I started to make this cake just as chocolate with chocolate, but then the recipe mentioned caramel and chocolate drizzle. It was 8 am and I had already been up for hours but decided to go for it. I’m glad I did! It ended up a lot like this cake I had made for my birthday awhile ago. But, it was basically the easier and better version. I had no issues with the caramel’s consistency for using it inside the cake. I didn’t quite follow the full recipe, but it was still good as is.
This recipe started off with every thought of me following it word for word. But we don’t like fish sauce, no matter how hard we try. So, I swapped it with some Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. And then I was going to use skewers but chickened out (pun intended) at the last moment. That’s why my chicken is chopped when it didn’t need to be with the way I cooked the chicken. But, it still ended up delicious the way I made it. We loved it over rice.
We didn’t have good luck with parent days this year. For Father’s Day weekend, K was getting over a bad cold. For Mother’s Day weekend, I had an awful stomach bug that made me nauseated and weak for a long weekend. I had planned on making this for my Mother’s Day meal and felt recovered enough to eat it on the day before. K was taking the Fudgelet to the mall for the morning, so I was able to get some stuff done around the house, and take my time prepping this for lunch, which was great. I could only eat one slice because it is rich and I was still barely eating food, but it was delicious.
It’s not quite the end of summer. It’s just the end of August. In fact, in Seattle, summer is considered to extend into September. Our summer starts a bit late (usually after July 4) and then is still going 2 months later. This ice cream is super easy to make since there are no eggs to temper, yet it still remains soft. I am not positive if the golden syrup is necessary for that. I am tempted to try it with all granulated sugar and not partial syrup, but I also don’t want to mess with a good thing. It is a really dark color because I used black cocoa (bought from King Arthur Flour). If you don’t have it, or just don’t feel like paying for it (it’s a bit expensive), you could also use a high-quality cocoa powder that is Dutch-processed. I say high-quality just because if you are going to go to the effort to make ice cream, you may as well use nice ingredients. And for chocolate ice cream, don’t you want the chocolate to be gooooood?
Two months post my birthday, I am sharing with you my birthday cake for this year. I hadn’t planned to make anything necessarily, but I happened to have buttermilk and cream that needed to get used, so this was a good recipe for it. Plus, it was something I had been wanting to make. I was able to make it in a few stages, which helped since the Fudgelet and I were both super sick and naps weren’t happening. He actually helped me make it. I asked if he wanted to “help Mommy bake” and he stopped playing with his cars, pointed where we keep his stool and said “over there” (for me to move the stool over where I was working). I figured he would like to help since there was some whisking involved (his favorite part).
These bars are pretty easy to make. The only slightly fancy part is the caramel at the beginning. And, you can do that part a little ahead of time if you need to. I made the caramel during nap and finished the blondies while he was awake since whisking stuff together is easy to do with him around. Watching hot sugar on a stove? A little trickier when distracted.
As I’ve been talking about for the last week, I helped provide desserts for a friend’s baby shower. At first it started simple, with cookies. Then, I decided to make a chocolate cake. When I was making the cookies, they were supposed to be more domed, like ice cream. I thought it would look cute to put them in chocolate cups and make them look like ice cream scoops. That’s where the idea for the candied hazelnuts first came from. Well, I had leftover pastry cream from the cake, and the cookies didn’t look like ice cream…they were also too big for the cups! So, a new dessert was formed.