Let's start with pasta. I love pasta: all the possible shapes, sauces, and such make a gal who thrives on variety quite happy. One recipe that has won my variety-loving heart is Giada's Penne with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto. This pasta is quick, full of flavor, and can even been eaten hot or cold. I added some chicken to this batch to make it a full-fledged meal, but feel free to leave it as a vegetarian side dish. All you need for this one to work is a trusty food processor.
So this beauty below is now my classic chocolate cake go-to. Oh Foster's Market. You've done it again. I have made Sara Foster's cream cheese pound cake time and time again, and when I needed to make something for my small group girls the other week, I thought, why not mix it up and go chocolate? What a DELICIOUS cake--great texture, not too sweet, dense but not heavy, plus it is quite welcoming to berries, whipped cream, and any other topping you'd like to introduce a slice of the cake to. My only complaint is that it didn't come perfectly out of the pan, but hey, that's where the glories of sifted powdered sugar come in. A beautiful disguise. On a last note, do follow my advice which is advice I follow because I heard so many other, much more qualified folks say it: when baking, let your cold ingredients come to room temperature. That goes for eggs, milk, butter, cream cheese, etc. It does make a difference.
Foster's Market Chocolate Pound Cake
Makes one 10 inch bundt cake; serves 10-12
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons pur vanilla extract or coffee-flavored liqueur
Melted chocolate, to garnish, optional
Confectioners' sugar, to garnish, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch Bundt pan and set aside.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and stir to mix. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a separate bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until the batter is smooth.
- Mix together the milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Add to the butter mixture, alternating with the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times. Mix just until smooth and all the ingredients are moist and well blended. Do not overmix. The batter will be slightly stiff.
- Pour and spread batter into the prepared pan and bake 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven ad cool 20 to 30 minutes in the pan. Turn the cake out of the pan and continue to cool on a baking rack before slicing. Drizzle with melted chocolate or dust with cocoa poder or confectioners' sugar, if desired (trust me, you desire it).
Go make this cake and tell Sara Foster hello for me when you write your letter thanking her for yet another recipe that has changed your life.