Chocolate Covered Raspberry Milkshake & A Hamilton Beach Giveaway

Chocolate Covered Raspberry Milkshake

Chocolate Covered Raspberry Milkshake

Hey everybody! It’s time for a creamy Summer recipe and a Hamilton Beach giveaway. I still so love being one of their ambassadors. Their products are wonderful and this one is no exception.  Before I give you the recipe and details on the giveaway, let me tell you why you want this blender. πŸ˜€

BlenderRaise your hand if you’ve ever had a blender that came with a cheap, “look at this funny and it’ll break” plastic jar! *Raises my hand and waggles it around wildly*. Not with this bad boy. This jar is SOLID. It’s a nice thick, heavy glass jar with a good heft to it. If you can manage to break this jar, you should probably not be trusted with kitchen appliances or sharp objects, hehe.

Also, have you ever been making something in the blender and it gets stuck down by the bottom? Then you have to turn it off and shove a spoon or butter knife down by the blades and try to unclog it. That won’t happen here for two reason. The first is that this has a 700 watt motor and it makes the liquids move! The “wave action” continually forces the mixture down towards the blades so it doesn’t get clogged. This recipe used some thick ice cream and not a whole lot of liquid, but the blender had no problems breaking it down. The second is that if things DO get stuck, they give you what they call a “stir spoon”, a thick plastic spoon that works wonders for stirring things up down by the bottom of the blender.

Another plus to the Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender is the pour spout. This one seals up when the blender is in use and gently pulls open when you’re ready to pour and you don’t end up with a puddle on the counter as you have with some blenders that are hard to pour from due to an overly large pouring area.

The ONLY issue I have with the Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender is the lid. It fits so well that it can be difficult for hands like mine, that are arthritic, to pull off. Even if I opened the pour spout to let air in, it was still a struggle to get the lid off. BUT… that said, for those of you with no joint pain, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Now, on to what I know you want; the recipe for a creamy, delicious Chocolate Covered Raspberry Shake and a chance to win one of these fantastic blenders.

Chocolate Covered Raspberry Milkshake

  • 2 cups chocolate ice cream
  • 1/2 cup good quality chocolate milk (GOOD stuff here, not some cheap watery store brand)
  • 2 dry pints fresh raspberries
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • chocolate syrup and whipped cream for garnish
  1. Dump your raspberries in a large bowl and smash them down to pulp. The easiest way I’ve found is simply to take a flat bottomed glass and smush them. No getting out a food processor and it takes just seconds.
  2. Then, push them through a fine mesh strainer (I use the same flat bottomed glass to push them through) into a large measuring cup. You should end up with about 3/4 of a cup of puree. It’s ok if it’s a bit less or more.
  3. Dissolve the coffee granules in the chocolate milk. Pour the milk into the blender, then add the ice cream and 1/2 cup of the berry puree. If you want a thinner shake or just want to make it go farther, add a bit more chocolate milk. Just make sure to add some more raspberry puree also, so you don’t overpower the raspberry flavor with the chocolate.
  4. Use the milkshake setting on the Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender to blend it all up until it’s smooth and creamy.
  5. Get two 8 to 12 ounce glasses out. Tilt the glasses sideways and drizzle the chocolate syrup in a circle over the inside of the glass. It will drizzle down and make a pretty design on the inside of the glass. Divide the shake mixture between the two glasses and top with whipped cream, some of the extra raspberry puree and some chocolate syrup. Enjoy!!

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Hamilton Beach provided me with a Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender for review  and will send one to one winner of my giveaway, 18 years or older, in the United States. I received no other compensation for this and all opinions are my own.

Blueberry Raspberry Mascarpone Crumbcake

Blueberry Raspberry Mascarpone Crumb Cake

Blueberry Raspberry Mascarpone Crumb Cake


My gosh, can you believe it’s almost September!? Wasn’t it just yesterday you and I were whining that we wanted warmer weather and pool season and bikinis and…wait, I never would have whined about wanting bikinis. That must have been you.

