There’s a white mulberry tree a few blocks from my house. It’s in the yard in front of an apartment building and every year it drops tons of berries on the ground, but no one seems to pick any of them. I’ve been walking past it on my way to and from work every day for more than three years now. It took me while to think “Hey, those berries look edible. If no one else is using them, I should.” Then it took me a while longer to indentify the tree. (I may be foolish, but not so foolish to eat unknown berries from an unknown tree.) I finally got a positive ID on the tree last fall, just in time for the tree to stop growing berries for the year. So this spring when it started growing berries, I was determined to pick some.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have a near-obsession with upside down cakes. I’ve got a few stand-bys that I make several times a summer – which means they’re REALLY good since there are few thing I actually make twice. But I’m always on the lookout for something new. Well, this is something new and probably a soon-to-be-standby as well.
A few weeks ago I made a wedding cake for a friend. This is not something that I do often by any means. I will admit that I took classes in wedding cakes and sugars and such back in school…but that was a few years ago, and I can’t say that I’ve really kept up on the skills in the meantime. Suffice it to say I was more than a little nervous about the cake, but it turned out well and the bride was very pleased, so that’s what matters. Perhaps someday I’ll write more about the whole big thing. This is about the test run I did for the chocolate layers.
If you see one, tell me.)
I tested out a few different chocolate cake recipes, but I had an idea this would be the one before I baked any of them. By the time I had the batter mixed, I was positive this was the winner. When it came out of the oven, I decided to skip the third recipe I had planned to test altogether. Seriously. This cake really is that good – moist, rich (but not too rich) and chocolaty. AND it’s sturdy enough to hold up as a wedding cake.
I’d never made a recipe that called for mixing cocoa powder with boiling water. I was quite surprised to see it turn into something resembling ganache. Guess there’s always something new to learn. Other than that, the recipe is easy as hell on top of everything else. What’s the downside? (Really. If you see one, tell me.)