My kids love chocolate cake. I mean, obsession, sell their toys for chocolate, lick off the floor (if I let them) LOVE chocolate cake. I have to admit I love it too. They get it pretty honestly. There is nothing quite like homemade chocolate cake. So yesterday, when my oldest had his science fair, before I went to the awards ceremony I was thinking of how I could acknowledge his achievement. What could I make that would be celebration worthy? What dessert could ever fill those shoes? This one. Extreme chocolate cake. No, I didn’t know he had won. In fact, he hadn’t won. Technically. He didn’t win the science fair. He didn’t even place. And there were no tears. No melt downs. Only a bright smile for each and every classmate that got an award. But believe me when I say, my baby had won before he even presented his project. Before he was born, he was the brightest star in my sky. From the moment I knew I was pregnant, I prayed for him. I am sure all moms to be do that and I prayed for all of my babies, but I got on my knees every night and prayed for his safe arrival. I had two miscarriages before I got pregnant with him, so the entire pregnancy I waited for the other shoe to drop. I always worried that baby would fall right out. So every night, I got on my knees and prayed. To God and Mary. And every angel and saint in heaven. My baby was special. I just knew it. He was everything to me. And even though I have had 3 other precious angels since then, he still is the sun and moon and stars. BHB is not like any other child I have ever met. He is quirky, he is funny, he is shy, he is outspoken, and he is his very own person. He has beautiful gray green eyes with long eyelashes and if we let his hair grow out, he gets beautiful curls that quickly turn to a fro. lol! Some people have had had a hard time seeing past that. For the most part though, my magnanimous boy has many fans. He has been blessed to have had people in his path who see him not for his quirks, but his wonderful qualities that make him who he is. My kids go to the best school in the whole world. The staff, teachers and anyone who works there are more like family to us. They have lifted and continue to lift my boy and now all 4 of my babies as far as they can or will go…higher if at all possible. So, the celebration cake was not to celebrate him winning anything, other than him pushing himself to do his best and be a part anyway. For challenging himself to be his best and go further than he would like to. Don’t get me wrong…the kid is smart. Brilliant in many ways. But he is not a fan of public speaking so the fact that he was willing to present his project in front of the judge(s) put him in first place in my eyes. He had already done the work, got a 99/100 on his project and the teachers at this school expect a lot…so that is no small feat. He had the choice to participate in the actual fair. He chose to. And that makes me more proud than if he had actually won. My boy is amazing. I always knew he would be. He shows us who he will be…we can expect all we want, but he will do things his way and he will shine. He is the sun, moon and stars after all.
So, for a kid this special….extreme chocolate cake is all that would do. Now, I have told ya’ll I am baking impaired, but my baby (babies) see past that. The cake was not pretty but it was so dang delicious. Sometimes, things are not what they seem. A child may seem quirky and odd but if you give them a chance, you see they are the brightest feather in your cap. A cake may seem lopsided, crumbs in the icing, and as imperfect as can be…yet cut into it and it is the best thing you have ever tasted. You just have to look beyond. So, while I am quite certain this cake will turn out as pretty as it is delicious, for me it is the opposite. This cake was as moist and delicious as it was ugly. But like my boy, I won just by baking it. Sometimes, win or lose…you just have to show up. Word. ~AMB
Quirks and all…this kid has got it going on!
Be still my heart…precious boy
Celebration cake baby!!!
Extreme Chocolate Cake aka Celebration Cake (adapted from http://www.allrecipes.com)
Stuff You Need:
For the cake:
2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup brewed strong coffee
For the icing:
3/4 cup butter (ya’ll know I don’t use margarine…real butter)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
5 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Yields 1-3 layer 9-inch cake (original recipes calls for 4 layer…but I don’t slice cake horizontally…ain’t nobody got time for that..but feel free to do this is you want)
What to do with the stuff:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 9 inch cake pans.
In a large bowl, or standing mixer bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients. Mix in eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Mix for 3 minutes with electric mixer or standing mixer. Stir in the brewed coffee by hand (trust me). Distribute the batter evenly among 3 cake pans. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before icing.
To make the icing…Cream butter in until light and fluffy. Stir in the cocoa and powdered sugar ALTERNATING (this is in all caps because I missed this part of the recipe and there were issues…) with the milk and vanilla. Beat until the consistency is just right for spreading. Spread icing evenly between each luscious layer and then all over the tops and the sides. Make sure you have a gallon of ice cold milk on hand because this cake demands you drink milk with it. Get ready for your kids or family members or husband or neighbors to do celebration cake worthy things every week so you will make this cake more often. Seriously…this is cake is worthy of any little celebration. Bake one today!!!!
Me and my boy…I love him so…