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Lemon Cake with Lemon Zest Buttercream

Lemon Cake with Lemon Zest Buttercream

In today’s diary of a ‘kind-of unemployed college student with way too much time on her hands,’ a lemon cake was made. The desire to make this “light summer meal” (in a texture sense, not a caloric one) really just boiled down to me wanting to play with a piping bag. It’s pretty cool what a few Youtube videos can teach you in one afternoon about piping. And it’s really cool to “learn something new” and end up with a delicious dessert.

So you can imagine my pitiful excitement when I found a fresh lemon in the fruit bowl this morning, lemon cake it was! The actual cake is sour cream lemon cake, and it’s wonderfully…dare I say moist? (The most hated word has it’s place, and it’s here.) I made the buttercream with lots of lemon zest and a very small amount of lemon juice and it was a big hit. Super sweet buttercream pairs up really well with a tart flavor. The combination of the frosting and cake is quite perfect with no overkill on the lemon or the sweetness.
So if you can’t find some ridiculous justification to make this cake like I did, I might suggest it for Father’s Day. Or, if you don’t have a dad…summer solstice. Or…the beginning of June! There are secret holidays all around, and holidays call for cake like this. (As does my kind-of unemployed life).

Lemon Sour cream Cake With Lemon Zest Buttercream Frosting

 

Lemon Cake With Lemon Zest Butter Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • For the Buttercream
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbs half and half
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1½ tbs lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.
  2. Add eggs, oil and lemon juice. Beat until smooth.
  3. Add sour cream and beat until smooth.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees in two 8-inch pans for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. For the Buttercream
  6. Begin by creaming butter until smooth, slowly add in powdered sugar and lemon zest.
  7. Continue to cream adding in half and half and lemon juice adjusting amounts to desired consistency.

 

 

Fudgy Brownies

Fudgy Brownies

No one ever gets mad at you for making brownies. Some “healthy” desserts that I’ve made don’t go over so well with in house. I often cut out processed sugar and sometimes reduce the butter or use a different flour. Some people don’t like this and proceed to describe the taste as something that “starts off good, but ends bad.” So, no, not everyone is into health around here.

But that’s where these brownies come in. Butter, Chocolate and all the goodness. The perfect mix of melt and form. A taste that other desserts fail to capture. They are a chocolate lovers heaven, aside from flourless cake that is.

hand on brownie

I’ve found that in brownies, especially super chocolate ones, that semi-sweet chips work a little better than dark. Though you pretty much have to pry the dark chocolate chip bag from my hands, they don’t melt as well and the overall flavor is a little lost.

I also want to mention that in this recipe I used dark chocolate cocoa powder, which made them extra dark. Obviously, regular works just as well.

Fudgy Brownies

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons (145 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (65 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dark)
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 325 degrees F (163 C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (20cm) square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. (This helps when removing the baked brownies from the pan, once cooled).
  2. Add enough water to a medium saucepan so that it is 1 to 2 inches deep. Heat water until barely simmering. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder and the salt in a medium heat-safe bowl. Rest bowl over simmering water (if the bottom of the bowl touches the water, remove a little water).
  3. Stir mixture occasionally until the butter has melted and mixture is quite warm. Don’t worry if it looks granular, it will become smooth once you add the eggs and flour.
  4. Remove the bowl from heat and set aside for 3 to 5 minutes until it is only warm, not hot.
  5. Stir in vanilla extract, then eggs, one at a time.
  6. Add in flour and mix until combined. Bake 20-25 minutes (and under bake a little for more fudge-like Brownies.)

best fudgy brownies

 

Mini Brownie Mousse Trifle

Mini Brownie Mousse Trifle

This is decadent. If you’re looking for something delicious and chocolatey, that doesn’t require too much time, make this. If the pictures do not translate well, it’s basically really fudgey brownies topped with a (rather large) dollop of rich dark chocolate mousse, garnished with morebrownies and chocolate shavings.

Uh huh.

While this creation was intended for and served on Valentines Day, it’s really applicable to any time (really, any time). Like…now. There are no hearts or red sprinkles–just good ole’ chocolate (Who needs love, anyway?)

Another thing is the pathetic fact that I’m still a little bit hooked on boxed brownie mix. Even though I’m completely aware of all the preservatives and disgusting chemicals in the box, I always cave in to its mystifying powers. Quick, easy and fudge-like. Especially if the brownie is not the center of the dessert, I fall to the box.

Today I’m actually making Paleo brownies, and I am interested to see how they turn out. Somehow I have this feeling that our friends Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker are the overpowering villains to the innocent Paleo. But I’m willing to give a healthier option a chance. I think.

But for now, your Monday might require a little bit of the option below, and that’s okay.

We’re a judgement free zone here .

moussebrownie2

Mini Brownie Mousse Trifle

Ingredients

  • 1 Box Brownie Mix
  • ?4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) butter
  • 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 bar dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Make Brownies according to directions on box. Do not overcook. When you think they’re not done, they probably are. (Sometimes this is less time than the box says depending on your oven.)
  2. Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave, stirring until smooth; set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk the yolks, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth and then whisk in the chocolate mixture.
  4. Using a mixer, whisk the whites until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold the egg whites in 3 batches into the chocolate. Once an addition is almost completely incorporated, add the next. The texture will look completely questionable but keep going. It gets better.
  6. Place the cream into the mixer bowl and whip that just until soft peaks start to form.
  7. Fold the whipped cream into the mousse mixture until the texture is uniform – you’ll fold this much, much more than a more traditional mousse.
  8. You can refridgerate the mousse or just have it in the moment, either way it’s delicious.
  9. Chop brownie pieces (once cooled) into small rectangles (it’s okay if they crumble.)
  10. Place pieces at the bottom of a dish, top with mousse and grate slightly heated chocolate over.