I made this tart for a dinner party last weekend and it went over like gangbusters. The crust has a hint of almond and a buttery shortbread flavor that compliments the dark chocolate ganache so wonderfully. I added the raspberries to lighten and brighten it up a bit, but I might also recommend garnishing with a little sea salt, caramel drizzle, or if you're feeling extra indulgent... perhaps even a bit of crumbled bacon?
Chocolate Ganache Tart w/ Shortbread Crust
adapted from Martha Stewart
3 tablespoons slivered blanched almonds
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups (spooned and leveled) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons grated orange or lemon zest, (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make dough: In a food processor, pulse almonds until finely ground. Add sugar, flour, zest (if desired), and salt; pulse until combined. Add butter, pulsing until coarse crumbs form with no large butter lumps (dough should clump together when squeezed with fingers).
2. Immediately transfer dough to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Using a measuring cup, evenly press dough in bottom and up sides of pan.
3. Bake in center of oven until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
4. Make ganache: Place chocolate in a large mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour hot cream, through a sieve, over chocolate. Stir until smooth and creamy in texture. Mix in vanilla.
5. Pour chocolate mixture into center of cooled tart shell (if chocolate is lumpy, pass through a sieve). Let stand until set, about 2 hours, or chill for 1 hour.
We are huge fans of Annie's organic bunny products in our house, and as Easter and springtime draws close, I wanted to incorporate them into a family friendly printable for the season. So how about sending your little ones to school with a special snacktime treat and a little bunny love? These cute tags can be used lots of ways. I designed them in pink and orange with two lengths for different bag sizes... or you can always just cut and hole punch them for Easter place settings or gift tags. Aren't they fun?
Additionally, I wanted to offer apologies for the unannounced absence last week (though I hope you enjoyed the tea cookies) and update everyone that I'm going to reduce our post schedule for the time being as I re-prioritize and seek out additional help and contributors for CAKE.
Some of you may not know that in addition to running this blog, I'm also a full time working mom. I recently accepted an incredible new full time position, and though I couldn't be happier about the opportunity, it involves additional hours and commitments. I have no intention of giving up what I've worked so hard to build, but maintaining a sense of balance is important, especially as a mom. Perhaps you can relate? I hope I can count on your continued support of CAKE. and would love to hear from those in a similar position who want to share advice or tips on making it all work.
Now enough about me... go enjoy your Monday and your freebies!
These tea cookies make a terrific dessert for a spring garden party or Easter brunch. They are traditionally a buttery shortbread with a mild Earl Grey flavor, but using the Duchess Grey tea adds just a hint of citrus that lightens them up in the most wonderful way. The best part is that they're incredibly easy to make, and when dipped in a cup of tea they melt in your mouth. Now go and bake some... you can thank me later.
Duchess Grey Tea Cookies
adapted from Real Simple
makes 6 dozen cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons Duchess Grey tea leaves, approx 6 tea bags (I bought the Duchess Tea from Trader Joes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Pulse together all the dry ingredients in a food processor until the tea leaves are pulverized. Add the vanilla, 1 teaspoon water, and the butter. Pulse together until a dough is formed.
2. Divide the dough in half. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a 12-inch log, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
3. Slice each log into disks, 1/3 inch thick. Place on parchment- or foil-lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
4. Bake until the edges are just brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.
We've got another beautiful bridal shoot for you this week. This one comes to us from Phebe of Making ME Event Planning firm. A classic setting of vintage china and antique lace sets the scene for an afternoon tea party... the perfect inspiration for a traditional bridal shower.
From Phebe: Delicate hues of pinks, creams, cookies, and macaroons point to signs of a beautifully styled vintage wedding photoshoot! By giving the vintage place settings center stage we were able to bring in additional elements that add a subtle touch of loveliness, for example vintage hardware, vintage ribbon, doilies, tea cups and oh my that's a ton of pretty! To recreate this style on a larger scale we recommend a mish-mash of vintage plates, beautiful paper products, and florals that tie this simple yet chic design together. We hope you enjoy!
Venue: Making ME Event Planning Firm
Photography: Henry Photographers
Dresses: Flair Bridesmaids
Flowers: Finally Flowers
Paper Products: Blush Printables
Plate Rentals: Making ME Event Planning Firm
I've always been kind of a mason jar fanatic- they're a simple everyday detail that can be used as casual or elegantly as you see fit. Lately they've been popping up in all sorts of unexpected ways... and in such pretty colors too! Here's a little inspiration for how to incorporate these jars into your home or event this spring.
photos (top to bottom) via: the wedding chicks // once wed // style me pretty // boots + gus // the csi project
I'm always happy for an opportunity to feature something out of the ordinary, and I found myself intrigued by this bridal inspiration shoot from FRESH photography. I love the juxtaposition between the vintage setting and the intense surreal models. This shoot was a collaboration between a number of Canadian local artists... read on for more info below. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one.
For the chocolate stout cupcakes I use this recipe because it is tried and true and yields a perfect cupcake. But, I top these cupcakes off with a Bailey’s cream cheese frosting (recipe follows).
coeur de la
Bailey's Irish Cream Cream Cheese Frosting