creamy soda

Chocolate Lava Cake

Ingredients

3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 tbsp Grand Marnier
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 cups brown sugar, divided
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ½ cups boiling wate

Instructions

Preheat your Yoder Smokers YS640 to 375°F. Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, 1 cup of the brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to break up any clumps. Whisk the buttermilk and Grand Marnier into the melted chocolate, then pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips, then spread the batter into a greased Lodge Logic 12” cast iron skillet.

Combine the remaining (1 cup) brown sugar with the cocoa powder, and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter.

Carefully pour the boiling water over the top. Transfer to the cooker and bake for about 30-45 minutes until the center is firm to the touch.

Serve warm with ice cream, spooning the sauce from the pan over the cake.

The Best Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS
8 tablespoons of salted butter
½ cup white sugar ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1½ cups all purpose flour (more as needed - see video)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt 
¾ cup chocolate chips (I use a combination of chocolate chips and chocolate chunks
INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Microwave the butter for about 40 seconds to just barely melt it. It shouldn’t be hot - but it should be almost entirely in liquid form.
Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the butter with the sugars until creamy. Add the vanilla and the egg; beat on low speed until just incorporated - 10-15 seconds or so (if you beat the egg for too long, the cookies will be stiff).
Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until crumbles form. Use your hands to press the crumbles together into a dough. It should form one large ball that is easy to handle (right at the stage between “wet” dough and “dry” dough). Add the chocolate chips and incorporate with your hands.
Roll the dough into 12 large balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes until the cookies look puffy and dry and just barely golden.  This advice is probably written on every cookie recipe everywhere, but this is essential for keeping the cookies soft. Take them out even if they look like they’re not done yet (see picture in the post). They’ll be pale and puffy.
Let them cool on the pan for a good 30 minutes or so (I mean, okay, eat four or five but then let the rest of them cool). They will sink down and turn into these dense, buttery, soft cookies that are the best in all the land. These should stay soft for many days if kept in an airtight container. I also like to freeze them

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

INGREDIENTS

Cheesecake Layer:
2 (8-ounces each) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red Velvet Cake Layer:
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons natural, unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ cups vegetable or canola oil
1 cup buttermilk

¼ cup (two 1-ounce bottles) red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar
Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 (8-ounces each) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

½ cup (8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

Make the cheesecake layer first so it has time to chill while the cake and frosting are being prepared. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray. In a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whip the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy. Mix in the sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Mix in the sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla and beat until smooth. Don’t overbeat - just mix until smooth and creamy. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cheesecake for 40-45 minutes until it is set and not jiggly in the middle. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it rest on a wire rack until completely cooled. Wrap the pan in foil and place the cooled cheesecake in the freezer until ready to assemble.
For the red velvet cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar. Whisk until fully combined, and continue whisking for another minute or two until the batter is thick and smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake for 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached (don’t overbake or the cake layers will be dry). Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, then invert cakes onto a piece of parchment or wax paper set on a cooling rack. Let them cool completely.
Prepare the frosting, by whipping the cream cheese with an electric handheld mixer in a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the butter and vanilla and mix. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix on high speed until it is light and fluffy and creamy.
To assemble, cut each of the cake layers in half to form two thinner cake layers (so you’ll have four thin cake layers total). Place one of the bottom halves in the middle of a serving platter or cake plate. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer. Gently loosen it from the sides and bottom of the pan with a flat knife/spatula that has been run through hot water (this will help loosen it from the pan). When removed, lay the cheesecake layer on top of the red velvet cake layer on the serving plate. Place another red velvet cake layer on top of the cheesecake. Try to choose the layers that are the flattest on top and bottom so that the cake, when frosted, doesn’t tilt or look like it is uneven. Crumble the remaining two cake layers into small crumbs and set aside.
Frost the cake by scooping dollops of the frosting on top of the cake and using an offset spatula, spread the frosting over the tops and sides. The sides will be covered up with cake crumbs so they don’t need to be perfectly frosted - just make sure there is an even layer of frosting so the cake crumbs can adhere to the cake. Swirl the frosting across the top. Carefully gather handfuls of cake crumbs and press them into the sides of the cake. You’ll have a mess, but don’t worry, it is easy to gently sweep the fallen cake crumbs out of the way. Keep pressing them to the sides until the entire perimeter of the cake is completely covered.

Cover the cake lightly (or else the cake crumbs on the side will dry out) and refrigerate until ready to serve. The cake can be made up to two days in advance and chilled until serving