Espresso Powder ... where the heck do you find it?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy Monday everyone.  I hope you all had a fab weekend.  

Paul's birthday is coming up this Wednesday so I thought I would make him a chocolate cake from scratch. Before this great adventure I have made two homemade cakes.  The first one which I have dubbed cake-gate was a complete let down.  The first one was just way to much to tackle for a newbie cake maker.  It had great intentions ... double birthday cake ... for Paul and for my lil sis Debra ... which then just caused my lil sister to be bratty (which she will probably still deny and who in their 20s still wants funfetti cake when someone is WILLING to make you a cake FROM SCRATCH ... hence the name cake-gate) anywho ... I tried making a healthy version using splenda and such and it turned out to be a heavy somewhat tasteless cake. Womp womp womp ... so I went back to cakes in a box.  I mean hello they taste good don't knock Betty Crocker that girl has it DOWN.  

Yet cake-gate and all, I could not let that first fiasco stop me from attempting it again.  Recently I've gotten back in the kick of watching all the cooking shows that pbs airs.  You know like America's Test Kitchen and their "new" (well new to me) Cook's Country.  So I saw this episode with a Strawberry Dream Cake and I thought it would be perfect to try as my next homemade cake (click HERE to watch the show).  The cake was definitely a chore to make.  It called for squeezing the juice from frozen strawberries and reducing it down to a thick syrup.  Let's just say it took WAY longer than the few minutes for them to go over the "how -to" on television.  Well ... the cake was AMAZING.  Strawberry cake, strawberry cream cheese icing and fresh strawberries in the middle ... OMG ... sorry Betty but your Strawberry Cake mix has got NUTIN on this bad boy!!  The cake was gone in like 2 days.  It literally became a part of the day ... CAKE TIME!!
So now we're at my THIRD cake.  Chocolate cake with chocolate icing for Paul because seriously we will be watching tv and he will randomly say ... chocolate cake.  Seriously like once a month he will crave chocolate ... it's kinda nice knowing we aren't the only ones.  So I looked for a pbs cooking show with a delicious looking chocolate cake and no such luck.  So I went to my second tried and true method ... google!  I found a blog toting the The Best Chocolate Cake {Ever}! (<---click on that link to see her amazing cake and for the recipe) and thought I just had to use this recipe. I looked it over about 100 times before making it and each time I thought okay this is WAY easier than that Strawberry Cake.  However, the biggest challenge looming over me for this cake was ... the recipe calling for espresso powder.  I looked almost everywhere for it ... Publix (grocery store), Fresh Market (kinda like Whole Foods), Whole Foods and World Market ... no luck.  I did use that trusty friend of mine google which mentioned that William Sonoma carried it but I was not trekking all the way across town for one ingredient AND paying the William Sonoma price for it.  There just has to be a different way. So I read through all the comments and kept telling myself that even the blogger said that it was just her spin on the Hershey chocolate cake recipe on the back of the cocoa powder container which says NOTHING about espresso powder but yet her words that it just helped bring out the chocolate flavor even more kept haunting me.  Then I found my substitution ... coffee extract.  Well actually I bought something at Whole Foods called Coffee Flavor which I have to guess is the same thing that I later saw at Publix {CHEAPER!! ... bang palm on forehead}.  With that I set off to make my cake and .... it turned out DELICIOUS!  The cake is so moist and delicious and the frosting is to die for!  Seriously you could just make that and spread it over everything and be content.  Screw nutella ... lol.  The cake is definitely rich so definitely have some cold milk {soy for those lactose intolerant like me} or ice water nearby. We had vanilla ice cream with ours ... so yum.  It was also super simple to make.  Granted just about anything might seem simple after that Strawberry Dream Cake but it truly is - other than of course having to measure out all the ingredients - it's just as easy to make as a box cake.  Also, frosting sounds kinda daunting to make especially when it comes so neatly packaged in the correct amount at the supermarket but it is really easy to make and tastes so much better ... I know I know but it is ... trust me ... heck make it. 
I'm hoping the more cakes I make ... the neater they will start to look but hey pretty or not they are sure tasty!

So all in all, my last two cakes were a success and I am even thinking about trying to make a few more real soon for some other birthdays I have coming up.  Also, how awesome would it be if I learned how to make real coconut cake and made it for our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!  Since we had coconut cake at our wedding I think it would be fitting to try my hand at that cake next.  

What's your favorite cake to bake?

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE cake!! They look soo good!! You can totally make a coconut cake for your anniversary!! That would be so sweet.

    Best, Mree


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