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Monday, May 23, 2011

The Cake

I meant to post this yesterday, but we had almost nice weather over the weekend. I ended up doing a lot of work in the veggie garden, followed by an afternoon of hand stitching, and by then my hands were in no shape to do any typing! 

The family that I grew up in has a certain cake recipe that has become the required cake for birthday celebrations. I don't actually remember a time when my Mother didn't make it for birthdays. I think the recipe came from one of those little cookbooks that you get in the checkout line at grocery stores. It may have been a Pillsbury Bake-off  Cookbook. I have a vague recollection that the original name of the cake may have been something like "Confetti Cream Cake", but in my family it is just known as "The Cake".

Little kids often don't start out liking the cake, but as they begin to grow up, their judgement improves. Of course, if they help making the cake, this happens sooner. You'll see why.

The cake itself is not very light or sweet.



What it is, is a perfect receptacle for absorbing all this goodness.



When we were little, we all wanted the job of grating the chocolate. We used a knife to scrape it, and a lot got melted and eaten. When I got older, I used a vegetable peeler, which works a little better. This time I used a new grater, which allowed me to put more of myself into the cake than I intended.


The nuts get chopped, which is the least messy part of the job. Then, the maraschino cherries get pulled into pieces. I used to try to cut them up, but it's really easier to just use your fingers to break them up. Although, the red juice everywhere makes the kitchen look a little like CSI. Can you imagine how sticky my camera was at this point?


The cream is whipped, and some of it is combined with sour cream, cream cheese, and all those other good things. That is the "Confetti Cream". The two cake layers are split into four, and then are filled with the cream mixture. 



The last of the cream is put on top, and the sides have the plain whipped cream applied. My cakes usually look a little wonky at this point, but nobody really cares.


This year I put the cake on my Grandmother's cake stand. This was guaranteed to elicit repeated tellings of the story of when the kids were little, and I flipped the entire cake (and cake stand) upside down. These are the times when you really love your family.


Of course, it's all over much too soon. If you can make the cake last until the next day, it will taste even better, as the flavors meld, and the cake absorbs them.



Here is the recipe, in case you are interested in trying it out.

*********************************************************
The Cake

5 eggs                                                                   1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour                                                            1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder                                        1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour 2 nine inch cake pans

Beat eggs and vanilla at high speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, continue beating until thick and ivory colored. This takes about 5 minutes, do not under beat. Fold in dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pans, and bake 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely. When cool, split each layer in half.

The Cream

2 cups heavy cream
8 oz package cream cheese                              1 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar                                                           1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon                                                 
 3/4 cup shaved chocolate bar (its easier if it's frozen)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts                                   
 1/3 cup chopped maraschino cherries

Beat cream until thick, blend with 1/3 cup sugar. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese with sour cream, remaining sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, until smooth. Stir in cherries, chocolate, walnuts. Fold half of whipped cream into sour cream mixture.

Assembly

Top one cake layer with 1/4 of confetti cream mixture. Add another layer of cake, another 1/4 of con. cream. When you have all 4 layer s of cake on the stack, put the remaining 1/4 of the confetti cream in the center of the cake. Spread out to about an inch from the edge of the cake. Spread remaining whipped cream around the sides of the cake, and up over the first inch of the top, meeting the confetti cream.

This is really good with chocolate ice cream. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

8 comments:

The Fab Furs said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing! I think I'll have to "practice" making it as there are no birthdays soon and I don't want to wait for the next one!

Mary Grace McNamara said...

Oh man Karen, why'd you have to go and do that? My goodness does that look delicious! All those yummy ingredients mixed together in one big yummy mess! I just might have to give this one a try!

MGM

Katie :o) said...

Fun to catch up with you! I love the Weasley posts and the birthday party :o)

Annette F Tait said...

mmm looks delicious! and I loved the pic of Weasley on the quilt!

congrats to your daughter on her graduation and birthday!

Lynn Fisher said...

Oh WOW Karen...the cake is just too beautiful to eat!

bunnits said...

Yum! Thanks for the recipe,too.

Michelle May (Shell) said...

Yummy!!!!!

PJ said...

It looks scrumptious. I don't like most cake but I think I could learn to love this one, what a great family tradition.