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day 5: swirled chocolate bark

We adore this swirled chocolate bark by Inspired Taste for a holiday gift or party dish. Cranberries and pistachios add just the right amount of holiday cheer. Check out more of our fav food gifts on page 42 of the holiday issue.

Swirled Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Cranberries

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (either chocolate chips or a chocolate bar broken into small pieces)
6 ounces white chocolate (either chocolate chips or a chocolate bar broken into small pieces)
1 tablespoon orange zest, plus a little for sprinkling on top
1/4 cup shelled pistachios in halves or roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries roughly chopped

1. In a dry pan, lightly toast the nuts then set aside to cool.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
3. Melt the semi-sweet and white chocolate simultaneously in separate double boilers or one at a time in the microwave ( in a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating), while the semi-sweet chocolate is melting add the orange zest.
4. Once both chocolates are melted, pour the semi-sweet chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and smooth out into your desired shape then drop spoonfuls of the melted white chocolate on top. Use a wooden skewer or the tip of a knife to swirl the two chocolates together until you are happy with the design.
5. Sprinkle the pistachios and cranberries over the swirled chocolate than sprinkle a little more orange zest on top and allow to cool for approximately two hours or until the chocolate is hard and can be broken into pieces to serve.

Head over to Inspired Taste to read more about this recipe. Download the printable recipe card here.

– By Adam and Joanne of Inspired Taste

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strawberry milk

Dress up your drink with one of our favorite funky straws! These are from Shop Sweet Lulu and we totally dig them! Try adding one to our favorite strawberry milk!

Simple Strawberry Milk
serves 4 • 10 minutes • $

4 cups milk
4 handfuls strawberries, rinsed with stems removed
2-4 tablespoons honey

1. Add milk, strawberries and 2 tablespoons of the honey to a blender, blend until smooth.
2. Add additional honey to taste and serve.

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free downloads page

We want to make sure it’s easy for you to live life to the fullest. That’s why we have a free downloads page with everything from how-to guides to recipes to party supplies. Make sure you visit the downloads page for all that maché has to offer from our first issue.

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let’s have some cake

Oh cake, how we love you. We have an absolute winner for your next cake adventure in the kitchen. Great for an event or if you’re like us, great anytime. Bonus: We help you become kitchen savvy by showing you how to frost a cake in the summer issue! Take a look at pages 62-63.

Don’t you just love those straws, too? Check out these stripes from thinkgarnish.com along with other favorite funky straws on pages 74-75! Browse through the Summer Issue.

Decadent Chocolate Cake
serves 8 • 1 hour and 40 minutes • $

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup brewed hot coffee
3-3 1/2 cups chocolate buttercream frosting (recipe below)
1/2 cup jam

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter then flour 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. To flour the pan, after buttering, add a little flour and tap the pan until there is a light coating of flour on the bottom and up the sides of the pan, discard any extra flour.

2. Use a dry mesh strainer to sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl, mix either with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer or and handheld mixer until thoroughly combined.

3. Combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl then slowly add to the dry ingredients. Next, slowly add the coffee and stir until just combined – be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

4. Pour the cake better into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for about 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

5. Fill a re-sealable plastic bag with the corner cut off or a pastry bag with frosting. Then, carefully squeeze the frosting around the outer perimeter of your cake; this prevents the jam from oozing out. Next, fill the center of your cake with jam. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3.5 to 4 cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk

1. Melt 8 ounces of milk chocolate either over a double boiler or in the microwave. To melt the chocolate in the microwave, place ¾ of the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir the chocolate and continue to microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is smooth and shiny. Add the remaining ¼ of the chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the softened butter, vanilla and salt. Beat on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Stop the mixer occasionally and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3. Add the milk and increase the mixer to medium speed and beat for another 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the melted chocolate (should be at room temperature) and beat until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for one more minute. If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks.

*cake recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa

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giveaway: nest 8 measure + mix set

To enter, follow @machemag on Twitter, friend us on Facebook or sign up for our free subscription. Giveaway open until 5:00pm EST on July 15, 2011.

Joseph Nest 8 Measure and Mix Set. Perfect for small spaces, this nesting set includes a 1 3/4qt sieve, 3qt colander/strainer, 1/2qt mixing bowl, 4 3/4qt mixing bowl, 1/4 c measuring cup, 1/3 c measuring cup, 1/2 c measuring cup and 1 c measuring cup. Visit the Steamy Kitchen Store to buy or adore.

For more fresh picks, take a look at the summer 2011 issue here.

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