who would like to hear about a newlywed-baking-fiasco-turned-success?
if you just shouted “oh! oh! memememe!” at your computer screen, then good. cause i got one for ya.
monday was our 6 month anniversary. [insert cheers here.] now, i’m not usually one to celebrate each month of marriage– i think the years are the big deal, and am pretty excited for august 8. perhaps this year i will eat an entire piece of cake, instead of the two bites i took in 2009. but as for the month thing: we got this calendar for our wedding that you fill in the dates, so it’s a calendar specific to your first year of marriage. and there are all these stickers in the back that say “1 month anniversary” and 2 month anniversary” and so on… so i notice.
anyway, to celebrate and be sweet (pun intended), i thought i would bake grandma’s chocolate cake. this cake comes from grandmothers on both sides of my family. don’t ask how, i guess it’s just one of those recipes that all good grandmothers pass down. and i ended up with 2 good ones! back to the cake: i had never made it myself, but i know just about every woman in my family has made it perfectly.
let me tell you: people can’t keep their hands off the stuff.
i could share secrets about the sheer mass of cake that has been consumed in an unimaginably short amount of time, but i won’t. you get the picture, though.
now folks, when i make a cake, it generally comes in a box. i feel rather domestic adding the eggs, milk, and what have you. but THIS cake hails from no box. nor does the icing, which is the best part.
the actual mixing of ingredients went pretty well– my only hitch was not having access to buttermilk, but a quick phone call to baking 101 (aka mom) taught me that you can use milk with a little vinegar and be good to go. whew! done and done. pour the junk into the pan, pop that baby in the oven, we’re good.
who knew that my oven wasn’t level?
20 minutes later, i take the cake out to see something lopsided and altogether not expected.
i think, not to worry. i’ll just ice it more on the side that’s lower so it looks even and no one will ever know. to fill you all in on the icing process, you have to boil butter, milk, and then add sugar to get it just right. (if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even add nuts– and this is the only part where my 2 grandmothers differed in their recipes.)
wouldn’t you know it: i get 3 phone calls in the time i’m trying to ice this cake. picture this: quick-setting icing, just fresh and ready to be poured over the cake, and the phone rings. i’m almost due to my piano lessons, and if it’s the mom canceling, i want to know. i run to the phone, reschedule the lesson, run to the stove, repeat. run back, repeat. (i really need to get a cordless phone!!) by now the hot, smooth icing has turned to a crispy, stiff medium which does NOT want to go over the remainder of the cake. i finally smash it on there, breathe a sigh of, well, done-ness, and get to those dishes. whew!
you know what, though? it tastes GREAT. mike loved it, and now he says it tasted better each time he has a piece. it’s not quite grandma’s, or even mom’s, but it sure is YUMMY!
who cares if it looks like a 5 year old made it?