Bye, bye, Blogger! SGCC has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 5 seconds. If it does not redirect, please visit
http://stickygooeycreamychewy.com
and remember to update your bookmarks.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Great Seattle Adventure, Part 2: Friends, Fun and (Lots of) Food

IFBC-Badge

I started writing this post about five different times, and it has taken forever! I wanted to get it just right! Each time, I'd get a few paragraphs in and then I'd have to stop and start over. It just seemed so overwhelming! How do I sum up those two extraordinary, action-packed, fun-filled days that were the International Food Blogger Conference, or IFBC, as it is called by those "in the know". This has got to be one of the few times in my life that I really just can't seem to find the words! And unfortunately, I can't seem to find most of the pictures either. Shots I thought I took of the conference simply aren't there, and most of what I did get, came out pretty crappy. But, I do want to share my wonderful experience with you, so please bear with me as I suck it up and just do it! And, I warn you. It's going to be looooooong! I'll be blatantly borrowing some great photos I found on Foodista's Flickr Pages to supplement my own meager offerings. Please, nobody sue me!

With my trip to the fabulous Pike Place Market behind me, I turned my attention to the next part of my great Seattle adventure - the actual IFBC. The festivities were to commence on Friday evening with a cocktail party held at the historic Bemis Building in the SoDo district of the city. After I changed outfits three times, I headed down to the hotel lobby to catch the party bus shuttle, where I met Recipe Girl, Pinch My Salt, Cooking with Amy, Eating Out Loud, The Daily Spud (all the way from Dublin!), Simply...Gluten Free, Wild Yeast, Plumpest Peach, The Well-Tempered Chocolatier, My Last Bite, Passion 4 Eating and several other fellow attendees.

Wow! This was going to be fun!

The cocktail party was a low-key, laid back affair, which I think was meant to be a kind of ice-breaker for the attendees. (Believe me, by the time I had gasped, clawed and limped my way up the four fights of stairs to the party room with these guys, the ice was definitely broken!)

Once inside, I encountered a sea of smiling, friendly food bloggers and vendors with.....NO NAME TAGS!!! That meant if you didn't have a photo of yourself on your blog, no one knew who you were. So, in between sampling the lovely assortment of Northstar Wines, sipping the rich and robust coffee from Caffe Vita, nibbling on Theo Chocolates' fine chocolates, slurping oysters from Taylor Shell Fish and munching on the delicious appetizers provided by Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar, we all walked around quizzically staring at each other and saying,

"Hi! Who are you?".

It was hilarious to watch! Navigating my way through the crowd, I got to meet Hedonia, Bring to Boil, Orangette, Discover the word of Artisan Beef, Phoo-D, Seattle Tall Poppy, Simply Recipes and Steamy Kitchen. (I've actually met Steamy Kitchen many times before as we live less than ten miles away from each other. But, it was great to see her again anyway!)

DB_book4

Our special guest of the night was Renée Behnke, president emeritus of Sur la Table. Renée spent some time chatting with the crowd and graciously gave everyone there an autographed copy of her new cookbook, Memorable Recipes To Share with Family and Friends. It's a beautiful book and I'm looking forward to recreating some of her lovely dishes!

Picnik collage-Sanctuary

Bright and early the next morning, we all convened at the conference venue, the lovely and elegant Sanctuary at Admiral. I have to say, it was a little intimidating. I kind of felt like it was the first day of junior high school and as I walked inside, I started asking myself all kinds of ridiculous questions, such as:

"Does my hair look okay?"

"Are my jeans too long/short?"

"What if I say something totally stupid?" (Oh, please God, don't let me say something totally stupid!)

"What if a) everyone hates me; b) everyone things I'm a nerd; or c) everyone hates me AND thinks I'm a nerd?!?!"

I know, I know....not very appropriate thoughts for a grown woman to be thinking, but.....still.....

I needn't have worried, though. Everyone I met was just as nice as could be. We all milled around, chatting each other up as though we'd known each other forever!

We were greeted by steaming hot coffee and a lavish breakfast pastry buffet courtesy of Stumptown Coffee and Bakery Nouveau. There were rich and buttery croissants, chewy, nutty breads and crusty baguettes. Honestly, the almond croissant that I had positively shattered when I bit into it! It was as good, if not better, than any I had in Paris!

Picnik collage-breakfast-1

Once we had all loaded up on coffee and delicious pastries (except Simply...Gluten Free, who couldn't eat the pastries), it was time to get down to business.

Instead of giving you a blow by blow narrative of each and every session, I'm going to give you the highlights and direct you to the IFBC web site. The Foodista crew has done a marvelous job of recording each session and is making podcasts of them available so that all of you can glean the same knowledge and great advice for yourselves. Besides, If I tried to include everything here, this post would be endless!

panel-1-framed

Here's Molly from Orangette and Jaden from Steamy Kitchen with Kirsty Melville from Andrews McMeel Publishing talking about the "ins and outs" of getting a book deal from your blog, including how to write a book proposal. You can't see her, but Amy from Cooking with Amy was also there as the moderator.

Next, was a very interesting session called "Finding Your Voice", which was all about settling on your blog niche, keeping your writing fresh, relevant and unique and building a rapport with your audience. James Beard Journalism Award Winner, Rebekah Denn, CEO/Founder of Women & Wine, Julie Brosterman and Kathleen Flinn, author of “The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry”, were our able panelists for this one.

A fabulous gourmet lunch was provided by Kerry Sears from Four Seasons ART Restaurant, Brian Cartenuto from Cantinetta, Jonathan Hunt from Boom Noodle, Mt. Townsend Creamery, Willapa Hills Farmstead Cheese, Theo Chocolate and DRY Soda. While every dish was incredibly delicious, my favorites were those amazing little Bomboloni! Bomboloni are small, round and dreamily soft pillows of fried dough, usually filled with cream or jam, and dusted with sugar. These were filled with an amazing orange-scented pastry cream. Heaven!

Picnik collage-lunch-1

After that feast, what I really needed was a nice, long nap, but instead we were treated to informative sessions on food styling and building blog traffic. Two adorable representatives from Picnik were there to tell us all about the photo editing site, and I have to say, I was really impressed! I'd used Picnik in my early blogging days, but kind of forgot about it after I got Photoshop. Since then, a ton of great new features have been added that are fun and very easy to use. In fact, almost all of the pictures and collages on my Seattle posts were edited using Picnik. I love Picnik!

Picnik Girls

The next stop on this great Seattle adventure was the Words & Wine event with special guest, Ruth Reichl. Ruth certainly needs no introduction to anyone involved in the world of food, but for anyone who isn't already familiar with her, she was the restaurant critic for the New York Times for many years before graduating to be the editor of Gourmet Magazine. Ruth is also a best-selling author and the recipient of four James Beard Awards. She is a legend and an icon, and after having the opportunity to chat with her at this event, I can also say a very charming and lovely woman! I am so thrilled to have met her!

prar_01_reichl_download

After a delightful evening of "words and wine" with Ruth Reichl, we each received an autographed copy of her newest book, "Not Becoming My Mother", (woo hoo!) and went on our merry way.

Believe it or not, by that time I was actually hungry again! And fortunately, so were many of my new blogger friends. A group of us decided to have a nice dinner at Chef Tom Douglas' signature restaurant, Lola. We had a great time chatting, laughing and eating sensational food!

Lola-3

Here we are mugging for the camera! From left to right are: Passion 4 Eating, The Well-Tempered Chocolatier, The Daily Spud, MOI, Recipe Girl, Wild Yeast, Plumpest Peach, Simply...Gluten Free and Brownies for Dinner.

Later, as I climbed into bed and pulled the covers over my head, I reflected on yet another awesome day of my great Seattle adventure. I had made so many new friends, learned so much and had such a great time doing it. And, there was still one more day left to go! I'm pretty sure I drifted off to sleep that night with a smile on my face.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of My Great Seattle Adventure, coming soon!

