Flourless Mocha Cake

Flourless Mocha Cake with Mocha Sour Cream Ganache
I heard some of you are out of flour. I hope you have the more important ingredient - chocolate.

Fudgy, rich, and chocolatey with a hint of coffee flavor, this flourless cake is perfect for a weeknight, weekend...what day IS it anyway??? Does anyone know any more? What I'm saying is...it's perfect.

Flourless Mocha Cake with Mocha Sour Cream Ganache
Mr. E fell in love with this cake immediately. He's not a fan of layer cake, but this one with the fudgy cake and thick ganache layer was right up his alley.

sour cream ganache
The cake is covered in a ganache frosting, but one that is made just a bit differently than normal. Usually, I make ganache with heavy cream. I didn't have heavy cream on hand, but I did have sour cream. Lots of sour cream. Every time I go to the store, it seems I tell myself, "hey...I'm pretty sure we're low on sour cream." Without knowing it, I'd hoarded 4 containers for the quarantine.

Buttermilk Sandwich Bread

Buttermilk Sandwich Bread
It seems we go through bread pretty quickly around here...and we're a family of three! Not being able to run to the store at a moment's notice, bread baking is my new thing. I've always loved freshly baked bread (it's my love language) and have wanted more time to devote to baking it. Guess what? I have it now.

Hopefully, you have some buttermilk in your fridge or your freezer. (Did you know it can be frozen?) If not, do grab a few bottles on your next grocery run.

Buttermilk Sandwich Bread
This buttermilk bread is pretty much the perfect sandwich bread. It's has a tight but tender crumb which stands up to slicing and spreading and slathering. It's flavor is mild. I remember Jack went through a stage as a kid when he didn't like sourdough bread, deeming it "too tangy." If you have a kiddo like that, this is the bread for you.

It is a wonderful blank canvas for butter, jelly, or sandwiches of any kind.

Way Back Wednesday: March 25, 2020

Hey, y'all! How are you adjusting to our new normal? Things are good here. I haven't stepped foot in a grocery store in...13 days. That's just weird.

While taking a peek into the archives this time around, I'll try to give some tips for working these into our lives right now.

From 2012, Salted Butterscotch Blondies
salted butterscotch blondies | bakeat350.net
Oh, these are a huge hit around here. Substitutions: you could leave out the butterscotch chips or replace them with chocolate chips. The dark brown sugar can be replaced with light.

From 2013, Carrot Cake Cookies
carrot cake cookies
Got carrots? This is a delicious way to use them up! Feel free to swap extracts as needed, and you can always leave off the frosting.

From 2016, Neiman Marcus Cake
Neiman Marcus CAKE
I make this in two pans, but you can make it in one larger pan as noted in the post.

From 2019, All About Buttermilk
buttermilk 101
If you snagged buttermilk in your shopping (or have some in your freezer...details in the post!), this one is for you!

How are you all doing? Have you found a favorite quarantine bake? (PS...for some reason, I haven't been able to reply to comments on MY OWN BLOG. If you have a question on a recipe, reach out via twitter or instagram for the quickest response.)

English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread : simple to make, minimal ingredients, makes two loaves, no kneading
Here's what we all need right now - BREAD. Bread for toast, bread for sandwiches, bread for slathering with butter, bread for comforting our souls. Yay, bread!

English Muffin Bread : simple to make, minimal ingredients, makes two loaves, no kneading
This English Muffin bread is everything you want it to be. It has all of those "nooks and crannies" we all love, it has the crunchy cornmeal "crust," and it tastes so much better than store-bought English muffins. We've already eaten it toasted with butter, with jam, as a grilled cheese sandwich, and I'm planning on English muffin pizzas very soon!

Ready, Set, Dough by Rebecca Lindamood
The recipe comes from my friend Rebecca Lindamood's latest book, Ready, Set, Dough! Beginner Breads for All Occasions. (Rebecca is the brains behind the addictive blog, Foodie with Family.) Let me tell you...NOW is the perfect time to purchase this book. With flour, water, and yeast, you can create magic while being sequestered at home. (Psst...the book is also available on Kindle.)

In the book, you'll find recipes for basic breads, pizza dough, rolls, garlic knots, bagels, cornbread...I could go on. There are recipes for using bread, like Caprese Cornbread Panzanella and Tuscan Bread Soup! You need this cookbook!

So, here we are...

I sat down to compile my Way Back Wednesday post for this week...and I couldn't do it. On the one hand, maybe we all need a little escape and some recipe ideas. On the other hand, it felt a little tone-deaf.

We started isolating Wednesday night. Early Wednesday afternoon, Jack heard from Notre Dame that he wouldn't be going back to campus until 4-13 at the earliest. The Houston Rodeo was canceled right after that. We immediately left the house to stock up on groceries (and only 2 packages of TP!) and cat food. Other than to go outside or go for a drive, we haven't been out since.

So, where does this leave the blog right now? I always work from home - but this is different. My plan is to bring you some simple recipes that can work with some substitutes. (I'm doing some of that already on Instagram.) I don't want to encourage anyone to venture out for specialty ingredients. Although, I'm guessing we'll all need to hit the stores or do some online ordering at some point during the upcoming weeks/months.

Here are the baking things I bought for my pantry/fridge:
  • flour: all-purpose and bread
  • sugar: all kinds :)
  • butter: salted, unsalted, spreadable
  • eggs
  • cream cheese
  • yeast
  • salt
  • baking powder and soda
  • cocoa powder: regular and Dutch
  • chocolate: a variety of chips + some bars
  • milk: 2%, buttermilk, powdered
  • vanilla extract
Of course, I have all of the things I already had on hand: espresso powder, sprinkles, food coloring, etc. etc. 

A lot of baking can happen with those ingredients. I really will try to keep things simple. Please reach out if you need a substitution for any recipe on the blog, and we'll see what we can come up with together.

I like to keep the blog full of hearts and happiness, and sugar. The truth is...I'm filled with anxiety. I ordered $100 of art supplies online at 2:30am this morning when I couldn't sleep from worry. In the midst of the worry, I'm so thankful for so many things: healthcare workers, Amazon employees, grocery store staff, that Jack is home, that my husband still has a job, that we're healthy. That's when the anxiety spills over into guilt. It's a vicious cycle. Just me? You too? 
I'm not sure if I need more Jesus, more chocolate, or to break open the vodka. All three???

Anyway...sending you all virtual hugs and elbow bumps from a safe distance. ♥ Let's stay home together. And for those of you who can't, thank you for your service in helping the rest of us. Take care...all of you! 

From Fr. Goyo: 

"Lord, help me 
Be prepared, but not anxious.
Be aware, but not desperate.
Be vigilant, but not in fear.
Be joyful, but not clueless. 
Be faithful, but not careless.
Lord, be my hope and strength."