Archive for March, 2012

I must give full credit to Pinterest for this delicious find (recipe here). (See, Hubby, it IS productive!). There’s not much my girlfriends love more than chocolate and red wine, so I felt I really had no choice but to try this recipe. I definitely think they are going to like it.

The recipe is  not complicated – a basic cream-butter-and-sugar-then-add-dry-ingredients batter with red wine splashed in at the end. I was somewhat concerned about the level of alcohol after I licked the batter and felt a little tipsy…but most of it cooked out. This tastes like a moist chocolate cake, with a hint of something adult in the aftertaste. It’s really yummy, though fairly plain – a tea cake almost, perfect for afternoon snack. I think it would be extra good dressed up with a homemade whipped cream or creme fraiche and some berries. This cake may be a summer staple when berries are in season! And perhaps the best thing about it is that since we always have red wine on hand, it’s an easy pantry dessert that you can whip up in a snap without needing to go to the grocery store!

Bon appetit!


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There’s a yummy little cookie called Speculoos that I always savored and saved in the freebie packets I got on the plane when flying through Belgium. They are a thin, crisp cookie, which isn’t the kind I normally love (i.e. not chewy or frosted). But they are very flavorful – full of the fallish flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc. In Europe I have also seen (okay, eaten) Speculoos-flavored gelatto and other treats. They are all good. It’s yummy stuff.

Last summer I made an expensive and questionable spur-of-the-moment decision to buy a jar of Nutella-like spread from the charming but overpriced Pain Quotidien, a Belgian cafe chain that has a few outlets in the DC area now. They had a sample jar out when I was buying a sandwich and it was so heavenly, I bought it on the spot. It was really delicious spread on warm toast, but at the hefty price tag, I’ve only stared longingly at it through the window and not purchased it again since.

Fast forward to last week at Trader Joe’s. (We go there a lot as there is now a store open within walking distance of our apartment!) I saw this in a huge endcap display:

I have to wonder how popular that jar has been, because if I hadn’t already loved me some Speculoos cookies and other treats, I’d have passed by without a second glance. Maybe they are doing samples to get people hooked. But if you live near a Trader Joe’s, let me just spare you the suspense – go buy a jar tomorrow. Make a regular piece of toast (though the better the bread, the more yummy). Spread it on THICK. Let it sit for a moment to totally melt. Then eat the gooey, sweet, delicious thing completely up. Suitable for breakfast, post-lunch, afternoon coffee break, or dessert. Or all of the above.

You’re welcome. 🙂

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