Where was I? Oh yeah, September…you whining over bikinis. But yeah, what happened to Summer? It can’t really be almost Fall, can it? My last two school age kids started back to school on August 12th with one in his senior year and the other in Kindergarten. I know, I know, my kids are spaced rather strangely. Kindergarten and senior is nothing, though. I also have a 19 year old and three in their mid to late 20’s as well as 7 grandkids, three of whom are older than my kindergartener hehe.

Man, I can NOT stay on topic today, not that there was really a major topic going anyway. Do you do that? “Ooo, shiny thing!” your way through life? I get distracted easily. Crap, I just did it again. I give up

Berry season is almost over sobs cause I love berries and I had cartons of both blueberries and raspberries I wanted to use before they went bad, but I didn’t know what to make. So what do I fall back on when I’m unsure what to do? I go for the crumbs! C’mon, you know me. Give me streusel or give me death! Because…streusel. Crumbcakes call it crumbs, but we all know it’s streusel with a nickname.

I have a cookbook that I frequently take out from the library. This time around I think it’s about 17 weeks overdue. Sorry, library people! Honest, I’ll get it back there! I really need to buy my own copy she says, channeling Captain Obvious The book is The Best Quick Breads by Beth Hensperger. I love this book (obviously). I have about 900 tabs in it for recipes I want to make, which is of course, why I keep forgetting to return it. One of them was for a Blueberry Cheese Crumbcake. I didn’t change a ton in this, but the changes I DID make made this so much more yummy. Sorry, Beth. No offense.

I used mascarpone instead of plain old boring cream cheese, plus I doubled the vanilla in the cake batter and changed the plain milk to buttermilk, as well as adding both some almond extract and a touch of lemon oil. Plus, I added vanilla in the mascarpone filling and a bit of lemon zest. and a smidgen of vanilla in the crumbs too. I also used raspberries as well as blueberries and probably doubled the recipe amount. Ok, so maybe I did make a few changes lol. Imagine that. This cake take a 10 inch springform pan, which I know some don’t have, but it’s worth the investment. I got a 3 pack of pans, 8, 9, and 10 inch, at Wal-mart, for under 15 dollars. They come in handy for more than just cheesecakes.

This is fairly easy to toss together and smells fantastic when baking. Because…well…crumbs…and mascarpone. Need I say more?

You know the drill πŸ™‚

Blueberry/Raspberry Mascarpone Crumb Cake

  • Mascarpone filling-
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temp
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Crumb topping-
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold and sliced thin
  • Cake-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Boyajian Lemon Oil (or sub 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint raspberries
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a ten inch springform pan.
  2. Make your cheese filling and set it in the fridge while you make the rest- In a small bowl, beat together the filling ingredients until smooth and well combined.
  3. Make your crumbs- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add in the butter and vanilla and cut it in with a pastry blender. What I like to do is use a pastry blender to cut it in, then when it’s fairly well combined, use my fingers to mix it more. The heat from your fingers will help make some of the crumbs a bit chunkier, which is a nice textural contrast in the topping.
  4. For the cake, in a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add in the extracts and beat well.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, to the butter mixture, beating until smooth and fluffy looking. Start and end with the flour, i.e., flour, milk, flour.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan, then top with half of the berries. Top with the mascarpone filling, then the rest of the berries, Finally, sprinkle the top with the crumb topping.
  7. Bake at 350 for 60 to 70 minutes or until the top is light brown, the filling is set and the cake has started to slightly pull away form the edge of the pan.
  8. Cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan before removing the side for serving. Store leftovers in the fridge. This can be reheated gently in a slow oven or in the microwave for about 5 to 10 seconds per slice.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.





Peanut Butter & Jelly Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Peanut Butter & Jelly Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Peanut Butter & Jelly Chocolate Whoopie Pies

I have mentioned more than once that generally speaking, I don’t care for peanut butter. never have, never will. Strangely, while five of my six kids like peanut butter, one of my sons has never liked it either. That is so weird to me! You don’t think of food liking as being in any way genetic, but with six kids, I have learned that they really do seem to be in some cases. That same son hated bananas for many years. His father, whom he hadn’t lived with since an extremely young age, also hated bananas. Go figure.

But every once in a while, I get a strange (strange because well… I don’t LIKE pb so it’s akin to a rabid vegetarian suddenly craving steak tartare) craving for something peanut buttery. Usually I just have a peanut butter sandwich and that’s that; I’m done for 6 months or so. But today I was working on a blog post anyway. It was supposed to be chocolate whoopie pies with chocolate filling (I hear some of you sobbing out there because I changed it lol) but the peanut butter and jelly sandwich craving hit (twice a year, like clockwork πŸ˜› ) and my 4 watt mental light bulb went off and I thought to myself “self ( I call myself self when I’m not calling myself somewhat obscene names), why not make a peanut butter filling for these instead?! The you can use that bag of mini reeses cups you bought and never ate!” Then I had another flash of brilliance and decided to add some raspberry jam in them pies. Raspberry goes well in PB&J sandwiches and it definitely goes well with chocolate so… voila, Peanut Butter & Jelly Chocolate Whoopie Pies were born. Well, born in my household anyway. I’m sure that at some point they were born somewhere else already lol.

I then congratulated myself for being a genius, made myself a cup of tea and had some chocolate as a reward for being so brilliant and got started. The end result is pretty yummy if I do say so myself. Mind you, my whoopie pies aren’t flat and tiny like most. Why you ask? Because I’m lazy. It was much easier to put the cookie batter in my muffin top pan than to spoon out each individual cookie and make sure it was shaped nicely. The benefits of this is that you also get these cool crispy edges as well as some HUGE arse whoopie pies hehe. But I will write the directions as written in the cookbook (aptly called “Whoopie Pies” by Sarah Billingsly). Just know that you CAN do these in a muffin top pan too. You’ll just get less but bigger pies and they will be thicker.

You know the drill… get to cookin’!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Chocolate Whoopie Pies

  • Whoopie Pie-
  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temp
  • 4 tablespoon shortening, room temp
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • Peanut Butter Filling-
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • about 1/3 cup raspberry jam (or whatever flavor you prefer)
  • 1 2.5 ounce bag mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (find at the check out lanes in the grocery store), each cup cut in half
  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt onto a large piece of waxed paper.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (can use a hand mixer if you need to),  beat the butter, brown sugar and shortening on low speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, increase the speed to medium and beat for about 2 minutes until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat on low speed just until combined. Turn off and scrape down the bowl again. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk and beat on low until combined. Add the remainder of the flour and milk and again, beat on low until just combined.
  5. Spoon batter, about a tablespoon at a time, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees or until the cookies spring back when touched gently. Let them cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
  6. Make your filling- In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter and butter. Beat at medium speed until smooth & creamy. Add in the powdered sugar and beat on low until combined, then turn the mixer up to medium and continue beating until it is creamy and fluffy looking.
  7. Fold in the chopped reeses cups.
  8. Spread a good sized dollop of the peanut butter filling on the flat side of half of the cooled cookies. Top with another good sized dollop of jam. Top each cookie with another of the unfilled cookies, flat side inwards. Magically, your cookies are no longer just cookies, but are now Whoopie Pies. Enjoy!! πŸ™‚

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Chocolate Chip Double Berry Scones

Chocolate Chip Double Berry Scones 2-001

I can hear the outcry now… “MORE scones, lady!!!??? What the heck?? Can you do anything but scones or citrus pies or risotto!?”

Yes. yes, I can. But I wasn’t thinking the other day when I, on my Facebook page asked everyone which they would prefer- these scones or a quick bread I am trying. They chose the scones. Sooooo, being a woman of my word, I made them. Because honesty is just how I roll. Well, when I trip on our land, downhill quickly is also how I roll but I won’t blog about that. Though photos would probably be hilarious.

Moving on- been interesting in our household lately. My (very pregnant) daughter and her boys are with us through mid August while her husband goes through Basic Training and AIT (the on the job training for whatever you will be doing part of the military) so having 2 extra little ones (they are 3 and 6) has been chaotic to say the least. But I love knowing that when they move, they will, for a time at least, until it fades, have some memories of living with gramma and grampa. My daughter is due in a few weeks so I’ll have time with the baby (girl) for a while too πŸ™‚

Plus, I’ve been having some health issues again. Not gonna go into detail here yet but I’ll cue you all in when things are more settled as to treatment. Until then, I’m just gonna continue to bake fattening things for all of you. Why? Cause I lurves you of course!!! Seriously. You have no idea what it means to me to know that people actually come here to my tiny blog, read my inane words and sometimes actually even make the foods I post.

These scones turned out delicious. I got the base recipe from The Pastry Queen Cookbook (you should have noticed by now that I love this cookbook) but changed it around. I just KNOW you’re surprised at that news. The only problem I had (which is my fault not the books) was shape. After I added the berries, I didn’t want to knead the dough, thus mushing the berries and toughening the dough, so I just reshaped it. BUT… I wasn’t able to get it back into a decent circle. so I tried making it more rectangular and cutting the scones from that. It turned out rather laughable πŸ˜› These taste absolutely amazing… light, tender, flaky with a perfect mix of berries and chocolate and an orange glaze that just complements it all. But the way they look? Kinda wonky lol. But I promise you; you won’t care once you make some and taste them how they look. Also, you may have better luck shaping the dough than I did ANYWAY thus negating the issue. So don’t let looks fool you. Just look at the nicely glazed surface… see the pieces of berry peeking out alongside some chocolate. Then go bake. And I promise… no more scones…. for a few days anyway πŸ˜›

Chocolate Chip Double Berry Scones

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, COLD
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • zest from one large orange (about 1 to 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • Glaze-
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a buttered baking sheet with parchment paper then butter the paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (as always, you can use these directions with a hand mixer), combine the dry ingredients on low speed, including the orange zest.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces, then add to the flour. Beat on low speed until the butter is in small pea sized pieces. Then add in 1 cup of the cream and the vanilla and continue beating on low speed. You want the dough to come away from the sides of the bowl in a clean ball of dough, no floury remnants left behind. If it still looks dry, add more cream, about a tablespoon at a time until it forms the dough ball.
  4. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and gently knead the chocolate chips into it. You’re not trying to work the gluten up like in bread dough. That will make the scones tough.
  5. When the chocolate is incorporated, gently pan the dough out into a fairly thin circle or rectangle. Lay the berries down on one side of the dough, then fold the other side down over them. Press gently to seal.
  6. Reshape the dough (circle if you want wedges, rectangle if you want squares or diamonds) and cut into either 10 wedges or if making squares or diamonds (for the diamonds, cut into squares then cut them in half diagonally), cut into 12 pieces. Brush each with some of the leftover cream and sprinkle with sugar.
  7. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes for wedges or 10 to 12 minutes for squares or diamonds. You want them a nice golden brown on top.
  8. For the glaze- in a small bowl, mix together the glaze ingredients. Whisk well to get rid of lumps.
  9. Pour the glaze out onto a shallow lipped plate.
  10. Dip the top of each scone into the glaze. Let dry for about ten minutes then dip each one again. Let dry a bit before serving though when they are warm and sticky they are awfully hard to resist πŸ˜€

Print Friendly and PDF

Ready To Take A Chance Again…

I’m one of those people that if I have a bad experience with a particular food person, relationship, friendship, I tend to stay away from it from then on out. It’s the “once bitten twice shy” syndrome.

Take fried eggs for example. For YEARS, and I’m talking well into adulthood going on the assumption that I’ve reached adulthood at 47 I wouldn’t eat fried eggs. Why you ask? Ok, so we’ll pretend you asked  with total and sincere interest in your voice, because otherwise my ego will nosedive. Well you see *hunkers down around the campfire* when I was a little sprout, a babysitter made fried eggs for me. What she DIDN’T do was clean the spoon well at all. So when I ate the eggs, there was this awful bitter taste in them. Come to find out, my older brother had been using that spoon with his chemistry set (for you young pups, back in the day, you could get kits that had all sorts of things in it to do experiments at home. How do you think Dr. Frankenstein got started? His mother bought him a chemistry set) and neglected to wash the spoon. SO I ended up with a mouthful of something that explains all my mutations today.

Same with Pomegranates. I loved them when younger…until the time I peeled one and a writhing live worm was in it. Now I’ll eat Pomegranate flavored things but not the actual fruit. Traumatized, thy name is Janet.

Then there’s coconut. When one gets a case of stomach flu after eating coconut, it can be rather off putting for a while… like say, life.  Plus, to be honest, while I love coconut milk and would happily sit down with a can of it and a spoon, and I love things flavored with coconut as well as enjoying Mounds Bars, I don’t like the texture of coconut when it is cooked.

