When I was working at the bakery, Michele, my former boss, would make this crazy good lemonade using frozen Minute Maid concentrate, fresh ginger and sugar. I promise you, it was crazy good. But I got addicted to the Minute Maid lemonade without the added ginger and sugar and would drink it all the time. I started calling it crack and it has forever remained that in my house. I don’t drink it often, usually in the summer and that’s about it. But I could probably put down a 2 quart pitcher of it in one sitting. It’s that addictive. So during a visit to Trader Joe’s I spotted their version in the frozen section and grabbed a can. Let me tell you, this stuff is just as good, and, if I dare say, even better. It’s not as sweet as the Minute Maid brand and it has pulp, which normally I wouldn’t care about, but it make me feel like it might be fresh squeezed. Buy it, make it, drink it. It’s better than crack.
I know what you’re thinking. What a great movie title! Well, no not quite. We’ve had a couple of guys refinishing our basement over the past six weeks and they’ve tasted quite a few sweets from my kitchen. On their last day (and one of their birthdays) I made this very manly cake. At least I thought it sounded manly. I gave the birthday boy a large portion to take home to enjoy and we enjoyed the rest. Derek especially. It was a very dense cake with a rich and creamy frosting. And you could really taste the Guinness.
Adapted from Recipe by Bruce Aidells at Bon Appetit
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup chocolate stout, regular stout, or porter (I used Guinness)
- 2/3 cup freshly brewed strong coffee
- 1 pound bittersweet chocolate (54% to 60% cacao), chopped
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper round; butter and flour parchment. Place chopped chocolate in medium metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water and set aside.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar in large bowl until fluffy and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in lukewarm melted chocolate, then stout and coffee. Beat flour mixture into chocolate mixture in 2 additions just until incorporated.
Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into cake batter to lighten, then fold in remaining egg whites in 2 additions. Divide batter between prepared cake pans (about 3 cups for each); smooth tops.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer cakes to racks and cool in pans 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks; remove parchment paper and cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.
Place chopped chocolate in medium heatproof bowl. Combine whipping cream and espresso powder in medium saucepan. Bring cream mixture to simmer over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Pour cream mixture over chopped chocolate; let stand 1 minute, then whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Chill chocolate frosting until slightly thickened and spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours (or for quick chilling, place frosting in freezer until thickened and spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes).
Using serrated knife, trim rounded tops from both cake layers so that tops are flat. Place 1 cake layer, trimmed side up, on 9-inch-diameter tart pan bottom or cardboard round, then place on rack set over baking sheet. Drop 1 1/4 cups frosting by large spoonfuls over top of cake layer; spread frosting evenly to edges with offset spatula or butter knife. Top with second cake layer, trimmed side down. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. DO AHEAD Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let cake stand at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours before serving.
This is one of my favorite recipes for chicken salad. Its so yummy and if you like mayo, this is the recipe for you. I actually reduced the amount of mayo in the recipe but I promise its not dry at all. Spoon it up in a bowl and dig in. Ps: Its even better the next day after the flavors really set in.
Ingredients (adapted from Ina Garten, Food Network)
- 2 whole (4 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
- Good olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise (I used 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and dice the chicken in large bite-size pieces.
Meanwhile, add the broccoli florets to a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook for 1 minute, until crisp tender, drain, and place into a bowl of ice water until cool. This will stop the cooking and set the bright green color.
For the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, wine, mustards, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add enough sauce to the warm chicken to moisten well. Add the tarragon, broccoli, and tomatoes and mix gently to combine. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.