Chocolate Crack Cake

This cake has become a holiday tradition in our home for the last three years. It’s not that I don’t like Pumpkin, I LOVE it, but my hubby is not a big fan.

The best thing about this cake, for me at least, is that it is Gluten Free!

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When it comes out of the oven, it’s all puffy with beautiful peaks and valleys but, as it settles, it sinks in the center and cracks.

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Also, it’s loaded with chocolate and sugar so, you get a nice little burst of energy after you have a slice… or two.

When baking, I ALWAYS use Land o’ Lakes unsalted butter. I’ve tried other brands and just don’t get the same results. Also, when it come to unsweetened cocoa, Hershey brand is my choice. And for this recipe in particular, I use Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet Chocolate. The other thing I like to do is to take my eggs out of the refrigerator a little early so they are not quite cold when I start mixing them in to the recipe.

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Mixing chocolate with butter and heavy cream:

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First, if you don’t already have one, get yourself a springform pan (9 inch).

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in pieces (have extra on hand to butter the pan)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus extra to dust the pan)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate (chopped if you are not using chips)
5 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup confectioners sugar (plus extra for dusting the cake)
1/4 TSP vanilla extract

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9″ springform pan and dust with extra cocoa powder.

2. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter with 1/4 cup of the heavy cream over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth; remove from heat.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar and cocoa powder; whisk in the chocolate mixture.

4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until puffed and set, 35 minutes. Let cool in the pan for one hour. Unhinge pan to remove sides.

5. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream with confectioners sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Dust the cake with confectioners sugar and serve with fresh whipped cream.

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Notes: You can bake the cake the day before and refrigerate (covered) after it has completely cooled. Before serving, bring the cake to room temperature, dust with the confectioners sugar and prepare fresh whipped cream. Also, be sure to butter the pan thoroughly, including the sides. This will ensure easy removal. You can run a knife around the edge of the cake before you release it.

We couldn’t wait until tomorrow:

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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I Can Sew!

Well, kind of. What I found out is that I can, if I try. Nothing fancy but, I do enjoy it.

I made these burp cloths for my daughter when she was pregnant. The baby is here and my daughter loves them. Matter of fact, she keeps hitting me up for more.

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I left the edges “raw” because I thought it was more “me”. I had made a few prior with neat edges and just didn’t like them. ..they were too neat (minus the not-so-straight stitching). And since I can now admit (because I’m old enough to not give a shit) that I’M a mess, maybe that’s my style; messy and raw.

It’s also why I love the Silk Sari Ribbon, which is what I used (with vintage buttons) to tie the rolls. I love everything about the stuff! The strings, the smell, the colors! I have a drawer full of it and sometimes I open it just to smell it. Is that weird?

About the buttons: They are from a 1950’s salesman sheet.
About the fabric: Cotton patterned fabric for the “top” and waffle weave Muslin for the base. This kind of Muslin gets thick and absorbent when washed and dried so, it’s crucial to wash and dry it before cutting.

If you’re interested in making these and have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Happy Monday!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Looking for something warm to wear this Fall and Winter? I’ve got some interesting coats and jackets available. You can check them out below.

Vintage Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Jacket

Vintage Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Jacket

Washington Redskins Waterproof Pullover Jacket

Washington Redskins Waterproof Pullover Jacket

Leather Corvette Jacket

Leather Corvette Jacket

Cricut Design Space Update

Coming in January, an update for the iPad App. Right now, you can only use the app for Make it Now projects. Soon, you’ll be able to do it all from your iPad. This is exciting!

Design Space App Update

This Is Me

Hating my adult braces. Everyone said “you’ll get use to them”. I haven’t. Orthodontist said “12 to 14 months”. It’s only been 8. Been told “it’s always longer than they tell you”. Great.

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Cricut Paper Dolls Teen Scene with a Twist

I adore the Julie Nutting Paper Doll stamps by Prima. What I don’t love is fussy cutting. I just don’t have the patience for it. So, I was determined to use my Paper Dolls Teen Scene cartridge to make a Nutting-esque paper doll. Plus, I needed it larger than the Nutting dolls.

Teen Scene paper doll

The Teen Scene dolls have faces so, the first thing I had to do was to remove those layers. Basically, I just used the shadow as the base. Because I was manipulating the original design, the rest of the layers no longer fit together accurately. But, there’s an easy fix for this. All that has to be done is to lay down the shadow base and size the other layers directly over it until they match up. Obviously, you’ll need to use either Cricut Craft Room or Design Space to achieve this.

The doll I chose was wearing cropped pants but, I wanted her in a skirt. So, I simply drew an easy skirt shape to match the top and added some Tulle for flair and dimension.

For the hair, I used a cardstock with a core so that I could lightly sand it to get the highlights. I think the next time I make one of these, I will use Mohair yarn to make the hair. Mohair is often used for making doll hair so, why not paper dolls too?

I wanted to give her “face” some color and rosy cheeks so, I broke out my craft chalk and used the sponge dauber to apply her “makeup”. Which, by the way, is the only thing I have ever used the craft chalk for.

Her buttons were made by using Tulip Beads in a Bottle. This is a fabric product but, it works great on paper crafts as well.

Nutting dolls are approximately 7.25 inches tall and this one is about 2 inches taller. ..maybe more. I needed her taller to fit on an altered 12×12 scrapbook album.

The Scrapbook Album

It was just an inexpensive album I picked up at a thrift store. Probably Goodwill. Anyway, I didn’t like the colors so, I decided to treat it like a canvas.

Altered Album

I started with several coats of Gesso, then randomly applied blue and grey acrylic paint. I stamped tissue paper using Black StazOn ink and adhered it using Liquitex gloss gel medium. The lace is vintage, another thrift store find, and was adhered the same way. As was the stamped vintage book pages and paper doll. I used the same gel medium to seal everything except the doll (since she is made from acid free papers).

I filled the album with a combination of Project Life Pocket Pages, We R Memory Keepers Page Protectors and their prospective journaling cards. Plus some regular 12×12 page protectors with “My Minds Eye” Complete Boy light cardstock.  All this was made and given as a gift to my daughter who recently had her first child, a son (my grandson!) named Remy.

I had a lot of fun with this project. I think it helps a lot when you have a person in mind and a color scheme. I am currently working on projects for my niece who is expecting a daughter in January. I missed the deadline for her baby shower (oopsie) but, will be done before the baby comes. I hope.

I’m a Craft Supply Hoarder

It’s true. I can’t pass up a good deal! You know how it is. Crafting is an expensive hobby. SO, sometimes, I have to get rid of some stuff. I gift as much as I can. I sell it too. The goal is to declutter so that I can actually work on my crafts in my studio.

For more information on each item, just give it a click.