Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TWD: Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake



Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake - Take 1

I first made this week's TWD recipe, Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake, on a whim one day after Amanda and I decided to bring Heather lunch. Heather is on bed rest with baby #4, and by gosh, Heather deserves some chocolate cake. Plus, the baby likes my baked goods, and we all want the baby to fatten up over the next few weeks, so any way you slice it, this chocolate cake had Heather's name all over it. I wanted the cake to be fresh as possible, so I baked it the morning of our lunch date, but I didn't really have time to do that, so the cake ended up ugly. That is my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Close your eyes:



Okay, you can open them now. If you did sneak a peek, I will tell you that the photo captured the cake at its absolute prettiest. It went downhill from there as it survived multiple car rides, elevator rides, the take out window at La Paz, the 40% off sale at Grandmother's Joy Children's Clothing Boutique, and temperature swings of 50 degrees depending on whether it was inside or outside. When Amanda and I finally got to Heather's, I quickly hid the cake in the refrigerator and hoped that I'd be able to sneak into the kitchen to cut it without anyone having the misfortune of seeing it. Because it's one thing to bake an ugly cake, it's another thing to bake an ugly cake when you've been baking cakes for two years straight. It is bruised and battered by now, but I do have my pride.

Fortunately, once it was sliced it pretty much looked like any sliced chocolate loaf cake, so my "ugly cake" secret was safe for another day. And it was delicious! We all enjoyed it, and it was the perfect way to cap off a light ladies' lunch of cheese dip and burritos.

Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake - Take 2

Much as I liked the cake, I almost didn't blog about it because of the ugly picture. So instead of doing the sane thing and posting about it in spite of the ugly picture, I decided to bake it again. Just a half recipe this time, in mini loaf pans. I rationalized my bizarre behavior by telling myself that I could keep it in the freezer so that I'd have something on hand if unexpected guests arrived. The prospect of "having dessert in the freezer for unexpected guests" never fails to persuade me to go ahead and bake that unnecessary dessert, notwithstanding the fact that in the 19.5 years since I've reached adulthood, I have never once had an unexpected guest. If my doorbell rings unexpectedly it is either (1) the UPS man, or (2) a guy in a pickup truck asking if I want to buy pine straw. But I think I inherited my freezer-stocking compulsion from my grandmother, who regularly kept things in her freezer for unexpected guests (although she actually had unexpected guests -- so many, in fact, that at some point I imagine it ceased to be unexpected). I frequently watched her pull a pie out of nowhere when Uncle Bill and Aunt Theresa stopped by to play pinochle, or turn out some tea and cookies in two minutes flat for Rosie and Adeline, the sisters renowned for their housekeeping prowess - legend had it that they "cleaned on top of clean" (the highest compliment my grandmother could bestow on someone.)



So despite my historic dearth of unexpected guests, I now have one and a half mini dressy chocolate loaf cakes in my freezer at the ready, just in case. Thanks to the fabulous Amy Ruth from Amy Ruth Bakes for picking this wonderful, crowd-pleasing, freezer-friendly cake. Be sure to visit Amy Ruth and the TWD blogroll to see some beautiful cakes (and obtain actual relevant information about the cake!)

19 comments:

mike said...

Do you need an almond layer cake? How bout a dozen mini-coconut bundt cakes? Buttercream - rum or vanilla? Please take something, I need more freezer space. I want that thick layer of jam (that's missing from mine) - because it looks so darn good! It's worth making again (and again) - but glad Take1 made it through so Take2 could be made. Wonderful cakes Cathy!

Audrey said...

Talk about ugly...I once picked up an expensive bakery sheet cake for my mom's birthday, only to have the top layer slide four inches to the left of the bottom layer on the (apparently bumpy) ride over. You know how when you walk in to a house with the box with the expensive bakery cake and everyone crowds around just to 'peek' at how pretty it's going to be? ...
But Mom didn't mind, and either did Heather!

I'm thinking you could solve the unexpected guest dearth by walking out the back door and ringing the front door bell. That's what I would do if I had this cake in my freezer...

Peggy said...

Cathy yours looks prettier than mine. Mine fell in the middle and I could only get two layers out of it. Then couldn't get it frosted. When I slice it, it just breaks into chunks. But it was so delicious I will try it again. Not sure what I did wrong. I'm sure Heather loved it.

Di said...

I love your cake stories. =) I'm sure the first one was appreciated in spite of its appearance. But I obsess about how things look, too. Glad to know I'm not the only one to make a recipe more than once because it was ugly the first time. =)

Tracey said...

I'm with you Cathy - sometimes I don't post things on my blog just because I can't bear to share the accompanying photos. That was sort of the case with my cake this week but there wasn't any time to make it again. Anyway, I bet your friend loved the first cake and I know other people aren't as obsessed as we are with the way our food looks :) Your second cake is gorgeous! Fun one to have in the freezer for another day :)

Lady Baker said...

it looks perfect!! Those "Take 2" pics are good enough to appear in Dorie's book! (Because let's face it, we always lament when there is no picture in BFMHTY of the recipe of the week! Or at least I do!)
My week got away from me..despite promises to Rob that I'd make this for Father's Day it just didn't happen...

Lauryn said...

my favorite line of this post "a light ladies' lunch of cheese dip and burritos" Now THAT sounds like the ultimate ladies lunch to me!! And you sure did redeem yourself...cake #2 is pretty stunning!

Kayte said...

Buckle your seatbelt b/c once those kids turn into teens, unexpected guests are the norm...always kids dropping by to see what's up, what could be up, who is where, etc. and desserts like this would be so appreciated and welcome you will think you are some sort of deity. Just saying, it's just around the corner, so just think of this as preparing for the future! Oh, and btw, both cakes look great to me. You would have no trouble getting takers here.

Sherry G said...

What a funny post! Both cakes look tasty to me, actually. I love the "for unexpected guests" way of baking... I may have to use that. Great post!

Heather said...

Ugly or not -- Penelope and I most enjoyed that cake!!! Thank you!! :)

AmyRuth said...

Yep, Kayte is right. You don't know this yet but all your kids friends and their friends will be on your porch ringing your bell. "What's in the freezer Miss Cathy?" hehe BTW my eys were wide open I wouldn't want to miss a giggle. Total entertainment and Heather, well I know she was entertained as well. She is a lucky girl to have had yet more of your delicious treats. Thank you so much for baking along (twice as nice) this week.
AmyRuth

TeaLady said...

well, you know what they say - as long as it tastes good. I've had so many cake fails... but I keep plugging along. And have cut cakes B4 people see them just out of pride. We are a weird group, we bakers.

sarahe said...

i think they both look delish!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Oh, that line about the UPS and the pine straw guy. So true!! I laughed until I cried. If it's not pine straw it's firewood.

Loved this cake, although I had no idea we were supposed to split into three layers. Oops. Mine nearly fell into pieces with just 2.

Nancy/n.o.e said...

OK, after inspecting my photo carefully, I realize that I did split my cake into three layers. Obviously I have no independent recollection of baking it, however.

Engineer Baker said...

After years of cake baking, I definitely turn out DUDS. Not just sort of homely cakes that have been through the wars, but flat out duds. So no worries, you've got company :) Your second one looks absolutely perfect!

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Found ur lovely site thru a dear pal Chaya and i love all ur baked goodies ...way way muc...
And honestly both the cakes look delicious!!!

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Anna-Karin said...

That little mini cake sure looks delicious!

 
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