Monday, March 12, 2012

My culinary veins are filled with... mayonnaise?!

Well, I am finally home on Spring Break to recuperate from the crazy first half of the semester.  I am catching up on sleep and letting my back heal.  My housemate, Chandra, also came home to Canjo with me for a few days, so she can get to know my family better and see the place I call home.

My dad's birthday was yesterday.  We were hoping to surprise him with a little get-together, but he's a pretty wise old owl and is not easily fooled.  He knows I am too good a daughter to just blow off his birthday, so I decided to surprise him in another way: his cake.  Since I am a broke college student, and soon-to-be flat-broke grad student, my birthday gifts to my friends and family are usually edible.  For my dad's birthday this year, I decided to surprise him with a very special cake: his mom's chocolate mayonnaise cake.  I know, I know, it sounds disgusting.  I was pretty appalled myself when I read the title and didn't even want to try it, but since it was my grandmother's most famous cake, I threw hesitation to the wind and swallowed my culinary pride to make it for my dad.

My cousins and aunts put together a collection of my paternal grandmother's recipes, and gave it to some of the younger generations for Christmas.  I had yet to try any of her recipes, but decided that this was the perfect occasion.  What better birthday cake could someone ask for than your favorite cake your mother used to make?  I even used her buttercream recipe (although I have to admit, I didn't love it as much as the one I usually use).   My dad seemed pretty pleased, so I think I hit the mark on this one.

I wanted to make the cake as authentic as possible, and my mom told me that she remembered my grandmother always making this cake in a 9x13" pan, and leaving it in there for frosting and serving.  I once again cringed at this idea, but wanted to stay true to tradition.

Dad had some help blowing out his candles
I'm going to choose to keep this particular recipe a family secret, but it's pretty similar to most of your standard mayonnaise cake recipes out there.  Even if you're a snobby foodie like me, I definitely recommend giving this cake a try.  It's super moist and chocolatey.

Inside the cake: chocolatey heaven
I guess maybe my Grammie Monk did know what she was doing in a kitchen after all...  Stay tuned for more adventures from her cookbook!

Happy Birthday, Dad!  Here's to many, many more!

Love and cookies,

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