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Whoops. Skipped a day there, didn't I? It wasn't a mistake. I just didn't feel like turning on my computer and blogging after baking a yellow cake from scratch for my father's birthday.

Mmm, giant chocolate-covered donut

Of course the cake wasn't really the hard part. No, that was the boiled icing. My maternal great-grandmother used to be a baker of some local renown, and her recipies, like all ancient texts, are something of an enigma to decipher. However, after some trial and error over the years (plus a quick review of pertinent information in The Joy of Cooking and a tabbing through Google for "boiled chocolate icing"), I've got the icing down pretty good.

Her recipie:

  • 3 c sugar
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 sq bitter chocolate
  • 1 T Karo syrup

Stir on high until it boils, turn down and cook to 230° or until it forms a soft ball in water. Let it cool about 20° before stirring. Add vanilla (1t), beat until it doesn't go back into itself too quickly. Put onto cake. Cools quickly after beginning to ice.

Momo wasn't kidding. If you attempt this yourself, know that you have maybe a minute (or maybe two, tops!) of working time to spread that icing. Once it leaves the heat, it starts forming a hard, delicious shell of chocolate.

Bon appetite, Dad.

(Note that this was a food exchange: I made my great-grandmother's cake, and he made his mother's grape leaves. The cake might have been a lot of work, but I'm pretty sure I came out ahead in the deal.)

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To be continued...

 

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