I arrived home from a fun weekend in New York to find a nice surprise—I’d been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Laurie from A Taste of Morning! Laurie is a fellow philosopher who writes a beautiful blog from her bed & breakfast in Kansas. In particular, I love her photography of flowers and plants. Thanks for thinking of me, Laurie!
Nominees share 7 things about themselves and then nominate 15 of their favorites blogs for the award in return. Here are my 7 things:
1. I majored in philosophy in college. Ethics is my favorite.
2. I’ve lived in St. Louis, Chicago, Massachusetts, Ireland, and Moscow. I was only in Moscow 2 months, but I love that city so much that I just have to count it!
3. My favorite TV shows are Arrested Development and The Simpsons.
4. I’m a crazy Cubs fan. I’ve been to more than 50 Cubs games in my life and don’t plan on slowing down any time soon!
5. My favorite foods are baklava, quesadillas, grapefruit, Wienerschnitzel, and raspberries.
6. Every time I pass someone walking a Siberian Husky on the street, I have to stop and give that puppy some love!
7. I refused to eat seafood of any kind until 2009. Now I love it.
And here are my 15 nominations, in no particular order, for the Versatile Blogger Award:
1. Hungry Hinny
2. Grown in Texas
3. We Call Him “Yes! Chef!”
4. Fiona Grows Food
5. The Soulsby Farm
6. The Patterned Plate
7. Natalie’s Daily Crave
8. The Sprout Diaries
9. The Budget Cooking Blog
10. With the Grains
11. Natasha’s Kitchen
12. Charles and Kimberly’s Recipes
13. Hungry Foodie Pharmacy
14. Toy Kitchen Chef
15. Czech That Out
To all my nominees, I love your blogs and I’m happy to give you a shout-out for your great work!
And now, the recipe:
Some recipes are born of utility, and this is one of those. Or, more simply said, a few days ago I wanted dessert. The things I had in the house were: pecans, Greek yogurt, and standard baker’s materials. No fruit, just a tiny bit of chocolate, and in general, nothing particularly interesting, and that meant not a lot of options. But I nosed around a few of my favorite cooking blogs and found some inspiration that sent me down the path of cake-making. If you’re a cake maker, and you’ve never tried this method of preparing your wet ingredients, I highly highly recommend it. It’s the same method I used in Drunken Squirrel’s Cake, and I love the way it makes the cake so airy and fluffy, but dense at the same time. And the chocolate ganache…just make this cake already!
1 cup pecans
1/2 stick (4 oz.) butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 cup minus 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
squeeze of lemon
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 oz. unsweetened bakers chocolate
3/4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp powdered sugar, plus more to taste
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large sauce pan, toast your pecans until they’re fragrant and slightly browned. Let them cool, then blitz them in a food processor to the consistency of wet sand.
In a saucepan over medium high heat, melt and brown your butter, stirring occasionally. When little brown bits are bubbling to the surface and the butter itself is brown, remove from heat and set aside to cool (you’ll know it’s done because it will smell amazinggg).
Now, the eggs. Separate the whites and the yolks. Put the yolks in a metal bowl and add the sugar.
Place the bowl over a pot of gently simmering water and whisk like crazy. At first, the yolk and sugar seize together and stick inside your whisk, but keep beating them and they’ll eventually turn into a thick, pale yellow cream.
Remove yolks from heat and gently stir in the ground pecans, yogurt, milk, lemon juice, and cooled brown butter.
Meanwhile, beat the whites until they form stiff peaks.
Take a scoop of the whites and gently stir it into the yolk mixture, to even out the textures a bit. Then fold in the rest of the whites.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift into the wet ingredients, and gently fold together until combined.
Pour batter into a greased spring-form pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top just starts to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow your cake to cool completely before you cover it with the ganache.
Now, the chocolate glaze. Gently heat the cream in a pan over medium heat. Just when it reaches the boiling point, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate and butter.
Add the powdered sugar and stir well until all the chocolate has melted and you’re left with a smooth ganache. Taste and add more powdered sugar as necessary to reach desired sweetness.
Pour evenly over the cake.
Place your cake in the fridge to firm up a bit. That’s it!