My DH and youngest DD both have April Birthdays, so that means Mama has to bake birthday cakes.
When I was younger, for my birthdays, my mother always baked a simple chocolate cake for me, made from scratch with the bitter, hard baking chocolate. It was frosted with my favorite “Poor Man’s” frosting – a mixture of flour, milk, and cooked in a double boiler. I still have the recipe. Does anyone make that anymore? My mom didn’t work outside the home and was super at baking and taught me.
What I try to do now, is to replicate the texture of scratch cakes. I have many versions of Anne Bryn’sThe Cake Mix Doctor cookbooks, where she writes on how to tweak a box mix for terrific results.
Recently, while cooling my heals in the checkout line at the grocery store, I found Betty Crocker’s Super Moist Cakes Spring 2008 No. 243 ed. I’ve collected enough recipe books over the years to start a small bookstore, and with the internet, Paula Deen and Martha have nothing over me ~ but this book caught my eye and it looked really easy ~ cake mix, canned frosting, a little of this, little of that. So I bought it.
To celebrate Earth Day at my cubicle job, we had a baking contest. I made the “Grasshopper Fudge Cake” from the cookbook ~ and won 1st Place!
When Charming Son-In-Law’s parents came down from Vermont, I made the “Key Lime Poke Cake”. Awsome!
Besides following the recipes in the booklet ~ I also adapted them by doing whatever the Cake Mix Doctor said to improve the texture of the basic cake and try to make it “taste like from scratch.”
Know what my oldest DD said? She likes it “un-doctored” ~ just the plain, old box cake mix texture, you know – full of air?
I must have failed miserably teaching her “Mom 101 ~ How to Bake from Scratch and how to sew a button.
Here we go….when I was in Junior High (now called ‘Middle School’ for all you young gals), we HAD to take “Home Economics ~ Home Ec” where we learned to cook, sew, and a host of many other Domestic Diva duties. Why don’t they require kids to take that in school anymore?