12/13/13
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old fashioned chocolate cake + lick the bowl good cookbook giveaway

Calling all cake lovers!  This should include the majority of people, right?  Well, except my brother in law who a little odd when it comes to cake.  Silly, silly Peter. :)

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Recently I received a copy of the cookbook Lick The Bowl Good, written by Monica Holland, who is also the food blogger behind Lick the Bowl Good.  In her book she created a collection of home-style desserts with a twist.  What does that twist part mean?  Looking through the recipes I see some unique treats I haven’t seen before like blueberry citrus bars, pina colada mini cheesecakes and snickerdoodle cream cheese blondies to name a few.  Of course there are more classic desserts in there as well, like the chocolate cake I’m going to share with all of you today.  Another bonus with this cookbook is that the first few chapters teach you more about how to bake – tools of the trade, ingredients and how to use the book.  Very cool for new bakers!

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I actually ended up going with the very first recipe in the book – grandma’s chocolate cake.  It just looked so good!  I’m calling it an old fashioned chocolate cake because that’s what it reminds me of.  Plus if Monica’s grandmother was making it, it sure isn’t a new recipe, so calling it old fashioned works.

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Don’t you just want a bite?  The batter comes together quickly, and can even be done holding a toddler.  I have hands on experience with that.  Along with myself, Jacob and my mom tried it and gave their seal of yummy chocolate cake approval.

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Grandma’s Chocolate Cake

Recipe from Lick The Bowl Good by Monica Holland, republished with permission

Ingredients

Chocolate cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil (I was out of canola so I used extra virgin olive oil – worked great!)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup hot strong-brewed coffee or hot water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Directions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour three 8- or 9-inch cake pans (I used a bunt pan here).  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk the dry ingredients together, then add the eggs, oil, and buttermilk and mix until just combined.
  4. Carefully add the hot coffee and vanilla and mix.  Batter will be thin.
  5. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn the warm cakes out onto a rack to cool completely.

For the frosting*:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and milk together and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  2. Gradually blend in sifted powdered sugar until all 4 cups have been incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Stir in the melted chocolate, then add vanilla and salt.  Continue to beat at medium speed for 2 more minutes until the mixture is light and creamy.

To assemble:

  1. Place one cake layer on a serving platter, top with half a cup of frosting, and spread it out to the edges.  Repeat the process for the second later, then top with the remaining cake layer.  Cover the top and the sides with the remaining frosting.
  2. Store any leftover cake in the refrigerator, covered.

* I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand so I made a simple mixture of powdered sugar + milk to pour over the cake as a glaze.

Now that you have an awesome old fashioned chocolate cake recipe, why don’t you enter to win your own copy of this cookbook?!  Here’s the what, who, how, why, when and such.

GIVEAWAY

What: Win your own copy of Lick The Bowl Good by Monica Holland

Who: Open to US residents

How: Leave a comment for each entry – the more comments, the more chances to win!

  1. Tell me first if you like cake, and what your favorite kind is. [mine is actually angel food cake in case you want to make me one]
  2. Like Fit Mama Real Food on facebook
  3. Follow Fit Mama Real Food on twitter (@fitmamarealfood) + tweet about this giveaway
  4. Follow Fit Mama Real Food on pinterest + pin this post
  5. Follow Fit Mama Real Food on instagram

Why: Why not, it’s a pretty awesome dessert cookbook!  Impress your friends and family with a sweet treat, or gift it to someone who loves to bake.

When: Now!  The giveaway is open for one week and closes Friday, Dec 20th.

I hope this post finds you all doing well and looking forward to a nice weekend.  We are definitely excited to have a ‘nobody is sick’ weekend!  Hoping to finish up some Christmas gifts and some projects I’m working on.

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We finally got a tree and some decorations up!  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….

Happy days!

Heather

*I received a free copy of the cookbook to review from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

11/7/13
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peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough bites (aka chickpea cookies)

During those first couple days of potty training I planned for us to stay home.  We barely even went outside, except for a couple trips to the front yard for some fresh air.  I wanted to plan some special activities to take advantage of our home time.

