Cheers, Aunt Marie!
My Aunt Marie, who you may already know about because she makes the most fantastic granola around, has a new book out today! Check out Ask Dr. Marie: Straight Talk and Reassuring Answers to Your Most Private Questions. It’s a comprehensive on women’s health and sexuality – it’s got chapters on everything from “How to Get the Health Care You Need at Every Age” to “Sex Smarts: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Having Fun in Bed.” Intriguing, no?
I think every gal (or guy who loves a gal) should have a copy of Marie’s book. Then again, I suppose I’m sort of biased… she is my Aunt, afterall. Still, she is a rather remarkable Aunt. I mean, in her lifetime, the woman has gone from Nurse to Internist to women’s health expert to guest on Oprah to ABC News Medical Correspondant… all while raising a family and being a wonderful Aunt and inventing a damn fine recipe for granola. And if that’s not something to celebrate, I don’t know what is. Congrats, Aunt Mur!
Okay, so, don’t freak out. First, let me start out by saying that this cake is delicious. It’s light, moist, flavorful, and, um… from a box. (!) Damn my eyes. I do have a “real” recipe for yellow cake, and it’s actually quite good, but who wants to fuss around with measuring flour and sugar and blah blah blah and de whole freakin’ zoo when you’re at the beach on vacation and it’s your uncle’s birthday and it’s an insanely gorgeous day and come on! Give a girl a break. That’s right, I said it. It’s from a box! And it tastes good! Sue me.
Ahem. Anyway, at least the chocolate frosting is homemade. I adapted the recipe from Lynn Kearney at The Food Network Kitchens.
- 2 boxes yellow cake mix (and various accoutrement – eggs, oil, etc.)
- 3 9-inch round cake pans
- store-bought sugar flowers or candy, for decorating
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 to 8 tablespoons milk
Bake the cakes according to the instructions on the (gasp!) box. Let cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting: in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate with the butter. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add chocolate mixter and sifted confectioners’ sugar. Beat until well incorporated (despite the sifting, there may still be beads of sugar in the chocolate. This is fine). Add the vanilla and the milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the frosting is fluffy and has reached a nice, spreadable consistency.
Layer the cooled cakes, one on top of the other, with a thin layer of frosting in between. Ice the top and sides of cake, and decorate with flowers or candy.
Makes one 3-layer, 9-inch cake.