A weekend of surprises & some seriously amazing cake


Happy Monday!

hokey pokey


How was your Thanksgiving holiday?

Did you eat too much?  Did you score any amazing deals on Black Friday?

What about today – are you a Cyber Monday kind of person?

My weekend was full of surprises!

Thing 2 and I were getting ready to head out on Friday – yes, I know I don’t DO Black Friday but my fuzzy crew needed food.

Clearly, I need to work on my planning because I totally could have made sure we had enough pet food before the holiday hit.

Anyway, we were getting ready to go – okay, I was getting ready to go…Thing 2 suddenly wanted to “wait about 30 minutes.”

What the heck?


And then ….


Thing 1 was there!!!

Pretty awesome surprise, if you ask me. 🙂

So, we hung out for a bit, went to lunch, did a few errands (I actually braved the Wal-Mart! Crazy, I know!), and chatted and watched tv.


Then, on Saturday, Thing 2 and I made a surprise trip to see MY folks and my grandmother!




I even baked a Double-Chocolate Bundt Cake with Ganache Glaze to take with me!

My grandmother LOVES chocolate. And, I love my grandmother so….

The best part of the surprise was the fact that my mother called me while we were 5 minutes away from their house.

She wanted a picture of Thing 2 for her frame she was taking to work.


Okay, I think we can handle that!

5 minutes later, Thing 2 is knocking on her front door!

It was pretty spectacular.

I love that we were able to do that. 🙂



So, let’s talk about that cake. 🙂

Like I said, my grandmother loves chocolate and when I saw this cake recipe from Food and Wine, I knew I had to surprise her with it.

Bundt cakes can often be heavy and overwhelming but this one was light, moist, and decadent without being overpowering.

In fact, it was pretty amazing.

Om nom nom!


Double-Chocolate Bundt Cake with Ganache Glaze
makes 10-12 servings (depending on how big you make the slices)

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup strong-brewed coffee (I used Italian Roast)
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a small saucepan, melt 2 ounces of the chopped chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Scrape the chocolate into a medium bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in the oil and sugar until smooth, then whisk in the egg.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add half the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture along with 1/2 cup of the coffee and 1/2 cup of the buttermilk, whisk until smooth. Add the remaining dry ingredients, coffee, and buttermilk and whisk until smooth.

3. Pour the batter into the Bundt pan and bake in the lower 1/3 of the oven for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. (Mine took 42 minutes so, depending on how hot your oven gets, I would start checking at 40 minutes. You don’t want an overdone cake!) Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn it out and let it cool completely.

4. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. In a heatproof bowl, combine the remaining 3 ounces of chopped chocolate with the corn syrup and butter. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand until melted, about 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Let the ganache glaze cool until thick but still pourable, about 5 minutes.

5. Pour the ganache over the cooled cake. Let the cake stand until the glaze is set, at least 30 minutes before serving.

6. Share with family and friends!


Question: When do you put your Christmas tree up? Are you an “immediately after Thanksgiving” person or do you wait a little longer?

We normally wait – mostly because I get frustrated with the mess it makes – but we came home yesterday to a surprise! My sailor had dug the tree out of our packed with boxes garage and put it up! Honestly, I’m really glad he did that. It looks awesome where he put it and I’m happy it’s up. 🙂

– jennifer