I’ve made two birthday cakes from scratch in the last couple of weeks, so I thought I’d tell you about them today. Because who doesn’t like cake? (I don’t see any hands raised…Everybody loves cake!)
I can make a cake from scratch, no problem – it’s the decorating that gets me. Just call me the queen of lopsided. Highly skilled in filling divots with extra icing. Nothing ever so bad that a good handful of sprinkles can’t make better. That’s me.
I was bemoaning the fact on Facebook last month when I baked a cake for M’s birthday, and here’s what my friend Val had to say:
These days, my heart warms to see a lopsided, real ingredient cake. More often, a perfect, symmetrical synthetic cake from the store is our effort to show love. Your handmade one is the real thing. It reminds me of the choices you make to spend your time on things that matter to you.
Isn’t that wonderful! It made me feel better right away. Because she is 100% correct. So pfffft that my sprinkle-drenched over-frosted-to-cover-the-divot cake was lopsided. It was delicious and I made it by myself for my son.
Today we’re going to a 59th birthday party for Mr C’s cousin who lives in Vernon. Feeling bolstered by Val’s wisdom, I volunteered to bake the birthday cake. I’m not sure how many people will be there, so rather than baking a two-tiered cake, I made cupcakes instead. They look very pretty on my wire cupcake stand. This is chocolate cake from scratch, with a chocolate whipped cream icing that is very similar to chocolate mousse.
And lucky you….I’m giving out the recipe! Now go eat some cake!
Nita’s Deep Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe
Mix together dry ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa (the dry powder)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
Mix together wet ingredients:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
Mix wet and dry ingredients together.
Add 1/2 cup hot coffee & 1/2 cup boiling water.
Pour into 2 cake pans (batter will be very thin). Bake @350 30 – 40 minutes until done.
Chocolate Whipped Cream Icing
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
Whip until stiff.
Now that you’ve eaten all that cake, you can work some of it off doing a bit of yoga during the April A-Z Blog Challenge:
Lay on your back with your arms down along your sides. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. Scoot your feet up as close to your bum as you can comfortably get them. Push down through your feet and lift your bum into the air any amount.
Any amount means one inch, six inches, twelve inches – whatever feels good.
I like to press my lower back down into the floor and then slowly peel my hips up off the mat, raising my back one vertebrae at a time until I’m resting on my shoulder blades. I roll myself back down the same way. But that’s just me. You do what feels good for you.
Once you’re up there, you can wiggle around a little bit and get your shoulders underneath you. If you’re way up there, you can lace your fingers together underneath your bum and push your arms into the mat to help get more lift in the hips.
If this hurts your neck don’t do it.
You might find that bridge pose feels really good in your mid & lower back. You might find it feels really good across the front of your chest.
Here’s a short video tutorial so you can see what it looks like:
And because every pose should be adjusted for every body, here is a great modification using a strap for those of you who are blessed with abundant bosoms (so that you don’t smother yourself), or using a block for those of you who haven’t developed the strength to hold yourself in the pose just yet. 🙂