Friday, May 21, 2010

a kick ass cake

I own a few cookbooks. But I don't really use them. I have one that I hand wrote in college that I use the most. The recipes in this one are a combination of a few of my favorites in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything which I literally hand copied over the course of a weekend, various Martha Stewart Magazine recipes, some cut outs from newspapers and favorite family meals. The family meal ones are the ones I like best of all. They were all obtained by calling my mother, so they are a little lax on proper measurements and all peppered with my mother's speech patterns. I only really started cooking in college, so sometimes I would have to ask for clarifications on ingredients (and I'm talking about clarifications on things like flours and simple things like that) and my mother's exasperation is evident in the tone of her responses.

Lots of my favorites of the mom transcribed recipes are from the Betty Crocker Cookbook (the not updated version mind you) and many of them now make me think of friends from the past when I make them (in my cookbook pumpkin pie is labeled "Spartos' Favorite" for an example)
This kickass cake only make me think of my mom though. Growing up my mom made this cake every so often. It is the perfect cup of tea and slice of cake, cake. It is chewy and dense but not heavy, and has just the right amount of sweetness. AND there are no crazy ingredients in it. You won't find yourself with a hankering for cake and realize you have no buttermilk, castor sugar, dutch process cocoa or those other fancy cake ingredients with which to make said cake.

The original recipe is from the Betty Crocker Cookbook. A book I am going to steal from my mother's kitchen when she dies. Hear that siblings I call dibs! Her edition of the Betty cookbook is red with brown packing tape keeping the spine on, and family favorites bookmarked with flour and grease and sauce splatterings. The recipes are old fashioned "feed your hungry man" cuisine and I LOOVE it.

I didn't take a photo because the top of my cake is not pretty. Yours might not be either, the chips have a tendency to sink to the bottom of the pan so it all depends on how you get it out. My mom used to make it in a Bundt pan and prop it up on the Meyers Rum bottle to cool, I baked it in an angel food cake pan because I don't have a bundt pan, but I also have made it in 13X9 pans or 2 9 inch rounds. There is also a butterscotch filling that Betty suggests you put in the middle of the rounds but I don't usually bother.

Betty Crocker's Chocolate Chip Cake with my mom's instructions in parenthesis

2 cups flour (regular white flour, not your hippie wheat stuff)
1 cup dark brown sugar packed (whatever dark light whatever you use in cookies)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (white sugar like you put in tea)
3 teaspoons baking powder (the one in the tin yes, not the stuff you would use to clean with)
1 teaspoon salt (just regular salt)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (the box, yes arm and hammer)
1/2 cup of shortening (Use a stick a Butta [that would be one stick of butter for those of you not from Brooklyn])
1 1/4 cup of milk (whole milk)
3 eggs (what do you mean what size eggs? eggs like you get at the grocery store)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla (you know a splash or so)
1/2 cup of chocolate chips (just toss in a handful or two)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour two round cake layer pans 8 or 91/2 inches (grease your pan, a brownie pan or a bundt pan, whatever you have)

Measure all ingredients into large mixer bowl.
Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly.
Beat 3 minutes high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.
Pour into pans.
(mix it all together and pour into pans)
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
(bake 40 minutes or so. stick a knife into it if nothing sticks to it its done)
(stick it on top of a bottle, I'm sure you have some laying around up there, when its cool put it on a plate and eat it.)

So that's the cake I made this week. I tossed some berries into the mix too and it is delicious.


Athina Marie said...

that sounds delicious!! im going to try it for father's day!

Gwynne said...

I'm laughing out loud picturing your mom saying, "What do you mean, what size eggs?" Also I'm totally going to try to make this.

Liz said...

I laughed out loud about the eggs too, I could totally hear her saying that! And I love that you wrote this down like this!

Mary said...

The hippie wheat flour comment cracked me up.

{Staci} said...

Regina, I am visiting from Liz's blog and I LOVE your mom's commentary. So great, and the cake sounds awesome. :)