Saturday was a busy, full day. I was asked by some ladies at church to do a one hour class for an all day craft day about whatever cooking/baking I choose. We do this every year and the cooking class is always my favorite thing to participate in--until I was asked to actually DO the class. (People know I bake a lot and most know about my blog, so because of this, they assume I have knowledge to share. I fool a lot people. ;) I have prepped for this class for weeks and after hummin' and hawin' about what to do, I had narrowed it down to a subject definitely near and dear to me---CHOCOLATE! I decided to share a bunch of my favorite recipes that have chocolate. I made samples of each thing so there was a tasting table available throughout the class. I wanted to do some simple things that are my go-to recipes as well as some things I just think are really yummy that have chocolate. I showed the class how to make a few things, like a simple cake, my favorite brownies, some fun fudge and a couple other things.
I would tell you all the things I made and presented as I have links and recipes for each thing, but it would take too long right now. So I will in another post. As stressful as doing something like this class was for me, it was fun to do all the baking and prep for it and I made sure everyone took most of it home! I’m glad it’s over! On to the birthday! ;)
When I got home from the class around 3 o'clock, Kevin surprised me by telling me he'd made an appointment for me to get a massage and that while I was gone to that, he and the boys would be making me dinner. I have not had very many massages in my life, but this was the big one hour long kind and it felt great. (Thanks, Hon!!!) While I was gone, Kevin and the boys made pork chops, mashed sweet potatoes, asparagus, fruit salad and a 2-layer chocolate cake! You'll never guess who picked to help with the cake? Taylor! Now I've always said here that no one really likes cake at our house. But for a big birthday celebration, Taylor wanted to make me a cake. And do you know what, everyone ate cake. And let this go on record, Kevin ate two pieces!
Look at this cake! GREAT job Taylor and Kevin!
I let Scott take a few pictures.
Let's eat cake!
I'm glad I had helpers for those four candles on the cake (one candle for each decade old I am. Gasp.)
I wanted to document that everyone ate cake. And it was good, even if it was a boxed cake mix and canned frosting! Maybe that's the trick to get them to eat cake!
Sam was having a fit because he wanted his cake cut into bite size pieces.
Taylor being Taylor.
Look how much cake we ate!
And to think that was all just for the day BEFORE my birthday. My birthday just so happens to be on National Bundt Cake Day.
So, of course I HAD to make a bundt today! I really wanted to show my support to the amazing Mary at The Food Librarian, because I certainly didn’t need more cake! ;) You must check out Mary’s 30 Days of I Like Big Bundts. I cannot lie, I like them, too! ;) So my bundt today has, um, chocolate—check, banana—check, nuts—check and cinnamon. You see, I fell in love with this amazing Banana Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Coffee Cake a few months ago that I originally found over at Donna’s blog, My Tasty Treasures. So I decided to make my bundt cake from this recipe.
I love this bundt cake! It turned out moist inside with just the right amount of slight crispness on the outside you get from a bundt. I kicked it up a notch by drizzling on a simple powdered sugar vanilla glaze and sprinkling on some cacao nibs I bought in San Francisco at the Scharfen Berger store when I was there in September for the Food BlogHer conference. Love the crunch! Inside this bundt is a nice ripple layer of the cinnamon/chocolate chip/walnut/brown sugar streusel that is also used with the coffee cake. Mmmm!
You see that deliciousness?
After having a small piece of this and a little sliver of the chocolate cake to celebrate my birthday tonight, I was stuffed. I don’t often stuff myself until I’m full anymore, but this took it over the top for me. Hey, you only have birthdays once a year, right! ‘Sides, this is a big birthday for me so I needed to celebrate with a big bundt! ;) Mary, what a great thing you’ve done for the food world posting all these bundts we’ll always have to look at and go to for some great recipes! And thanks so much for the shout out about my birthday. I had no idea you did that and could not for the life of me figure out how so many people knew it was my birthday today! You little sneak! ;) (Thanks.)
For the bundt, I used the coffee cake recipe I’ve linked above on a previous post of mine, but I used coconut oil for the butter, whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose flour and I halved the streusel since it wasn’t going to be used as topping, just in the middle.
Banana Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Bundt Cake, by Katrina Smith, adapted from Bon Appetit 2003 Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
6 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (to taste)
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (all purpose would be fine)
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup coconut oil (unsalted butter or canola oil would be fine)
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups mashed very ripe bananas (I used 5 small very ripe bananas)
3 tablespoons buttermilk
Powdered sugar glaze--
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons cacao nibs (or mini chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan (or an 8x8 inch baking pan). In medium bowl, stir chocolate chips, brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon together. Set aside. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In bowl of electric mixer, beat oil/butter, sugar and egg until fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add mashed bananas and buttermilk and mix until well combined. Stir in dry ingredients to combine, but don’t overmix.
Spread half the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the streusel mixture. Repeat with remaining batter. Bake cake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove bundt cake to cool completely on wire rack.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients until lump free and smooth. Put glaze in a plastic zip top bag, snip a little corner off the bag and drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips. Serve.
Also for my birthday dinner, I made Texas Style Beef Brisket that I saw on Megan’s awesome blog, My Baking Adventures. The boys don’t really like BBQ sauce (Kevin loves it!), so I used the juice from roasting the brisket and made a sauce with it that I poured over the beef. We also had baked potatoes and salad.
And I got some nice gifts from Kevin and the boys for my big day.
A couple of cookbooks on my “wish list”—can’t wait to look through Ree’s new book, The Pioneer Woman Cooks as well as David Lebovitz’ Great Book of Chocolate and the Lion House Bakery book! I’ve also not had a hand mixer for years and decided it would be nice to have one. As well as a mortar and pestle and some little tart pans. Thanks, Kevin!!! One thing that is my favorite part of having a birthday, was watching Parker and Taylor flitter around drawing me pictures and wrapping them up to give me for my birthday. THESE are really the gifts that are so special to me! Thanks, Guys! I love you.
Do I look 40? Sigh. I actually don’t feel 40 and really can’t believe I am. So we’ll just keep saying 39, right.
Thanks, Everyone, for all the birthday wishes, too!