Wednesday, March 26

An Easy Chocolate Cake

 I know I've mentioned this cake here at least twice, so I wanted to share the process.  I've not had much success with cakes in the past, probably because I don't buy cake flour, and I'm not a fan of sifting.  Laziness is not allowed in the realm of cake baking.

But this cake doesn't require either.  And the recipe is always at hand- on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa container!

The recipe is also available online - complete with other baker's reviews and a shortcut for the Hershey's Chocolate Buttercream, which is also pretty amazing.

Back to the cake:  I always bake two eight inch rounds.  I then split those rounds into two more, creating four layers of chocolate goodness.  Again, my kitchen supplies and tools are limited in the realm of cake baking, but some good floral wire will do the trick to split the cakes.  I simply cut a piece wide enough so that I can hold an end in either hand, and using a gentle back-and-forth movement of the wire, it slices perfectly through a cooled cake.

Layer each skinny cake with a healthy portion of buttercream, and continue assembling.

 As you can see, I always have help with the dishes ;)

 I'm not attempting to achieve perfection, and actually, I prefer a rustic or homemade look to our cakes.  So I simply use a butter knife and slather the butter cream all over until the cake has disappeared.

I find that this cake tastes even better if covered and refrigerated for a few hours prior to serving- if you can wait that long!  It really gives the layers a chance to get cozy.

And this last picture- a true shot of reality.  Our Friday cake was dotted with toddler fingerprints, and we drove it first to Nee Nee's house to share a slice or two, then to Aunt Judy's- to share some more.  I didn't hear a single complaint about those fingerprints!

If you've got a special moment coming up- or even want to celebrate the weekend's arrival, try this recipe.  You just might surprise yourself.  I know I did!


Monday, March 24




In good measure, we started the weekend with a chocolate cake.  My Friday was cut short at the office, so after a quick nap, Molly and I spent the afternoon doing some housework and making dinner.  And I can never refuse her request for cake.  Plus, I'm telling you, that Perfectly Chocolate Cake on the back of the Hershey's cocoa label is foolproof.  A guaranteed winner.  Add some chocolate buttercream, and it's Friday night perfection, even if it's dotted with tiny fingerprints ;)

My husband will make a country boy out of Quinton, yet.  That boy stared at the bird book and watched the bird feeders all morning.  I'm not sure how effective those binoculars were for him, but he wouldn't stop.  He was so proud of his bird sighting.  And loved to help fill the bird feeders and water the seedlings.  It makes me smile, to think that he'll have these memories at our home of growing plants and watching wildlife.   I don't always appreciate my husbands close-to-nature upbringing, but I'm so thankful. 

And speaking of that farmer, I'm dreaming of my summer garden.  And it was 32 degrees today.  But I do have some great plans, so when the weather does finally warm up here, we'll be ready.  And we'll have some hardy seedlings.   But for now, I'm thankful for Aldi's inexpensive produce.  I spend grocery day prepping endless produce, and it's oh-so worth it during the week.  My family can make it through 2 packages of strawberries in a day!

We had a slow Sunday morning, complete with a proper Sunday breakfast.  Even though I spend so much time thinking of weekend plans, we really appreciate a quiet day a home- together.  It's something that doesn't always come easy, but I'm learning to love the day without an agenda.  Because our culture is so hurried and busy, and I can't imagine raising a toddler in that way.  I love to watch her play, and read, and help with the dishes.  The farm life is a good agenda for the weekend- as my husband says, we've got all day to finish the chores.

So we're back to the Monday grind, but excited for our Molly/Mommy Wednesday!
Have a great week!