After the baptism, I got to watch my niece get soo excited about eating broccoli. She is only nine months old and rejected the broccoli that had cheese sauce on it, and loved the plane broccoli!!!!!!! Her parents are obviously teaching her good eating habits. :-)
On Sunday we had a book signing party for my grandmother and I got to make a cake for it. My aunt has worked tirelessly for the past 4 or 5 YEARS writing up my grandmother's memoirs, finally finished, and had them put into a book.
My grandmother is definitely someone who I think if we grew up together we would be inseparable. She is hilarious! She enjoys movies like "Dumb and Dumber", and "Legally Blonde". She taught me how to play London bridges, backgammon, and bake bread. When my parents went out of town, we would get to spend the weekend at her house, I would get to sleep in this huge room with a California King size bed, and thick curtains that didn't let an ounce of light in. My grandparents would let me sleep in as long as I wanted, and then when I got up, my grandpa would always treat us to donuts for breakfast from the local bakery. I spent a lot of time at my grandparents house growing up, especially when we moved to the country and they lived in town. I would go to their house after school in between all my extra-curricular activities. Teaching my grandmother the new slang was ALWAYS entertaining. I remember one time I was whining to her about going to work and having this one annoying guy hit on me. She was absolutely appalled and told me that I should punch him back! She thought he was literally hitting me!
This cake has appeared in many forms. If I ever have an occasion where a chocolate cake is requested this is the one I make. The first time I made this was for my cousin's birthday years ago.
Her father, lets just call him uncle chef, complimented me on it, so I knew I had a winner.
Over the years, every time I make it, it never lets me down. It's graced many birthday tables:
A baby shower:
For the occasion, I chose the most solid recipe I have. It is the Hershey's chocolate cake recipe that I have only very slightly modified to make my own. The first couple of times I made it, I thought I had messed it up, but it ends up turning out perfectly moist every single time!
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cups cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp instant coffee
Preheat oven to 350-F. Line two 9-inch round baking pans with parchment paper and then grease and flour them.
Mix all the dry ingredients except for the instant coffee.
Add the eggs, milk, and oil to the dry ingredients and beat for about 2 minutes.
Separately add instant coffee to the boiling water. Mix the boiling water into the rest of the batter. (Note that the batter will be really thin.)
Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes until done. Cool 10 minutes in pan, and then place on wire racks. Once cakes are completely cool, ice them and enjoy. Though I want to throw out the fact that this cake is moist enough that it's just as tasting with no icing and some powdered sugar sprinkled over it for presentation.
Once you try this cake you will understand why I have no desire to try making any other chocolate cake recipes. It is so easy to put together and it comes out perfect EVERY time!
Most recipes tell you to bake cakes until the toothpick comes out clean. Though that's a way to make sure the cake is done, the problem with that is it usually means it's slightly overdone. The cake will continue to cook just a bit once you pull it out of the oven, so it's best to pull it out when there is just a tad left on the toothpick.