CHOCOLATE for Breakfast!!

As any chocolatephile (is that a word?) knows, the best way to start the morning is with chocolate.  Now, if it’s a chocolate bar, a piece of chocolate cake or a bowl of chocolate ice cream, then one should generally sneak it in before her children find her!  If, though, it’s officially breakfast food, then she can share it with the world!

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I found this recipe for Cocoa Pancakes in my latest Taste of Home recipe magazine.  I didn’t have the mini-chocolate chips to add, but I did use Special Dark Hershey’s Cocoa, which more than made up for it.  I’m all for changing the name of the pancakes to CHOCOLATE pancakes, though, just because it sounds more decadent.

See, even the batter looks yummy:

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I made fresh whipped cream for topping because I didn’t want to distract from the CHOCOLATE with plain ole syrup.  Lizzie was my taste-tester. chocolatepancakes5

 

 

 

 

 

 

I subscribe to the idea that bacon for breakfast keeps all sorts of ills away.  What a glorious start to our day!

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Dr. Suess Cake

Who doesn’t like Dr. Suess?  I can’t imagine this type of person…I don’t think I would want to be friends with her!  My children “read” these books early on in their educational careers, and Sam, I am is a close friend of the family.  That said, I can only follow the Cat’s antics for so many days in a row before I go bonkers.  (Just a side note, I first wrote “bankers,” which I can only figure out in a combination of “bonkers” and “batty.”  Rather apt description!)

I previously posted my Polka Dotty Cake excitement, and I’m happy to report that the first graders in Caroline’s class were tickled to find the polka dots in the cake I made for them.

I started the cake early the day before I needed to finish.  Somehow, I just felt it wasn’t going to be smooth sailing.  My original design (it never got out of my head) called for a Cat-in-the-Hat hat on one side of an open book and aDr. Suess5 fish-in-the-teacup on the other side.  My first attempt at the hat looked great.

It was a pain to stack, though, and I had to freeze the layers and the dirty icing to keep everything from sticking to my fingers.  I had baked 9-inch rounds and cut 4-inch circles to layer; several dowel rods (OK, they’re really bamboo skewers, which, by the way, don’t work nearly as well as real, solid dowel rods!) are poked through the layers for stability.  All the debris is my attempt to “ruffle” the brim of the hat.

That evening, though, this is what happened to my very heavy, precariously stacked hat:

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I went to bed with NO PLAN!!  In the middle of the night, more ideas came to me.  I would use rice krispie treats (RKT) to form the hat, much smaller, thinner and lighter.  If I had time, I would make the teacup with a fish.  As it turns out, I didn’t have time for the teacup, but Caroline did!  The fish is just plastic. 😦

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In case you, gentle reader, want to form your own teacup out of RKT, be sure your handle is strong enough to stay upright.  I didn’t do this, but perhaps wrapping the RKY around a wire would help it keep its shape.  Also, be sure to use something sharp and pointy to attach the handle to the cup; I used a toothpick broken in half, which worked well enough.

The final product:

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I used edible decorating markers to outline the letters, hat stripes and the bookmark, and Caroline used them to decorate the teacup.  This was a new trick for me, and I’m pleased with the effect.

Caroline posing with “her” cake in her classroom:

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And I had leftover cake and fondant, so the teachers got a quickie.

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Polka Dotty Cake

It’s Dr. Seuss Week, you know!  Caroline’s 1st grade class does a week-long unit using all things Seussical, and the teacher asked me to make a cake to finish off the festivities.  I Googled Dr. Suess Cakes…and whew!  It’s a little overwhelming. 😦

Undaunted, I came up with a grand plan for my own cake, which I will reveal on Friday.  Before I started the fancy-dancy final cake, though, I wanted to practice:

I started by making red velvet cake balls. I found a pancake batter dispenser a few months ago that works like a dream for this: NO DRIPS!  I undercooked the balls just slightly.

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I used a yellow cake mix for contrast and spread a thin layer on the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan. Polka dot cake1Once I placed the balls gently on the batter, I covered them (mostly) with the rest of the batter.  (For future reference, I think 8″ pans would work better since they’re deeper.)

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I baked the cakes for the regular time, layered them, frosted them, rainbow-sprinkled them (of course!).

Wa-La:  A Polka Dotty Cake!

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Note: Check out that snazzy cake server!  I’ve decided to start collecting them…

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