Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake..and Oli the skier~

My daughter called this top photo.. a family brochette:)

Happy little Skiers..

Posting a tad earlier because in is almost morning;)

We have had a mish mash of weather,from freezing not is a very different weather scene here compared to other years.
Our family across the street has started X-country skiing..even Oli..who is 7 and very sports first..was abit  a tiny bit..wobbly..  but he took to the sport a few steps..

All 5 set out..we watched,he started off walking and soon enough soon we could see..he started gliding ..they went far..:)

As you can tell in photo 3..he is in the air..daddy is carrying him the rest of the way.:)

I had a photo of myself sitting beside my favorite Christmas gift ever ...apart from the dog they gave back one year..

I just found this one..(I have so few..) ..the ballet ones..a few party ones..not many actually..I love them ..all ..I think I have 10 to 15..15 sounds like a lot..  most probably 10..any way I found this different pose of me probably tucking in my baby.

The dress is so familiar to w/ crinoline and a black velvet waistband..patent Mary Janes..  my mom would shine them up w/ Vaseline♥bows in my hair..frills on my socks.
Our white plastic tree..the great flat screen TV..the fake crèche that I still strung up..ashtrays galore..that clock..and I remember that thing on the tv..I think it was a candle..glitter glitter and it had fake  plastic baubles on it..
I know the tv..was bought when my parents aske my brothers..what do you want a new baby or a tv..they picked the TV I think..

I wish I had so many more photos..because that is what makes me remember.
I want to remember so much more.

This must be about 56-57 years ago..I think that's my uncle Roland..they lived in Sillery Québec.
I was happy to go the the Québec carnaval twice:) for a good sour cream chocolate cake recipe;)

It is no surprise to you that I am a recipe tester,not a recipe inventor.

I get inspired by recipes..and try them out..

I make many of the same dinners during a calendar year,favorites of ours..the old standbys..

Soups..scallop dishes we favor..pork dishes..chicken dishes..Italian..i.e. pastas, sauces  and pizzas....Asian..
..classic old fashioneds like Shepherd's pies..(cottage pies. really)..hamburgers on the grill..sausages..Italian or German..or honey mustard..not pork breakfast sausages like we had at home..La Belle Fermière..I slathered them in ketchup to take the taste away;) Maybe I should see if they are still available and try dishes..salmon..cod..halibut..shrimp dishes ..many we love..etc etc..

And then..I experiment and try something new on a regular basis..
I like that..I have Jacques who loves good food.. blog..etc..

Desserts I do have mainstays..many..but I get breads..

And in the last 2 years..Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood have inspired me:)

Unfortunately ..many desserts do not pan out..stick to your faves if you have a fave.. a sour cream chocolate cake..I tried one because Jacques loves Mme Benoit's..
..not even close.

So I am leaving you with Mme.Benoits:)

La Recette~

2 carrés (2 onces) de chocolat non sucré /2 unsweetened chocolate squares..2 ounces
1 tasse d'eau bouillante/1 cup boiling water

2 tasses de farine tout-usage, tamisée/2 cups sifted all purp.flour
1/4 c. à thé de sel/1/4 tsp salt
1 c. à thé de soda/1 tsp baking soda
1 c. à soupe de zeste de citron râpé/1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tassse de beurre/1/2 cup buttersoftened
1 c. à thé de vanille/1 tsp vanilla
1-3/4 tasse de cassonade bien tassée/1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 oeufs/2 eggs
1/2 tasse de crème sure, commerciale/1/2 cup sour cream

Chauffer le four à 325 F, et graisser un moule à pain de 9 X 5 X 3 pouces. Placer le chocolat dans un petit bol, y ajouter l'eau bouillante et laisser tiédir. Tamiser la farine, le sel et le soda, ajouter le zeste de citron râpé.
Mélanger le beurre et la vanille et mettre en crème avec un malaxeur électrique jusqu'à ce que le mélange soit crémeux, ajouter la cassonade et continuer à travailler la pâte jusqu'à ce qu'elle soit très crémeuse.
Ajouter les oeufs, un par un, en battant bien entre chaque addition. Incorporer la farine avec soin, en y mélangeant la crème sure et en dernier lieu.. le mélange du chocolat et de l'eau.
Verser la pâte (c'est une pâte claire) dans le moule préparé et cuire de 50 à 60 minutes ou jusqu'à ce que le gâteau soit cuit. Refroidir sur un gril à gâteau pendant environ 5 min, démouler et refroidir complètement.


