We had pork dumplings that were to die for...
And while James was slaving over a hot wok, Elizabeth, Dave and I rolled some California rolls.
They were big and lumpy and....delicious!
We saw very little of the children, but once Anna Jane realized that the adults had different food than the kids, she had to try everything. She popped dumplings in her mouth until they were all gone.
She tried to eat her third piece of sushi with chopsticks...
Oh, forget it!
We love having friends with adventurous appetites, so I tried out a new dessert. It's from Stirring Performances, the Junior League of Winston-Salem's beautiful book. Everything I've tried out of this book has been super-yummy. Buy one here!
The title of the recipe is Chocolate Torte Caramela, but James renamed it "Shattercake" for a soon-to-be obvious reason.
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 c butter, soft
1/2 c powdered sugar
2 egg yokes
1 tsp vanilla
1 loaf pound cake, frozen
1/3 c granulated sugar
1/2 c whipping cream
(Before I start the how-to, let me address a few things before you start. The egg yokes incorporated into the ganache are not cooked. They will be raw in the final product, so do not eat this if you are pregnant or elderly, or in any other population that should not eat uncooked eggs. We never eat uncooked eggs. Dave is over-the-top wary of food-bourne illnesses. However, while I was building the cake, Dave was eating the chocolate mixture with a spoon. Apparently it was worth the risk. We've eaten it and we are still alive.
I used a large pound cake and ended up making another batch of icing to cover it. If you use a small cake, one batch of icing should do.)
Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Let cool to room temperature.
Cream butter until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time. Beat until smooth. Beat in vanilla and cooled chocolate.
Slice the top crust from a lightly frozen pound cake and discard (or eat). The pound cake doesn't have to be frozen, it just makes it (a lot) easier to slice.
Slice remaining loaf horizontally into six or seven thin layers. (My biggest obstacle in the kitchen is cutting cakes into layers, yet I continue to make layer cakes. My theory, which has been proven countless times, is that as long as it tastes good and you cover it with enough icing, you can hide any aesthetic mistakes.)
If you saved the top of the cake instead of letting your husband eat it, then you can patch up any mistakes.
Reserve one layer and set aside. Spread chocolate icing between cake layers and restack into a loaf. Reserve 1/2 to 3/4 cup of icing for sides of cake. (It was at this time that I wished I had more icing. I would have put more in between the layers, and I didn't have enough to cover the sides.)
Place reserved cake layer on a piece of aluminum foil. Heat sugar in a heavy saucepan until melted and amber, not too dark. Pour sugar quickly over reserved cake layer to coat evenly. This cools so fast, that you have to spread the sugar as soon as you can. You really need three hands for this. Place this layer on top of the cake.
Ice the sides of the cake with reserved frosting.
Whip cream and use as garnish.
I chose to plop the cream rather than piping. I prefer more of a rustic look because then my messiness doesn't matter. If you have a steady hand, cut your layers evenly and pipe the whipped cream. Very elegant.
The original recipe instructed you to heat a knife on a burner and use it to slice through the caramel on top. Had we stuck with that, we would still be there, 24 hours later, trying to melt through the caramel.
Beautiful? Yes. Perfect? Nope. Delicious? OHMYGOODNESS.
I may or may not have had some for breakfast this morning, straight out of the fridge. And if I did, I will tell you to serve it cold. It's actually more delicious that way. No joke.
After an evening full of food and fun, I waddled upstairs to Elizabeth's craft room where I snuck something out of her stash.
Really, she gave me this ring and she had a bedspread covered in beautiful jewelry. Please visit her shop and see all of the beautiful things she makes!
Meatless Monday tomorrow!