We turned to lamb tonight for dinner because it has been quite a while since we have made it. We bought a rack of lamb, which happens to be my favorite cut and Gerry grilled it perfectly. It was drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with salt, pepper, and chopped fresh rosemary. When you start with an excellent cut of meat, all it needs are simple flavorings and an excellent grill master. Gerry grilled this to perfection.
Our side dishes were garlic mashed potatoes and carrots and all was wonderful.
I have been making a sweet treat each week and Sunday seems to be the perfect day to bake. I turned to an Ina Garten recipe in her Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook and it was like eating the best Devil's Food cake with a lightly whipped chocolate frosting. Gerry enjoyed it so much, he said it may be his birthday dessert choice (of course his birthday is in June so who knows how many times he might change his mind).
If you are a chocolate fan, you seriously need to try to make this cake.
Beatty's Chocolate Cake (Serves 8-10)
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home
Butter for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8 x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Place one layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with the frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.
6 oz. good semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut (which is what I used)
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.