Black Tie Mousse Cake  

I hardly ever bake "gourmet," because of the time involved and the practicality of spending hours making something that will subsequently get devoured. But, my daughter asked for a Black Tie Mousse Cake (like Olive Garden's) for her birthday, and how could I say no? We'll do almost anything for our kids. I was a little apprehensive, because it's a four-layer cake with ganache and even piping - a chocolate cake layer, chocolate mousse, white chocolate mousse, the chocolate ganache, chocolate chips on the outside, white chocolate drizzle, and ganache piping, and I don't make recipes this complicated very often! I followed the directions carefully - and was very pleased with how it turned out! 

Listen: Kicked

Here is the recipe I used:


And here are pictures from my process:

The first 3 layers

Starting to spread the chocolate ganache

Full top spread of the ganache

Chocolate chips on the outside

White chocolate drizzle

Finally, the ganache piping!

Today's music selection is my song Kicked, which is about perseverance, haha. 

The cake was a hit! Everyone, kids and adults, loved it, and only two small pieces were left. 

Pumpkin Banana Bread 

Spotify Playlist  <<<  Listen here while you bake!
iTunes Playlist  <<<

So I just made my own pumpkin banana bread, and it is SLAMMIN’! I’ve made Better Homes and Gardens’ banana bread for a long time (with a few of my own modifications, and it works well with Gluten Free flour, too. My kids love it!) Today I only had 2 ripe bananas (it calls for 3), but I had pumpkin pack in the fridge, so I pulled it out and substituted, and viola! Delicious, delicious, delicious! I’m a sucker for a moist dessert, and also love everything fall and pumpkin, so this hit all my “yes” spots. I almost always add mini chocolate chips to my banana bread; it gives it that extra little dessert feeling. The recipe calls for nuts, so you can definitely put those in, too, or instead, if you’re feeling a little nutty. 

Without further ado….. 


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 

   (I use America’s Test Kitchen’s GF flour blend

1 1/2 tsp baking powder 

1/2 tsp baking soda 

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon 

1/8 tsp salt 

1 egg 

2 ripe, mashed bananas 

1/2 cup pumpkin puree 

1/2 cup sugar 

1/4 cup cooking oil 

scant 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or nuts 


1.  Grease the bottom and sides of a loaf pan; set aside. In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients (sans sugar), stirring well. 

2.  In a mixing bowl, beat the egg, bananas, pumpkin, sugar, and cooking oil together. Slowly add the dry mixture, stirring until just moistened. 

3.  Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350º or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes (if you can hold yourself back!), serve and enjoy!


Spotify Playlist or iTunes Playlist for Baking and Chilling Out