"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Cappuccino Brownies and White Trash Cake

First, let me say that the Cappuccino Brownies are worth the effort. They are a bit of a pain in the ass to make, requiring a two hour long cooling time for the brownies, an hour stint in the fridge with the cream cheese layer on top, and then another hour in the fridge for the ganache to set.

But boy are they good.

I cooked them over two days, which made it easy to bear the cooling times (the brownies cooled overnight, and the cream cheese and butter sat out on the counter overnight too, which made the cream cheese frosting part a snap). I even made the ganache the day I made the brownies (multi-tasking me) and just reheated the following day.

Luscious, rich, and complex in flavor, as promised.

OK, for anybody who wants to know, here's the recipe for White Trash Cake, which was known in my family simply as The Birthday Cake until my first husband lovingly (I think) dubbed it. Please note that this recipe does NOT appear in the Gourmet Cookbook!

First, ask the recipient what flavors they want. They get to choose:

1. cake mix flavor
2. jello flavor
3. pudding flavor

Being the chocolate fiend I always was, I usually went for chocolate cake, cherry jello, and chocolate pudding. If they had made chocolate jello you can be sure I would have chosen that.

Next, bake the cake in a sheet pan. When it comes out of the oven, poke many holes in it with a skewer. Then pour hot liquid jello of choice over cake, and put in the fridge until cold (and set).

During this time you will have mixed up the pudding of choice, and when the cake is ready, spread pudding over the top and cool until somewhat set. Then slather with Cool Whip (the final layer) and decorate with your choice of sprinkles, fresh fruit, candles, what-have-you.

Et voila! White Trash Cake (although to be perfectly honest, for this cake to REALLY earn that moniker I think Coca-Cola needs to be involved somehow--perhaps as the jello flavor).

A thought on this cake--now that I know more about cakes and baking, I can see that this was inspired by French cookery. Their cakes ALWAYS get a syrup brushed on or poured over, and there is almost always a creme layer between the cake layers. Leave it to the USA to make it quick, cheap and easy.

And a comment on this cake--it is wonderfully moist (even goopy), and if you like the components, you'll love the cake. Dry cake haters will be in paradise.

(EDIT 1/16/09: I notice this page has been getting an unusual number of hits lately, and I suspect it's all about the White Trash Cake. I fear that my later correction has gone unnoticed, which is that my mother corrected me about the jello. If you're trying this at home please use HALF the amount of water called for to make regular jello. You know, as if you were making those jiggler things. It's still good with the regular amount of water, just that much more moist. If you got this link from a friend prior to 1/16, be nice and send it back with the correction. Thanks!!)

No comments: