Some Recipes I've Been Meaning to Share

comments: 80

For many, many years I have loved my favorite chocolate cake recipe. But my sister Susie's is even better. This cake is awesome. It's dense, moist, perfectly chocolatey, and, I don't know, but there's just something really sophisticated and steady about this cake. It tasted as good as it did on the third day as it did on the first day. I agree with Susie. This is the

Best Chocolate Cake in the Whole Wide World

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (we used Cacao Barry Extra Brute, which she says is the best)
1 1/4 cup hot water
3 cups brown sugar
2 2/3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
9 oz. butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (warmish) water

Preheat oven to 350 F, unless you have a convection oven. I have a convection oven and we baked this at 315 F and it came out perfectly. Grease and flour (or use cocoa powder instead of flour if you aren't going to frost the sides) two 9" round baking pans, and maybe throw a few cupcake papers in some cupcake tins in case there is more batter than you need. (Note: I use this 6" x 3" cake pan for my little cakes. The baking time is almost twice as long. I slice the cake into thirds when cool.)

Mix the hot water with the cocoa powder and let it sit for a few minutes until the cocoa is dissolved. Combine the brown sugar, cake flour, baking soda, and salt — paddle (we used a Kitchen Aid mixer, but you could use a hand mixer on low) until it is all combined and looks consistent. Add the cocoa water to the dry ingredients and beat on low until combined. (Side note: She was not happy with how fast my lowest Kitchen Aid speed was — we had to put a big dish towel over the mixer to keep the batter from flying out of the bowl everywhere, so be careful.) Cut up the butter into smaller pieces and add to the batter. Paddle for about 3 minutes on low. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Beat eggs lightly and mix them with the warmish water and the vanilla. Add these wet ingredients to the batter in thirds until just combined. Scrape down the bowl a lot. Pour batter in the cake pans until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 22 minutes and then check them; a toothpick poked into the center should come out clean. The cake might take 15 more minutes, but you don't want to overbake it. Let the cakes cool in their pans, then remove and frost with Cloudburst Frosting. (Please also read my notes there about this frosting; you have to beeeeeeeeeat it a lot lot.) Decorate to your heart's content! I used crazy-good fresh blackberries and mint leaves.



I also made up this soup. I almost never make up any recipes but I have to confess I was super happy with this one, and everyone else seemed to like it, too (including my brother-in-law, who ate it out of a glass dish that Andy and Susie brought to him at the bar where they were meeting after he got off work to play pinball [in his suit, unless they brought him a t-shirt, too, I don't know]. I just thought the image of him eating this in a bar was so hilarious).

Curried Potato-Shrimp Chowder

2 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
2 gloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons good yellow curry (I use Dean and Deluca's)
Salt and pepper
1 quart chicken broth
2 ears fresh corn (you could use frozen; I'm not sure how much that would be, maybe 1 to 1 1/2 cups?)
1/2 pound fresh shrimp, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed
A handful of fresh basil, chopped
1 or 2 little ripe tomatoes, peeled and de-seeded, then chopped up, just 'cause I had them
*1 can coconut milk

In a large stock pot, fry the bacon until it is crispy then remove it from the pot and let it drain on some paper towels. Pour out the bacon grease and then add the olive oil to the pot. When it's hot, add the onions, carrot, celery, and potatoes and sautee until the vegetables are starting to brown. Add the garlic and the curry powder and the salt and sautee for a few more minutes until it's really fragrant. Add the chicken broth and simmer the soup until the potatoes are tender (I like them quite tender, almost mushy). Add the corn, fresh shrimp, peas, and bacon (thanks for catching this JenW!) and simmer until the shrimp are cooked and the corn and peas are heated through. Add the basil and some chunks of fresh tomato and chow down (at the bar).

Hopefully I got these recipes right [bites nails nervously]! I get very nervous posting recipes!!!

*DRAT: I was just at the store getting ingredients to make this again and realize that I forgot to mention: We also added the thick part of one can of coconut milk, too! You could leave it out but it's really good with it in. I am really sorry I forgot about this!


These sound delicious! I'm planning to make your chowder this weekend....using our own sweet corn, my brother's tomatoes and some of last year's bacon. I know it will be fabulous. Thanks for keeping us in the loop--I love to see the path your life takes. (Dying to see the ornament kits, too! :) )

Yum, yum, they both look glorious! Thank you dear Alicia:)

Oh I can't wait to try these!! Dear hubbies birthday is coming up (28th) and he is a chocoholic - this cake sounds perfect for him.
Yum ~ Thanks for sharing.

The cake is completely my speed. It looks awesome. I have the stand cover with the pour spout for my Kitchenaid. Does yours have that? It isn't perfect, but it helps some!

Your little cakes are always so beautiful. I love the way you pile on the frosting. Can't wait to try this new cake recipe. And thanks for the tip about the 6" pans. They sound great. Years ago I had a little bakery cafe and one of my regular customers talked me into making them a special 6-inch birthday cake. I didn't have time to go out and buy a pan, so I just baked an 8-inch cake and cut away the outer two inches (and ate them of course). I've been meaning to buy a 6-inch cake pan ever since! :)

This cake looks amazing. I am mis-en-placing right away so I can make this!

I use the dish towel over my Kitchen Aid method when I make whipped cream. Works just fine.

Looks fantastic, I´ll definately try the shrimp dish! :-)

Hello Alicia
Is the temp for the 6" pan the same as the 9", also how long to cook for the 6", I didn't see any time length. Looks delish, I want to bake myself one for my upcoming B-Day :)

Me again, I read on down and got all my info, Thanks!!!

THIS changes everything.
I want to rattle my pots and pans!

Mmmm, Mmm! Both look fantastic! Thanks for passing them on to us!

MMMMMMmmmmmmm:) They look fantastic!! Thank you for sharing:) I just received my order of "Embroidery Companion"...The soup looks like the perfect end to a day of stitching:) Thank you..XXOO

Yummy looking :) I think I can adapt the chocolate cake to gluten and dairy free, and I know it will miss the butter flavor, but the amount/type of chocolate that Susie uses will I bet make the recipe better than what I have tried so far.
And the curry potato shrimp chowder combo looks so interesting... thanks for sharing, Alicia!
Gracie xxx

I must, I repeat, MUST have that cake. But, clearly, I will have to make a second on the side for eating, because if the first comes out looking anything like yours, I will have it preserved in resin to bring out for when people come over. Gorgeous.

Holy Lord, Alicia! YUM! Cannot wait to try both of these!

Love your approach to cake decoration!

sounds and looks divine. now that i know what i want for supper, i only need to find a kind person to cook it for me to be completely happy...

Yum, yum and YUM! Oh, to have been hiding in the kitchen watching my amazing daughters baking this beautiful cake together. What fun. Thanks for making the cocoa available for us to order. I need to make this cake and devour it!

Loved the soup story.

mmm. cake. don't mind if I do!

Looks great! We used to use extra brute at work. Awesome stuff. Did you use your cloud frosting on this cake?

I want to lick the screen. Is that allowed?

Wow. I'm impressed and hungry. These look delicious.

^ your mom's comment above is just the sweetest ever. i've got to get the chocolate cake into my life. thank you for sharing the recipe--you are the best!! xoxo

I gained three pounds just looking at this!!! But it was worth it! Can't wait to try both of them!! As usual, your photos are absolutely beautiful!!!

Christine says: August 23, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I am not good at comments but I should be. Because I love everything you post and I love your blog (which I have been reading forever). These recipes look so good. Your cake is so gorgeous. Thank you for always inspiring me to live a prettier, craftier, and tastier life.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at