Whether you enjoy your job or not, you spend a great deal of your life there, so you may as well make the most of it. I’m lucky that when I returned to the workforce a little over a year ago, I was able to become a part of a really awesome team. I can’t recall ever working with people who were friendlier or got along better–and I am grateful for this every day. Having people you enjoy being around is more than half the battle in getting through the work day.
Plus we all like to eat.
Yes, it’s no secret that we throw celebrations more often than is probably normal. We celebrated Bastille Day last year. And Talk Like A Pirate Day. We had our Blue Moon party in August. And now, we’ve had an Emeril Lagasse-themed potluck lunch. Why not?
You may recall that I was a part of #SeriousSandwich last Fall, helping to launch Emeril Lagasse’s latest cookbook, Emeril’s Kicked Up Sandwiches. At the end of the campaign, each participant was given a collection of Emeril cookbooks. I am a cookbook nut, so receiving a dozen more for my collection thrilled me! But what do you do with so many cookbooks from one author? Well…
You throw a party!
I lugged my set into work, put out the word that we would be cooking Emeril-style, and asked everyone to bring their version of BAM! to the table. The conference table… in the meeting room. Because that’s the most natural place for a chef-themed party, right? Okay, maybe not, but it didn’t matter that we weren’t in some elegant setting–the food and company were enough.
I was amazed by what was chosen. We had cooks of all levels joining us, and recipes as simple as Butter Cream Mints to as complex as Lobster Cheesecake with Caviar Cream. Yup. Lobster Cheesecake. Caviar Cream. We may be amateurs, but there were no half-hearted attempts here! No duplications either, despite keeping the selections a surprise until potluck day. It was perfect!
My contribution would be in the baking department–no surprise, I’m sure–and I brought a Chocolate Bundt Cake with Peanut Butter Filling. I made some adaptations–it’s so difficult for me to exactly reproduce anything I attempt–so I will share it with you, but you can find the original on Emeril’s website as well. I highly recommend it. Not too sweet, just chocolatey enough, and the peanut butter chips do a beautiful job of balancing flavors. The cake is quite springy, much less dense than many other bundt cakes. And it travels well.
I want to know: How do you liven up the work week? What do you and your co-workers do to lighten the load? And do you have any suggestions on which chefs we should consider for our next shindig?
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch Himalayan pink salt, finely ground
- ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1¾ cups organic granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
- 1 ounce 60% chocolate, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups whole milk
- ¾ cup peanut butter chips, divided
- 3-4 Tablespoons whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream together the butter and sugar, beating for about 3 minutes, or until light.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing until combined.
- With the mixer on low, beat in the melted chocolate. Add the vanilla and mix until well combined.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the milk, mixing well between each addition.
- Transfer half to the prepared bundt pan, then sprinkle ½ cup of the peanut butter chips. Cover with the rest of the batter, evening out the top with a silicone spatula.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is springy.
- Cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then place the rack over the top of the pan and invert, hopefully releasing the cake onto the rack to cool completely.
- Once completely cooled, take the remaining ¼ cup peanut butter chips and 3-4 Tablespoons of milk (you can add more, if necessary) and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir and repeat in 15 second intervals, until fully melted. Add more milk to thin out if necessary, then drizzle over the bundt cake. Cool completely before serving.
Disclosure: The views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine alone, based upon my personal experience. Morrow Cookbooks provided me with a complete library of Emeril Lagasse Cookbooks as a part of the #SeriousSandwich campaign, but no review was requested, nor monetary compensation provided for this post.