BTW, to enjoy lots more excellent photos of the IFBC, check out Sheri's post on the Foodista blog and the Foodistablog page on Flickr.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Great Seattle Adventure, Part 1: The Lonesome Traveler

Seattle,_Washington_-_Space_Needle

If you read my last post here on SGCC, you already know that I trekked all the way out to Seattle (from Florida!) last week for the International Food Blogger Conference sponsored by Foodista. At the time I decided to go, I honestly didn't know much about the folks at Foodista, nor what to expect from the conference in general. I'd never been to a blogger conference before, but when I saw the stellar lineup of panel speakers, moderators and guests, I knew that I had to find a way to get there! Besides, Seattle had been on my short list of places that I was dying to visit for years, and this was my big chance!

As luck would have it, the IFBC fell on my birthday weekend. So, when I mentioned it to Mr. SGCC, instead of the "SEATTLE? ARE YOU NUTS!?!? THAT'S CLEAR ACROSS THE COUNTRY!" response I was expecting from him, I got a "SEATTLE? That sounds like fun! How about if I give you the trip as your birthday present?"

What a guy!

airplane_l-caption copy

So last Thursday, Me, Myself and I set out on my great Seattle adventure. I'd never traveled such a long distance solo before, and I must admit, I was a little nervous. But, one long car ride, two plane rides, one 2-hour layover, one taxi ride and two Valiums later, there I was....in Seattle - one of the loveliest cities I've ever seen.

I purposely planned to arrive a day early so that I could take some time to explore the city on my own. I knew that one day wasn't enough time to do everything I wanted, so I had to prioritize. My number one, absolutely, positively, must see place to go was definitely the famous Pike Place Market. I'd read about the market in magazines and on many blogs. I'd seen it featured on The Food Network and other TV shows. The prospect of actually going there had me salivating!

By the time I got to my hotel and checked in on Thursday night, it was about 8:30 - a little too late to go wandering around alone in a strange city. I put on my fuzzy slippers, set up my laptop, ordered dinner from room service, (which, by the way, was the only disappointing meal I had in Seattle) and turned on the season finale of Hell's Kitchen. As an aside, I'm proud to say that Danny Veltri, the winner of HK, is from Sarasota, Florida, my hometown, and a graduate of my old high school as well. He seems like a very talented young man and I hope he goes far with his career as a chef. He certainly is off to a great start!

Anyway, the next morning I grabbed a cab from my hotel and headed down to Pike Place Market. The whole way down, my helpful cab driver, Hassad, gave me the lowdown on the market and lots of tips on where to go once I got there. Thanks, Hassad! (Thanks goodness I didn't run into a driver like the one Jaden had in NYC!)

market-caption-1 copy

Now, I knew that Pike Place Market is one of the largest farmer's markets in the country, but Holy Guacamole! That place is HUGE! As I approached the entrance, only another foodie could have understood the feelings that welled up inside of me. My pulse quickened and my heart began to beat just a little bit faster. Once inside, nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. There were stalls upon stalls of the most magnificent looking FOOD I ever saw! The fruits! The vegetables! The fish and seafood! The meats, cheeses, nuts, spices, jams and jellies! It was almost too much to take in!

Someone pinch me, because I must be dreaming!

pikeplacefish-1

My first stop was at the world famous Pike Place Fish Market. It was packed with camera-wielding tourists, and is definitely one of the most popular attractions there. And yes, it's true. The "guys" really do throw the fish around. Sometimes, they even make you kiss the fish too!

Picnik collage kissing fish

My eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw all of that gorgeous, glistening, fresh seafood! Cases were filled to the brim with king and dungeness crab, prawns, salmon, halibut cheeks, razor clams and assorted other fruits of the sea. I happened to be there on the first day of the legendary Copper River salmon season. What luck! There was no question that I was going to be ordering a boatload of that stuff to ship home!

Picnik collage-fish-1

And, I did! Not only did I buy a ton of Copper River salmon, but I stocked up on crab, halibut cheeks, smoked salmon and razor clams. I didn't even know what razor clams were, but I knew I had to have some! Pike Place Fish ships their seafood packed in ice packs and can overnight it to you just about anywhere. I got back to Sarasota late Monday night. My fish got here on Tuesday morning. Brilliant!

razorclams-1

Of course, the seafood isn't the only draw to Pike Place Market. The produce stalls which are jam packed with amazingly beautiful and impossibly fresh fruits and vegetables are like the jewels in the crown.