Preheat oven to 325..Prepare a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan(see my notes below)
Place the chocolate squares in abowl and pour boiling water over..let melt..and become tepid..
Sift flour,salt and soda,add lemon zest.
Cream butter and vanilla with electric mixer..add brown sugar and continue mixing until mixture is very eggs one by one beating well after each addition..
Gently add flour mixture and then sour cream..lastly..the chocolate warm water mixture..
Pour into prepared pan and bake 50-60 mins.. Let cool on a rack ap 5 mins and then unmold..

Many people leave it unglazed.. see my notes below..

My notes..I used a 9 inch springform pan..I have made the cake so many times I can improvise~

Enjoy~ She was our Julia Child~

I first posted this in 2011 I think..

Macarons have success and fail rates too..more fails..than passes..

Sucre  à  la crème..more fails..I have a keeper now
Sugar pie..more fails..
Pie crust dough more fails..I have a few keepers now
Pate sucrée..more fails..I have keepers
Pies..jams..more fails.I have keepers

So ya want keepers?

I mentioned I would post keepers from Marie..The English Kitchen..I have so many great recipes from all bloggers..but I seem to have a compendium of J's

The English Kitchen:)

All recipes have been tried and tested..

apart from Dorie Greenspan's Baking..From my Home To Yours..few dessert cookbooks have a LOT of winning recipes..great photos! Great text..great oohs and ahhs..ahem...but a small amount of keepers.

I want to specify ..that I have made many delicious recipes from all of you that post recipes..and I am so grateful!

This time..I am talking about Marie.
I am sure you can go to her site..and do a search..these are all hard copies in my ..well one of my..recipe folders/books.

Et..maintenant..les recettes....some of my faves..

Hot Cocoa Cookies
Bumbleberry Pie Traybake
Crispy M and M Treats
Baked Apple Donuts
Apple Crumble Tray Bake
Raspberry Jam Bars
Raspberry Buns
Sour Cream Blueberry Breakfast Bake
Ginger Cake with Caramel Icing

Raspberry Bakewell cake
Sour Cream Blueberry cake
Crunchy Blueberry Tart
Buttermilk Spice Cake
Little Ginger Cheesecakes
Spiced Orange Cake

Korean Beef
Spicy Pork Burgers

I am sure there are many more..these are the ones I got my immediate hands on~

Sue and Mel agree! Marie is Top (STAR) Baker.

P.S. I first saw the idea of the stag on a GBBS Christmas I made a can literally make any design that you want:)

I really really love this show..loved..not sure what the new one will be..

Bon Weekend~


  1. Yum, I'm craving chocolate cake now! This sounds wonderful! And I'm so jealous of the cross country skiing! We grew up on that and also did it in France a few times. So, so fun!

  2. I can't wait to cross country ski again. Our snow has melted :-( I think chocolate cake should be on our menu soon.

    1. Ours is fading too..apparently the 23 rd and 4 th we may be in for it...oh lala..

  3. That is so funny. My mom taught me how to "polish" my patent leather shoes with Vaseline too. What a great memory. Chocolate cake--Yes!

    1. Don't you love the flashbacks?I am so grateful for every a love potion to me.

  4. Great recipe...and in French and English! Not like our PM! 😳
    So nice that the boys are active outdoors with their parents...can't beat that kind of family time.
    Looks like Marie has lots of delicious recipes...I have started following her blog...rough times right now for her. She seems like a really lovely person.
    Your decorated cake is all set for a magazine really should do something like that!
    Monique....Food Photographer Extraordinaire!
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend...we made it to the cottage today...dreary but no snow!
    We are in for warmer temps....but rain ☔️...going to make a few banana loaves tomorrow...
    Linda :o)

    1. Linda..I first posted this recipe in 2011 or the time someone had asked if I could post in French too..I started..but it was so long..for this was easier to write the French integrally..and just do the English after instead of flipping pages..lazy me..

