Monday, June 16, 2014

Uber-Chocolate Father's Day Cake

My dad has been requesting a salted dark chocolate cake for a while now, so I decided to whip one up for Father's Day (what better occasion?).  Sweetapolita, as always, provided a beautiful recipe  that I shrunk and barely modified.  When (not if!) I make this again, I'd love to throw in some of the salted caramel buttercream in the middle to lighten everything up.  As it was, this was a big, gorgeous, totally delicious brick of a cake, with enough chocolate to kill a lesser human.  Dad loved it.  (This one also gave me an excuse to buy some fancy sea salt flakes, which were delicious and I'm going to put them in everything now.  I only wish I'd studded them around the sides of the cake as well as the top, to spread the flavor around!)

6" chocolate fudge cake with super-chocolate fudge frosting and sea salt flakes

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Summertime Means Pie Time

So yesterday I was walking through Trader Joe's and for reasons that don't follow any semblance of logic, I decided I wanted to make a pie.  The peaches were like rocks but there were lots and lots of nectarines so I bought a few and some frozen pie crusts (I am not above using frozen pie crusts and you shouldn't be either...also I'm at my parents' house this weekend and am pretty sure they don't have any vodka around for me to make my own with.)

Anyway.  This pie is kind of a mess.  I rushed the thaw on the dough and completely wrecked it, to the extent that I had to ball it all up and chill it overnight before re-rolling it today.  Inspiration for this sucker came in equal parts from Smitten Kitchen's nectarine galette and a recipe for orange-nectarine pie I found on the internet.  I mooshed them together into some sort of hot mess pie/galette shindig.  Observe!

Let's be honest here: half the reason this happened was because I wanted to make something pretty out of fruit slices.

The facts were these:

Four ripe-enough nectarines, halved and sliced but not peeled.
One pie crust, homemade or store-bought
About a quarter cup of orange juice
About a quarter cup of brown sugar
About a quarter cup of flour
One egg
Coarse sugar

Mix the OJ, sugar, and flour together.  Toss the nectarine slices in the mixture and chuck in your pie crust, either all willy-nilly or in a pretty pattern.  If you want to fold the crust over onto the filling to make a quasi-galette, I will not fight you.  If you want to put a top crust on, I won't fight you on that either (but your fruit won't get all deliciously singed on the top, so).  Brush the crust with an egg wash and sprinkle it with coarse sugar (or whatever sugar you've got).  Bake at 400 for about half an hour, or until the crust is golden brown and delicious and the fruit is just starting to char on top.

It is all sorts of delicious and is nice and tart--if your taste runs a little sweeter, sprinkle some more brown sugar over the nectarines before baking.  Lightly sweetened whipped cream would be perfect but I don't have any of that so I'll eat it straight and that's nothing to complain about.