Monday, February 20, 2023

One Bowl Chocolate Cake

 There are times when I (or my husband) crave a homemade chocolate-y dessert but don't want to make it a big production. If you've ever felt that way, this is the perfect recipe for you. This cake is made in one bowl, without using a mixer --  a whisk or wooden spoon and a bowl is all you need. Plus it tastes out-of-this-world delicious -- fudgy, moist and tender. I found the recipe on The Seasoned Mom website while searching for a chocolate cake to make with the leftover buttermilk in my fridge. If you haven't got buttermilk, no problem. Just add a few squirts of lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk and let it sit for 10 minutes or so. The original recipe makes a much larger cake -- calling for twice the ingredients and a 9" x 13" baking pan. However, I cut everything in half and baked it in an 8" x 8" pyrex pan. It is the perfect snack cake, and one I'm sure I'll rely on time and time again in the future. The Seasoned Mom topped her cake with a ganache-type frosting, but I made a buttercream frosting instead. It stays nice and soft on the cake, while ganache hardens. Either way, I'm sure you'll love this cake.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

printable recipe here

Cake recipe from "The Seasoned Mom" website


1 cup all purpose flour, sifted

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup whole buttermilk

1/2 cup hot water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

4 tablespoons milk, or more as needed to achieve a creamy, spreadable consistency.

Preheat oven to 350 degrrees.
Grease and flour an 8" x 8" baking pan.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powdr, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Add the egg, oil and buttermilk and vanilla, whisking well to combine.
Add the hot water and whisk until the batter is smooth.
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan.
Tap gently on the counter to release any air bubbles.
Bake forr 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserved in center comes out clean.
Let cool, then frost if desired, or just sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Beat all ingredients together in a mixer, beating until creamy and smooth.
Start by adding half the milk, then add the other half, or more to achieve a spreadable consistency.
Top with chocolate jimmies (sprinkles) if desired.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Almond and Fig Torte


Fresh figs are months away here in New Jersey , but this cake makes use of dried figs, readily available any time of year. My dad's wife made this cake years ago and gave me the recipe, one she got from her local newspaper, but it's attributed to chef Al Paris, of Philadelphia's (now closed) Heirloom and Paris Bistro restaurants. With almond paste as one of its ingredients, the fragrance alone is inviting. The flavor is every bit as delicious as the smell that will permeate your kitchen while in the oven, and the texture is dense and moist.  The recipe calls for dried figs, but once fresh fig season arrives, this would be delicious with those as well.

Almond and Fig Torte

printable recipe here


4 ounces unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan

3/4 c. sugar

12 ounces almond paste

4 eggs

1 T. vanilla extract

1 t. baking powder

1/2 cup almond flour, sifted

1 cup dried black mission figs, stemmed, halved, and soaked in hot water

1/2 cup pine nuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter.
Add the remaining butter and sugar to the bowl of a standing mixer.
With the paddle attachment, cream until fluffy.
Add the almond paste, eggs, and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
Add the baking powder and almond flour and mix until incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Drain the figs and then arrange them cut-side up on top.
Sprinkle the pine nuts over the figs. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the edges of the cake are browned and the center is set. (
The cake will be dense and soft, with the texture of almond paste.)
Turn the oven off, crack the door of the oven, and let the cake rest in the oven for 20 minutes more. Slice and serve.