Picnik collage veggies

Just look at the size of those tomatoes and artichokes!!!

Picnik collage fruits

Apples and berries and pears! Oh my!

And, the flowers.......

flower-shop-2

Oh, those beautiful, beautiful flowers!

Picnik collage flowers

Stunning!

There are lots of colorful characters hanging around the market too. I ran across this guy along the way. I'm not sure who he is or what he does, but I couldn't resist snapping a pic of him! I call him The Balloon Guy.

balloon-guy

Another interesting phenomenon of the market is the presence of street performers, or buskers, singing and jamming their hearts out right there on the streets.

starbucks-1

I ran into these guys right in front of the original Starbucks. They sang a mix of close harmony jazz and gospel. They were fantastic! I liked them so much that I bought one of their CDs.

buskers-1

(Party on, Wayne!)

starbucks-2

By the end of the afternoon, I had covered a lot of territory. I must have walked at least five miles, and I was pooped! But, I was happy. Very, very happy! I concluded my tour of Pike Place Market by having a nice, hot latte at the original Starbucks. I promised my coffee-loving Mini SGCC that I would make a stop there. As I sat and sipped my steaming cup o' Joe, I reflected upon that first glorious day of my great Seattle adventure, and tingled with the anticipation of what the rest of the weekend held in store. The only thing that I regretted was that there was no one around for this Lonesome Traveler to share it with. But, that would soon change.

Stay tuned for next time when I'll tell you all about the IFBC, the fun and fabulous food bloggers I met there and more FOOD!

Ciao for now!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spiced Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Cookies: A Little Something to Nibble on While I'm Gone

oatmeal-cookies-3

By the time you read this, I'll be on my way to Seattle for the International Food Blogger Conference sponsored by Foodista. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! Not only am I going to meet some of my favorite food bloggers and Twitter friends, but I'll be learning some great tips and strategies to hopefully make SGCC bigger and better. Plus, I've never been to Seattle before and I've always wanted to visit there.

I'm arriving a day early so that I can check out some of the sites, especially the famous Pike Place Market. Tomorrow, I'll be out there, shopping 'til I drop and I can't wait!

oatmeal-cookies-5

I wanted to leave you with a little something to nibble on while I'm gone and I couldn't think of anything better than these fabulous Spiced Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Cookies. I found a version of these little beauties on Smitten Kitchen's web site many months ago and fell in love with them. Deb makes hers with white chocolate chunks, but I've tweaked the recipe to include cinnamon-spiced dried apples and cranberries. She says that they are "scandalously good", and I agree. I think that they are To. Die. For., and I hope you do too!

Hope you all have delicious weekend!

oatmeal-cookies-4

Spiced Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated via Smitten Kitchen
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup dried apples chopped into small bits*
1 cup dried cranberries*
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
1 tablespoon flaky sea salt (like Maldon or fleur de sel for sprinkling)

*Note: I use a dried fruit mixture from the market which is a blend of diced, dried apples and cranberries that is already flavored with cinnamon. It is the perfect thing for these cookies. I think Sun Maid makes it.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt in a medium bowl. Toss apples, cranberries and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

Beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl as needed. Add flour mixture gradually and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Add rolled oats and fruit mixture and mix well.

Scoop the dough into balls about 2 inches in diameter. Place on the baking sheet about 2 1/2-3 inches apart. You should get about 8 cookies on a sheet. Gently press down each ball slightly just to flatten the top a little. Sprinkle a small pinch of flaky salt on top of each cookie.

Bake until cookies are a golden brown, about 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TWD: Lemon Tart Brulee

lemon-tart-1

I love lemon desserts. I really, really, really love them! Lemon pie? Love! Lemon cake? Love! Lemon cupcakes, cookies, custards? Love, Love, Love! And, lemon tarts? Double Love! Needless to say, I was elated to learn that this week's TWD selection was Dorie's Tartest Lemon Tart, chosen by Babette from Babette Feasts.

