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In today’s Heirloom Recipe Series, I am so fortunate to have Amanda Hesser, one half of the dynamic duo behind fabulous foodie site, food52. {note: Merrill joined us yesterday – click to read!}  Amanda has an amazing connection with food having grown up in a family surrounded by those who cook, she was recently named one of the “top 50 women game-changers in food” by Gourmet and was awarded a James Beard award for The Essential New York Times Cookbook.

As you must know, I am just thrilled to have Amanda with us today to share a family recipe of her very own, as our Heirloom Recipe Series continues!

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My mother has many specialties, but her Chocolate Dump-It Cake is most beloved in my family. My mother used to do all of her baking late at night, after we were in bed. Around 1 in the morning, the aroma of this cake would begin wafting up to our bedrooms. Then we’d watch her frost it while we ate breakfast. My mother kept this cake in the fridge, and it is sublime even when cold.

Chocolate Dump-It Cake
Serves 10

2 cups sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 pound unsalted butter (1 stick), plus more for greasing the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup Nestle’s semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and place a baking sheet on the lowest rack, to catch any drips when the cake bakes. Put the sugar, unsweetened chocolate, butter and 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir occasionally until all of the ingredients are melted and blended. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the milk and vinegar. Grease and flour a 9-inch tube pan. (If you prefer, you can grease it, line it with parchment and then grease and flour it. This is not necessary, but parchment does make getting the cake out easier.)

3. When the chocolate in the pan has cooled a bit, whisk in the milk mixture and eggs. In several additions and without overmixing, whisk in the dry ingredients. When the mixture is smooth, add the vanilla and whisk once or twice, to blend. Pour the batter into the tube pan and bake on the middle rack until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool on a rack. (This can be tricky – if someone is around, enlist them to help. Place a ring of wax paper on top of the cake so you have something to grab onto when turning it out.) Let cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, then let cool to room temperature. It is very important that the chocolate and sour cream be the same temperature, otherwise the icing will be lumpy or grainy. (Test it by stirring a little of the sour cream and chocolate together in a bowl; if it mixes smoothly, it’s ready.) Stir in the sour cream, 1/4 cup at a time, until the mixture is smooth. Taste some! It’s good.

5. When the cake is cool, you may frost it as is or cut it in half so that you have two layers (when I do this, I use 2 cups chocolate chips and 2 cups sour cream). My mother uses any leftover icing to make flowers on top. She dabs small rosettes, or buttons, on top, then uses toasted almond slices as the petals, pushing them in around the base of the rosette.

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Be sure to connect with Amanda on Twitter, and with food52 on Twitter and Facebook too!

Part of our Heirloom Recipe Series, featuring foodies, chefs, artisans, Southerners & fabulous folks willing to share their stories, recipes and photos in an effort to help preserve and share these family recipes for generations to come.

IceMilk Aprons so proudly announces our newest Gourmet Retailer, Bella Cucina.

The gourmet line of artful foods, founded by the delightfully engaging Alisa Barry, has a perfectly-packaged and savory experience that cannot be missed.  The flagship store is located in the oh-so-charming neighborhood of Virginia-Highlands in Atlanta, however their distribution does not stop there. From the nooks & crannies of fabulously unique gourmet retail stores, to gift stores, to the superior Henry Bendel, Bella Cucina has certainly made a place for themselves and has quite a following of foodies around the globe.

The Italian gem of a store is so perfectly appointed that it may possibly be the perfect home for IceMilk Aprons to be showcased. The pictures speak for themselves but the design is simple, rustic elegance to the max, with dreamy oversized fabric shades hanging from the ceilings and gourmet goodies scattered amidst garden-fresh veggies and worn wooden fixtures. Delish.

Our line of gourmet heirloom aprons debuted in the Bella Cucina store this August for their weekly Artisan Thursday event, another can’t-miss-moment when experiencing Bella Cucina.

We at IceMilk Aprons are so very thrilled to be involved with this timeless brand, honoring the luxury of food and recalling recipes of generations past. A special thank you and warm welcome to Alisa & her team as we embrace them as another wonderful Gourmet Retailer showcasing the IceMilk Apron line!

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Bella Cucina
1050 North Highland Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30306
Phone: 404.347.6476

I do believe that some of the most wonderful heirloom treasures in the world are found in the kitchen.

From tin cookie cutters to rolling pins to aprons, these handy items all contain memories from learning to cook in your youth with your family.

I have a set of tin measuring spoons from my Grandmother’s collection that I must admit I use for baking over my trusty, shiny new ones.

Last Christmas, I received a lovely treasure – a set of Tin Woodsman pewter measuring spoons and are sure to become an heirloom for my future generations. My love for pewter continues to withstand day in and day out, but these hearty hammered oversized spoons are simply iconic in the kitchen. A true symbol for a baker, these artful pieces make for such a lovely heirloom gift to enjoy for years & years!

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Give an heirloom gift from IceMilk Aprons

Perfect for entertaining, you’ll be hard pressed to find a fine gourmet shop that doesn’t carry the wonderful Bella Cucina line of gourmet “artful foods.”

The rustic foods are dedicated to preserving the passion & tradition of Italian foods, and founder Alisa Barry has developed a wonderful treasure in her line of rich spreads, crackers & entertaining goods.

The packaging is clean & simply beautiful, and you can be confident serving your guests as the foods seem to be lovingly hand-prepared which makes for an impressive spread. From Meyer lemon dessert spreads, to Italian flatbread, to artichoke lemon or sweet Vidalia onion pestos. And I must say, the Virginia-Highlands shop in Atlanta is possibly the biggest treat of all – a must to visit and soak in the experience.

Treat your guests to the artful passion with the simple elegance and hearty tastes of Bella Cucina at your next gathering.


recipe cardsThanks to everyone who entered the November “Sharing of Recipes” contest!  We have selected our winner, Maggie from Duluth – and she will receive an IceMilk Apron, just in time for holiday cooking!  Click here to view her winning recipe & read her wonderful story.

December’s “Sharing of Recipes” Contest has begun! Enter to win an IceMilk Apron today!

Share a meaningful family recipe with us and be entered in our drawing this month to win an IceMilk Apron, as well as having your recipe featured on our blog!

Enter now, it’s easy:
Comment on this blog entry with the name of your family recipe, along with a short story or memory on why that recipe is meaningful to you. Email me at ashley@icemilkaprons.com to submit your handwritten recipe card, only handwritten cards will be considered.

We’d love for YOU to share your recipes with us!

Join 121 other subscribers

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heirloomed Blog may contain paid advertisements, sponsored posts and/or affiliate links at times. I will disclose when a post is sponsored and if a brand has provided product as a gift by marking it {c/o} within the post. These opportunities will allow me to do even more of what I love here on the blog. I will only post about things I truly love and enjoy, and appreciate the opportunity to share these things with you.