After creating a recipe for gluten-free vanilla layer cake, two things came to mind: cake is awesome and I should bake more cake.
My husband's birthday gave me the perfect excuse to bake more cake! (Although, honestly, did I really need a reason?) I thought I'd try a dairy-free chocolate version of the yellow cake I recently made. So I replaced the butter with liquid vegetable oil, reduced the amount of potato starch, and added cocoa powder. Finally, I swapped the milk for coffee.
The results worked really well. Like the original, the batter came together quickly and the cake baked up high with a delicate crumb. The coffee adds a depth of flavor without turning it into a mocha cake. If you don't like coffee, the cake works well made with water or a dairy-free milk. (Of course, if dairy isn't an issue for you, just use milk.)
Since this is a small-batch recipe, it's a perfect recipe to make whenever because...cake.
Confession time part two: I rarely plan for egg salad. So for a long time, I just didn't make it. By the time I hard-cooked eggs and cooled them, the craving for egg salad usually had passed. (I tend to crave egg salad at lunch when I'm in a "FOOD NOW!" mood.)
But then! THEN! This past fall, we redid our kitchen floor. For a few days, the oven was out of the kitchen. This turned out to be less of a problem than you'd think. Thankfully it was early fall; so we ate lots of salads and I used the slow cooker a few times. One day in the midst of that, I looked up "microwave foods." I did this mostly for fun. Nothing really grabbed me until I saw hard-cooked eggs. Even though I'd seen advertisements for Eggies, I never really believed you could microwave eggs. That sounded...well, it sounded nuts to me.
Yet things that are nuts are sometimes fun to try. So I grabbed some custard cups, eggs, and headed to the microwave. OH.MY.GOD. It worked! The eggs "hard cooked." Well, mostly. Let me clarify!
There's one go-to recipe I believe all bakers need: a single-layer cake. There's a time and place for multi-layered cake (usually birthdays and other celebrations). But a single-layer cake isn't about celebration, it's about simplicity. . . .