I love to bake.
OK, so I love to eat baked goods. Like the other critters in the story of the Little Red Hen, I'm always hoping someone else will do all the work, and I'll get to feast on the work of their hands (wings?)
(Anyone else have this book growing up?)
Anyway, last night my mom was visiting, and I wanted to make her a special treat. (Plus, while cleaning out my pantry I discovered a tad-bit expired chocolate cake mix: her favorite! Lucky me.) I threw the cake mix together with the "help" of my two and four year old daughters. Messy.
Side note: isn't there something wrong with a child who doesn't like to lick the beaters?
Very proud that I'd remembered to preheat the oven, and to take out the pots and pans I store in there, I slammed the pan of batter in the oven. Then I accidentally turned the oven off for the next 10 minutes. But never mind.
I contemplated the issue of frosting. We could eat it without frosting. Yeah, we're ghetto like that. After the whole batter explosion, I was re-thinking my plan to let the girls frost the
But the more I thought about that fluffy, slightly gritty, way too sweet stuff, the less I wanted to use it. And then, in the back of the pantry, behind all the Rice Krispy Treats, I saw this:
I remembered my Grandma's best chocolate cake recipe. It calls for homemade icing to be poured on hot, on top of a hot sheet cake straight from the oven. The clouds parted and I had (my first?) cooking epiphany of my lifetime. So here's what I did:
-Broke apart the 3 remaining Unsweetened Baker's chocolate squares
-Put them in a microwave bowl
-Poured a few tablespoons of milk in with them
-Cooked it all in the microwave until the milk boiled for a while, and the squares were all melted
-Whisked it all together and decided it was too thick and needed a little more milk
-Microwaved it a bit more
-Folded it all together in the bowl with the can of Whipped Duncan Hines chocolate frosting (which melted down quite a bit)
-Poured it all over the top of the cake, which I somehow managed to get out of the oven at the right time
-Poked some holes in the cake so the frosting soaked in
The verdict? OK, seriously, this stuff tastes homemade. It's really, really good. The icing is just the right bit of sweet now. And the consistency is so smooth, and not grainy. So easy, so yummy.
I am not a food photographer, so you'll have to take my word for it when I say it's good! As you can see, we've already done serious damage.
I am so not the Little Red Hen working her fingers (feathers?) to the bone. But I sure don't mind faking it!