      Our PM..I don't know why that transpired..and I see a lot of FB negativism..I don't know enough about it..I know he was here yesterday..locally enough..the video was on FB..everyone cheering..but then some negativity..
      Has to be tough.I would hate the limelight..
      I am still smitten.I hope he proves me right..loved his dad..his mom..I could not get away from their lives..He is a smart and lovely young man.Perfectly bilingual.
      I know you like him too:)
      I can't get over how often you go to Shangri-la!
      I thought once you closed up..that was it..never far from the heart is it..the call of the water😌

  5. Monique, I've never done cross country skiing, but have always thought it would be fun, that and snow shoeing. Oh, I'd love a slice of chocolate cake. I'm baking gingerbread tonight to take to a girls overnight tomorrow. A tried and true recipe that is cake like. I make a lemon sauce and serve with raspberries. Yum!
    Like you I wish I had more photos from my childhood. My parents didn't have a camera till much later. Then seems they were all movies or slides. I was the 3rd child and my baby book is mostly blank.
    Have a great weekend.
    PS. I ordered the scissors that Michael Lee shows in her vignette. Love the wide handles.
    Here is the link on Amazon.

    1. You're so sweet to add a link!I do favor cute scissors..I have garden herb ones a touch like those but not ornate..earthy lol..
      I wish I had a baby poor daughters have baby books..mid books and day of their wedding books.
      I was set on them having every mushy thing I did not.
      My mom was so loving..I am surprised there was none of this...
      Sarah..we were just watching This is us..and the 8 mm was playing..we still have it..and slides..honestly..Gid bless digital and mostly hard copy albums?.I often flip through them..and get so sentimental..the girls..the boys..and how young Jacques and I looked..
      You're having a sleepover? Fun fun..enjoy.and you cake too.

  6. Cross country skiing....that's awesome. And that cake sure looks and sounds delicious. I love old photographs, too. My mother has so many. I need to put them in albums for her so that we all can remember.

    1. I think that would be a great lucky to still have a mom!
      I think you would like love to's a sport where you are totally ensconced in nature:)Too icy to snowshoe or ski the last few days..

  7. I love your winter photos!!! And the cake looks wonderful! :)

  8. Ahhh Monique, you made me cry. Well, laugh, smile and cry. What can I say. Tu est un belle amis. Bisous! Oh, the boys. What fun! I love that they love being together and that your family does things like this together! Great photos! I can feel the joy! Ohh, and that photo of you as a wee girl. How very precious. Your Uncle looks like he is really enjoying playing with you! We had the same television and there were lots of ashtrays in our home also. Thankfully not anymore! That cake looks like a keeper. You cannot beat Madame Benoit. I cut my baking and cooking teeth on her and have a much tattered book of hers that I treasure. I think you and I, we are cut from the same cloth. Many thanks for the much needed lift. Bless you! xoxo

    1. How could I not think of you when I saw the girls..I have often pictured you on that show..well every time I see it..!
      I am glad you got a kick out of it.
      Yes no ashtrays out here either..I still kept my mom's 2..
      You're a trooper Marie..handling everything with grace.
      Have a nice day..

  9. What a beautiful presentation of the chocolate cake! No doubt it must be delicious.
    I adore the photo of you as a little girl. I have few of me as well. It is so much easier these days to record our family, and so important. Love the family ski outing. I'm gathering up all my wools and warm clothing for a trip to Santa Fe, NM this morning. I will be attending the Women's March. The forecast calls for blowing snow and a high of 32 degrees. Most of my girlfriends still live there, so it will be fun despite the weather.

