Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Birthday Cake

Truth: I have had the same birthday cake every year since my very first birthday.
I have never made this cake myself. My mother does it, with love, as she always has.

It is delicious.

Just as a great birthday cake should be, it is moist. It is not so chocolatey as to coat your mouth (just the cheeks of a one year old). It can be iced with chocolate or as I request now, mocha. It's simple, basic, tasty - what storebought cake mixes are trying so desperately to replicate.
Also, it's incredibly easy.

I'm simply going to pass along my mother's recipe and her comments, unedited, because really, mother knows best.

Ultimate Chocolate Cake -
This came from one of those hippie parenting books. It is made in one pan, with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of taste. It was a great book with all sorts of crafts and activities for having fun with kids.

1/2 C evaporated milk (no, it is not the whole can; you are just going to have to make two cakes!)
1 t vinegar
4 squares chocolate (1 square = 1 oz) I use a combo of semi-sweetened and unsweetened or whatever I have on had. Who knows what it was meant to be?
1/2 C butter, cut into pieces
1 C boiling water
2 C flour
2 C sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 t baking SODA
1/2 t vanilla


In a bowl, combine 1/2 C evaporated milk, 1 t vinegar. In a sauce pan, combine 4 squares chocolate, 1/2 C butter, 1 C boiling water. Stir until melted. Add the canned milk/vinegar. Stir again. Add 2 C flour, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 t baking SODA, 1/2 t vanilla. Beat well with a wooden spoon. Pour into two greased and floured cake pans. Bake 35-40 min at 375 degrees.

Mocha Icing

1/2 C sweet butter (I use regular butter; sweet butter is w/out salt)
2 1/2 C confectioner's sugar
2 T cocoa
2 T hot coffee
1/2 t vanilla


Cream butter. Add sugar gradually, beating well between additions. As it becomes thick, add cocoa. Add hot coffee and vanilla. Continue to beat until light and fluffy and thick enough to spread. Use for filling and to frost top and sides of cold cake.

Do not eat it or there will not be enough to cover the cake.

Butter Frosting (CHOCOLATE!)
1/2 C butter
3 C confectioner's sugar
4 T evaporated milk
3 T cocoa
1 T vanilla

DIRECTIONS: Cream butter. Add remaining ingredients and beat til fluffy.

These (frosting recipes) are from The Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedia Cookbook- the new revised deluxe edition. I think you already have a picture of it on your blog. My mother's was bound neatly.Published 1950. Apparently, as in the case of Nana, it was available earlier in segmented sections, including Your Leftovers; Your Canning, Freezing and Preserving; Your Lunch Box; Your Quick Dinners for the Woman in a Hurry. I think the segments were in the supermarket and you could buy one a week or month or whatever and then they sold a wire apparatus so you could clip them into a neat little binder. It was my mother's bible, but then again, she didn't really like to cook!


mom said...

And for the life of me, I cannot remember the name of that book. It is somewhere in the pantheon with Berry Brazelton's books on child development. I loved it because it had all sorts of rainy day activities and it even told you how to make your own yogurt. Ah...those were the days!

JMLC said...

I love that cake. And I love that I've had the opportunity to eat it. :-)


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