My Sunday treat is usually reading all afternoon, but yesterday, all I could think about was chocolate cake and reading. Fortunately, I had an easy solution at hand. The Wacky Cake recipe is strange (can anyone explain the chemistry of it??) so I like it for that, but it's also stupid-easy and so so so good.
My Sunday obsession further extended to Italian Meringue (what Martha Stewart calls it and cautions novices to stay away) which I make using the clever cheater method called "Quick Fluffy White Icing."
It's like a marshmallow crossed with meringue - if you've never had it, it will change your cravings forever. It takes 7 minutes to make, start to finish. That is good news, ladies!
Further Sunday decadence: we cut the cake a bare minute after it came out of the oven and dolloped the Italian Meringue right on top. And had seconds. A little indulgence is good for everyone; my family thought I was treating them, but the whole shebang took so little effort that I felt treated too. And then I finished reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak for my book club. Humph.
Wacky Cake - from my mother
In 9x13 ungreased metal pan, mix together:
1.5 c. white flour
1.5 c. WW pastry flour (you can use all white if you want)
1 3/4 c. sugar (don't skimp - it's already reduced for a less sweet cake)
6 Tbs. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
(a little instant coffee if you want)
Make 3 holes in the dry mixture.
In first hole: 1/2 c. vegetable oil
In second hole: 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
In third hole: 2 Tbs. vanilla
Pour 2 c. water over all and mix (I use a whisk) until all the lumps are gone. You will feel weird doing this, but mix it well.
Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes. I've never seen this cake out of the pan, but I suppose you could try if you halved the recipe and used a traditional cake pan.
Quick Fluffy White Icing (from Mennonite Country Style with tweaks)
Figure out a double boiler (a metal bowl that fits tightly on top of a pan). Fill the pan at least half full of water and bring to a boil.
In top of double boiler (or metal bowl), combine off the heat:
2 egg whites
scant 3/4 c. white sugar
scant 1/3 c. corn syrup
2 Tbs. water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Now, set pan over the rapidly boiling water. Beat with electric mixer until mixture stands in stiff peaks (the tops of the peaks do not flop over when you turn off and lift the beaters to check). Remove from heat.
Add and continue beating into very stiff peaks:
1 tsp. vanilla
Keep it in the fridge and beat or stir if it separates at all; I've kept it for about a week before with no ill effects. It's soooooo good you will think of all kinds of applications. A few I like: on graham crackers, on scones, on hot chocolate. . . it's a generous batch so just get carried away!
Also on a Sunday note, we had dinner at church yesterday so all I made for Sunday dinner was bread to take along. Back next week with more Sunday dinner plans and menus!
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