Happy Friday!

cheesecake5-1-of-1blogsize copyOh sweet, sweet Friday. The only thing that could make you any sweeter would be the this featured orange-chocolate cheesecake by The Vanilla Bean Blog. The  idea of curling up with this & a cafe au lait by the window and a blanket sounds positively divine, don’t you think? Hope you all have lovely weekends, complete with sweetness in any form!

cct // Although I’m not British, I thought this list of American slang that Brits found confusing, to be pretty cute! Also – check out these idioms from around the world!

rkv // Some time-saving freeze ahead of time meals

cct // Have you guys been able to see most of the Oscar movies? These “if Oscar nominated movies were a little more straight forward” posters are pretty spot on!

rkv // 30% off new arrivals at JCrew Factory, woot!

cct // Ten Things You Should Know Before Getting Into a Relationship With Someone Who Loves Food 

rkv // Pretty little DIY marble beads

cct // Everything Molly Yeh makes is beautiful (like seriously beautiful!), but I need this homemade funfetti cake in my life asap!

rkv // A cardio workout for people who hate cardio *raises hand*

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

gm_ChocolatePeanutButterCake_2

November is shaping up to be one of my busiest birthday months, but I’m feeling prepared with the recipe for this delicious cake. My aunt Grace made it over the summer for our family reunion and we were all emailing her begging for the recipe!

The instructions for this decadent cake are as follows…

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
(original recipe from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles)

// Chocolate Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
6 T. cocoa
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup olive oil
2 T. vinegar
2 cups cold water
2 tsp. vanilla

01. Preheat oven to 350°.

02. Prepare two 9″ round cake pans. Grease the pans well, making sure you cover the entire interior surface. Cut two pieces of wax paper and fit one inside of each pan. Set aside.

03. Measure all dry ingredients into bowl and whisk to combine. Make 3 large holes in the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil and vinegar. Pour this into the 3 holes. Pour the water over entire mixture. Mix with a fork. Add vanilla and stir. Divide evenly into the two cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, removing from the oven as soon as a toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes cool in their pans on a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Then run a thin knife around the edge of each pan and invert the cakes onto your rack to cool. Let cool completely before assembling.

gm_ChocolatePeanutButterCake_1

// Peanut Butter Frosting

1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
8 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2  tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. powdered sugar

Place the peanut butter, butter, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-low speed, just until thoroughly combined. Add the remaining ingredients and combine again. Then turn the speed up to high and beat for 2 to 3 more minutes, until frosting is light, airy, and fluffy.

// Chocolate Frosting 

1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 T. unsalted butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Mix milk and sugar in small saucepan. Add butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then remove pan from heat. Add chocolate chips to the pan. Using wire whisk, mix until smooth.

// Assembly

*Additional ingredient needed: 10 to 12 small peanut butter cups*

Place one chocolate cake on a plate or platter. Using a spatula, apply a thick, even layer of peanut butter frosting on top of the cake. Place the second layer of chocolate cake on top of the layer of peanut butter frosting. If needed, fill in the frosting gap between the cake layers with an additional piping of frosting, somewhat “smooshing” it in as you go around the cake, to give a flattened look. If you already have enough frosting bulging out from between the cake layers, simply “flatten” it out by running the long side of an offset spatula or knife carefully around the cake’s side, flattening the frosting as you go.

Give your chocolate frosting a good whisking, making sure that it’s smooth and spreadable. You want your frosting to be a bit warm so it has the right consistency for spreading. If it’s too hot, it will spread too quickly, and possibly run off the sides of your cake, so let it cool a bit. Pour the frosting onto the center of the cake and then gently swirl it to the outside perimeter. Let the chocolate frosting set for about 30 minutes before adding the peanut butter circles on top.

Once the chocolate frosting is set, pipe 10 to 12 circles of peanut butter frosting onto the top perimeter of the cake. Then top each circle with a small peanut butter cup.

gm_ChocolatePeanutButterCake_3And enjoy 🙂

 

Gorgeous Birthday Cakes

With an upcoming birthday tomorrow (hint, it’s Reg’s!), we’ve got cake on the brain! While we dabble in baking, coming up with a beautiful and creative cake is harder than it looks… we make homely cakes. But today we’re gonna admire the beautiful cakes of others and hope that someday we have the courage to attempt something this gorgeous.

0867ccd022f71d8bfcd034e651eaaa13
// Classic Ice Cream Cake 

50b8f3bbabe10d535d8a2f6a32725940// Oreo Olallieberry Chocolate Layer Cake

84ae58eced1fcab21451897392434950
// Inside-out S’mores Cake

bb55df0983212f2572f2e46ebc4c2c4c
// Brown Butter Cake with Vanilla Bean Icing and Salted Caramel

carrotcake

// Carrot Cake with Cardamom

malted_milk

// Malted Milk Cake

 

And we can’t forget the cupcakes!…

peaches

// Peaches & Cream Oat Cupcakes

Cinnamon and Orange Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting1

// Orange Cinnamon Cupcakes

blueb

// Blueberry Preserve Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream

Happy Weekend

happy weekend

{ image via }

Wait a minute. Is that? Yes, yes it is. It’s the sun I see shining through the window. After a week of some seriously drab weather in New England, I’m so pleased to see Mr. Sun once again. Hopefully it holds through the weekend for all of us, and we can enjoy being in the great outdoors! Now in case you’re wondering, Christa sadly is not blogging these links from Italy, but instead prepped them ahead of time (like the true over-planner that she is – love you, boo!).

Hope you all have all have some glorious weekends ahead of you!

cct // An interesting read on making the decision between “must” & “should”

rkv // I found this pretty free downloadable calendar for May. Perfect for you desk!

cct // Art & science combining – my kind of story! Rachel Sussman’s photographic book documents continuously living organisms 2,000 years old and older – so cool! This video gives a brief description of her journey!

rkv // This “Flowerfetti” cake is so pretty! And I know some body who has a birthday coming up.. hint hint, wink wink

cct // Pucker up gals!

rkv // I’m only in my first week of training for my 10k in July, but so far I’ve found this schedule really helpful!

cct // G&M does Tulum? Here’s to hopin’ (and saving some $$)!

rkv // Smoothie season is upon us! And these look positively divine.