Sunday, July 4, 2010

Carmela Soprano's Chocolate Fudge Sheet Cake and Anna Sultana's Cake

This has been a rang dang do week.  It was an anniversary for us - 38 years ago we left New York and crossed through Niagara Falls into Canada.  It was the first time we saw Canadian money.  It was the last time we thought someone was trying to pull a fast one with the multi-colored bills.

It was also a week with big days for Canada and the U. S. - July 1st and 4th.  
And the Queen is in town!!!

Yippee!!!!  Time to party hearty!!! 

Found just the thing in Entertaining with The Sopranos - Chocolate Fudge Sheet Cake.  I was relieved to see it's not as big as the Safeway sheet cake.  I usually bake a 9 x 13-inch cake and it goes quickly enough.

The cake itself is no big whoop.  The secret ingredient is a touch of instant espresso powder.  If you're really antsy about the caffeine, decaf should be okay.  Although the chocolate will give you a big enough buzz.

The mocha fudge frosting is something else: 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/2 stick unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons light corn syrup and a dash of espresso powder.  Good enough to eat by the bowl.

My Ma was not a baker.  I don't know if she'd been discouraged by a few flops or just didn't like doing the deed.  She just didn't bake.  That doesn't mean we missed out on chocolate cake.  Every Sunday, after Mass, Pop would go to a local Italian bakery.  They had a standing order for him - a half dozen long loaves of Italian bread and 2 iced layer cakes.  Each cake had a maraschino cherry on top, in the center.  We took turns getting the cherries.

After we got home, Pop would slice a loaf horizontally and butter each half.  He'd eat both halves and have a few cups of tea.  We'd all have buttered bread while we waited for Ma to serve Sunday dinner.  That started with broth, to settle the stomach, followed by lasagna and then the main course.  Then we'd have the iced layer cake - 2 out of the 3 of us kids got cherried that Sunday.   

Sedated by the carbs, Pop took a nap after dinner.  A couple of hours later we'd walk to the park, check out the swings and slides, pick up some ice cream cones and walk home.  Then we'd pick at the leftovers before settling down to Ed Sullivan.
Ah, Sunday.

Would I make Chocolate Fudge Sheet Cake again?  Oh, yeah.

Another recipe down.  Fifty-five more to go. 

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