Grandma’s Devils Food Cake is a long standing tradition in my family, going back more than four generations. It has been said that my great grandfather always needed to have one in his refrigerator. His wife was a saint to have made so many, the recipe is tricky, especially the icing, but I got this one (for my son who turns 11 today) just right! Can’t wait to eat it! It is a rich chocolate cake with a penuche icing (cooked butter and cream, soooo good).
Find the recipe here.

Grandma’s Devils Food Cake is a long standing tradition in my family, going back more than four generations. It has been said that my great grandfather always needed to have one in his refrigerator. His wife was a saint to have made so many, the recipe is tricky, especially the icing, but I got this one (for my son who turns 11 today) just right! Can’t wait to eat it! It is a rich chocolate cake with a penuche icing (cooked butter and cream, soooo good).

Find the recipe here.

My daughter and her best friend are having a joint birthday party. They wanted a Snow theme - and boy did they get lucky with the Blizzard! Lots of snow for sledding! Here is the Snowflake Princess cake and lots of yummy meringues I made with the egg whites leftover from the cake recipe. I will post the recipe soon.

A tip for separating eggs

If you are separating eggs and need to remove a shell fragment, do you know the easiest way? Use part of the shell as a scoop and the fragment will be easy to retrieve!

I am baking a cake today (and have separated 12 eggs!), no reason really except that we have had a super busy week and I thought it would be fun to slow down tonight and celebrate the fact that we have no evening activities!

Pictures and a recipe to come soon. :)

Our traditional Birthday Cake

We are about to start the Birthday Train in my house, so named because we have one birthday a month for 6 months in a row! Growing up our traditional cake was always Grandma’s Devil’s Food Cake, a recipe handed down over many generations. This was my Grandfather’s most favorite cake- it is so rich that you have to cut the cake into thirds before making slices or the cake will overwhelm you. Yum Yum Yum. When I make my next one I will post a picture.

The inspiration for sharing this recipe came from The Naptime Chef, who is celebrating her birthday by giving away her favorite things and talking all about birthday celebrations this week. Check out her post here.

Grandma’s Devil’s Food

1/2 cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

3 oz baker’s chocolate

1 cup boiling water

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 250F. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs. Mix well. Dissolve chocolate in boiling water, then add to creamed mixture. Stir in flour, salt, and vanilla. Mix baking soda into the sour cream then add to batter. Bake for 1.5-2 hours. Cool completely.

Icing

1 cup cream

1/2 cup salted butter

2 cups sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Boil first three three ingredients in a 2 qt. saucepan until it reached a soft ball stage on a candy thermometer. Add vanilla. Transfer to bowl of mixer and beat until thick enough to spread. This is a bit tricky but will take at least 7-10 minutes. You will end up sort of pouring it over the cake a bit.

Happy Birthday to my sister!

That time of year has rolled around again and I am celebrating my sister’s birthday! I love to take cake requests and this year she asked for something hazelnut. I scoured the internet (such a great resource for us cooks!) and found this lovely recipe from New York Magazine. I will serve it with fresh raspberries.

It was a labor of love as I had to make my own praline paste/powder (which is delicious but never as smooth as if you buy it in a can, I like the Luv n’ Bake brand which is available from King Arthur Flour). I used the instructions from my Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Praline Powder

1 cup peeled hazelnuts

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

Bake the hazelnuts at 350F for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Place on a lightly oiled nonstick pan or a piece of foil.

In a small saucepan heat the sugar and water, stir until dissovled. Heat until sugar begins to caramelize and smell of burnt sugar (about 350F on a candy thermometer). Immediately pour over nuts. allow to harden completely. Break into a few pieces and pulverize i na food processor.

This praline powder can be used just like commercial praline paste but it will have a crunchier texture.

Cake for Father’s Day

I wanted to make a cake for Father’s Day that would please both my father and my husband. I recently went to a wedding with a fabulous red velvet cake so I decided to try that. After researching a bit it became clear that most recipes used buttermilk to keep the cake moist. I love buttermilk in baked goods! So it is pretty easy as far as cakes go, cream the butter, sugar and eggs. Alternate wet and dry ingredients to develop cake structure. Bake. Add icing/frosting. Yum!

Red Velvet Cake

11/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 Tbs cocoa (I heaped mine)

2 oz red food coloring (I did not have enough so I substituted some red icing color and it looked good)

2 1/2 cups cake flour (I was out of this too so I used all purpose)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp vinegar

Preheat oven to 350F, grease and flour two 9inch cake pans. Cream butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Mix cocoa with food coloring to make a paste, add to creamed mixture.

In another bowl mix flour, salt and baking soda. In a bowl or measuring cup mix buttermilk, vanilla and vinegar. Alternately add 1/3 of flour mixture then buttermilk mixture, beating well after each addition.

Spoon batter into pans, bake about 25 minutes or until a tester comes clean from the center.Cool on rack for 5 minutes then turn out of pans and cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 8oz packages of cream cheese (room temp)

1/2 cup butter (1 stick, room temp)

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Beat cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Frost cake and refrigerate overnight for best flavor. Let warm to room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.

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