Ending with dessert seemed fitting, especially since I don't think I tried a single Bayless dessert recipe.
Well, it was actually my chocolate birthday cake. Rick didn't have any.
The Husband made this for me several weeks ago. It was absolutely perfect for a chocolate lover like myself. The cake was moist and the flavor hinted at Red Velvet Cake (I imagine due to the buttermilk). The frosting was the bomb. And I hardly ever say that. It has chocolate AND coffee...my two favorite things to stuff down my face.
And you better believe I did.
Recap time. Cue the sappy "looking back" music if needed.
Some of my favorites from Rick Bayless:
The Simplest Fried Beans.
Everyone in the house is just crazy for these beans.
Potatoes with Mexican Sausage (Papas y Chorizo).
The guys didn't care for this, but it's definitely in my top 3. I could eat this for breakfast every day.
Could very well be the best salsa I've ever had.
Avocado Dressed Shrimp.
Such a perfect summer recipe. Served chilled. No cooking if you play your cards right. And beautiful on the plate. (Though it's kinda messy and may end up on your lap.)
Chicken In Mustard Sauce.
I didn't know Bayless cooked non-Mexican food, but I'm glad he does.
Quick-Fried Shrimp with Sweet Toasty Garlic (Camarones al Mojo de Ajo).
Mojo de Ajo is genius.
French Warm Goat Cheese Salad.
Crunchy exterior-creamy interior gets me every time.
Rick’s Favorite Chocolate Birthday Cake
from Rick & Lanie's Excellent Kitchen Adventures by Rick Bayless
¼ c vegetable oil, plus a little extra for greasing pans
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 c dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c flour plus extra for cake pans
a scant tsp baking soda
½ c cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
1 c hot coffee
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 round 9” cake pans.
In a mixing bowl, combine the vegetable oil, melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat with mixer on med-high speed until homogeneous and fluffy. Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt. With mixer on medium-low, scoop in 1/3 of the flour mixture. When mostly incorporated, add 1/3 of the buttermilk. Continue with two more additions of flour mixture and buttermilk. Beat on medium speed for about 1 minute more. Remove bowl from mixer and pour hot coffee over batter. Stir to combine.
Divide batter between the prepared pans. Slide into the oven and bake until cakes have pulled away slightly from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (about 25 minutes). Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then turn cakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting:
1 lb bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 ¼ c heavy cream
1/3 c corn syrup
¼ cup espresso, very strong coffee, or hot water
While cake is baking, place chocolate pieces in a food processor and chop with 1 sec pulses until no piece is larger than a pea (skip this step if using chocolate chips). Place chocolate in a heat safe bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the cream, corn syrup, and espresso, coffee, or hot water. Heat over medium, stirring regularly until steaming. Pour over the chocolate and stir until chocolate has melted.
Place in refrigerator and stir every 15 minutes until spreadable (about 1 ½ hours)
Use about ¼ of the frosting between the layers. Then spread ½ of what is left on the sides and the rest on the top.
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