Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Cake, Two Cakes, and a Shrug

Ok, so that title is actually a little out of order, but it's funnier that way.

For my birthday on Saturday (1/23), Richard and I drove down to Dalton GA to pick up a carpet. While we were down there we stopped at a Thrift store that was run by a mission. In the lobby they had a table of what R calls "used" baked goods. There was a sign on the wall, "Only ONE Cake Per Family." Well, we're a family, right? Sure enough, there were little birthday cakes. I got a free birthday cake on my birthday! I picked one with red roses.

Ok, now rewind [makes vinyl-record-rewinding sounds] to Monday last. It wasn't anybody in our family's birthday, but Tony had MLK day off work, so we decided to celebrate Artemas' 18th birthday a little early. I made this amazing, Amazing Fudge Tunnel Cake. Des was going to bring down a turkey to bake. Well Des and Tony ended up getting here at 7:30 PM with no turkey (it never did thaw) but with bags full of heat-n-eat hot wings, chicken tenders, french fries and stuff. So we pigged out on all that, and ate cake, which was good. We didn't get a pic of the cake, because in transferring it to a platter, Artemas dropped it. It looked like a truck ran over it. Still tasted great, though! Although I decided the recipe could use some tweaking...

Wednesday on Artemas' actual birthday we went to Dalton to order the original carpet mentioned above. The car broke down, it rained, we ended up being late to get the kids back to youth group, with $50 worth of pizzas he didn't get to share with his group. And no cake, because we weren't home since 8AM for mom to make one.

So, Thursday I made another Amazing Fudge Tunnel Cake, a la nikki, which was delicious. So here is the recipe! Enjoy!

Moist ingredients:

1+1/2 cups butter, softened
1+3/4 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
(or 1/2 tsp flavored extract like almond)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Dump all the moist ingredients in a bowl and mix on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Mixture will look like a fluffy pudding or mousse. While this is beating, in a separate bowl put the

Dry ingredients:

2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups flour
2 cups finely ground pecans or almonds
3/4 cup cocoa powder

Dump all this about 1/3 at a time into the moist ingredients and mix thoroughly. Batter will look very thick and almost oily (that's ok!). Spoon batter into a greased & floured Bundt or Angelfood cake pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350 F. Let cool in pan at least 15 minutes, loosen cake gently around the edges with a table knife, put cake plate on top of pan and invert pan to turn cake out.

For the glaze you will need about 1/2 a jar or recipe of chocolate frosting, softened in the microwave for a minute or two or set in a bowl of warm water to thin. Pour loosely over top of cake.

A Shrug

So you know at Christmas time I was working on a wonderful, lace-back shrug in deep grape purple Australian wool. Michele in Maine sent me more of the beautiful yarn and I took the project on the road with me to FL when we went for the AMTC convention. The night before my birthday, I finished it. You can see the project with complete notes, including the lace I 'invented,' at this Ravelry link.

Even though I made the described compensation in the pattern for "large bust,"the shrug did not even meet in front by a good 12inches. I guess the girls are bigger than I thought! It fit Veronica beautifully, I could shawl-pin it in front and it looked cute on her, but she didn't like it. (Pictures were taken before ribbing was blocked.)

Then some beautiful, encouraging knitters on Twitter edified me by reminding me that a 'shrug' is back and shoulders only! I should block set the ribbing and just wear it! So I did and I like it very well!

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