Birthdays, cake, and random thoughts…
No score and Thirty-Two years ago I was born today, February 15th in West Texas. Much to my Mother’s chagrin I was not born on Valentine’s day. Despite the fact that she went into labor on Valentines, I persisted and some twenty odd hours later (and the next day) I was born. This was apparently the beginning of a long life of stubbornness. I regret nothing (well nothing relevant to this birthday post… ha ha).
Being a child of the 80’s birthdays to me were homemade cakes, grocery store cakes with gaudy unnatural colors of icing, and best of all sleep overs. Where you and all your closest friends got to eat loads of bad food and run around screaming, playing games, and putting make-up on your older brother. There were no crazy huge Main Event parties, over done theme parties, and or designer cakes. Life was simple and we were just as happy. One year my Aunt made me a casserole for a birthday cake, true story. I was fourteen. I didn’t want a cake – all I wanted was my favorite casserole in the whole entire world. So she made it, put birthday candles in it, and I was giddy. Everyone else was disappointed.
That brings me full circle to the point of this post: CAKE
Usually I make crazy layer cakes for birthdays. Mine, my husband’s, my nephews – pretty much anyone who wants a cake. Tell me the flavor and it shall be done! I made myself a ridiculous lemon-blueberry monstrosity a couple years ago. We’ve done Momofuku layer cakes, which are essentially five or more recipes layered into a delicious goodness. Last year I almost made myself diabetic perfecting mint chocolate chip icing for my nephew’s 16th birthday bash. He requested it and so I delivered. I may never eat mint-chocolate again…
I guess it comes from growing up making cakes from scratch in my Mema’s kitchen. Oh we made our fair share, or more, of box cakes too. I remember the cake mix cookie rage in the late 80’s and early 90’s – our house participated whole heartedly. Needless to say I have some darling vintage cake recipes. I hope to share them on here one day. But, this year all I wanted on God’s green Earth for my birthday was Mema’s Chocolate Icing. I like to call it Southern Ganache. It’s not ganache, let’s be clear about that. It’s boiled chocolate icing. Six simple ingredients turned into heavenly unset fudge. Growing up we ate more batches of it than I can count. If you talk about it to someone who has had it, well they immediately Ooh and Aah in recollection. Growing up we would make a long sheet cake, frequently after school or while Mema was making dinner. As soon as the cake was warm out of the oven, she would dance around her pantry cabinet and minutes later chocolate bliss was being poured over the sheet cake. None ever survived.
So this year for my birthday I am sharing Mema’s Chocolate Icing recipe – after all what are friends and food blogs for?