Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

My first jelly roll

My first jelly roll!

Fox grape jelly roll

This is stuffed with fox grape jelly, a wedding gift from Vera Edmonds, a local woman whom I’ve never met. She knows Chris through his work with the local newspaper. Edmonds’ delicious grape jelly and others have served us for the past few years.

When making a jelly roll, I’d recommend making sure the batter is evenly distributed. You don’t want one part burning while the rest is still baking. I had to trim off one corner because the batter was too thin and it burned.

I’d also stick with aluminum foil or maybe even parchment paper. Though the recipe recommends foil or wax paper, I felt like I needed a smoke mask while the cake baked. Wax paper, apparently, smokes no matter the temperature.

Grand cake

Nannie sent me an old bundt pan last month. I used it last night to make a chocolate pound cake.

Chocolate pound cake

The cake stuck to the pan though I let it bake an extra 15 minutes or so. I’m not sure if it’s the pan or the recipe.

The cake also absorbed a smell from the pan.¬†Whenever I’d take the pan out of the oven to check the cake, I caught a whiff of my grandma’s house. It apparently rubbed off onto the cake.

“It’s like licking your grandmother’s clothes,” Chris said while eating a slice.

Bundt pan

The pan is now soaking. Hopefully we can get rid of the smell. It’s nice to have memories of my grandparents’ home, I’m just not sure I want to be reminded of it while eating cake.

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Cake mix (from scratch)

Many of the cook books I have unfortunately include cake recipes that call for a cake mix. I don’t really like mixes because they always seem to get a funky taste after a couple days. They also don’t stay as fresh as from-scratch cakes.

Last night, as I was flipping through some recipes, I came across a chocolate cherry cake that I really wanted to try, but it called for a Swiss chocolate cake mix.

I was not going to give up! So I googled for “homemade cake mix.” I found a couple of good sites, including yellow and white cake mix over at Chickens in the Road.

For chocolate cake mix I found and tried Shirley’s recipe posted on her blog, Choosing Voluntary Simplicity. Here’s the results:

I made a chocolate butter cream frosting that has coffee in it. I think it’ll be a great complement to the chocolate-cherry cake.

Happy early birthday to me! (Just 12 days early.)

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