Chocolate, Strawberry, and Rose Geranium Cake (and a bonus giveaway!)

August 4th, 2014 · 23 Comments · Cakes, Chocolate, Giveaways, Recipes

 
chocolate strawberry jam cake
chocolate, strawberry jam, and rose geranium cake

Here's the bonus strawberry-inspired recipe I mentioned on my strawberry tour recap post a couple days ago. Sometimes after several posts where I'm constantly trying to one-up myself in creativity, it's nice to go back to the basics. Sometimes all you really need is a good chocolate cake.

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{Giveaway}: Godiva’s Sweet Summer Treats

July 25th, 2014 · 103 Comments · Chocolate, Giveaways, Reviews, San Francisco, Sweet Spots

Strawberry Bridge
 

Happy almost-weekend! I'm helping to start it right by holding a Godiva giveaway!

Godiva selected me and a few other bloggers to be their summer social ambassadors, and help spread the word about some of their new creations for summer. 

Although I'll never say no to chocolate truffles, when it's hot and steamy outside (and we do get a couple of those days in San Francisco, fog notwithstanding!) something cold and sweet fits my cravings best. Godiva is introducing two new treats that fit the bill:

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How to Bake with Craft Chocolate (Plus Bar & Bean Giveaway!)

October 29th, 2013 · 57 Comments · Chocolate, Chocolate, Cookbooks, Giveaways, Recipes, Reviews, Sweet Spots

intensely bittersweet chocolate souffle

Happy (day after) National Chocolate Day! I've been getting plenty of intriguing new chocolate to keep me occupied - perhaps it's a good thing I have a baby to prevent me from eating it all at once!

I was recently contacted by Bar & Bean, a new online shop for small-batch craft chocolate from around the world. Bar & Bean is dedicated to educating people about the qualities and nuances of craft chocolate, and they helpfully include tasting notes for the bars on their site, as well as detailed information about the chocolate makers.

I got the chance to meet Jasdeep, the creator of Bar & Bean, who is passionate about introducing people to the world of craft chocolate. He's brought an impressive roster of chocolate makers onto Bar & Bean, many of whom I haven't heard of or had the opportunity to try yet. Jas recognized that many people are either unaware of all the craft chocolate out there, or intimidated by the plethora of choices. By organizing his site with cocoa percentage and flavor profile searches, and adding tasting notes, he's hoping to demystify the process. Jas has also developed some detailed personal notes on how to taste chocolate, which he shares in his tasting classes in San Francisco; check the Bar & Bean website for details.

As a introduction to Bar & Bean, I received a baker's set consisting of five bars from Poco Dolce, Ritual, Escazu, and Dick Taylor. An early Halloween haul, indeed!

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{Giveaway}:Lazy Summer, Iced Tea and Peach Almond Cake

June 12th, 2013 · 78 Comments · Cakes, Giveaways, Recipes

The giveaway is now closed. Thanks for entering!

peach almond cake

With summer’s imminent (and seemingly early) arrival, I’m looking forward to festivals, fireworks, or just long, dreamy weekend afternoons.  Now that baby Isabelle is getting older and more fun, I’m eager to take her out and about and introduce her to the joys of summer.

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{Giveaway} My Pie in Pieography

February 26th, 2013 · 101 Comments · Cookbooks, Giveaways, My Books

Pieography cover1

I’m excited to announce the release of Pieography: Where Pie Meets Biography by WWC Press. As the title implies, it’s a collection of pie recipes both sweet and savory from 39 women who love food – myself included! I was approached by WWC to contribute a pie recipe and an essay that explored how this pie speaks to our life experiences and our goals.

I was happy to participate in such a heartwarming project, and my contribution to Pieography is my “I Heart Summer” Strawberry and Lemon Verbena Pie. Although it’s already a blog post on this site, submitting it for the book and having to write an accompanying piece encouraged me to re-examine the pie and articulate how it represented me and my philosophy. Also, although you can get the recipe here, there are 41 other wonderful pie recipes in the book covering an impressive range of styles – from pot pies to quiches to ice cream pies to galettes. It was also lovely to read the biographies of everyone who created all these pies – such a diverse collection of talented and creative women, and a group I’m honored to be in.

strawberrylemonverbenapie

Here’s a shot of the back cover featuring yours truly along with some other fantastically accomplished women! I’m truly proud to be part of this project with WWC. And I’m pleased to have a chance to share it with you! I am giving away two copies of Pieography to Dessert First readers!

Pieography back cover

To enter: Leave a comment below about your favorite type of pie and why. It can be sweet or savory, a fruit pie, quiche, tart – whatever holds first place in your heart. The contest will run until next Wednesday, March 6 and I’ll select two winners at random and announce them on Thursday March 7. Good luck, and I hope to read some mouth-watering descriptions in the comments!

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{Contest} Win a Year’s Worth of Chuao Chocolate

February 5th, 2013 · 14 Comments · Chocolate, Giveaways, Reviews

chuao sweepstakes 1

Hi all,

Thanks so much for all your kind wishes and congratulations. These last two weeks have seemed like a lifetime in a completely new reality. We’re learning more about Isabelle and how to be parents to her every day, and every day she seems to have grown a little more. It’s hard to believe that in another week she’ll be a month old.  We made a outing to the local baby store and a couple with a six month old in a stroller looked rather wistfully at us and said, “Enjoy her now. She’ll be big before you know it.” I can scarcely imagine. My days are measured in minutes and hours right now and six months seems unfathomably distant.

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