    1. I had to Google the women's wonderful to be part of this Ry..Jacques agreed your daughter is beautiful..I told him to click on your name here:)
      Have fun with your frinds..and bundle up:)

  10. That chocolate cake is so beautiful, Monique. You have such a gift for making things extraordinarily beautiful. And, I love the family skiing photos... but, I adore the photo of you with your doll house! I had completely forgotten about polishing our shoes with Vasoline. ;) Thank you for the recipes! Hope you have a wonderful, beauty filled day. blessings and hugs ~ tanna
    ps thank you for your sweet words on the learning-to-knit post. xoxo

    1. Have a lovely weekend Tanna..I hope you will post pics of the visit w/ FT Worth:)!

  11. Gorgeous cakes - both the big and mini and I do love chocolate cake! Can't wait to try your keeper. I remember my mother used to buy a sour cream chocolate cake at a favorite bakery - I remember how delicious it was. What great pictures of the ski family :) Good for Oli! He will get better and better. So much fun to have a family activity in winter. We used to take the girls downhill skiing on a tiny local hill, ice-skating, etc. They became so much better that their parents. Love the old photo of you and your uncle and your doll house ♥ I wish I had more photos too. We have had rain for four days it seems, fog yesterday. No snow left to ski or snowshoe on :( That's okay, though. I like driving on dry roads and not slipping on ice but I wish my garden had a warm blanket. It may reach 50F tomorrow! Crazy winter, indeed.

    1. It has a bit of lemon:) I know you like choco and you like lemon;)
      It's crazy here too..we might get some serious weather the 23rd and 24th..time will tell:)
      Going to write you after..starter is started!

  12. What a gorgeous cake. I am not an icing person so that would be the best for me. Oli looks so cute skiing. I used to put a sheet over a chair for a little tent to play in. What a sweet picture. Wish you had more pictures. Any more relatives that might have received photos from your past. So sweet, the ones you do have. I had boxes and boxes that I finally put in a box for each child. And, I still keep finding them in places. I wanted to make sure they had them.

    1. I am not an icing person either..well maybe a few great ones..I am not fondant though..marzipan..yes..

      things are so different shuld see how many photos I have of the boys..and their moms have so many too.I hope the boys treasure them later..
      I will..:)

  13. Un cake tout beau et idéal pour le retour des pistes...superbes ces photos de ski ! J'adore ! Bises

    1. J'ai trouvé amusant de faire le pochoir..:)Merci..

  14. Your chocolate cake looks fabulous. I am going to bake one very soon. The family always does fun things together. The snow is amazing and so white. Making memories together. Love seeing your previous photo when you were a young girl. Looks like very fun time. I also remember many ashtrays all around our house while growing up. My sister and I had to clean them...ick! Thank goodness my parents quit smoking years ago. Thanks for sharing the recipe again and also translating it. I love that you speak romantic. Have a great weekend.

    1. Stinkin' true..I smoked did jacques..I started w/ him..I stopped over 25 rs happy I did.. pretty much have to speak French in certain places....I was just lucky to have bilingual parents:)Have a nice weekend Linda..

  15. I love your Christmas photo - and that very special present. Looking at old photos helps my memory! Beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous cake! This is something I must make. Thanks for sharing! Have a lovely weekend Monique!

    1. Cant wait to see what you do Tricia!
      I am craving French Onion soup as I eat a soft boiled egg:)

  16. Your cake looks lovely! Fun seeing that Christmas photo.

  17. I'm smiling as I just had a stack of photos fall out of a box I was moving. It was so much fun and heartwarming to look back and remember the moment. I understand your feelings. The cake looks delicious...chocolate and sour cream, yum! I too am a recipe tester, I am not a creator. I have made a number of Marie's recipes and I agree with you, she's great! Her recipes are always delicious.

    1. What a nice thing to find treasures:)
      You have been MIA:) Busy busy busy?
      Yes Marie is a very good baker indeed..Have a nice weekend!

  18. Monique, Love the cake, snow photos and especially your special treasured photo with your Uncle Roland ♥. Hugs, Jody

    1. Thanks Jody..glad all the damage from the wind is fixable..all your garden treasures!

  19. Lovely reindeer drawing in the 1st pic!!! :))

  20. What a great post. Love that picture of you "in the day". That could have been my living room when I was small. The cake looks wonderful. And the boys on their ski shoes, so perfect. I love it how everyone in snow country find wonderful things to do in the snow. Think I would draw the line on snowmobiles. We are heading to Florida soon. It has been a grey and foggy winter so far, so a little beach time is in order.

    1. A little beach time is ALWAYS a good know..ever since I posted our pretty winter..welll it's been dismally grey and misty..not used to this..enjoy La Florida..!

