Monday, September 7, 2009

More on Cake Baking

Two years ago about this time I published as a blog, an earlier 2004 Guest Editorial on the subject of baking a cake.

With the Healthcare debate taking such a dysfunctional life of its own, maybe it's appropriate to repeat this generic writing, which seeks to remind our elected officials of what our highest expectations of them are, regardless of which issue is being discussed.

Excellence has been described as a habit, not any single act.
With that in mind, let's hope our legislators and other elected representatives decide to get in the habit of more productive discussion, debate and progressive action in resolving the battery of problems that beset us, including something so basic as healthcare.

On a more practical level, here are two cake recipes that I can personally attest to as being quite good.
Obviously, these bakers got their recipes pretty well perfected before going public.

Debbie's McFadden Chocolate Cake:

4 squares chocolate
1 stick butter
1 cup coffee
------- mix together----------
then add:

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk [with 1 1/2 tsp baking soda mixed in it]
beat in 2 eggs

use (2) 9-inch cake pans
bake at 350 F for 30 minutes
let cool and set


melt 1 stick butter
add 4 TBS Cocoa
add 5 TBS Milk [or coffee, juice, etc.]
-----Boil or microwave, then whisk-------

add 1 box powdered sugar
add 2 tsp Vanilla
[runny -let it sit a few minutes]

Alan's Carrot Cake

From Colorado Cache, A goldmine of recipes from the Junior League of Denver ©1978

Cover Mountain Carrot Cake with adjustments for gluten-free version

1 ½ cups vegetable oil (use olive oil)
1 ½ cups sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
3 cups grated carrots
2 cups unbleached flour (substitute rice flours as listed below*)
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground allspice (1/2 tsp ground cloves works well)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Gluten-free substitute: 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup white rice flour, ¼ cup tapioca flour, 1 ½ tsp xanthum gum

Cream oil and sugar. Add eggs and carrots, and mix well. Mix dry ingredients. Add flour mixture to carrot mixture, a small amount at a time, beating well. When blended, add pecans, raisins and vanilla. Pour into a 10 X 14 inch greased and sugared pan and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Cool slightly before frosting.


½ cup butter
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 cups sifted, powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine butter and cream cheese with sugar and beat well. Add other ingredients, mix well and spread on cooled cake.


"They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent. . . The era of procrastination, of half measures, of soothing and baffling expedience of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences." - Winston Churchill