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Monday, March 7, 2011

Best Ever Cake

The Best I Ever Had:

Burrito: "Whatcha doing?
Fajita: "I'm making a post about a cake."

Burrito: "What kind of cake?"
Fajita: "The Best Ever Cake."

Burrito: "Is it really the "best ever" cake?"
Fajita: "Yes [definitively]; well, it is pretty damn close."

But how to describe it... Let's start with an alternative history. Imagine a small coastal village, long ships bobbing in the harbor, smoke belching from a dozen smoke holes in a dozen mud and thatch huts. Now imagine the heart of this seaside village pulsing with men and women in hide and fur and leather. Then, imagine those crusty vicious men and women beating wooden spoons and long-handled baking paddles against copper pans and bowls and tin dishes black from sooty fires. Imagine them spooning mouthfuls of sweet pineapple cake into greedy, bearded mouths instead of ransacking churches, pillaging abbeys and scourging the better part of every coastal town in England, Ireland and parts of France. If the Vikings had ever seen pineapple, much less tasted it, or the sweet ambrosia of cream cheese frosting, no doubt this scenario would be a little less absurd. As it stands, it is my sincere belief that this cake - with its simple instructions, delightful ingredients and minuscule price tag - could have changed the course of history with little more than one whiff of the barely sweet, fruity decadence that is "The Best Ever Cake".

There is something utterly undeniable about pineapple, walnut and cream cheese in a moist, sweet cake. Luckily, my Mom made some for her office party a few months ago and I, being very savvy, took a photo of it for future use. It was unprecedented of me - especially considering the turn my camera took back in February. (Nothing good to update there). The downside: I am really regretting not being able to eat a homely slice right now. I think it would really improve the post, and provide an honest to goodness description of just how amazing this cake really is.

Don't believe me yet? Trust me, you can afford to give this recipe a try. I love icing the cake while it is warm, but be sure to let the cake come to room temperature before you store it. If you put the cake in the fridge while it is hot it will sweat and become too moist. That said, the cake is great either straight out of the fridge or still just barely warm.

Notes: I'd love to write more, but I've been up since 6:00am (and 3:45, 4:50 before that) and I'm afraid I couldn't come up with any more adjectives or witty, helpful advice if I tried. But, honestly, there isn't much else to say about this cake. Everything really does get mixed up in the same bowl, and it does matter that everything goes into the bowl in the order listed in the recipe. But, that's about it. After all, doesn't the name tell you everything you need to know?

Best Ever Cake
Recipe from Mom

1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups unsifted flour (not self rising)
2 teaspoons of baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 regular sized can of crushed pineapple (do NOT drain)

8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 stick of margarine, room temp

1. Grease and flour a 9x13 baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Combine the ingredients (in the order listed) in a single bowl. No sifting is required.
3. Bake at 300 for 45-50 minutes. Prepare the icing while the cake is baking.
4. Remove the cake from the oven, let sit for 5-10 minutes, then spread with the cream cheese icing. Once the cake is room temperature, cover the cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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