Always

The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.

Jalal Ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

I love the romantic notions of that quote. To think that a part of my true love has always been with me and I with him. It’s so inspiring to think I’ve never been alone in spirit. Kind of cheesy and corny I know. But I’m a girl, I love pink, and high heels, flowers, and chocolate. I’ll own up to it.

A darling and antiquated notion, I know: true love that transcends time. A single soulmate for life. Unfailing. Yet I count on it.

A good friend once told me you’re  never alone if you have chocolate. Sort of the same idea… chocolate. It’s always there for me. And I am always there for it. I have always loved chocolate and I am reasonably chocolate has loved me for all of time.

Kind of like this buttermilk chocolate cake: old-fashioned and sweet. It never fails. I’ve known it forever.

And who’s to argue with true love?

Buttermilk Brownies… or Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake… or The BEST Chocolate Cake EVER

source: an old family recipe slightly adapted to “defat”

Cake

  • 1 C butter
  • 1/2 C dark cocoa plus 2 Tbsp black cocoa (regular cocoa if you don’t have black cocoa)
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 3 C flour
  • 3 C packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs slightly beaten
  • 3/4 C buttermilk
  • 1/2 C non-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Get our your largest baking sheet. I mean large. 13″ x 17″ x 2″.
  • In a saucepan combine the butter, cocoa and water. Bring to a boil stirring often, then remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • In a very large bowl sift the flour, sugar, espresso powder, baking soda and salt until all incorporated. It’s important to do this so you don’t have to over mix your batter later which can result in a tougher baked good.
  • Combine the eggs, buttermilk, yogurt and vanilla. Mix until very well combined.
  • Pour the hot chocolate mixture over the flour mixture. Stir until combined. Make a well in the mixture and add in the buttermilk mixture. By hand, stir until just combined and there are no more clumps of flour.
  • Bake for 22-27 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake, comes out clean.

Icing:

  • 6 Tbsp dark cocoa
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 5 Tbsp buttermilk
  • 4-5 C icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • In a small saucepan, over medium low heat, combine the cocoa, butter and buttermilk. Heat until the butter has melted and everything is combined, being sure to stir the entire time.
  • Cool slightly then mix with the icing sugar and vanilla. You might need more or less icing sugar depending on how thick you like your icing. I make it pretty thick for this cake.
  • Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before icing. If you ice it while the cake is too hot the icing will just melt off (not that I know from experience). If you ice the cake when it’s just barely warm (and I mean hardly discernible) the icing will get enough warmth to get nice and smooth and shiny on top, without melting off the sides of your cake and all over your counter.
Notes:
  • This recipe is an old family favorite. I’m always reminded of happy family times when I sit down and savor a bite. It’s been adapted over the years (much less butter, the addition of espresso powder, darker cocoa, etc) but the essence stays the same. It’s perfect for birthday parties, family get-togethers, or to serve your loved one.
  • I always have a stash in the freezer. Just in case a chocolate craving calls me… or my true love…
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