Saturday, April 14, 2007

Of Cake and Rabid Babies

My niece is 14 months old now and I think I've stumbled upon evidence that she is in fact my child. At the very least we're kindred spirits, the first evidence of which is manifesting itself through food.

When my niece was born she was a shrimpy little thing. She still is. However, what has become apparent is that she can eat. I mean not only does she eat, but she really packs it away. AND apparently she already has favorites.

When the cake came out to the table this Easter, she tranformed from "cute baby" to "rabid for cake baby". She beelined for the cake (she was sitting on the cleaned post-supper table: mistake) and needed to be restrained mid-way through. In reaction to this she cried - a wail of anguish from the depths of her small soul. Now here's the best part: of course she was to have cake and as my sister cut her piece she began to shake. Yes, my niece shook and kicked her feet with baby excitement/glee over her slice.

Oh... the places we'll go and the things we will eat someday wee one.

So in solumn salute, here is one of my favorites gleened from The Herb and Spice Handbook by Arabella Boxer. The instructons she gives are more detailed, but what's below will work too.

This is for you small cake-rabid one (or at least it will be someday when you have more teeth and can handle the sugar content).

Oven: Preheated to 350

The goods:

6 tablespoons of butter
4 ounces of chocolate (The author recommends semisweet, but there is room to play. I like and have used the darker stuff.)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of flour
3 eggs
heavy cream

Melt the chocolate. Once melted let cool for 1 to 2 minutes. Add butter 'til mixed through and then stir in flour and sugar. Separate your eggs and throughly mix in your egg yolks. Then whisk your egg whites until stiff and fold them into the chocolate goodness.

Fill your pan with the chocolate mix. I'm not a very scientific cook, so I say find a pan that seems to fit and go with it. Rough guidelines: you should butter the pan first and the mixture should fill your pan just over half way. Bake for 15 minutes (the cake should/will rise) and remove from oven. Let cool.

Frosting: Lightly whip heavy cream. I can't imagine using a sugary frosting for this. The thought makes me twitch.

The book recommends adding strawberries and mint inside and over after baking. I haven't tried this but I think it could be fantastic.

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