This recipe is a bit unconventional as the filling is made with whole lemons. That's right, folks. The. Whole. Entire. Lemon. You just whiz the lemons up in the food processor or blender, add the rest of the filling ingredients, pour it all into a crunchy, nutty pate sable and bake. What you end up with is a smooth, sweet and creamy lemon tart with just the perfect amount of pucker power. I'm telling you, this tart is pure sunshine on a plate!

lemon-tart-4

Dorie's recipe calls for her sweet tart dough with nuts. I would normally have used almonds, except that I didn't have any. What I did have was a bag of toasted hazelnut flour, so I used some of that. I think it was a good alternative.

As delicious as this tart tasted, it wasn't really all that pretty to look at. It had a few little cracks and bubbles on the surface. While trying to figure out how to camouflage those blemishes, I decided to throw some sugar on top and brulee it. It worked perfectly! The top had that burnished, glassy finish on it that got all crackly when I cut into it. I served the tart for dessert on Mother's Day and it went so fast that I almost didn't get any pictures!

If you'd like to make Dorie's tart for yourself, the recipe can be found in her book, Baking: From My Home to Yours, as well as on Babette's site. If you need some more convincing, check out all of the other fabulous lemon tarts over on the Tuesdays with Dorie site.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

rose_2_bg_100502

Mother's Love

Her love is like an island
In life's ocean, vast and wide
A peaceful, quiet shelter
From the wind, the rain, the tide.
'Tis bound on the north by Hope,
By Patience on the West,
By tender Counsel on the South
And on the East by Rest.
Above it like a beacon light
Shine Faith, and Truth, and Prayer;
And thro' the changing scenes of life
I find a haven there.
- Author Unknown

Here's wishing all of the mothers in my life, including you, my dear readers, a very Happy Mother's Day!

I'll be back on Tuesday with another delicious recipe!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Grilled Steak Fajitas for the Birthday Boy

fajitas-1

Most of you probably already know that this past Tuesday was Cinco de Mayo, a day observed around the world as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. What you may not know is that it was also Mr. SGCC's birthday. As luck would have it, Mr. SGCC is a huge fan of Mexican food. So, I was able to kill two birds with one stone that night by preparing him a delicious Mexican-style birthday dinner.

Since Mr. SGCC is also a carnivorous caveman, I decided to make something with beef - skirt steak to be exact. The most obvious choice was Fajitas. "Fajita" is actually a generic term used in Tex-Mex cuisine, referring to grilled meat rolled in a flour or corn tortilla. Originally, traditional fajitas were made using skirt steak, but these days one can find them made with all kinds of different proteins, including chicken, pork, shrimp and even beans. I decided to go the traditional route and used skirt steak.

guacamole-2

Skirt steak is a cut of beef from the plate, or belly, of the cow. It is actually the diaphragm muscle. It's a long, flat, and fibrous cut that is very flavorful, but can be tougher than many other steak cuts. For this reason, it is usually marinated and grilled. When sliced thinly against the grain, the result is some intensely beefy, juicy and tender steak.

I marinated my skirt steak for several hours in a mixture of orange and lime juices, olive oil, garlic, jalapeno and cumin. I believe that the acid in the citrus helps to break down the fibres in the meat, thus making it more tender.

I also sauteed a heap of red onions, red bell pepper and mushrooms to serve along with the meat. And, I made a big batch of cool and creamy guacamole to finish off the dish. To round out the meal, I paired my fajitas with a zippy little Black Bean and Corn Salad.

fajitas-2

It was an awesome Cinco de Mayo/Happy Birthday dinner! Mr. SGCC was very happy. And, when he's happy, I'm happy! ¡Olé!

Grilled Steak Fajitas
adapted from Tyler Florence
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:

1 orange, juiced
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 small handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed of fat
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 pint button mushrooms, cut into chunks
Guacamole (recipe follows)
12 warm flour tortillas (I cover them with a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds.)
Shredded cheese for topping (I use a pre-shredded Mexican blend from the market. My favorite is Sargento Artisan Authentic Mexican.)