I do however love things made with jam, jelly, preserves, marmalade’s, whatever. I have a very sad addiction to condiments, be they sweet or savory. My husband quickly steers me away from the jelly aisle and the condiment aisle in the stores.

So when I saw the following recipe, I decided I wanted to try it, coconut or not. It had jam and it had a crumbly oatmeal topping thing so I was won over. I figured if I hated it, oh well, I could lick all the jam out πŸ˜› and my family would like it anyway. I mean really, is there much you can put sugar in and NOT have kids like? Lo and behold, I like it! It’s very sweet so the gargantuan chunk I ate have been a bit much but then, I’ve been told that my face turns a lovely and very becoming shade of green when nauseated.

This is sweet (I mentioned that sweet thing right?) and buttery and crispy on bottom from the crust and on top from the crumbs and even with the coconut I would totally make it again. Though I still don’t like the texture of it cooked πŸ˜› and no one is getting me to ever eat a Pomegranate. So give this a try… it’s extremely easy, makes a nice sized pan and oh yeah btw, it’s pretty sweet, in case I failed to mention that. So don’t eat gargantuan chunks all at once. Spread them out over a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This originally comes from Epicurious and for the most part, other than using more of the crumbs on top, and maybe less coconut on top, I didn’t change anything important enough to mention.

Oatmeal Coconut Raspberry Bars

  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal (NOT instant)
  • 3/4 cup raspberry jam (I used almost a full jar because I was too lazy to measure)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To be honest, I did it at 350 because 375 and baking makes me a wee bit nervous. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. Spread 3/4 cup of the coconut on a baking sheet and toast at 350 until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir it around once or twice otherwise your edges will burn.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars and salt. Using a pastry blender (they used a food processor but I saw no sense dirtying anything else) cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add in the oatmeal and toasted coconut and using your fingers (trust me… fingers work best here), work them into the flour/butter mixture.
  4. Reserve 1 1/4 cups of the mixture (they held back only 3/4 but I wanted a bit more crumbs on top and not a too thick bottom because when crusts are too thick they can get tough) and press the rest into the bottom of the greased pan.
  5. Spread the jam on top as best you can then sprinkle the rest of the crumbs on top then sprinkle the rest of the coconut over that.
  6. Bake at 350 until golden brown on top, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. I found the easiest way to cut these was to cut the full batch into quarters while still in the pan, then lift each separate piece out and cut into squares the size you desire. I did four per piece. Trust me when I say….cut them smaller. Just.Trust.Me.


Let Them Eat Cake

As you can see, I stink at decorating πŸ˜›


But if you let them eat cake, make sure you refrigerate it after frosting it. Why you ask? Oh, just go look at the picture at the bottom of the post and you’ll understand hehe. This is what happens to a butter based frosting when left in a warm kitchen for too long. All I could think of was “omg, I am SO glad I got the photos taken!” My husband has more than once paid me the supreme compliment of calling me the most laid back person he’s ever known but I’m not sure how laid back I’d have been if the only photos I had to show you were the last ones lol. Though I did die laughing when my son called me (my husband and I were out) to tell me the cake had “collapsed”. I figure it still tastes good and I’m sure not out to prove to all of you how perfect I am so I want you to enjoy the laugh too.

So do as I say not as I did in this case. REFRIGERATE THE CAKE!!!! And maybe don’t put quite as much frosting in between the layers as I did. πŸ˜€ Just eat it from a spoon because you are going to have extra frosting because I am feeling too lazy to refigure the math to cut down the amounts so that you don’t have too much frosting between your layers. Just give the kids a spoon or offer the neighbor some frosting. They won’t refuse; I promise πŸ˜€

Ok; moving on (hehe… I think those words are becoming my trademark. I can’t write them now without giggling. I’m not going to tell you that this is a quick fix cake or something to start when you need a quick dessert. But for a special occasion or just cause you want to treat your family, this is an excellent choice. It’s showy (especially if you are better at decorating than I am which isn’t difficult because I’m horrible at it), rich and moist and tastes great. But it DOES take time. You could use a box mix for the cake I would guess and it would work but I make no promises as to whether it would be as good.  The cake recipe comes from Food Network and the frosting is from me.

