Sunday, July 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Cake to Me...with Duke's Mayo....

Chocolate, Coconut, Mousse and Cream Cheese to boot. Make a wish!!!

I decided that I have made cakes for other people on their birthdays, but I had never made one for me. It was about time!!!
I fell prey to advertising, which doesn't happen all that often, but I saw an advertisement for Duke's Mayonnaise, using it to make a chocolate cake. I was intrigued and decided right then, to make that cake for my birthday. I bought a jar of Duke's on sale, kept it unopened until I was ready to make the cake, two months later.
Normally, I don't turn my oven on in the summer, but I made an exception, because it was for my birthday after all.
The cake I made wasn't exactly like the one in the commercial. I put chocolate mousse between the layers and frosted it with coconut icing. A variation on the theme, so to speak. I'm sure any mayo would work, but I need to give credit where credit is due.

Duke’s Chocolate Cake: Ingredients
6 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
3 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups Mayo
1 ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract (I just used 1 tsp.)
1 ½ cups cold water ( I used 1 cup cold water and ½ cup coconut milk)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour two 8” cake pans.
Shift cocoa, flour, baking soda, salt and sugar into a medium bow, mix well. Combine mayonnaise,  vanilla, water, Use and electric mixer at low speed. Once smooth, slowly add in dry mixture until just incorporated (do not over beat). Pour batter into cake pans and bake for 30 minutes or until done. (This cake took longer than 30 minutes, it might have something to do with the humidity or being close to sea level, but it took about 40 minutes to bake.) Cool on Wire racks.
Mix together dry ingredients

Shift dry ingredients

Mix mayo, water, vanilla

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet

put batter in greased & floured pans

bake until beautifully done

put on wire racks until cool
 The filling is chocolate mousse. I have to tell you that my mousse didn't set up quite right, because the whipped cream didn't whip as tightly as I needed it, but I put it in between the cake layers any way. It oozed out a bit, so when I put the frosting on, it mixed with it to give it a marbled effect. Not planned, but welcomed, because it tasted so good.

Chocolate Mousse

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 eggs, separated
¼ cup sugar
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (I use brandy or cognac)

1. Place a double boiler or small saucepan over low heat, and melt butter and chocolate together. Just before chocolate finishes melting, remove pan from stove and beat chocolate with a wooden spoon until smooth.

2. Transfer chocolate mixture to a bowl and beat in egg yolks with a whisk. Place bowl in refrigerator.

3.  Beat egg whites with half the sugar until they hold stiff peaks but are not dry. Set aside. Beat cream with the remaining sugar and vanilla until it holds peaks.

4. Stir a couple of spoonfuls of egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it a bit, then fold in remaining egg whites thoroughly but gently. Fold in cream and refrigerate until chilled. If you are in a hurry divide mousse in individual dishes.. It will chill much faster.
Serve with in a day or two of making it.

Yield: 4 servings.

The frosting was a bit more free wheeling.
1 cup organic shredded coconut
1 stick unsalted butter
1 8oz package cream cheese
1 cup or so of powered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

This cake is extremely moist. It was a great birthday cake!!!
Quote of the day: "Let's face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me." Audrey Hepburn

And making your own cake, you get to lick the beaters, oh my!!!

I was able to share this cake with friends, not all at the same time, but that made it kind of fun, too. I took pieces of it to breakfast, to lunch and dinner and afternoon tea. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Baking Soda tempers smelly armpits...

no matter the heat.

After I went through menopause, I could not control the horrendously bad odor wafting out from my armpits.  Trying not to raise my arms or stand near people only worked when I was alone, lying on my sofa watching old movies. Antiperspirants didn't even work, something I had managed to avoid using for a few years, but thought needed a second look.  Antiperspirants are not so good for my body, they clog up my armpit pores and make unsightly stains on white shirts. That is a whole other issue for another day.  Anyway, I did some poking around on the Web and found mention of baking soda as a alternative to deodorant. I was thinking, baking soda comes in handy for so many things, why not, but then, I was like how do you get it to stay under your arms. After a little experimenting, I discovered that it doesn't require a lot of baking soda to quell that strong offensive smell. Just a hint will do.

Pour just a little in your hand,

dust it off

and what remains on your hands,
pat it onto your arm pit.
I still perspire, but I don't stink to high heaven. It's economical, too, which is always a plus!!!

Quote of the Day: "Success is a great deodorant." Elizabeth Taylor

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Honey, will you come into the bathroom.....

and wash my hair?
This actually works. I read about it online, alternatives to shampoo. Honey was one of the suggestions. Washing hair with honey seemed to make sense. It has to be raw honey. Raw honey keeps all that good stuff that helps fight infections. The stuff that comes out of the hives without processing is called phytonutrients. It gets destroyed during processing, because they use heat. It is said the best honey is local, purchased directly from the hive or at farmers markets.

I have tried this a couple of different ways. Take a teaspoon of honey and dissolve it in warm water, not hot, a cup of water will do, pour it on your hair, rub it all around and rinse. I let it stay on my hair for a few minutes just for good measure. There will not be that squeaky feeling that shampoo gives, it will feel almost oily. Because of that feeling, I skipped the conditioner, too. My hair is old and needs some extra help with dryness and friz, the honey made a difference.
It also restored some of the natural curl. I also no longer need conditioner. I have only been doing this for a short while, but it is worth a try, don't you think?

I have also taken a large tablespoon of honey and rubbed it all over my hair before showering, letting it stay on for a few minutes before rinsing it. It works equally as well, however, a bit messier.

Honey has so many uses. It's worth doing a bit of research to find out more about it.

Quote of the Day: I think acts of kindness are signs of heroism.