Category Archives: cake

Hershey Bar Cake

Yesterday was my last day working for Boulder County Parks and Open Space. The seasonal position started in April and ended in October so I knew it wasn’t forever going in but it is still sad to say goodbye. I loved everything about working there; my co-workers are all wonderful, caring people and my work was interesting and varied. I learned a lot about myself this summer and a lot about what kind of work I’d like to pursue in the future. They say when one door closes another one opens and behind the second door there’s cake! (That transition was a little forced, sorry)

I made this cake for my mom’s birthday because it’s her favorite since she was a little girl. This is quite possibly the best chocolate cake recipe ever in the history of ever. Just sayin’.

Also, I lost a lot of pictures when I did an update to my phone so unfortunately the pictures of her birthday party were among those that have gone missing. 😦

Ingredients:

  • 6 (1.55 ounce) Hershey’s milk chocolate bars
  • 1-1/2 cups Hershey’s chocolate syrup
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Set aside. 
In a microwave safe bowl combine the candy bars and the syrup. Microwave in increments until melted stirring occasionally. Set aside. 
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. 
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
Add melted chocolate, beating well. 
In another bowl, combine flour and baking soda. 

Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk to sugar mixture. Beat well after each addition. 
Add vanilla. 
Pour batter into prepared pan(s). 
Bake for 45 minutes.
Then cover with aluminum foil and cool in pan for 15 minutes. 
Turn over onto wire rack. 
Dust with powdered sugar, frost it, drizzle with icing or leave it. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
“This cake has a hole in it.”
“You fixed it!”

How to Make Butter, Buttermilk and Buttermilk Cake

 My mom had some leftover buttermilk from another recipe, which I find is often the case considering it comes from the store in large quantities, so we searched for a way to use it. We hoped that what we found would be a cake, because we love cake.

I found a recipe for a cake, which I altered a little to suit our needs. Mostly this means subbing softened butter for shortening, reducing the sugar content and number of eggs and increasing the buttermilk content. It also means adding dried cherries and miniature chocolate chips because, let’s face it, nothing can taste bad when it has cherries and chocolate in it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • *add-ins to your desired concentration optional*


Directions: 

Beat sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs together with spoon or mixer.  Mix flour, salt and baking soda with a wire whisk in a separate bowl. Add to creamed mixture. Add buttermilk and continue mixing until smooth. Add in cherries, chocolate chips or other mix-ins. Pour into greased, 9×13 cake pan and bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes until centers tests done.  Let cool and serve from pan.

Yum… Buttermilk cake.

Interestingly, I recently learned how to make butter and buttermilk at home. You can learn this (and many other things, like how-to make soap, shingles and cooking in a wood oven) if you come to the free Summer Heritage Event tomorrow evening at 5:30-7pm at Walker Ranch, just west of Boulder. But I’ll enlighten you here in case you can’t attend this event.

It’s so unbelievably easy, and delicious you will be surprised you haven’t been doing it yourself for ages. Take a pint of whipping cream, pour it in a mason jar (you can do it in batches if your jar isn’t large enough). Be sure the lid is on tightly, then shake the jar up and down to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” by Bee Gees.

Photo from I’d Eat It

Side note: This is also an excellent arm workout, probably where the shake-a-weight idea came from.

The whipping cream will start getting really thick and you won’t feel it moving around much. If you opened the jar now, you would have whipped cream, but keep shaking with that steady beat. Eventually (between ten and 30 minutes) the side of the jar, which were coated, will become clear. The butter will form a solid mass in the center of the jar and the liquid you see is buttermilk.

Add two ice cube to the jar to solidify the butter and separate the liquid from it. You can then pour off the buttermilk, collect and store it in a airtight container.

You are now a certified 19th century prairie wife (Not meant to be sexist but that’s the way it was in those days).

How do you use up leftover ingredients?

