If I had to come up with just one person that has inspired me in the kitchen, I would have to say it was my Grandma Dearden. Her birthday was on March 1st. I naturally had to celebrate this wonderful day and maker her a birthday cake. She would have been 102 years old. This is one of the classic desserts grandma always served. It has naturally remained a family favorite.
We were blessed to have grandma live with us for the last few years of her life. She passed away when she was 92 in our home. She was quite the character. She was always a soft spoken woman who never said anything bad about anyone. That changed as she got older. My children loved to hear her stories along with with her new language (considered "trucker talk"). She brightened our home. The last few years of her life she was on a feeding tube. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to live in a home filled with the aroma's of food...her favorite foods.
I told my children if that ever happened to me, I would hope they'd just shoot me. The agreed they would in an instant and started to argue over who gets to pull the trigger. I love those darling little angels.
As March rolls in like a Lion, I pay tribute to a woman who inspired me everyday. I love you grandma.
Grandma Dearden's Red Devils Food Cake
Lightly butter and flour a 9 x 13-inch. Or spray with Bakers Joy. Set aside.
For the cake you will need: butter, eggs, sugar, cocoa, flour, salt, baking soda and vanilla.
Whoops! Almost forgot the sour cream and boiling water.
Put softened butter in a large mixing bowl.
Add the sugar and...
cocoa. I love dutch processed, you can use your favorite.
Cream the butter, sugar and cocoa.
Add the eggs.
Mix well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again.
Add the sour cream.
Add the salt and baking powder to the flour.
Sift together. I just give it a whisk.
Add the flour to the sugar/butter mixture and mix just until blended. If you over mix, the cake could be tough.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again.
The batter should be smooth.
Add the 1 cup of boiling water.
Mix on low speed so the water doesn't splash all over you and your kitchen.
Add the vanilla.
Mix in the vanilla and the batter is now complete.
Piece of cake!
Pour the batter into prepared baking dish.
Place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top springs back when touched.
Remove from oven.
Place on a cooling rack and cool completely before icing.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add softened butter.
Cream the butter for a minute.
Add 3 cups of the powdered sugar.
Add the pinch of salt. You will especially need this if you are using unsalted butter. Salt just brings out the flavor of chocolate.
Add 4 tablespoons of the milk and mix until creamy and smooth.
Add the vanilla.
Oh wait, I forgot to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Do that now.
Mix until smooth. Now is the time to check the consistency of the frosting. If you think it's too thin you could add more powdered sugar OR if you think it's too thick add more milk one tablespoon at a time.
Pout the frosting onto the cooled cake.
Spread with an offset spatula. This is a great tool to have in the kitchen, by the way.
If you are a pansy and don't like nuts, you can serve your cake now.
(The pansy comment does not refer to anyone with nut allergies)
My son-in-law has allergies to walnuts and cashews. I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to kill him by giving him these two nuts. One time he was headed out of town on a business trip and I loaded a sack with goodies for him to munch on as he drove. I gave him some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies laced with walnuts and a large jar of cashews. I got a call from my daughter asking me if I was trying to kill her husband.
Pfshhh...NO. Not yet, we still like him...a lot.
I really hope you're not allergic to nuts. That is the only excuse I will give you.
The husband that never reads this blog loves nuts BUT not in things. What's up with that? However, he quite enjoyed the slice of cake that I gave him and didn't complain about the extremely large amount of walnuts sprinkled over the top. This is actually one of his favorite desserts. He's a work in progress - very slow progression I must admit.
I secretly get really annoyed when someone tells me the HATE nuts. What? Nuts go with everything. I seriously had this conversation with my family and we tried to come up with a list of things that nuts DON'T go with. I think we came up with only a few things. I can't even remember what they were. Overall we decided nuts go with everything.
Roughly chop the walnuts.
Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
. I realize this is more than just a sprinkling of walnuts, but I really love nuts.
Go nuts with the nuts
Happy Birthday, Grandma. Your legacy goes on. We miss you.
Red Devil's Food Cake
½ cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa, preferable Dutch processed
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sour cream
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans or a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Set aside. Sift together flour, soda and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl cream butter, cocoa and sugar for approx. 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. Add sour cream and mix until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix just until blended. Slowly add boiling water and beat until smooth. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Invert to a cooling rack to cool. Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes.
1/2 cup butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered or confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
pinch of salt
4-6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a mixing bowl, blend butter. Add cocoa, 3 cups of powdered sugar, salt and 4 tablespoons of milk. Mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add vanilla. At this point check for consistency. If you would like your frosting thicker add the extra powdered sugar. If it needs to be thinner add more milk.
Spread over cooled cake. Makes enough frosting for one 9 x 13-inch cake or 24 cup cakes or a 2 layer cake.
I hope you enjoy our families simple cake. I know it was always baked with love.