Chocolate Snack Cake

Everybody needs a good snack cake and if that snack cake happens to be chocolate, then all the better.  I have several snack cakes that I go to regularly.  I saw this one though and thought that I had to give it a whirl.

Snack Cake... I love calling it that.  Somehow, calling it a 'Snack' cake takes some of the dessert importance out of it.  It doesn't have to live up to some kind of dessert ideal.  It doesn't feel like as big a deal and well, if I'm just having it as a snack then I'm sure that the calorie count must be lower too... right???  Haha.  Call it whatever you want, this is good cake.
We've been needing something chocolate in the house with the apple cake, the pear/pecan cake... not a chocolate in sight.  This cake was super easy and tasted just as good the next day.  Nice and moist but if you are looking for a brownie recipe then this is not for you.  This is cake all the way baby.  It totally lifted my spirits on my first day back to work after the long weekend.  Hear this... first day back, biking to work, I find myself braking too hard too fast and next thing I know my bike is going over my head and I'm kissing the asphalt... Great way to start the week.  So stupid... and sore!
I managed to bike myself back home from work and I sat my sore ass down to a nice little piece of Chocolate Fudge Snack Cake....

it felt like more than a snack and it was just what I needed.

Chocolate Fudge Cake
BBC Good Food Magazine

200g chocolate (I used 60% stuff but it would probably be better with Milk Chocolate)
200g unsalted butter
200g light brown sugar (I used half dark brown and half granulated)
100ml sour cream
2 lg eggs
200g self-raising flour
5 tbsp cocoa powder

Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup dark chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1 - 2 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 - 3/4 cup icing sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line a square 8inch baking pan with parchment or grease and flour.
In a bowl combine chocolate, butter and sugar with 100ml hot water and let it all melt together.
Once melted, add in the sour cream and the eggs and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and cocoa powder.  Mix into the chocolate mixture.  Mix well and pour the batter into the pan.

Bake for 50 min (?) but I would check it around 40 - mine was ready.
Cool for about 20 min. in the pan and turn out to cool on a rack.
Ice once completely cooled.

Melt the chocolate and cream together over low heat.  Add in the corn syrup and mix well.  Add the icing sugar if necessary.  Cool for at least one hour (maybe in the fridge if you need to hurry).  Pour over cake once the cake has cooled completely.

Add Sprinkles!!!

Veggie Pasta in Rose Sauce

It's Thanksgiving Monday here in Canada.
That means:
I got to sleep in until 7:45 (kid#2 woke me up)
I could do a whole hour of yoga today whenever I wanted
I got to cook and do my outdoor chores in my pj's (aren't you glad you are NOT my neighbour)

I'm also trying to put together some food for this week without the help of my food box.  Today is a holiday after all and so they don't deliver to me today, my usual delivery day.  However, I love the feeling (and challenge) of emptying out my stores.  I've told you all before that I'm not a horder of anything.  So, nothing gives me greater pleasure (well almost nothing!) than to see a near empty fridge.
Technically, as it's Thanksgiving Monday, I should be having leftover Turkey but we didn't cook any turkey.  I'm goin' veggie today.

So, in my PJ's, with my kids running around underfoot, takin' my sweet time, I made this pasta and enjoyed it a lot.  I will continue to enjoy it this week at work while everybody is having leftover turkey sandwiches.  Look Peeps, I got a half marathon coming up in exactly 6 days - I gotta load up!

Wanda's Veggie Pasta in Rosé sauce
serves 6

6 cups medium pasta (rotini/penne) cooked al dente and set aside
1 small onion, diced
1 medium zucchini cut in strips
1 medium red pepper cut in strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups of something green (chard, spinach, I used broccoli b/c that's all I had)
2 tbsp brown sugar or honey
1 lg can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup soft cheese (cream cheese, goat cheese)
1/2 cup heavy cream or sour cream
salt (to taste)
basil - fresh 1/2 cup - dried 2 tbsp

Heat a large pot and add 3tbsp of olive oil (forgot that part).  Over medium heat throw in the onion, zucchini and peppers and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add in the garlic and cook another 3 minutes.  Add in the green stuff and the sugar and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add in the diced tomatoes and heat through.  Add in the soft cheese and allow it to melt into the sauce.  Add in the cream, salt and basil.  Feel free to add in a dash of pepper sauce as well (I did).

Toss with the cooked pasta.   Serve topped with a little parmesan and/or fresh herbs.

Pear and Pecan Cake Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving.
It's Thanksgiving in Canada.  This is an interesting thing.  For most internationals Thanksgiving doesn't even exist outside of the American movies that they might watch.  Canadian Thanksgiving is really nothing close to the big deal that the American Thanksgiving is:

Canadian Thanksgiving is earlier (our harvest is earlier, hello - Canada)
We get Monday off not Friday (therefor no black friday shopping extravaganza)
We might have Turkey but could also easily have Ham or Lamb
It's honestly no tragedy for most of us if we don't observe it at all.

It's kind of like Hallowe'en for me.  A very American holiday that I can take or leave (keep in mind people that generally I'm a bit of a 'Ba Humbug")

We did observe Thanksgiving this year though by visiting my parents.  Not for as long as we would have liked to but at least we got there.  We had a lovely dinner with them which included this whipped turnip dish that was divine and will be featured in a later post.  My contribution was a cake.
I do not like pumpkin pie.  I think it has something to do with the gross tasting canned pumpkin crap.  However, I've never been motivated enough to make my own and check it out.  So, I didn't make pumpkin pie.

I did make something which was kind of Harvest/Fall-ish.  Pear Pecan Cake.
I got this from the Magnolia Cookbook.  It was my first time trying it and it came out quite lovely.  I was a little concerned because the batter was really goopy.  I thought that maybe there wasn't enough liquid and that maybe I should add more.  I held myself back though and I'm glad that I did because they knew what they were doing apparently, those recipe people.  It worked beautifully and just the right texture.  This would make a beautiful coffee cake alternative as well.

So, Happy Thanksgiving and 'Here's to no Pumpkin Pie this year!' (Sorry Pumpkin pie lovers)

Pear Pecan Cake
The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook


3 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp veg oil (I used Canola)
3 lg eggs, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Bosc Pears (about 2 cups) cut into 1 inch pieces (I used 2 small pears and 1 apple)
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped


1 1/2 cups icing sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice/orange juice or water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt.  Make a well in the centre.  Stir in the oil, eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add the fruit and the nuts.  Mix well.
(The batter will seem a bit weird at this point but just trust me... it's ok)
Spoon batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 60 - 70 min.  or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for about 20 min.  Finish cooling on a cake rack.

For the glaze:
Combine the icing sugar and the juice until it's the desired consistency.  Pour over a completely cooled cake.

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St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

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Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
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