Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs means we can make any recipe we want from any past, or present, chef we choose. I like that. It means that if there was a recipe in the past that didn’t fit a theme and you REALLY wanted to make it, or you just found a new one you really like, you can make it now. Excellent!!

So for this week’s potluck I went with Donna Hay and the Chocolate Pear Cake from my new book, FLAVOURS.


It is exactly what it says it is – a chocolate cake topped with pear halves that have been cooked in butter and brown sugar.

    80g (2 3/4 oz) butter
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    2 tablespoons water
    4 small small pears, peeled, halved and cored
    185g (6 oz) butter
    1 1/2 cups brown sugar
    3 eggs
    2 cups self-raising (self-rising) flour
    1J3 cup cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). In a skillet mix the butter brown sugar and water and heat until the butter has melted. Add the pears to the pan, cut-side down, and cook for about 2 minutes. {I cooked mine longer because they were larger and just off the tree.}
Place the pears, cut-side down, in a 23cm (9 inch) round cake tin that has been side- and base-lined with non-stick baking paper. Pour the syrup from the skillet over the pears.

Mix the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat well.
Sift the flour and cocoa over the mixture and stir through.
Carefully spread the cake mixture over the pears in the cake pan.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate and serve the cake in wedges with cream.
Serves 8-10. {Recipe is on page 116 of Flavours}


I would advise checking the cake before the lower end of the required cooking time. Mine was a little dry. Tasty, but dry. The Hubs liked the pears. Me, not so much.

Want more potluck? Then visit us at IHCC for a buffet of goodness.

I had this brilliant Idea for this month’s Bundt Bakers’ SPRINKLES theme. Instead of going with a regular cake with colored sprinkles I decided to make a cheese cake ‘sprinkled’ inside with mini chocolate chips. In my head it would come out beautifully. 6 little perfect cheese cakes. Dotted with chips. Little sprinkles of cookie on the top.

    The angels would sing. The unicorns would dance.
      I would be the Belle of the Ball!

    Did. Not. Happen.

Instead I ended up with 6 stuck in the pan, partly collapsed, but great tasting, mini bundts. So much for brilliant ideas and head pictures.

    Cue the little Elves of Mischief instead!!


What you need:

    1 cup finely chopped chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs.

    3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    3 tablespoons all purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    4 eggs
    1/4 cup whipping cream
    1 cup mini chocolate chips

Heat oven to 300. Spray pan and sprinkle the cookie crumbs springly into 1 10 or 12 cup Bundt” Pan. {I used mini-bundt pans and it was enough for 7 small cheesecakes.}
Mix cream cheese, sugar, flour, salt and vanilla until very light and fluffy in a large mixing bowl, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
Add eggs one at a time. Mix on medium-high speed for about two minutes.
Add cream and mix well, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon mixture into prepared pans til they are about 3/4 full.
Bake at 300 for 55 to 65 minutes or until set. Cool upright in pan 30 minutes. Refrigerate 2 hours.


Recipe adapted from Bundt Classics page 78

While I used the recipe in the book, you could use your favorite cheese cake recipe and just add in some mini chocolate chips.

Here are this month’s “Sprinkles” Bundts:


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving Bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest Board.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers can be found on our homepage.

What is Rocky Road? Well, if you are ice cream lovers, like we are, you would know it is Chocolate Ice Cream filled with nuts, and marshmallows. Invented in 1929, William Dryer named it Rocky Road to give the population, during the depression, something to smile about in the Depression. Rocky Road. Clever. And tasty, too. Originally it had walnuts. Those were replaced with almonds. And it did not have chocolate chips. Today, the ice cream has changed and is one of the most popular flavors in the US.

You can even find vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and almonds.

I found out that in some other countries it isn’t necessarily an Ice Cream Flavor, it’s a cupcake or brownie with additional ingredients: coconut, cherries, raisins, biscuits. Interesting! I always knew this group could be not only delicious, but educational as well.

But, I digress….. on with the cake!


    1 3/4 cup sugar {I used 1 cup Stevia in the Raw and 3/4 cup sugar}
    2/3 cup butter, softened
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    3 cups all purpose flour
    1 2/3 cups milk
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
    2/3 cup mini marshmallows, frozen
    2/3 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts, almonds, peanuts)
    1/4 cup cocoa powder
    1 tablespoon baking powder.
    3/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup Bundt Pan. If using a 10 cup pan.
In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and almond extract until very light and fluffy. Add all remaining ingredients; mix well. Spoon 3/4 batter into prepared pan. Add cocoa powder to remaining batter. Add the cocoa batter to the top and gently swirl through entire cake.
Bake at 325″ for 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.
Remove from pan; cool completely.
Drizzle with chocolate glaze, and if desired, marshmallow cream.
16 servings.


I was disappointed that the marshmallow melted into the cake even tho I started with frozen minis. But they did add a great texture and a lot of moisture to the cake itself. Maybe small ‘globs’ of marshmallow fluff would have worked better. But all the ingredients are there, so…… I chopped some minis into small pieces and scattered them on top but the cake wasn’t as pretty with them on it.

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.

Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

I have to admit the first glance at the recipe name I read Nutella BOTTOMS so I was thinking cookies. I was very glad to find out the recipe read BUTTONS and they were little cup cakes.


These Bouchées, or ‘mouthfulls’, are filled with nutella. Just enough to give a quick sweet taste.



Dorie’s Bonne Idee was to dip them in some chocolate ganache. DONE! I don’t think you can ever have too much chocolate. I only made 1/2 of the recipe which gave me 12 little mini cuppys. I will be making them again.

