Monday, January 16, 2012

South Carolina Winter

January is slipping by rapidly. It is already January 16. This time last year we were dealing with snow in the deep south....
This year the winter has gone from temps in the 60s to the 20s back to the 60s. Crazy! No flakes insight. Only snowmen in insight are these...
And only winter wear insight are these...
But this hasn't stopped me from trying a new cake recipe. What I love about this recipe is that it makes a small 7 inch bundt cake with mucho chocolate deliciousness. The small bundt size is just the right size for two. One of the unique ingredients for this cake is cola. 
Cola sheets cakes have been around as long as I can remember. They have been taken to many family reunions, church potluck suppers and neighbors.They are baked in 9 X 13 pans with chocolate icing topped with pecans. 
This cake is different in that it is a pound cake and the pecans are added to the batter.Very rich and delicious on a somewhat cool SC winter evening.
Chocolate Cola Pound Cake
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup cola
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated well. Stir in vanilla.
2. Combine flour, coca, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternating with sour cream and cola. Beat until just combined. Fold in pecans.
3. Coat 7 inch bundt pan with cooking spray and flour. Bake 350 for 50 minutes or until done. Cool and drizzle with icing.

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon cocoa
2 to 3 tablespoons cola

1. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter and cocoa. Stir in enough cola to achieve desired consistency for drizzling over the cake.


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Just Add a Little Alcohol

This year I finally did something I have wanted to do for a long time. Amazing how simple this was. Even more amazing is what I have missed out on for so many years.

A few weeks before Christmas I purchased a few paperwhite bulbs,
planted them in a container, added a little water and in a matter of a few weeks...instant gratification.

Tiny white flowers and a wonderful fragrance.

Since planting the paperwhites, I have read there can be one problem with forcing these flowers in containers. They tend to grow quite tall and become top heavy. According to researchers in the Flowerbulb Research Program at Cornell University, there is a simple but an unusual solution to this top heavy problem: Alcohol. Yes, alcohol. Either hard liquor or rubbing alcohol will do. Both seems to work well in stunting their growth but not altering the flowers.
Why they thought of giving their paperwhites a shot of vodka, tequila, whiskey, I don’t know. Oh, and apparently wine and beer contains too much sugar to work. These babies enjoy the hard stuff. Wish I had read this earlier.