupcake box was fueled largely because I was dying to experiment with a cupcake recipe I had floating around in my head. Despite my doubts at various times in the process, the cupcakes turned out mind-blowingly yummy. It took some effort, but not as much as a Christmas Yule log.

I had seen a blog post somewhere (it’s really too bad I don’t remember which blog I saw it on) about how Baskin Robbins serves ice cream in chocolate molded into cupcake cups. My mouth started salivating, I’m really on a chocolate kick right now. However, as much as I like chocolate, though, I really, REALLY hate eating chocolate chunks cold. THEN, my head started thinking about how easy it would be to use that idea for cupcakes.


Here’s what I did (I made 18 cupcakes):

  1. melt chocolate (dark) with a tablespoon or two of butter in a double boiler
  2. spoon chocolate into silicone cupcake cups and swirled it around until the cupcake cup was evenly coated
  3. refrigerate cups for a couple of hours
  4. make chocolate cake batter (from a box)
  5. spoon batter into a mini cupcake pan and bake according to box directions (all while chocolate cupcake cups are still in the fridge)
  6. boil a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pan for an hour and 15 minutes (directions on how to do this HERE)
  7. allow the caramelized milk and mini cupcakes to cool (overnight or in the fridge for a few hours)

Here’s how I assembled it:

  1. spoon the caramelized milk into a ziplock or pastry bag and pipe a tablespoon or two of caramel mixture into each cup
  2. place mini cupcakes inside and push down to spread caramel around
  3. frost with frosting
  4. place in the refrigerator to cool before serving
  5. eat at room temperature

How to make the Frosting:

  1. whip cream (1-2 cups) to stiff peak
  2. blend in blender or food processor a cup or two of coconut (to taste)
  3. fold coconut and 3-4 tablespoons of powdered sugar into whipped cream and pipe on top of cupcakes.


I thoroughly enjoyed the cupcakes (so did the rest of the Esplin clan). This cupcake was kind of a mash-up of three desserts that remind me of my childhood. The chocolate, caramel and coconut flavors remind me of my mother’s German Chocolate cake that she’d make for me every year for my birthday (my favorite), the whip cream, chocolate and caramel flavors remind me of my dad’s score cake (or better-than-sex cake). Yup, my dad cooks. He’s cool. The coconut and whip cream frosting reminds me of a Sunday dessert that my grandma Scott used to make often (oh how I miss her). So really, this cupcake is heaven for me because it reminds me of some of my favorite people and how much I love them.


I had some extra cake left over so I sliced some banana on top of the cake, frosted it and served it with a caramel sauce. This disappeared just as fast as the cupcakes did. I’ll definitely be repeating this in the future. MMM!

February DB: Flourless Chocolate Cake


For some reason this month has gone by SO slowly. I originally wasn’t going to do this month’s challenge, but the end of the month came so slowly I had enough time to do it. Weird. That will never happen again. I’m very glad I did it. Although I think I messed up a little. I may or may not have whisked the egg whites too much, and may have cooked the cake too long. I used Trader Joe’s Pound plus Dark Chocolate, next time I’m going to use milk chocolate for a sweeter cake.


I love how this recipe only has 3 ingredients, and no flour or additional sugar. Genius. I served my cake like an over sized Oreo; sandwiched with chocolate whipped cream and chocolate ice cream on top. This is the chocolate triple threat. Delicious.

Chocolate Valentino

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.

2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.

3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.

4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).

5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.

6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.

7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter. {link of folding demonstration}

8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C

9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C. Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.

10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.



Chris and I had a great time eating the oversized flourless Oreo, but we couldn’t quite finish it. Too rich. MMmmmMMMM.

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE’s blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.
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