CHEW THIS! Magical Chocolate Cake

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, August 17th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

A Magical Experience at The Cake Bake Shop
Blaise Doubman

If you have not been to one of The Cake Bake Shop locations, one in Broadripple and the newer one in Carmel, I highly recommend you make reservations and go! It is an experience like no other experience you can get anywhere in the United States! This is not just my opinion either because just recently USA Today voted The Cake Bake Shop as one of the most unique places in the United States as well as voted it one of the most popular Instagram worthy locations! I have known about The Cake Bake Shop from the minute the Broadripple location opened for business. Gwendolyn Rogers, mastermind, owner, creator, decorator, recipe developer and genius behind The Cake Bake Shop started a social media campaign that I followed closely. Skip ahead several months and I was standing in the creation that I watched her design! The Cake Bake Shop is unreal in the magic that fills every space. Before you even walk up to the door, you can smell the freshly baked cakes, pies and cookies. Seasonal flowers and twinkling lights welcome you inside and continue to welcome you throughout the restaurant. The décor, the menu and the color scheme all change each season and one season is just as fabulous as the others. Christmas time is an especially magical time to visit The Cake Bake Shop!

This past July 4th weekend, Gwendolyn announced that her new Carmel location was taking reservations. I logged on and the soonest I could get in was the end of July. I took it. Skip ahead several weeks and my family and I were walking though yet another Cake Bake Shop location that, dare I say, is even more magical than the first location in Broadripple! Their expanded menu is filled with Parisian inspired food, while their dessert bar is filled with their signature cakes, pies, cookies and brownies, all sprinkled with Gwendolyn’s famous glitter fairy dust. Also expanding in this location is their made fresh daily ice creams, candy counter and loads of fabulously designed products in their gift shop. My Mom, Darla, decided she wanted to celebrate my Aunt Myra’s latest personal achievements and take her and her daughter, Jacqueline with us on our adventure. It was a wonderful time and we were all in awe of Gwendolyn’s latest creation. Then what happened? We got to meet Gwendolyn in person! She was there, making sure things were running smoothly and took the time to talk with us and even have a picture taken. The first thing she said was that she had remembered me from our earlier conversations, that story is for another time, and said it was so glad to finally meet me in person! Then she said I was cute and even offered me a job. I was, and still am, so thankful and grateful for the experience. When developing the recipe for this column I knew that it had to be inspired by our magical adventure. This chocolate cake is unlike anything you have ever had before! So delicious and so much flavor. Not to mention easy! Try it and feel magical!

Magical Chocolate Cake with Dreamy Chocolate Frosting

This cake will keep for 2 days, wrapped tightly and kept chilled in the refrigerator.

For the cake…
1 package Devil’s Food cake mix
1 small package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup warm water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting…
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, for adornment
¼ cup chocolate syrup

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl beat together the Devil’s Food cake mix with the instant chocolate pudding mix, sour cream, lightly beaten large eggs, vegetable oil, warm water and pure vanilla extract. Beat for several minutes until the batter is light, smooth and glossy.

Pour the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bang lightly each cake pan on the counter to remove and air bubbles or pockets of air that might have developed when pouring.

Bake in preheated oven for 43 minutes. When baked, remove and allow to cool in their pans.

While the cakes cool, make the frosting by melting the semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl on high power until smooth and glossy, stirring every 30 seconds. Once melted and smooth, set aside to cool completely before finishing the frosting.

Once the melted chocolate has cooled, place the softened unsalted butter in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Add a cup of the powdered sugar, beat, then add the remaining powdered sugar, beating until super smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes total.

Add in the pure vanilla extract and the cooled melted chocolate and beat for 3 more minutes until the frosting is light in color, smooth and slightly thicker than melted ice cream.

When ready to assemble the cake, flip out both cooled cakes. Place one cake down on your serving platter and take about 1/3 cup of the frosting and smear it all over the top of the cake. Sprinkle on a few chocolate chips, and drizzle with the chocolate syrup. Top that with the other cake and add all the frosting to the top of the cake, working down and frosting the sides as you go along, smoothing and frosting the cake.

Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips all over the top and dust with powdered sugar.