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients for the marinade. Place skirt steak in a shallow container, and pour marinade over it. Poke a few holes in the meat with a fork so that it absorbs the marinade better. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Drain the marinade from the meat. Grill the steak on the grill or in a grill pan over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes each side for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest.

In the same pan, add the bell peppers, onions and mushrooms. Add a little olive oil, if needed. Saute the mixture for 3-5 minutes over medium-high heat, until the vegetables are tender, but not mushy.

Slice the steak thinly against the grain on a diagonal and toss with the vegetables.

Spread some guacamole on a tortilla and top with some of the steak mixture. Sprinkle some cheese on top. is desired. Roll up the tortilla around the filling and enjoy!

Serves 4-6

Guacamole

2 large or 3 small ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
1 cup red onion diced
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
1 small handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of one lime
Tabasco sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Mash the avocado in a bowl. Leave it a little chunky. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Here are some more recipes from the SGCC archives to satisfy the caveman at your house!

Ribeye Steaks with a Spicy, Smoky, Cacao Nibs Rub

Bistec a lo Pobre

Churrasco with Chimichurri Sauce

Pan Roasted Veal Chops with Chipotle-Lime Butter

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

TWD: Tiramisu Cake

tiramisu-cake-4

In the introduction to her recipe for Tiramisu Cake, Dorie states that "there was a time in the 1990's when probably the only way to avoid tiramisu would have been to go to Antarctica - and even then you might not be sure it wouldn't turn up." Boy, did she ever hit the nail right on THAT head! I can't recall one single dinner party we ever went to or any restaurant we ever ate at during that time where tiramisu was NOT on the menu! I remember this so well because I don't really like tiramisu. Now, that may seem contradictory to those of you who have heard me declare my undying love for mascarpone, or who have seen recipe after recipe on this blog in which it appears as an ingredient, but it's true. I don't like it. I hate soggy food, and traditional tiramisu is made with a base of Italian ladyfingers, called savoiardi, that is soaked with with coffee and booze. True, it is filled with a creamy and delicious mascarpone-based cream. But, I just can't get past those mushy, squishy savoiardi! So, rather than offend a proud and enthusiastic hostess who presented me with a heaping portion of her "special" tiramisu, I'd usually just pick out the cream filling and feed the rest to the plants.

tiramisu-cake-1

Needless to say, that when I saw that this week's TWD assignment was a Tiramisu Cake, I was less than thrilled. I even considered skipping it. But since I had already skipped the previous two weeks due to unavoidable work commitments, I decided to suck it up and make the cake. After all, I didn't have to actually eat it. I figured that I could find at least one of my neighbors who would take it. And, if not, I could always give it to my sister-in-law. She never met a cake she didn't like!

So, I whipped up some Tiramisu Cake. And then, I took some pictures. I carved out a slice of the cake for a photo and it looked pretty good. Not soggy or squishy at all! Then, I figured that I should at least taste it. I mean, what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't give you the unvarnished truth about the cake, despite my personal bias. The more I looked at that cake, the more I was willing to make the sacrifice. I grabbed a fork and took a bite.....and another.....and another..... Well, I think you get the picture. Imagine my surprise (and delight) when I discovered that Dorie's Tiramisu Cake was good! Really, really good! Fabulous, actually! (Sorry Sis, you're not getting any of this one!)

tiramisu-cake-3

The cake part of this creation is made with a basic yellow cake recipe. Once cooled, it is brushed with a syrup made from espresso and coffee liqueur. Between the layers of cake, lies a velvety combination of mascarpone cheese and whipped cream studded with little chunks of chocolate. Then, the whole cake is frosted with an espresso-laced version of the filling.

The benefit of using cake instead of ladyfingers is that the cake doesn't disintegrate when soaked with the syrup. Instead, it drinks in the coffee flavor and you're left with a very moist and tasty cake that holds its shape. Add that wickedly rich mascarpone cream and you've got a match made in heaven!

Thanks to Megan from My Baking Adventures who chose our recipe for this week. If you'd like to try this cake for yourself, you can find the recipe there. As always, check out the Tuesdays with Dorie Blogroll to see how the rest of the group fared with this one.