Chocolate Fudge cake


Chocolate Raspberry Butter Cream Frosting

  • CAKE-
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs (bring to room temp)
  • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/8 cups cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam, melted (you will be using this after the cake layers have cooled and this is my own addition so feel free to omit if you want)
  • 1/2 cup pureed and strained raspberries (2 pints got me the half cup and some extra raspberries for decorating)
  • 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 to 5 cups powdered sugar (will vary)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry extract (optional; I didn’t think it needed it but wanted to post it for those who might like it)
  1. Cake- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three nine inch cakes pans (I used Bakers Joy instead; the spray that has both oil and flour in it and it worked fine)
  2. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar and oil. On low speed of your mixer, add the eggs. Set aside and mix together your flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In a measuring cup, mix your vanilla into your milk (yes; this recipe makes a lot of dirty dishes πŸ˜› ) and set aside.
  4. Bring the water to a boil and pour over the cocoa and whisk until it is well blended and smooth.
  5. To the egg mixture, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl off after each addition.
  6. At low speed, add in the cocoa mixture.
  7. Pour into the prepared cake pans and bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. When cake layers have cooled, remove from pan and refrigerate the layers while you make the frosting. If you have no room to put in the fridge, just cover and set somewhere cool.
  9. While cake layers cool, make your frosting. Melt the chocolate with the heavy cream in the microwave until chocolate is melted (about 1 1/2 minutes). Stir until smooth. Set in the fridge to cool down somewhat, about ten minutes. Don’t leave too long or it will harden back up.
  10. Beat the butter, raspberries, raspberry jam and vanilla extract until well blended. Beat in the chocolate mixture.  One cup at a time, beat in the powdered sugar, stopping at four cups.
  11. Refrigerate frosting mixture for one to two hours.
  12. When thoroughly cold, beat mixture at high speed until thick and fluffy. If not thick enough to be spreadable, add more powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
  13. Take melted jam and using a pastry brush, brush generously over two of the cake layers.
  14. Set one cake layer (one of the ones with with jam) on serving plate and frost generously (but…ummm… not too generously like I did lol). Carefully top with the other jammed layer and frost. Top that with the last layer and frost top and sides. The cake can now legally use the name “Mount Cakesuvius”. Decorate as desired.


Mount Cakesuvius after it exploded

Nobody Knows The Truffles I’ve Seen

The Truffle Towers? Maybe The Leaning Tower Of Truffles? πŸ˜€

*Watches in horror as all my readers groan and block my site*

Uh oh. I’m in truffle now! πŸ˜›

Ok, ok, I’m done. But if you’ve been reading me for a while, you know it won’t last. I’m always causing truffle. Hehehe. I’m glad I amuse myself because I can see all the eye rolling going on even through the internet. πŸ˜€

I’ve never understood why the candy truffle is named after the ultra expensive fungus Truffle. Beyond the fact that both tend to be outrageously expensive (I paid $14.00 for a small bottle of Truffle oil. Fourteen dollars! I keep waiting for that stuff to spew out recipes using it, cook them and then clean the kitchen for that price!) I don’t care what anyone says, they look nothing alike.

Here are Black Truffles.-

Here are dark chocolate candy truffles-

Nope, nope nope, not the same. The first I might use to make an elegant Risotto. The second I would hide in a box marked with the words “Old Underwear”. It would go under my bed and only be brought out late at night when all the males in my household were snoring.

Since we haven’t won the lottery yet, I have had to learn how to make homemade truffles (the candy, not the fungus though if I had the fungus nearby, I could sell it and buy the candy πŸ˜› ). For the most part, they are far simpler to make than people realize. They can a bit more complex if you go to the trouble of dipping them into a liquid chocolate coating but for “let’s make these bad boys quickly because I want to eat them NOW” pleasure, rolling them in cocoa does the trick. I made one change from the typical though. I don’t care for the taste of unsweetened cocoa on its own, so I mix my cocoa with some powdered sugar to cut the bitterness.