Ask and Answer: Lots of you have been wondering if my recipes for cupcakes, muffins, coffeecakes, shortcakes, etc. can be made in smaller cupcake or muffin tins. The answer is, of course, yes! Bake at the same temperature as the recipe suggests but please be sure to adjust your baking time! A regular size cupcake that takes 24 minutes, when switched to a smaller cupcake pan, will only take about 9 minutes, depending on the size of the pan! So, my advice would be to keep the oven temperature the same but watch carefully the bake time!

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CHEW THIS! Margaret’s Double Dessert Bars

Margaret’s Double Dessert Bars

Margaret Fowler and Blaise Doubman.jpg

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, August 3rd 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

A Special Recipe Dedicated to Margaret Fowler
Blaise Doubman

I love developing recipes based around some of my favorite people and this is exactly what happened with this recipe and column. I have known Margaret Fowler for years! I first got acquainted with her when my Grandma Barbra was staying at Glen Oaks after some health problems, going on five years ago. I noticed a woman sitting in the dining area and she was always eating dessert. I knew immediately this was a woman after my own heart! Ha! After my first couple of encounters with her I knew that I wanted to start bringing her some of my homemade desserts. About five times a week I would bring fresh baked goods to the staff and residents at Glen Oaks and I made it a specific point to deliver things to Margaret first. We would talk and talk and overtime, talk some more. We really got to know each other, and it became the highlight of my day to go in and talk to Margaret. Skip ahead several years and we are still very good friends! After Grandma Barbra left the facility and my Grandma Deloris moved in, Margaret and I picked right back up from where we left each other.

Margaret is one of the sweetest, wisest and funniest people I have ever known. She loves visiting, talking, giving hugs and even playing with my little fur baby, Penny. My life has been enriched knowing not only Margaret, but her family as well. Her family is some of the sweetest and nicest people and it is my honor and privilege to be able to call them not just friends, but family as well. They give me advice; we talk and laugh, and they even help give me suggestions about Penny and what to do when it comes to some of her temper tantrums! Penny and her tantrums are a whole other column! Ha! My family and I love Margaret and her family and are so thankful to have them in our lives. We share so many memories and funny stories. Anyone reading may remember my earlier column dedicated to Margaret, where I shared my recipe for some of her favorite peanut butter cookies. Well, this recipe is for sure a sweet winner because it combines blondie brownies and chocolate brownies to make the perfect dessert! Shout out and special thanks to Margaret and her family for everything – I love you all!

Margaret’s Double Dessert Bars

These are best made ahead, left at room temperature to cool, then wrapped in aluminum foil and chilled over night in the refrigerator. Once ready to serve, let come to room temperature and cut. Serve leftovers at room temperature or chilled. For an even richer dessert, top each square with some vanilla bean ice cream.

For the blondies…
2 ¼ cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks

For the brownies…
¾ cup white all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 large eggs

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on both sides. Spray the aluminum foil with non-stick baking spray.

Start by making the blondies. In a large bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. In another large bowl, beat together the softened unsalted butter with the firmly packed light brown sugar. Slowly beat in each large egg. Beat in the pure vanilla extract.

Gently fold in the whisked flour mixture and stir until just combined. Add in the semi-sweet chocolate chunks. Take the batter and spread evenly, smoothing out the top, into the prepared pan. You may want to use clean, wet fingers to accomplish this.

Next, make the brownies. In a large bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, salt and baking soda. In another large bowl combine the semi-sweet chocolate chips with the pure vanilla extract. In a saucepan combine the unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar and water. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Once at a boil, remove and pour over the semi-sweet chocolate chips and pure vanilla extract. Stir until the mixture is glossy.

Beat in the 2 large eggs, one at a time, and then gently fold in the whisked flour mixture.

Pour the brownie batter over the blondie batter and smooth out the top, spreading evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 37 minutes, being careful not to overbake.

Once baked, remove and allow to cool at room temperature before wrapping and chilling. Serve these at room temperature.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting a few questions about if there is a difference between using large eggs, opposed to extra-large or even jumbo eggs. Yes! There is a huge difference! I always use large eggs in all my tested recipes. Different size eggs contain different amounts of liquid, therefore potentially throwing off the chemistry that is used behind a recipe. Always use whatever the recipe suggests. If the recipe doesn’t suggest a size, more than likely the recipe was written and developed using large size eggs.