Sunday, March 23, 2008


These words make me feel like a total fucking whore. And not the good kind. I never thought I would *gasp* cook something from a mix, but Williams-Sonoma had a box of chocolate truffle bread mix (with real Valrhona chocolate!) on the clearance rack, and since I had already been planning on having some people over, I just shrugged my shoulders and bent over.

It was actually pretty decent (much better straight from the oven, with insides still squidgy), and only called for some water, eggs and a stick of butter. Not unlike a Betty Crocker cake mix, actually. My brownie recipe is pretty close, which reinforced the feeling that I was selling out, but the chocolate was good. I baked it in a souffle dish instead of a loaf, and whipped together a blissfully simple topping of cream, blood orange zest, sugar, a splash of my homemade bourbon vanilla and a pinch of my homemade "six-spice" - mace, nutmeg (both plucked from the jungle floor on our Fijian honeymoon), cinnamon, cardamom, star anise and clove. Whip until thick (but not butter).

A sprinkle of cocoa and crushed praline and the (voodoo)lily has been gilt. Serve with strong coffee or a nice glass of shiraz.


peter said...

The topping sounds great enough to elide the finer distinctions between the good kind and the bad kind. Think of it as creamy, delicious spackle for the blemishes on your bought and paid for innocence.

(Does that make this "dessert #9?")

Peter M said...

Heather, you're being to hard on yourself. French women have been getting away with cheating on dessert for ages so chin-up kid.

You redeemed yourself with the use of some fine ingredients and the silver lining in all this? I sense you will be doing some product testing for Better Crocker! LOL

Heather said...

Jube - This delicious topping can never replace my innocence.

Mr. the Greek - If Betty Crocker sent me some cake mix I wouldn't be a snob. Yellow cake from a box with a tub of chocolate frosting is a piece of my childhood. :)

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I'll forgive the slip, but only because I almost bought that same mix at our W-S the other day. With that gorgeous cream on top, I'd never know the difference!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

It made my eyes pop no matter what. The sauce sounds amazing.

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Who cares how it was made when your presentation is incredible. Trust me I think we have all skirted to the dark side (boxed mixes) once or twice before!!!

Núria said...

The presentation is so beautiful! Lovely setting♥
Definitevely I have to go to Ikea!

Syd said...

Chocolate and shiraz is the shit! Nicely done.

Heather said...

Susan - the box itself is so nice that I saved it! :D I swear, I shoulda been born in the 20s.

Jen - The topping is deceptively easy.

Judy - I'm glad I'm not the only one! But my brownie recipe is really so fast that I think I'll just make those next time.

Nuria - You really have Ikea on the brain, don't you! Go, get yourself some new dishes! :D

glamah16 said...

Its OK Heather. Its allowed sometimes the best of us have to go there. Dont worry your not Sandra Lee! I admit Williams and Sonoma have some of the best mixes. I like that you created your spice blends. I spent this Easter weekend making some on my own.Its fun.Didnt shoot the meal, but may post about the blends later.

~lifedramatic~ said...

Wow, sounds really good. Just don't go matching your drapes to your dinner dishes and we won't throw you under the bus ;-)


tammy said...

Best beginning and end of a first paragraph, ever.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Sometimes it just happens. I have gone there too - it is hard to pass up a good deal, especially on clearance - but you made up for it with that sinfully delicious topping!

michelle @ the smackdown said...

heather, i'm just commenting to say that we can't be friends anymore after this, no matter how good that cake looks.

i'm sorry.

Peter G said...

Heather don't be so hard on yourself! The topping on this sounds amazing!I love the blood orange!

We Are Never Full said...

I admire your honesty.

But to whet my appetite with that title, i REALLY thought you were cooking a Sandy Lee recipe. Knowing that you didn't really let me down... I love her.

I kid, I kid! Seriously, I can't bake worth shit, so this is up my alley!

amy @

Heather said...

Syd - Chocolate and wine has gotten more women into bed than you'll ever admit, hasn't it.

Court - Thank you. Sandra Lee is one of those Food Network people that I'd be willing to do time for, to have the joy of punching her in the face. With a roll of pennies in my fist. Rachael Ray is the other.

Lifedramatic - Your "drapes matching" comment makes me think you're in cahoots with Syd.

Tammy - Thank you. I'll be here all week.

Jenn - You probably don't even have time to revisit your comments to see what the blogger has responded, do you.

Michelle - At least I have the balls to admit I slum it once in awhile, you fucking pussy.

Petah - Don't worry, I'm not going to slit my wrists or anything.

Amy - You and me? Girl gang. We'll beat those hack Food Network bitches into the middle of next week. Michelle wants to join, and she knows it.

Emiline said...

You really are just like Sandra Lee. Except she would have "popped" this in the oven, and later topped it with Cool Whip mixed with vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice.

I want to try it. I want the sweet, sweet taste of Valrhona chocolate in my mouth.

Catherine Wilkinson said...

Heather, damn, cut it out! If you're a box whore, then I'm a bag, bottle, box, freezer, dehydrated, deli super-whore!
One of the BEST brownies I've ever made was from a box...let's see, it's from King Arthur, and it's that chocolate guy's mix..Jacques Torres. It's unbelievably great, and when you're slaving over a complicated kick ass dinner, this is an easy way to sit back and finish the Shiraz.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I do revisit! But only the bloggers I really really like! ;)