People tend to think of making truffles only around the holidays to add to gift baskets or cookie trays but in all seriousness, they are a perfect sweet to make any old time. They are so easy, can be made with so many variations to fit what you’re craving at any given moment and last a long time if wrapped tightly and kept in the fridge. Not that they WILL last because you’ll be sneaking them every five minutes, but the potential for long term storage is there. πŸ™‚

This recipe makes a LOT, so feel free to cut it in half. I make a lot because I tend to give some away and this way, I can placate my teen boys if they walk in while I’m making them by putting some in the fridge for them…. and hiding the bulk of them. Yes, yes, I’m evil that way.

One tip- make sure your truffle mixture stays COLD. When it starts to warm up, any shaping you try to do is going to end up all over your hands and while that can be tasty, it IS messy. So work fast and put it back in the fridge as needed to get cold again. I made Chocolate Raspberry truffles because that is one of my favorite flavor combos, but you could sub any flavor of jam you prefer or even leave it out altogether. If you leave it out though, add an extra 2 tablespoons of cream to prevent your mixture from being too stiff to work with.


These aren’t the prettiest candies in the world, but I promise you; you won’t care.

  • 1/2 cup Heavy cream
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (you can also use bittersweet or milk or a mix of types. I used an equal mix of semi sweet and milk)
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into bits and softened
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam, preferably seedless
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry liquor or 1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract (optional)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  1. In a medium saucepan bring to the cream just to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add chocolate, stirring until smooth.
  4. Let cool slightly and add butter, bit by bit, stirring until smooth.
  5. Stir in jam, Chambord and a pinch of salt and transfer to a bowl.
  6. Chill, covered, for 4 hours, or until firm.
  7. Form mixture by heaping teaspoons into balls and roll in cocoa powder. A melon baller works wonderfully for this step. If the mixture has softened up too much to roll easily by the time you finish scooping it, chill the balls for about an hour, then continue with the rolling them in cocoa step.
  8. Chill on a baking sheet lined with wax paper for 1 hour, or until firm.
  9. Keep in an airtight container, chilled, for up to 2 weeks. Or that container marked Liver that I’ve talked about before works well too. πŸ˜€ You HAVE made your “Secret Stash Liver Container” haven’t you? Right? Right?


Tasty Doesn’t Have To Take Hours


Neither does it have to be expensive. Sure, it can be and some extremely tasty desserts can cost a bit to make but then are the times that you want something that tastes expensive but you don’t have the time to fuss. Or you have a two year old who wants you to hold his hands while he runs in circles around you… for an hour. Or maybe you forgot the time and the promise you made to make dessert. Not that I’ve ever done that… but I’m sure it’s happened to someone…somewhere *innocent look*

When any of the above happen and your world is no longer spinning and the nausea has passed if the reason was of the two year old variety, this dessert is a great one to try. I had some Mascarpone cheese I had been wanting to use and after seeing a post made by one of my favorite bloggers-



she got me inspired to make up a quick dessert using the Mascarpone. She’s a good one for that. πŸ™‚

So here it is. I hope you enjoy.

Mascarpone Mousse And Raspberry Parfait

  1. 8 ounce container mascarpone cheese, softened
  2. 8 ounce package cream cheese , softened
  3. 1/2 cup sour cream
  4. 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 1 teaspoon almond extract
  7. 2 cups heavy cream
  8. 2 20 ounce cans raspberry pie filling
  • In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream and 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar on low speed until the sugar is incorporated. You could do it on high speed but if you do, I want pictures because you will be covered in powdered sugar hehe. When the sugar is mixed in, turn the speed up to high and continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside while you make the mousse.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the Mascarpone, cream cheese and sour cream. When thoroughly mixed, add 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar. On low speed, beat until sugar is incorporated, then turn the speed up to high and beat for 2 minutes.  Stir in a large spoonful (about 1/4 cup or so) of the whipped cream to lighten up the mousse mixture.
  • Fold in the rest of the whipped cream until there are no streaks of cream left.
  • Eat this by the spoonful and don’t save any for anyone else
  • Layer the mousse mixture in pretty glass bowls with the raspberry filling, ending with a dollop of the mousse on top.. Alternately, you could layer it in a huge glass bowl if you’re serving this to a large group.

I guess they didn't like it. There are still a few smears left in the dish.