  21. All yours posts are lovely and amazing!!
    I love Marie, you know, many years Im her friend, Is one of my favorites too!
    Love the boys in the snow !!

    1. I know you do! I see you at marie's ..she is such a good recipe developer..artist etc..maulti talented!
      Thank you Gloria:)

  22. A bit confused as always...did you add unsweetened coco powder to the recipe along with the 2 oz of unsweetened solid coco? I see a small one, wonder if I could use three small spring pans to make this and give the kids some. I love the Christmas photo, it reminds me of Christmas as a young girl. The photos of the boys💕. No snow here, it was about 50 degrees so I cut back my hellebores and I could see the buds at ground level. Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

    1. Aww..good eye as always! Squares..the squares..they melt in the boiling water..! I will modify~TYTYTY..:)
      I should send you my posts before I publish,this is why I love links LOL..
      Bon Dimanche!

    2. Modified..but now I know what went on..this recipe was first her in 2011 or 13..I guess I had no squares at that on the internet you can use coacoa powder w/ a fat..etc..that is what happened..
      the size of the pand O love the ones on IG etc..those smaller 3 level cakes..a while ago..2 yrs maybe..I bought the small set of Wiltons online..not worth it..they are at most 1/2 inch high..I think the cakes they show are 4 inches,maybe 5..3 layers so cute.

  23. Too bad we can't see your cute face in that photo. You must have been adorable. I remember dresses like that. My Aunt Bessie (my grandfather's sister) would give me one every year for my birthday. And the anklets. I may have had Mary Janes but I mostly remember saddle shoes.

    1. I may still have a pair of saddle shoes..maybe not..think I gave them away..I went through a stage in my late 20's lol.
      Oh A..not a fashion diva here.
      I loved back then..I wish it could have lasted longer and I had trapped every memory in a box:)
      I have one w/ my cute back then face..somewhere..will scan:)

  24. Family and event photos clearly help to remember and make remember special occasions as well as simple everyday life moments. I like them and I wish we could take more too!
    I must admit I quite envy you, to go skiing like that. I miss it so much! Enjoy.
    And, the chocolate cake seems so delicious and soft.

    1. Merci moi la Normandie et Ardè t'envie aussi:)

  25. So delightful, both the skiers and the cake recipe with the moose (?) in powdered sugar. Yesterday I made one of my favorite cakes, a carrot cake that includes pineapples, coconut, raisins and yogurt. I had a piece for breakfast because I rationalized that it is so healthy.
    Come play along with Dreaming of France on Mondays if you'd like. Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

  26. Hello Paulita..that's what our carrot cake has but no yogurt!
    It sounds even better than was fun to see that esme went to Chignon..where Life's a feast owns a lovely hotel!

  27. You are so right about cookbook recipes…some turn out great and others are just so so. Thanks for sharing what are some of your favorites.

    1. I know! Very few do I just love the whole book..Dorie..Isa,a few others..

  28. I love the Great British Baking Show -- so sad that it is changing but I bet the over here we will have one more season with both Paul and Mary. Did you see the American version with Mary and some other guy on network TV? It was as good but I liked Sue and Mel a little better as the hosts on the other. And Paul. Rick makes Paul's baguettes and it is a faster recipe than his other and while he says the other is SLIGHTLY better, these are much more reasonable and less to tend to.

    The cake looks fabulous but as you might suspect, it is the vintage photo and all the memories you shared with it that makes me smile. All dressed up for Christmas! Don't you love all the details? I do -- it's precious!

    1. I do love remembering all the are very fortunate to have so may photographs.
      We haven't seen that show here..I will miss the chemistry between them all..It was nice ..
      I will look into Paul's baguettes ..have only tried his ciabatta,thanks for the tip!

  29. Quel magnifique gâteau ! J'adore ton stencil en forme de renne. j'essaierai la recette. elle m'a l'air somptueuse ... Je regrette la fin du GBBO. Sept ans que je le suivais sur Internet ... Triste ... j'adorais Mel et Sue dans ce rôle. Quant à Mary Berry, c'est maintenant l'une de mes idoles. Paul Hollywood me plaît bien aussi ... ;-)

    1. Oui oui et oui:)
      Et toi..tu n'auras aucune difficulté de fabriquer le stencil de to choix!