The most wonderful day of the year – Chocolate Cake Day!!!
There are other cakes worth celebrating, of course. Spice cake with maple frosting, vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, or lemon cake with a lovely tart glaze, but in my mind, chocolate cake can’t be beat.
I’ve baked many versions of chocolate cake over the years. A popular one in our house is a three-layer confection filled and frosted with the most amazing cocoa frosting. An old stand-by is a venerable family recipe for chocolate cake baked in a tube pan and slathered with vanilla frosting. Yum!
Chocolate cake has been around for over 150 years and I think that deserves – cake! So here’s the recipe that I turn to more often than not when I have a hankering for chocolate cake.
Aunt Hilda’s Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup sour milk (milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cocoa, dissolved in 1 cup very hot water
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and dust with cocoa a Bundt pan, tube pan, or two 9-inch layer pans.
Sift together flour, soda, baking powder and salt. Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk and cocoa water. Mix until well blended (mixture will be very wet).
Pour into pan, or pans, and bake for 45 – 50 minutes. (25 - 30 minutes for layer pans). Tester inserted near centre should come out clean.
Cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes. Turn out and cool completely.
Do you have a favourite chocolate cake recipe?
Hi everyone! Today's an exciting day because I've been helping Angela and Becca at Writers Helping Writers keep a BIG secret: what the next book in their thesaurus series will be.
It might seem strange for an author to not tell their readers about the book they plan to release...unless your names are Becca and Angela. They are known for writing books on showing, not telling, and couldn't pass up a chance to do just that by waiting for the cover reveal, which is today!
So without further ado, I give you...The Emotion Thesaurus Second Edition!
You might have heard of The Emotion Thesaurus before, or even have a copy. The original released in 2012 and quickly became the go-to guide on expressing character emotion. The book's lists of body language, thoughts, and visceral sensations for 75 unique emotions made brainstorming character expressions and reactions so much easier.
In this second edition, the authors have added 55 entries, bringing the total to 130 emotions.
That's not all, either. This book is almost double in size with lots of new content. You can find a full write up for it HERE and a list of all the entries (plus some samples!) HERE.
Plus, this book is available for preorder! You can find it right now on Amazon, Kobo, Apple Books (iTunes) and Indiebound.
One last thing I wanted to mention...
Angela & Becca are giving away a free webinar recording of one of their popular workshops on Emotion, so head over if this is an area of struggle for you. It might really help!
I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!
Full disclosure: the Amazon link above is Angela's affiliate link.
Today is National Cheese Lover’s Day and I’m super excited!
Hm…not really. I’m of two minds, or two tastes, when it comes to cheese. Offer me a hunk ‘o cheddar and I’d say a polite “no thank you”. (As compared to my childhood response of “eww…gross”. I like to think I’ve matured since I was seven.) Uncooked, i.e. raw, unadulterated, naked, as it were, cheese is not appealing to me and never has been.
Offer me a plate of hot, gooey macaroni & cheese (homemade, of course) and I’ll dive right in. I’ll gladly consume any other baked dish that contains cheese like lasagne or cheese soufflé. And I love freshly grated Parmesan sprinkled liberally atop pasta.
Geez, I’m getting hungry.
So far my only caveat to my personal ban on raw cheese is a cheese ball appetizer I made over the holiday season. Oh my goodness gracious, it was divine and won rave reviews from all our guests. Here’s the link to the recipe. I promise you will not be disappointed. The recipe makes a goodly amount so I divided it into two portions, formed into log shapes and wrapped in plastic before refrigerating.
Ooh, this would be perfect for that large televised sporting event, that football one, the one that’s coming up in a couple weeks. (Hubby is a Packer’s fan, i.e. a Cheesehead – oh, ha! – so we don’t really care what happens in that “super” game.)
Just when you thought this third Sunday in January couldn’t get any more exciting – what could top cheese? Well, hold on to your hat – or feathers – because today is also Penguin Awareness Day! So as you go about your day, be aware of any penguins who might cross your path, like this cutie.
A few weeks ago I was a guest on Love Romance Reads sharing my favourite Christmas cookie recipe (you can read it here) in which I mentioned the difficulty I had in choosing a favourite candy bar. I’m a firm believer in the use of rewards and chocolate is my go-to reward for achieving a writing goal. Or as comfort should I receive a four-page, single-spaced editing letter for my latest romance novel.
If I could have only one specific chocolate bar for the rest of my days, it would be a Nestlé Coffee Crisp.
No, wait, I’d choose a Cadbury Fruit & Nut bar.
I tell a lie, I’d pick a Lowney Cherry Blossom.
I think you see my problem.
Thinking of that last one, the Cherry Blossom, reminds me that I do have a firm favourite within a box of chocolates. If you were to share from your box of chocolates, perhaps that box of mixed chocolates you bought just in case guests dropped in as they are wont to do this time of year, and if the variety contained a chocolate covered cherry, be assured that I would choose the chocolate covered cherry. Every. Time.
Certainly, I enjoy the pecan clusters, and the toffee, and the hazelnut thingies, but my first love in the boxed chocolate world is the chocolate covered cherry.
Now I must confess to a bit of skulduggery.
If the box of chocolates is one of those with two layers, as most are, and the chocolate covered cherry has already been eaten from the top layer, I’ve been known to sneak into the second layer, before the top layer is completely eaten, and take the chocolate covered cherry. I know this breaks a long-held tenet of boxed chocolate eating etiquette but I can’t help myself.
Perhaps this requires a public service announcement.
If I’m anywhere near your box of chocolates, and if, upon exposing the second layer for the first time (or so you think) you discover the chocolate covered cherry is missing, be assured it was not an error in the packaging. DO NOT send an angry email or letter or telegram to the chocolate company demanding a refund or some other form of redress.
Also, if chocolate covered cherries are your favourite you might consider removing them from the box of chocolates, both layers, before offering the box to me.
What is your favourite candy bar? Or if you no longer eat sugary treats, which treat do you fondly recall from your childhood?
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