I have to thank my friend Kate in Chicago for kindly sending me a lovely care package of sourdough starter and for sharing this recipe. Thanks, Kate!
I had always wanted to use a sourdough starter for homemade bread, but never had before this. It can be a touch daunting for all the details on keeping the starter ‘fed’ before the day you intend to use it, but luckily Kate also sent me a great set of instructions to follow. You can find some helpful instructions on the King Arthur Flour website.
This loaf of sourdough filled with chunks of Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate turned out to be delicious. I ate a slice for breakfast toasted with a touch of Bumble and Brown each morning the week I made the bread, though it’s also good without any extra fuss as well.
I had been collecting a number of chocolate and peanut butter dessert recipes on Foodgawker over the last few months in anticipation of my husband’s birthday this year. Last weekend I asked him to pick one for me to make for an early birthday treat. He chose this Peanut Butter Cup Cake.
This was a very simple recipe that starts with a boxed devils food cake mix, eggs, buttermilk with chopped miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups mixed into the batter. The “frosting” is a chocolate and peanut butter ganache that is poured over the cake and sets for a minute before adding more chopped peanut butter cups for decoration. I didn’t go overboard with the decorative candy pieces. The cake had plenty mixed into the cake itself and I felt that really piling up the candy on the sides of the cake would overdo it here.
I usually prefer to bake a cake from scratch, but the buttermilk that was added gave the cake less of an “out-of-the box” taste. As if you couldn’t guess from the name, this cake was very rich and begs for a glass of milk to go with each slice. I’m not much of a chocolate cake fan myself, but I have to admit, this one was pretty darn good, even for non-chocoholics. Those that do love chocolate cake gave it rave reviews when I brought it to a barbecue this weekend. I think it also develops better flavor when it’s in the fridge for a couple of days. I seemed to like each slice better as another day passed.
I don’t want to think about how much each slice weighed in at calorie-wise, but for a once-in-a-while treat it’s worth the nutritional price!
I adapted a Cooking Light recipe for Raspberry Oat Bars to use up what I had on hand, so they turned into Cherry Chocolate Oat Bars made with cherry preserves and bittersweet chocolate chips. Using preserves instead of jam I needed to add a bit more than what was called for in the original recipe, but the chunks of cherry were a nice addition. I also loved the contrast of the bittersweet chocolate with the sweetness of the brown sugar and tartness of the cherries. I think this one is a keeper:
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
15 oz cherry preserves
Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Set aside. Combine sugar and butter in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add the flour mixture to butter mixture, and stir until well blended (mixture will be crumbly.) Remove 3/4 cup of dough; toss with chocolate chips. Set aside. Press the remaining dough into an 8-inch square baking pan, and spread evenly with preserves. Sprinkle with chocolate chip mixture. Bake at 375° 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.