Last summer, I took my Mom to New York, where we visited sites and played for a week. I love being with my mom. We love the same things. Eating. Touring museums and sites, and shopping. She LOVED the Empire State building. This was my third trip to NY, and I’ve never had a desire to stand in the two hour (or more) line and go up. But Mom wanted to, so we did. It was the highlight of the trip for her. I’m glad we did. Took this pic while we were on top.
We walked over to see Times Square at night.It is amazing to see how many people congregate there.
See the couple behind mom? She was mad at her hubs bc she was HOT.
An example of sites you see on the bus: This is a butcher shop where apparently you can pick out your meat while it’s still alive. Hmmm. That’s what I’m thinking. Like I WANT to see this animals life before I make it into Sunday dinner? The number’s on the banner, in case you are interested.
Boat ride to Statue of Liberty. Harbor tour. The Met. Grand Central. Little Italy. Chinatown. Ground Zero. Saw Kathi Lee outside of the Today Show as we were passing through. Mom loves Kathi Lee.
At 75, my mom is a trooper. When we go on a vaca together, and there are sites to see, I lay out the schedule, and off we go. She gets up early every day, puts on her Reebok’s, has breakfast and is ready to be a tourist. She’s a great travel partner. Never complains. She can sleep anywhere, anytime. Hard bed, soft beds? Either are fine for her. Sleeping aids? Never needs one. At 8PM, she’s done, and in bed. Ready for the next day.
And then there’s food. She’ll eat anything. Fast food, slow food. She goes along with all of my food craziness. We made a few new discoveries (to me) last summer. We stopped back at Amy’s Bakery too. Discovered this place with Corrine and Brooke the summer before.
I love their cakes. Tried this one last summer. I love a good chocolate cake. This cake is moist, chocolaty, with a smooth buttery white frosting. I love the way Amy’s decorates theirs with a little chocolate dot. As you can see, my dots look more like chocolate chips. I’m not exactly the Cake Boss when it comes to decorating cakes.
Taste: SO GOOD.
Dots: I’m working on it.
5 oz unsweetenedchocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream (not low fat)
5 tablespoons (1 oz)Valrhona cocoa powder or Dutch process cocoa powder
2 3/8 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 large eggs
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, for decorating cake
White Butter cream Frosting (see below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease, line and lightly flour 2- 9″ cake pans. Shake out excess flour.
Pour the boiling water over the chopped chocolate in a small heat-proof bowl, mix with fork until chocolate melts. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, cocoa powder and soda until the mixture is smooth. After the chocolate mixture has cooled a bit, but is still pourable, mix into sour cream mixture until all ingredients are incorporated and mixture is smooth.
In another bowl, cream the butter and dark brown sugar together about 3 minutes. Add vanilla. Add the cooled chocolate/sour cream mixture, mixing well. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add the flour and salt all at once. Mix for about 2 minutes or until all ingredients are incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Batter will be thin.
Divide the batter equally among two-9 inch prepared cake pans. Place the pans on the center rack of the oven. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack and let cool completely. You may wrap the layers in Saran Wrap before they are completely cooled and freeze, for easier handling and frosting.
When ready to frost, place one layer of cake onto platter. Brush off any crumbs. Spread a layer of frosting on top of cake. Place other layer on top, and frost sides of cake. Top with remaining frosting, and frost top and any areas on sides that need touching up. When ready to finish with dots, place 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips into small plastic (Ziploc) sandwich bag. Microwave for about 30 seconds, or until melted. Snip off tiny corner of the bag. Make dots on cake.
White Butter Frosting
1 cup butter, softened, but not melted
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
milk or half and half or cream to thin about 2-3 tablespoons
Beat butter in large bowl. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth. Add milk until frosting is smooth and spreadable.
– I changed the method in which Amy’s made the cake. They take several steps to incorporate the ingredients. I followed this the first time, but found the steps didn’t make a big difference in the texture overall.
– I just looked again at the pic of the cake in my copy of Amy’s Bakery cookbook, The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread, and see that their dots look like chocolate chips too.