It’s been a while since I’ve updated and to that I can only say: oops! The hiatus was unintentional and due mostly to the fact that returning from vacation is as exhausting as preparing for time away in the first place. Isn’t that funny? You go on vacation because you’re tuckered out, only to return to a to-do list so long it takes days (in my case, two weeks) to get it all under control. There was also the added stress of finding a message from our landlord when we got back, stating that she’s selling our apartment. Add house/apartment hunting to our to-do list? Check.
We had a great time on vacation though. We swam with dolphins in Bermuda. (I love the blissed out grin on my husband’s face in this photo.)
We sailed around St. Maarten on a yacht.
Our captain was named Captain Jack, as I suppose all Caribbean captains are?
Captain Jack likes to climb underneath his boat while his crew members time how fast he can do it.
This is us snorkeling on a little island off St. Maarten. When we arrived at the island there were about 20 nude people covered in mud who promptly mooned us. I took a picture of it (because who could resist?), but I don’t think it would be a good idea to post it here, lol. Email me if you really want to see that many bare bottoms.
Of all the islands, I think St. Thomas was the most beautiful. I felt like I was standing in a postcard when I took the picture below.
St. Thomas is home to Magens Bay beach, which National Geographic has called one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. I can see why.
We sat under a palm tree at Magens Bay and read books, über dorks that we are. (No, that isn’t us in the photo.)
St. Thomas also treated us to a gorgeous rainbow just as we were sailing away. I was happy that the colors of the rainbow showed up in this photo:
I think the bird adds a little something to the image – thank you birdie!
Food on the cruise ship? It was good, but not amazing. One of the drawbacks of being a foodblogger is high standards! I’m very, very happy to be back in my own kitchen.
At this point you’re probably wondering where the chocolate cake you see at the top of this post comes in. Simply put: it’s the only blog worthy thing I’ve made since we returned. Well, that’s not true. I also made Homemade Tomato Soup & Open Faced Vegetable Melts, and Black Bean Quesadillas with Zucchini and Butternut Squash, and Bruschetta with Strawberry Melonade. But as you can see, I’ve posted all those recipes before. Busy times like the last two weeks are perfect for recipes you’ve made often.
This cake was originally called “Chocolate Layer Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting” but it was so full of rich chocolate flavor that, in my opinion, it is more accurately described as Extreme Chocolate Cake. As in, make this only if you are a chocolate-fiend of the first order! My husband and I definitely fall into this category.
I made the cake for the premiere of True Blood this past Sunday. At 10:00PM my husband and I each cut ourselves a slice, poured glasses of milk, then turned off all the lights and enjoyed the cake while watching Sookie and Bill the Vampire work on their relationship. That Bill! Siring a 17-year-old vampire without telling Sookie, tsk tsk.
The recipe for this Extreme Chocolate Cake (aka Chocolate Layer Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting) can be found at Epicurious.com by clicking here. I followed the recipe almost to the letter, making these minor adjustments:
- For the cake, I used 2 oz bittersweet chocolate instead of unsweetened chocolate
- For the frosting, I used 4 oz bittersweet chocolate and 4 oz milk chocolate instead of 8 oz milk chocolate. I also used 2 oz semisweet chocolate instead of 2 oz unsweetened chocolate.
This cake serves about 10 people and to get the most flavor I recommend using a high quality chocolate such as Scharffen Berger, which is what I used.
Store the cake in the refrigerator by allowing it to cool completely, then placing it in the fridge – unwrapped – for about 30 minutes so that the frosting hardens a bit. Then loosely wrap the cake with saran wrap and store for up to 3 days. Allowing the frosting to harden before wrapping the cake prevents the plastic wrap from messing up all those beautiful, chocolate frosting waves you slaved over. The technique works very well, as you can see in the photo above, taken 1 day after the cake was made. Let slices come to room temperature before eating.