Devilish Chocolate Cake

Devil Dog Cake

This cake is highly reminiscent of a Devil Dog. Remember those from your lunchbox days? Or maybe you eat them now and no memory is needed. They weren’t my favorite. I was all about Funny Bones. Chocolate cakes with a peanut butter filling enrobed in a shell-like milk chocolate frosting. Those were my idea of heaven. The Devil Dog was my Mom’s favorite. A few weeks ago she bought a box during a fit of nostalgia. Purely for old times sake. I curiously ate one. They were awfully dry like trying to eat cement mix. It was hard to chew no less swallow the lump of cake. More cream was clearly needed. There wasn’t even enough to squish out the sides and lick off like an ice cream sandwich! I hope my memory isn’t marred now…

Devil Dog Cake

Mom baked this with no intention or idea that it would resemble the flavors of a devil dog. It was such a coincidence that we had them just a few weeks before – the first time in a decade or more. I tasted devil dog in the very first bite. It was the devil dog glory that lives on, if only in my mind. Rich, dense, with the distinct chocolate taste and sticky, sweet frosting of my memories. But this was far better than the real Devil Dog I had tasted just a few weeks ago. Far better than the devil dogs in my memory…

Chocolate Devil Dog Cake with Seven Minute Marshmallow Frosting
(Adapted from The Cake Bible)

1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa, Dutch-processed
1 cup boiling water
3 Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 cups Sifted All-Purpose Flour
1 and 1/2 cups Sugar
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare pans, two 9-inch or one 13x9x2 inch. greased and floured.

In a medium bowl whisk together the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

In another medium bowl whisk the eggs, 1/4 of the cocoa mixture, and vanilla.

In a large mixing bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients and whisk together. Add the butter and the rest of the cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed using an electric hand mixer until flour is moistened. Then mix on medium for 1 and 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition.

Divide batter evenly between the two pans, or to one large pan.

Bake layers for 25-35 minutes, large pan 35-40, check done-ness by inserting a fork or toothpick, when it comes out clean, remove.

Cool cakes in pans for ten minutes on wire racks. Remove from pans onto greased wire racks and cool to room temperature before frosting.

Notes:

Devil Dogs have a cream filling – the texture of the marshmallow frosting is not the same – but the flavor is; only better, fresher, and cleaner tasting. A whipped cream frosting would go really well with this too.

Seven-Minute Marshmallow Frosting
(adapted from McCall’s Book of Cakes and Pies)

2 Egg Whites (1/4 cup)
1 and 1/2 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup or 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

In the top of a double boiler* combine egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, and 1/3 cup water.

With an electric hand mixer beat 1 minute to combine ingredients.

Cook over rapidly boiling water, beating constantly for 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form.

Remove from boiling water, add vanilla, beat until frosting is thick enough to spread about two more minutes.

*You can use a stainless steel mixing bowl fitted on top of a saucepan or a smaller pan fitted on top of a larger one. Just make sure the boiling water doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan.

Last, but not least, I leave you with Moon, The Kitchen Cat. I should know by now not to turn my back on my food. See how sweet and innocent he appears? If you look closer you will notice his Whip Cream Mustache.
Moon W/ Whip Cream Mustache
  
 The Little Devil!



 

Apple Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Apple-Cheddar Smashed Potatoes

I watched Guy Fieri on the Food Network add cubed apples to his mashed potatoes and nearly fell off my chair. My first thought was what an excellent idea! And my second was why didn’t I think of that? Genius.

Just the sound of it was delicious as I imagined how tart, slightly sweet apples would taste with potato. Although I liked his idea biting into big cubes of apples coated with mashed potato didn’t sound good. Instead of diced apples I use shredded. Cheddar is a classic combo to pair with apples so I added that too.

It was a wonderful combo! Better than I initially imagined. The apple wasn’t overwhelming but added a sweet note to the potatoes and blended in real well with the cheddar, rosemary and garlic. I’m intrigued with the idea of a sweet potato mash. The next night I used the leftovers to make potato pancakes. They were absolutely delicious, crusty on the outside and creamy on the inside. Apples and potatoes are a match made in heaven and a combination I’ll be using often.