Of course, we read hundreds of books.  Books are the thing when you’re potty training.  But we also did some extra fun stuff… like pumpkin painting.  Super fun.

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Super messy.  Must. Paint. Belly.

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And we baked together!  This was a first.  I never really knew how to make it work.  Hunter standing on a chair didn’t seem that save.  But having him on the counter worked out really well!

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Of course, I stayed right by him the entire time.  He’s fast and if he wanted to scoot off I’m sure he could do it in 2 seconds flat.  However, cookie making was fun for both of us, so he stayed put and was totally into it.  Plus I had everything out and ready at arms reach.

He was in charge of holding the measuring spoons/cups and pushing the buttons on the food processor.  His favorite job?  Sampling to make sure it was good enough.

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And it was. :)

So what did we make?  Healthy cookies!  They’re filled with chickpeas, natural peanut butter and honey + some chocolate chips for goodness.  Gluten free too, if that’s your thing.

I love the warm chocolate in them (look how good and melty it is straight out of the oven!) – but you could totally leave it out, especially if they’re for kiddos.

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The texture in the center is like warm cookie dough.  Since there’s no egg in them, you don’t have to worry about making sure they bake all the way through.  In fact, over baking is not recommended for these.  Another bonus of no raw egg in the batter?  Sampling. :)

Since they are best straight out of the oven, you can make the balls, then freeze them for when you need a quick yummy treat.  The ones pictured below were from the freezer.  They look better when you use the fresh batter, but taste the same either way.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites (aka Chickpea Cookies)

recipe from here

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, SunButter Natural or almond butter – room temperature
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of sea salt if your peanut butter doesn’t have salt in it
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (use vegan and dairy-free chocolate chips, if needed)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they’re combined.
  2. Put in the chocolate chips and pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.
  3. With wet hands, form into 1½” balls. Place onto a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don’t do much rising.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes for the fresh batter (closer to 14-16 straight out of the freezer). The dough balls will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven. They will not set like normal cookies.
  5. Best eaten right away when still warm!

Looking for more sweet treat ideas featuring beans?  Check these out!

Are you a fan of beans in your treats?  Have you made anything like this before?  And in case you are wondering, they are husband approved, so they must taste really good! :)

Heather

09/16/13
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rich chocolate pudding

I’ve been a sweet-aholic this pregnancy.  Actually, I’ve gone through a few different craving stages – bacon, honey whole wheat toast with butter, cereal, and now anything sweet.  Chocolate being one of my favorites.  It was no surprise to myself that when selecting a recipe from my secret recipe club pick, I headed straight to the dessert section and found rich chocolate pudding.

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Angels Homestead was my secret blog for this month.  I love how April is frugal minded and shared her meal plans each week.  It’s always fun to see what other people are planning to make each week – and what works for their family.

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Homemade pudding has actually been on my list of things to make, so this recipe came at the perfect time.  The ingredient list is short – just 5 normal ingredients.  Very different than the packaging of boxed pudding.  The actually cooking of the pudding took a bit longer than I though it would have, and I didn’t whisk the entire time, leaving me with random little lumps in the pudding.  Next time I’ll turn the heat up more, and whisk the entire time.  Also, the pudding is left with a little skin on top.  It’s edible, just not appealing.  I think I’ve read that if you place some plastic wrap on top it won’t leave the pudding skin layer.  Does anyone have experience with that?  Even with little lumps and skin, the pudding was divine!

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Rich Chocolate Pudding

recipe from Angels Homestead

Ingredients

  • 1 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 cups whole milk

Directions

  1. In a heavy saucepan, whisk sugar, cocoa, flour and salt.
  2. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Boil and continually whisk for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Spoon into individual serving dishes and chill until set.

April, thanks for helping me cross pudding off the list!  It is most definitely better than boxed pudding.  Hunter approved of it too.

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Jacob however, didn’t even try it.  Boo!  Had it been boxed pudding I’m sure he would have devoured it.  Oh well, more for me!  Yes… I ate all of it.  We’ll say it’s because of the baby. :)

Have you made homemade pudding before?  What’s your favorite flavor of pudding?  Links to recipes welcome!

Heather

If you missed yesterday’s cookbook giveaway, make sure to check it out!