Sunday, August 8, 2010
Recipe Cards Gone Awry
Here's the story: three recipe cards, two in my mother's handwriting, one in my Granny Lula's. The two from my mother are both called, "Never Fail Chocolate Cake, by Mother." Granny's is almost illegible due to years of wear and tear. The ingredients lists are all different, the instructions are different, so they must be different recipes, mistakenly assigned to the same name, right? Read further and the instructions for one introduce new ingredients not in the list. Huh. One calls for lemon juice; one calls for buttermilk. One calls for 2 cups of flour; the other 2 1/2 cups. One has brown sugar, the other doesn't. You get the idea.
So what is a recipe tester to do? Play it by ear, improvise, scratch head, ask husband if he can decipher the cards, wing it, and hope for something edible.
Needless to say, I will not post the resulting recipe here. Wouldn't know where to begin!
I have to say, the chocolate cake (which I turned into cupcakes) was mediocre (surprise, surprise) but not inedible by any means. It was moist and cakey, but just not chocolately enough. To the unknowing eye, it kind of looked like the color of a spice cake. But not to worry, the cream cheese frosting saved the day. This recipe, from Granny Lula as well, was one of those frostings that you would want to eat with a spoon. Forget the cake, just eat the frosting.
I will perfect the Never Fail Chocolate Cake someday...but I may have to channel the spirit of Granny to find out exactly what's supposed to go in this damn cake!
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8oz. package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. box of powdered sugar
Let cream cheese and butter soften at room temperature. Combine all ingredients and blend well with mixer until smooth. [I hear from a friend that sifting the powdered sugar will help the consistency.] Spread or pipe on cake (or cupcakes).