Recipes, memories and random thoughts from my kitchen
Friday, September 09, 2011
Chocolate Cake ... and other random thoughts
I just don't seem to have time to write a coherent blog post these days, so will just share a few random thoughts and a very good cake recipe.
Wednesday was Mr. T's birthday and so I baked him a cake. Chocolate is his favorite, and the easiest, best chocolate cake I know of is Never-Fail Chocolate Cake from
COOK & TELL, my favorite recipe newsletter. This cake recipe is
also found in the cookbook of the same name, by Karyl Bannister. Here’s
NEVER-FAIL CHOCOLATE CAKE
1 cup sugar
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup milk
1 stick butter or margarine
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch square cake pan.
the sugar, chocolate, and milk in a large saucepan and bring to boil
over medium heat. Add the butter, remove from the heat, and cool
briefly. Beat in the remaining ingredients. Pour the batter into the
prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick tests
clean. Cool in pan on rack -- or remove from the pan if desired.
Frost, or top with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Makes 1 9-inch cake.
(For a larger cake, the recipe may be doubled and baked in a 13x9-inch
I like a milk chocolate frosting with this. This cake
is very fudgy, and a dark or fudge frosting might be too
much. (But that is certainly up to you.) I adapted a
frosting recipe I found on the internet some years ago.
EASY PERFECT MILK CHOCOLATE FROSTING
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tblsp. half & half cream (I used the fat-free kind)
the softened butter in a medium bowl. Slowly beat in the remaining
ingredients until combined, then beat on high until frosting reaches
desired consistency. (The recipe didn’t say how much frosting it would
make. It doesn't seem like enough for a 13x9-inch cake, so when I double the cake recipe I
add another cup of powdered sugar and another tablespoon of cream, and
leave the other ingredients the same. The recipe as printed generously frosts a 9-inch cake.)
Maybe your family will
enjoy this celebratory cake too! (With school starting for many
students, this might be a nice dessert for the kickoff of the
school year -- or the beginning of fall, if you can wait that long to try this.)
A few other thoughts:
* I will never forget the winter when I tried a new chocolate cake recipe almost every week. My husband loves chocolate cake ... almost as much as he loves ice cream. And that's saying something!
* Didn't summer seem to fly by even more quickly than usual? I can't believe it is September already. I love fall -- it's my very favorite season -- but it just doesn't seem as if summer should be over yet.
* August went by in a blur with something going on almost every weekend. The first weekend was free but after that things got busy. We were able to get together with dear old friends (who now live in England) for lunch one weekend. The last weekend in August, family from Alabama was in town and we enjoyed breakfast out with them. We also hosted a gathering here for other local family to spend time with this couple.
* On August 15 our newest grandson was born in Utah, far from his intended birthplace of Idaho. He arrived at 35 weeks, while his family was on vacation -- and this particular place in Utah was where he needed to be as a premie! God directed them in their vacation plans so that this new little one would be in the right place to get the necessary care. He's home now and doing well, but we continue to marvel at God's care for the details of our lives.
* On Labor Day we enjoyed a fun progressive dinner with other folks from our church. We hosted the soup course here at our home. My friend Ginny helped me out by bringing a wonderful lentil barley vegetable soup. I also served Italian wedding soup and broccoli cheese soup. It was a rainy evening but the fellowship was a blessing.
* Mr. T had a bit of time off this week due to rainy weather, and has started a small (but major) remodeling project in our dining room. He installed new windows yesterday! This will be lovely, when finished. He saved all of the old trim and is going to refinish it. Before replacing it though, he will be repainting the walls and ceiling in this room. So this project could easily take several weeks. I can see, too, that with the new windows and their larger expanses of glass I am going to need valances. (The old windows had 12 individual panes, six over six. I had gotten rid of the curtains years ago to let more light in, but now we are going to need a little something for valances -- or possibly a cafe type treatment for the bottom half of the windows instead. So that will be a project for me! As if I needed another one ... but it will be fun.)
* One of my summer projects has been a Bible study time with two of my granddaughters. What a blessing it has been to teach them, using old Sunday School curriculum, important Bible lessons along with fun projects and little choruses. I hope to continue this on Saturdays as the Lord allows.
* Our garden has done quite well this year ... much better than previous years. We've been enjoying lettuce, Swiss chard, green beans, lot of tomatoes, and winter squash. I think we will have a fair amount of squash to enjoy through the fall and winter months ... and that's a good thing because squash is one of our favorite vegetables.
* I'm so enjoying being able to participate in Building our Homes Together with Jesus, an inspiring blog hop over at Prairie Flower Farm. To see my posts and links to those of others, click on "Building our Homes" in the label cloud here at the top right sidebar. I think you will enjoy this eclectic mix of encouraging posts, many of them older ones that I have done, others that are newer. I should add that I can't vouch for every one of the links as I haven't checked out every one of them myself.
* Our ladies' Sunday School class has been studying the book of Ephesians using the Elizabeth George Bible study, Understanding Your Blessings in Christ. It is excellent -- informative, encouraging, rebuking, and challenging. I think I can say we have all grown through this study.
I'm sure I had much more I wanted to say, but this is plenty for now. My Sunday School lesson, vacuuming, laundry, and Bible lesson preparation are all calling my name!
I live in scenic northern New England with my handsome husband. We're empty-nesters with a bunch of adorable grandchildren. We love (tent) camping and traveling, but don't get away as often as we'd like to.