Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Mom's 61st Birthday Post

This is my mom, and today is her 61st birthday!


Last year, the girls (mom, me, sis and sis in law) celebrated Mom's big 6-0 with a Wild WomanWeekend in San Francisco. The picture is Mom in her sparkly 60 tiara drinking one of many Bloody Marys consumed that weekend, and eating oysters on the pier. Indeed, a great time was had by all.

This year for her birthday Mom is in Denver with my brother and his wife awaiting the arrival of grandchild #7. If all goes according to plan, Little Charlie should enter the world today...right smack dab on Grandma's birthday. (They really did not need to go to all this mom is not difficult to buy for at all.. and she would have been happy enough with a card...and maybe a vanilla candle...) A grandbaby will be a nice present though, I have to admit.

As mentioned in my first blog, my mother is quite domesticated. Mom sews and cooks and she has a knack for decorating. She made our home a very warm and cozy place when we were growing up and I love her very much.

In honor of mom's 61 birthday, I am including one of the most memorable desserts she ever made- the infamous 16-layer chocolate cake recipe. (You can make 61 layers in honor of Mom, if you want, but after you get to layer 10, you will probably agree that 16 is more than enough!) I entered this cake (slightly modified with a Grand Marnier emphasis) in the Evergreen state fair two years ago and won 2nd place. When you cut into this cake, people will comment- it is impressive to see the thin chocolate and white layers. The cake is dense and the flavor is wonderful.

16-Layer Chocolate Cream Cake
(by Rose Naftalin)


1lb sweet butter
2T orange liqueur
2c sugar
8T cocoa
12 eggs, seperated
6T heavy cream, or sour cream
4c Cake flour
1/2t salt
Grated orange rind
Powdered Sugar

Prehead oven to 350. Grease four 9" cake pans. In a lg bowl cream the butter while gradually adding one cup of the sugar. Add egg yolks one by one, beating after each addition. Sift flour with salt and add to the butter mixture. Add orange rind and Grand Marnier. Set aside.

Beat egg whites until quite stiff. Add the rest of the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition and continuing to beat until the whites form a stiff meringue. Fold the beaten whites very carefully into the flour mixture. Divide the batter in half and put it into two bowls. To one bowl, add the cocoa and cream.
Put 3 tablespoons of white batter in each of the four pans and with a spatula smooth the batter into as thin a layer as possible. Bake thees four white layers for 15 minutes and turn out of the pans onto a cloth sprinkled with powdered sugar. Cover them with another cloth so they won't dry out. Make four more layers of the white cake (no need to regrease the pans for the 2nd baking). Turn them out and cover as before.

After finishing the white layers, wash and grese the pans. Bake eight thin layers of chocolate batter in two batches as above. While these are cooling, make the custard filling which will hold the layers together.
1 pint cream
1/2c flour
6 egg yolks
1/2 lb sweet butter
1/2c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Put all ingredients except butter and vanilla in the top of a double boiler and cook until thick. Pour the mixture into a bowl and gradually beat in the butter. Keep beating unitl creamy and cool. Add vanilla.
Stack the layers of cake, alternating white and chocolate, with a coating of custard between them. Leave the top layer dry.
1c sweet butter
2tsp vanilla
2c powdered sugar
dash of salt
3/4c cocoa
2Tbsp hot black coffee
4 eggs
Toasted almonds (optional)

Cream the butter and gradually beat in the sugar, cocoa, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Beat until creamy and add coffee. Frost the sides and top of the cake. Decorate the top with toasted almonds.

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