These are on page 188 of Dorie’s Baking Chez Moi.

Check with the other bakers and see their BUTTONS!

One of the fun things I remember about Spring Break, or summer vacation is the beach. Sand! Surf! Building a fire pit in the sand and toasting marshmallows. And using those marshmallows to make S’MORES!! Ooey! Gooey! Chocolate! Graham! Sticky Fingers! Laughing! Great memories!

Where am I going with this? This month’s Bundt Cake for Bundt Bakers.

The theme is HIDDEN SURPRISE. And after running into a recipe for a Graham Cracker cake I knew I had found my surprise.


This cake made from graham crackers was just asking to be filled with CHOCOLATE AND MARSHMALLOWS,


I tried two different methods to fill the cake. I made a trench in the batter and filled it with either chocolate chips or marshmallow fluff. The side I used the fluff on I put the chocolate chips in on top. The side with chocolate chips I put mini marshmallows on top. The fluff worked best. The minis just melted into the cake.


Then I covered all of it with the rest of the batter and baked.

When it cooled I drizzled it with chocolate ganache and a warm marshmallow sauce.

    2 2/3 cups finely crushed graham crackers
    2/3 cup flaked coconut
    2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
    1 1/3 teaspoons baking soda
    2/3 cup sugar Stevia in the Raw
    2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    3 tablespoons butter, softened
    1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    5 eggs, separated
    1 1/3 cups sour cream
    Chocolate chips
    Marshmallow Fluff.

Heat oven to 325″. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup Bundt Pan.
In a small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, coconut, pecans and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg yolks; mix well.
Add sour cream and graham cracker crumb mixture alternately to sugar mixture, mixing well after each addition.
In separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into cake mixture. {I have to tell you – at this point we almost didn’t have a cake because the batter was SO GOOD!!!}
Spoon about 1/3 to 1/2 of the batter into the pan. Let sit a couple of minutes then make a small trench in the middle of the batter all the way around. Fill the trench with chocolate chips. Then cover the chips with mini marshmallows. {I didn’t put any measurements for these because it is really up to you to decide how much you want. I used about 2 ounces of chips and 1/2 – 2/3 CUPS OF FLUFF. I wish I had used more of both.}
Cover the chips and marshmallow with the remaining batter.
Bake at 325 for 60 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.
Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.
Drizzle with your favorite chocolate ganache and a marshmallow sauce. {I used ONE adapted from the Wicked Noodle.}

    2 Tbl butter
    1 cup marshmallow fluff

Melt marshmallow fluff and butter in a saucepan whiisking until smooth. Using a fork drizzle mixture over cake.

I put the ganache on first and THEN the marshmallow sauce, but you could do it the opposite way.

The cake was nice and dense. The filling was ALMOST ooey! gooey! {and would have been in a warm cake!}

Cake was adapted from Bundt Classics mostly but other recipes on the web as well.


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.
Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. The theme for April is “Hidden Surprise” – Bundt cakes with fillings or stuffing. There was no constraint on filling and flavor choices.The only
requirement was that the cake be filled/stuffed inside. Anshie from SpiceRoots was our host for this month.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to


I think of all the desserts out there, browinies are the ultimate ‘comfort’ dessert. Fudgy! Dense! Chewy! Yep, can’t go wrong with that.

      Who am I kidding, there is no BUT!!

These hit all the characteristics of a ‘regular’ brownie – except they are gluten-free, butter-free, and dairy-free. I know what you are thinking – why bother? But do, please, bother with these cause they are really, REALLY good.


Chewy! Dense! Fudgy! YES!!

      And, unfortunately there is really a BUT!

Too much sugar. The recipe called for two cups of powdered sugar. And while Sweet Tooth Hubby really liked them I cannot eat them (right now) because of all the sugar. I wonder if I could use an equal amount of Stevia in the Raw and some added Stevia for the sweetness? Worth a try cause these are good!!

The recipe is from Scientifally Sweet a blog by Christina Marsigliese. We are baking from her blog for 2015.

Want to join us in our sweet travels this year – just visit The Avid Baker’s Challenge for the list of recipes to come and bake along with us.

And don’t forget to ‘taste’ the other Brownies!

I love desserts with interesting names. Basically what it translates into is a Frozen Chocolate Mousse.But that would be doing this dessert a disservice. What you really end up with is chocolate paradise – frozen in a pan. With crunchy stuff!! Well, if you like crunchy stuff. According to Dorie this dessert is from the 17th and 18th centuries when the titled were living the decadent life. This dessert is a testimony to that decadence.


The ingredients are simple – chocolate, butter, egg yolks, sugar and cream. And while today these don’t sound like decadent ingredients the sugar, and chocolate were NOT that easy to come by then.

One Bonne Idée from Dorie is to add some texture to the some of the marquise with some cookies – mostly Petit Beurre (recipe on page 270 of BCM. I know a good idea when I see one. Cookies it is!

I made small individual marquise. Some round. Some loaf shaped and sliced.


There was some concern about the raw egg yolks in the mousse. I followed a hint from the ‘gang’ and added the eggs to the warm chocolate mix after whipping with the sugar instead of waiting The temp was warm enough to bring the eggs up the temp (I checked).

We enjoyed one each and the rest are in the freezer waiting to WOW some unsuspecting dinner guest in the near future.

The recipe for the Marquise au Chocolat is on page 357 of Dorie’s Baking Chex Moi.

And if you visit the TWD/BCM page you are like to see all shapes and sizes of the marquise from the creative gang who cake along with TWD.

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