Cocoa-Marzipan Pound Cake

Recently the weather has been cold, rainy, windy and downright raw. For the past few days, I’ve been hunkered down in the condo, looking for some recipe ideas that will help clean out my pantry. For my baking project last … Continue reading

Fairytale Brugge

Our week-long European road trip got off on the wrong foot after being delayed at the airport in Dublin and delayed at the Port of Dover while trying to board the ferry to Calais, France. Port security informed us that we had to get out of line because the rental car company had called and told them that we weren’t cleared to take the rental car out of the United Kingdom. We finally got it sorted out, but 2 hours and 2 ferries had passed in that time. Despite the hassle at the border, we were finally on our way to Belgium and we hoped that our traveling mishaps were behind us.

The boat arrived in Calais and we were off, driving on the right side of the car on the right side of the road. By the time we neared Brugge, it was almost 11pm. Some road work on the outskirts of town (that our SAT-NAV didn’t pick up) lead us wandering through the suburbs, but we eventually arrived at our hotel, Die Swaene, at 11:30 that night. We were tired and hungry from the journey that started in Dublin much earlier that morning, and decided to splurge for room service to reward ourselves for actually making it to Brugge despite the obstacles. Our innkeeper informed us that unfortunately there was no room service since the restaurant was across the street and being it so late at night, it was closed. He offered leftovers from their breakfast buffet and few minutes later, he arrived arms full of small plates of salami, ham, chicken, cheese, fruit and bread. He apologized for the slim selection and warned us multiple times that the bread was from that morning (they take their bread very seriously in Europe). David and I were thankful for their gracious hospitality and happy that we weren’t going to bed with empty stomachs. Valentine’s Day was the following day and we thrilled that we were staying at “the most romantic hotel” in Brugge. When we walked into our room, we laughed out loud as we looked down at two twin beds.

Die Swaene

A room in the hotel, clearly with one bed, it's not ours

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Chocolate Orbit Cake

In October, we celebrated David’s birthday at home in Boston and my sister-in-law and I decided to make this decadent dessert. I’ve been following David Lebovitz’s blog for over a year now and I decided that it was time to purchase one of his books, so I bought “Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes”. This cake blew away the chocoholics and converted the non-dessert people into lovers.  Chocolate Orbit Cake is the perfect combination of a chocolate flourless torte and a rich pudding. It’s dense, but light at the same time. Confused? Try it for yourself.

Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Ready for Desserts.

Makes one 9-inch cake; 12-14 servings

  • 1 cup (8 ounces/225 g) Butter, cut into pieces
  • 12 ounces (340 g) bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
  • 6 large Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Espresso Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla or Almond Extract.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a springform pan, wrapped tightly in aluminum foil around the outside of the pan. Make sure the pan is watertight.

In a large heatproof bowl, combine the butter and the chocolate. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water (making sure the water and the bottom of the bowl do not touch) and stir occasionally until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat. If you aren’t comfortable with this method, you can also melt the ingredients together in the microwave on low for 2-4 minutes, stirring every minute.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then slowly whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until completely incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan and cover it tightly with foil. Put the springform pan into a roasting pan with 2-inch sides and put into the oven. Pour very warm water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the side of the pan. Bake until the cake appears to be set and your finger comes away clean when you gently touch the center, approximately 65-75 minutes.

Release the sides of the springform pan and serve with whipped cream and raspberries.

Chocolate Orbit Cake