Pflaumenkuchen Means Plum Cake in German

This is a great example of older generations passing on their knowledge and experience to the younger generation. My grandma makes a delicious plum cake. Recently she picked about three million (this is an exaggeration it was more like 1 million) plums from the plum trees at my childhood church. She gave a sack and the recipe for said cake to me, my mom, and my aunt at my cousin and uncle’s birthday party.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pflaumenkuchen Means Plum Cake in German


Coincidentally, I needed to bring a dessert to my Rangeland Ecology Club meeting that week and I was stoked to get a chance to bring this dish.

I got out my food processor, added 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon lemon peel.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pflaumenkuchen Means Plum Cake in German

I pulsed all this in the processor, then I added 1/2 cup butter.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pflaumenkuchen Means Plum Cake in German

I pulsed that too, and added the 1/4 cup milk and an egg.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pflaumenkuchen Means Plum Cake in German

So I pulsed that into a soft dough, just like the recipe said. I removed this dough and pressed it into a buttered baking dish.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pflaumenkuchen Means Plum Cake in German


Then I washed all the plums…

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pflaumenkuchen Means Plum Cake in German


Cut them in half, took out the pit and pressed the cut side into the dough, cut side down. I fit as many in as possible, as the recipe tells me too.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pflaumenkuchen Means Plum Cake in German


All of that was perfect… but that’s the end to that. Here’s where everything went wrong…

The recipe my grandma gave me says 

“Top with:
1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon”

Do you see why I was confused? Does this mean 1 cup sugar? Did she write that twice by accident? I decided that the second 1/2 cup sugar was mistakenly added twice. (I was wrong, as you will see).

So I went along, mixed together the 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 sup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. 

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pflaumenkuchen Means Plum Cake in German

And I sprinkled it over the plums in the baking pan. I remember thinking to myself, this looks very dry. I had experience once with a cobbler in which the topping didn’t mix well enough with the butter so I had a floury substance left on the top. Gross! But I figured the plums were juicy so they must contribute the liquid that moistens the topping. Again how wrong I was.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pflaumenkuchen Means Plum Cake in German

Hahaha! I can only laugh at myself at this point. I stuck the whole thing in the oven, (which was pre-heated to 375), and set the timer for 45 minutes (anxiously waiting for the brown, bubbly and juicy dessert the recipe promised. 


It was not brown, it was still white. Bubbly and juicy were covered. I thought at this point something is wrong. So I sprinkled some water over the still dry flour parts (I have no idea what drove me to do this). I ended up with a gel type top over a pastry base. 

I took it to the Range Club meeting (I cannot believe I served this to the general public) and though it looked gross (not as gross as this picture shows, but still gross), Range Club people are a nice group and they ate it. The whole thing was gone by the end of the meeting. I managed to get a small piece and it actually had a quite good flavor. So now that I’ve talked it up a bit I will show you a picture of it. Please don’t laugh…

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pflaumenkuchen Means Plum Cake in German


Oh gosh, it looks worse every time I look at it. If I didn’t know what this was I probably would not have eaten it. Like I said, Range Club people are a nice group.

So now I will tell you what I did wrong, (some of you probably already know).

I told you my grandma gave the recipe and a bag of plums to my mom as well. I was visiting her this weekend while my dad was out of town. She made the plum cake too. I was watching her make it to try to figure out my mistake. Right before she put it in the oven I said to her, “mine didn’t look like that.”

She turned to me and said, “Oh, did you see what the recipe said? There’s a typo.”

I said, “Ya I saw that, but I just ignored the second sugar.”

She laughed a little, “It’s a standard strudel recipe, one of the sugars was supposed to say butter.”

So it was BUTTER! Of course, I even thought of that while I was thoroughly messing up my plum cake. Here’s what it was supposed to look like.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pflaumenkuchen Means Plum Cake in German

A thing of beauty! My mother is a kitchen wizard. But there you have it: my grandma and my mom will never stop passing down their wisdom and helping me grow in my baking journey.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pflaumenkuchen Means Plum Cake in German

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Tell me about you baking mishaps, so I don’t feel like I’m the only one. 🙂