Apple-Cheddar Smashed Potato Pancakes

Apple-Cheddar Smashed Potatoes
(adapted from Guy Fieri)
About 2 pounds of potatoes, cubed
4 cloves garlic, whole, peeled
Sea salt and fresh pepper
3-4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon Rosemary
12 ounces extra sharp cheddar, shredded
2 large, tart apples, shredded
1. To a large saucepan add the potato cubes and garlic. Fill with water to just above the potatoes. Add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes or until fork-tender.
2.Preheat oven to 35o degrees.
3. Remove potatoes from heat and drain leaving a few tablespoon of water in the pan. Add the potatoes and garlic back to the pan with the butter, milk, rosemary and re-season with salt and pepper. Smash with a potato masher. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed or milk if too thick.
3. Stir in the cheese and apples. Pour them into a greased casserole dish and put them in the oven on 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or just until heated through.

Apple-Cheddar Smashed Potato Pancakes

Potato Pancakes
2 cups of mashed potatoes
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Butter for pan-frying
Mix mashed potatoes, egg, and bread crumbs together. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. The skillet has to be hot enough to quickly brown the outsides or the cakes will melt. Add a pat of butter and coat the bottom. Add a large spoon of the mashed potato mixture and shape it into a patty using the spoon. Cook about five minutes on each side until crispy golden brown. Repeat adding butter to the pan until all your pancakes are cooked. Serve with sour cream.

Even Moon can’t resist!

Moon's Mashed Potatoes

Paw It Forward

Moon the Kitchen Cat received a generous box of goodies in a Paw It Forward Giveaway. Angel, Isabella, and Sadie along with their Mom, Sharla of Beaded Tail sent him a box chock full of toys and treats. Moon has been having so much fun playing with his catnip toys and eating his treats. They are all his favorite kinds!

Moon & Paw it Forward

Moon & Paw it Forward

Paw it Forward

Now it’s Moon’s turn to Paw It Forward. If you have a cat(s) and you want to play along just leave me a comment telling me their name(s) and their favorite treats. You must also be willing to keep Paw It Forward going by having a giveaway yourself. I’ll pick a winner by random generator this weekend.

Moon 

Moon sends a tremendous thank-you and big hugs to Angel, Isabella, Sadie and Sharla!

Light and Luscious Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

My Mom loves lemon chicken. Any and all kinds of lemon chicken. She makes many different ones including Chicken Francese, Chicken Piccata and this recipe that she just calls Lemon Chicken. It is the simpler of the three – without the strong flavor bursts of the capers in the Piccata or the wine in the Francese. Or the tell-tale pucker. It’s a milder, lighter version, and my favorite of the three.

The chicken is lightly dredged in flour and pan-fried. The chicken is removed and garlic and onion are sauteed. The chicken along with lemon juice and chicken broth are added back in to finish cooking in the oven. The lemon and chicken broth together make a flavorful, broth that isn’t overpowered by the lemon.

It’s nicely balanced, bright, and delicious. The chicken is fork tender and melts in your mouth in little bursts of subtle lemon flavor. This is a perfect summertime comfort meal!

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken
(From My Mom)
1 to 1 and 1/2 pounds chicken breast
flour
cornstarch
Sea salt and fresh pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup minced onion
2 lemons
14 oz. chicken broth(about 1 and 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
Linguine or Spaghetti
Parmesan, fresh grated
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pound out your chicken breasts to 1/2 – 1 inch thick, cover with saran wrap first so chicken juice doesn’t fly everywhere.
2. In a small bowl combine about 1/2 cup flour with 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Wash the chicken breasts(don’t dry them), season with salt and pepper, and lightly coat them with the flour mixture.
3. In a large oven proof skillet over medium heat melt the butter and vegetable oil together. Add the chicken breasts and cook on each side until golden brown.
4. Remove the chicken from the pan. Add the garlic and onion, saute over medium-low heat until tender. Add the chicken back to the pan. Squeeze the lemons over the chicken breasts. Add the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the lemons and place them on top of the chicken.
5. Finish cooking them in the oven about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. In the mean time cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions.
6. Finish by sprinkling parsley over the top.
7. Serve over linguine or spaghetti with fresh grated Parmesan.

Moon says thanks for all the birthday wishes! He read all your comments:

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Lemon Chicken