Saturday, January 29, 2011

Whack What?

I’ve written before about how difficult it can be to maintain a blog. Oh, it’s easy enough when you first get started and have lots of ideas and lots to say. You blithely post about everything you can think of, then suddenly … you come up dry at the well. You’ve pretty much ripped through your repertoire of ideas. Even worse, you think of something to write about, but then peruse your blog archives only to realize you already wrote about it last year. Why didn’t I remember that? Is the beginning of Alzheimers? Well, crap.

I started thumbing through my favorite (and not-so-favorite) cookbooks to try and come up with ideas. “Catchy name,” I thought. I was looking for something which to inspire both me and you, my wonderful blog readers.

Big Zero, however, unless we want to talk about making Thomas Keller’s Oysters and Pearls. Not likely. Someday I will tell you about the time we went to The French Laundry and I was so sick that I couldn’t eat anything, repeat ANYTHING that was served to me. Tragically, I am not kidding. I poked around at everything, then made Henry eat my share. Food Police in reverse. He will probably never, ever get that lucky again.

Here's the menu I missed.  Sigh.

In the midst of my writer’s block, I got a Facebook message from a friend. “Hey Liz, I’m going to make the Wacky Cake that's in your cookbook. Does it need frosting?”

You may remember I have a home-grown, self-published cookbook that I created for my kids. Over the course of the last several years, I have also given copies to people I love. Our friend Shana was one of those recipients. When I got her message, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I had never made the recipe in the book.

Now in my own defense, I thought the recipe sounded good and since this book was intended for Andy and Eric only, I wasn’t overly concerned with testing recipes. Still, I didn’t feel comfortable giving Shana advice without having made the thing. So, I threw it together at 11pm. Turns out it was pretty easy. Turns out it was pretty good! And, if you care about these kinds of things, it is a vegan recipe.

Thanks, Shana! I appreciate the inspiration. As I posted on your wall, this cake is good “naked”, but even better if served with some softly whipped cream (maybe with the inclusion of a little cinnamon) or premium ice cream (coffee, perhaps?). I hope you made it for your dinner party and I hope it was a success!

WACKY CAKE (from Gale Gand)

1 ½ cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease and 8 x 8-inch square pan.

Place the dry ingredients in a bowl. Make three small holes in the mixture. Pour the vanilla in one hole, the vinegar in another and the vegetable oil in the third. Pour water over the top and mix.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until center is puffed and a cake tester comes out clean.

Cut into squares, as desired. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Serves 8 - 10

This is a very moist cake, kind of like a very “cakey” brownie, but lighter. It’s delightful as a snacking cake, with a glass of cold milk, late in the afternoon, especially if you are curled up on a chilly day with a good book.

I dusted mine with powdered sugar and yes … I ate a piece of it before I gave it away and got it out of my house. So much for my efforts to limit carbs and sugar. At least I abstained from the ice cream. Still, I guess I will never be a skinny cook. I guess that’s why you can continue to trust me!

1 comment:

  1. love this, Liz! So glad I inspired you! and we were out of ice cream and whipping cream, so I actually made a brown sugar caramel sauce to drizzle over - and according to Heiko, it was perfect. xoxoxo