Thanks everyone for your kind notes and well-wishes. We escaped the hurricane unscathed. As you know, not everyone was as lucky. It pains me to see any community in distress but I am especially saddened by what’s happened in Vermont. Simply put, Vermont was devastated by the hurricane.
I have a special place in my heart for Vermont. You see, years ago, Vermont was our home.
For those of you who have yet to visit, Vermont is an idyllic place, dotted with farms and homes that are nestled between mountains. Wildflowers line the median strip on the highways while centuries old covered bridges usher you into local historic villages. Artisans, farmers and cheese makers help make New England one of the oldest and most significant sources of hand-crafted food in America.
Vermont, after all, is the place where the Von Trapp family (of the Sound of Music fame) settled because it reminded them of their Austrian homeland. In fact, my friend Aran from Cannelle et Vanille recently visited Vermont and wrote that it reminded her of her homeland too. Vermont has that elusive old-world quality that people love.
It’s true, Vermont is beautiful. But what makes Vermont most remarkable is its people. Hand to heart I can honestly say that the people I met during my time in Vermont where some of the kindest, most generous and thoughtful people I’ve ever encountered. Tears well up in my eyes when I read about Vermonters who have lost nearly everything sharing what’s left of their food supply with their neighbors whose cupboards are bare.
The images coming out of Vermont are disturbing to say the least. Take a look here and here for example.
I’ve created a page here for those of you who want to help. It would mean a great deal if you would post the link to your blogs or send out a tweet.
In addition to making a donation, I baked this cake to honor the people and spirit of Vermont. You see, I cultivated my love for chocolate while living in Vermont so to me this cake is a perfect tribute. I must have put a lot of love into it because frankly, it’s the best chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted. I’m calling it the Love Vermont Fudge Cake.
Special thanks to:
Lynn from I'll Have What She's Having for making these incredible Love Vermont Chocolate Brownies.
Anna for this great tribute to Vermont
and to Emma for these wonderful Whoopie Pies
Thanks also for your emails and donations to charitable organizations.
Love Vermont Fudge Cake
180 g butter, softened
2 g vanilla extract
330 g granulated sugar
100 g self-rising flour (available for purchase or mix 132 g all purpose flour w 8 g baking powder and 2 g salt, then measure for this recipe)
35 g cocoa powder
180 ml buttermilk
4 eggs, separated
pinch of cream of tartar
(*digital scales are widely available and can be purchased for as little as $20)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (177 Celsius)
Butter and flour a cake pan with cocoa powder. For this cake I used a 7” (18 cm) round spring form pan with 4” (10 cm) tall sides.
Mix flour and cocoa powder together and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar for at least 1 minute until light and creamy. Add vanilla. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating on high for 5 seconds after each addition. Add flour and buttermilk. Do not over mix.
In a separate bowl, using a whisk, beat the egg whites with cream of tarter until stiff. (The should stand at a peak but flop over a bit at the top when the whisk is pulled away). Fold the egg whites into the chocolate cake batter.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake in oven for about 1 hr. (Mine cooked for 1 hour and 10 minutes). Do not open the oven for at least 30 minutes if you want to check on it. Cool cake in pan before removing. Frost with recipe below.
400 g good quality dark chocolate, chopped, melted & cooled (I recommend Callebaut or Valrohna)
250 g butter, slightly softened
80 g powdered sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and beat well. Mix in the chocolate. Turn the mixer up to medium high for 10- 20 seconds to make sure everything is well- blended.
Cut the cake into three layers. Cut the skin off of the surface of the top layer. Brush away cake crumbs. Spread some filling between each later, stacking layers on top of one another as you go along. Brush away the crumbs again and apply a thin base coat of frosting to cover the entire cake. Refrigerate the cake for 1 hour but allow the frosting sit at room temperature. Remove the cake and coat with remaining frosting. Refrigerate for 3 hours to allow the cake to set. Enjoy cake at room temperature.
Also, be sure to visit my latest issue of Freshness and Light.