Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day from the Land of St. Honore'

Once upon a time in the Land of St. Honore’, a young girl wanted to make a special cake to welcome her mother home from her travels. She had been gone over a week and now it was Mother's Day. Liza knew her mother would enjoy something baked with love.

Liza started by preparing a Bundt pan, buttering it well and scattering dry bread crumbs over the butter. Excess bread crumbs were shaken out in the door yard and the chickens appreciated that.

Next she chopped deep dark unsweetened chocolate into small shards, then melted them in a bowl over hot water on the stove. The melted chocolate would cool a bit while she worked on the rest of the ingredients.

Strong coffee was measured into a cup and some spirits were added to make it more festive. Bourbon was her mother’s favorite, but she knew that Irish whiskey or rum would be tasty, too.

She sifted flour into a large bowl, then added salt and baking soda and stirred it well.

In another large bowl she creamed soft butter with sugar, then added some vanilla and beat it in. She added an egg, beat it in, added another egg, beat it in, and added a final egg and beat it in well. Now was the time to add that melted chocolate. Oh, the batter smelled wonderful!

The oven was hot enough, so she worked quickly, first adding some dry ingredients, then some wet, repeated that,then finished with the last of the dry ingredients.

Into her Bundt pan went the fragrant batter. A quick twist of the pan in either direction popped bubbled, and then the pan went into the oven.

While the cake cooked, she washed up the many bowls, then sat and had a cup of tea.

At last the cake was done! It seemed like forever, but had only taken a little over an hour. She let it cool in the pan, then turned it onto a fancy plate.

When her mother arrived home for dinner, she noticed how sweet the house smelled, but she was still surprised when Liza brought out the cake for dessert. Thick slices showed how moist and rich and chocolaty it was. Her smile after she took her first bite assured her daughter that the day had been well spent.

Wishing each of you the tender love of your mother. Even mother's who have died leave their love in us and even more so if your mother enjoyed baking and you do too.

I've been blesed with the best mother in the world...and she loves to cook and bake just as much as I do. I'll be seeing her soon on my way to Ireland. Sweetie and I will be driving on the other side of the road, sipping Irish whiskey and Guiness, eating salmon, hearty Irish breakfasts and brown bread and exploring the western part of Ireland. While we are there I'll see if I can figure out how to post an update now and again. Might even get to meet distant relatives who live there. Sharing upon return, at least of photos and any good stories.

Probably will do another post or two before I leave, but then it will be sparse. Won't be doing the Daring Bakers this month, but I assure you that you will want to check out our favorite Daring Bakers sites toward the end of the month!

This cake is almost the same as the 86 Proof Chocolate Cake from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts, but I removed 1 cup of the batter once it had been mixed. Into that cup of batter I folded 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts that had been mixed with 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Then I put half the remaining batter into the prepared pan, plopped spoonfuls of the walnut enriched batter all around the Bundt pan and spread it out with the back of the spoon, then poured the remaining batter on top and smoothed it out. The rest is exactly like the recipe which can be found HERE.

The original version is silky and very chocolate flavored. The version with the walnuts seems even better to me because the walnuts add crunch and also seem to heighten the chocolate experience. You could try each version and let me know what you think :) Use the best chocolate you can makes all the difference in this cake. Use a different liquor if you like for a different taste.


  1. I might have gone with coffee and rum but bourbon will make me happy too. That's a great cake.

  2. The cake looks divine! How young is your daughter to be knowing and handling 'spirits' :P Kidding! Happy mother's day :)

  3. That is one dense looking chocolate cake, just the way I like it.

  4. Looks so rich and flavorful. hope you have a wonderful vacation...enjoy the sights and family!

  5. Tanna, it's great with rum, too.

    A and N, The story is pure fiction. My daughter is old enough to have been a bartender five years ago! No chickens in our yard, either :)

    Jude, It is dense and velvety and addictive, too.

  6. No doubt your Mother's Day was wonderful, especially with that gorgeous and fudgy bundt of delight! When I first saw 'St. Honore’, I thought of the Gateau. I bet you make a great one!

  7. Sipping Guinness on the Emerald Isle, now that's what I call bright prospects. :)