Sunday, September 12, 2010
It is supposed to rain today.
I have been wishing for a rainy day for weeks now.
I think I would like to walk for hours in the rain. Without an umbrella.
My brother invited me to an NFL kickoff party today. He lives about an hour away. I said I would come but I'm going to call him and tell him I changed my mind. I don't think I can be around that many people, that much noise and that much excitement about a game.
I baked a cake yesterday. Not just any cake, but my grandmother's chocolate cake.
My nanny died fourteen years ago. She was 93 years old and she baked the best chocolate cakes you ever tasted. German chocolate, red velvet, and this one.
I've only shared this recipe with one person. And I made her swear to never share it with anyone else and never tell my sisters that I gave her the recipe. She lives in Arizona so I felt pretty safe they wouldn't find out.
It's a pretty easy cake to make. You put everything in the mixing bowl at once, then beat it up and pour the batter in the pans and bake it. Voila.
I put everything in the mixing bowl and turned on the mixer. Nothing. I looked and realized that I hadn't plugged the mixer in. I'm a little foggy these days.
So I plug the mixer in and WHIRRRR - batter flew everywhere. In my hair, on the cabinets, the counters, down my shirt, there was even batter in my shoes.
Two months ago I would have let go with a string of profanity that would make a sailor blush. TBHITW would have rushed in and gotten upset to see me upset. He would have said to me "it's just cake" and I would have yelled, JUST CAKE? LOOK AT THIS MESS!
Yesterday, with chocolate cake batter flung high and low and dripping off the walls I stood there and laughed until I cried.
I think my grandmother was teaching me a lesson. Don't sweat the small stuff.
I think TBHITW would have been proud of me. If grief is growth, I am growing.
I'm going to share this recipe with you because what good is having the best chocolate cake recipe in the world if you're not going to share it? Just make sure to turn the mixer on slowly.
Nanny's Moist Chocolate Cake: makes a 2 layer cake
Preheat oven to 350. Set the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Butter and flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup hot coffee
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Put everything (starting with the dry ingredients) in a large mixing bowl. Plug in your mixer. Beat on low speed (trust me on this one) until well combined. The batter is very thin.
Pour into prepared pans and bake in the center of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 35 minutes.
Cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then invert onto racks and cool completely before frosting.
A Cook's Notes: I cleaned everything up and started over. The cake came out beautifully. I frosted it, gave the 16 year old a piece and gave the rest to my neighbor. Like I said, what good is having a great cake recipe if you don't give it away?