Lea Michele Birthday Cake
Courtesy Lea Michele

RECIPE: Lea Michele’s Devil’s Food Birthday Cake

Originally posted 09/02/2014 02:28PM

Claire Thomas
The Kitchy Kitchen
Served at Lea Michele’s Birthday Dinner

Devil’s Food Cake
Serves 8

4 oz. butter
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
6 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1/2 cup strong coffee
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sour cream
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, grated for garnish

18 oz. unsalted butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp. agave nectar or maple syrup
1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9 inch round cake pans.

2. In a double boiler or in a small pot over low heat, melt the chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Cream together the sugars, butter and add the eggs one at a time until a pale yellow (about 2-3 minutes). Add the melted chocolate to the eggs mixture by pouring it in slowly while beating at medium speed. This is to ensure a smooth mixture, rather than scrambling the eggs.

4. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

5. Mix together the coffee and sour cream. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients on low speed, ending on the wet ingredients.

6. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

7. For the buttercream, add the butter to a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, and whip until soft and smooth. On low speed, add the powdered sugar, mixing until fully incorporated, and then add the agave nectar (or maple syrup), cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt. Taste for sweetness and add more powdered sugar if necessary.

8. To finish, place a layer of cake on a plate and coat with 1 inch of buttercream. Use an offset spatula to even it out, then add the other layer. Add a big scoop of buttercream on top of the cake, and using the spatula, smooth the buttercream out until it’s coating the cake about a 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Scoop more buttercream on and smooth out if necessary. Top with grated chocolate.

FILED UNDER: Baking , Cake , Dessert , Lea Michele , Recipes

RECIPE: Lea Michele’s Burrata and Roasted Tomato Lasagna

Originally posted 09/02/2014 02:00PM

Claire Thomas
The Kitchy Kitchen
Served at Lea Michele’s Birthday Dinner

Burrata Roasted Tomato Lasagna
Serves 8

Bolognese Ragu:

3 tbsp. olive oil
4 tbsp. butter
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
¾ cup carrots finely diced
¾ cup celery stalks, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup pancetta or bacon, diced
1 pound beef chuck, ground
1 pound pork shoulder, ground
1 cup dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 cup beef stock
2 tbsp. butter
¼ cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

1. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter in the oil.

2. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic with a good pinch of salt and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often. Increase the heat to high and add the meat and pancetta a third at a time, stirring and breaking lumps with a spoon between each addition (this whole process will take about 15-20 minutes).

3. Turn heat down to medium and cook for about 15 minutes, letting the meat get thoroughly brown (don’t worry about crispy bits in the pan) but not burnt.

4. Pour the white wine into the sauce pan. With a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of your pan. Push the meat all around to make sure you scrape it all off. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, to let the alcohol cook off. Add milk, diced tomatoes (with liquid), 1 teaspoon salt and a good grinding of pepper.

5. Bring to a boil and then lower to the lowest heat and let simmer very slowly, half-covered, for 2 hours, stirring from time to time. In the end, the sauce should be more oil- than water-based and thick like oatmeal. Season to taste.

6. When ready to serve, mix in the butter, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and about a 1/2 cup of pasta water (or some hot water). Set aside for assembling lasagna.

Bechamel Sauce:

1 pint milk
2 sprigs of parsley
5 peppercorns
½ small onion, sliced
¼ teaspoon chili flake
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp. butter
¼ cup flour
⅓ cup grated parm
pinch freshly grated nutmeg

1. Bring the milk and everything else except for the butter, flour, and parmigiano to a simmer.

2. In a separate sauce pan, melt the butter and add the flour. Stir until doughy and smelling a bit nutty (about one minute).

3. Strain in the milk about a half-cup at a time, whisking to incorporate with the butter and flour mix. It should be smooth and velvety, not chunky or too thick. If it is, just add some more milk to thin it out.


1 lb. lasagna strips (enough for three layers)
4 balls burrata (or about 2 cups regular mozzarella)
¼ cup grated parm (or any other hard cheese, I sometimes use gouda)
1 cup basil, julienned
olive oil
13-14 roman tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 tbsp. thyme
¼ cup olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Place the tomatoes face up across two baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of thyme. Roast for 30 minutes, turn in the pan, and then for another 30 minutes.

Roasted Tomatoes:

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

2. In a pyrex dish, place a layer of noodles, a ladle of ragu, a ladle of béchamel, a third of burrata, and a layer of herb roasted tomatoes, add the basil, and cover with a 1/4 of the bechamel. Repeat three times, and finish with the remaining bechamel and grated parm.

3. Bake for 25 minutes, or until bubbling. Turn the broiler on and bake for another 5 minutes, or until brown and crunchy on top. Allow to sit for 20 minutes.

FILED UNDER: Lea Michele , Pasta , Recipes

Lea Michele Birthday Dinner
Courtesy Claire Thomas for The Kitchy Kitchen

Inside Lea Michele’s Cozy Birthday Dinner

Originally posted 09/02/2014 01:44PM

Lea Michele didn’t need a Birkin bag cake or a baking therapy session to enjoy her birthday: A relaxed dinner with girlfriends at her home was the perfect fête for the Glee star, who turned 28 on August 29.
Read More


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