Family / Parenting

Accidentally Delicious 

All of us have had these moments. The moments where the kids are running around, we need to get out the door, we are completely unprepared to face the world, and the cake or whatever it is that we are baking has to be finished first. The moments where our parenting perhaps is not the best. Or, maybe it’s our baking that suffers.

Saturday was that moment for me.

A neighbor was having a barbecue but I had chosen to go to bed early the night before instead of making a cake. My husband was tired; I had promised him 30 minutes to shower and read the news. I was alone in with my toddler tangling duties. My nearly two-year-old who was “helping” bake.  Sadly, we had reached one of the parts of the cake where she can’t help: create two different hot glazes on the stove and pour them over the warm cake.

Glaze one: raspberry rum. Tears stream down her cheeks as I explain she can’t help; rummaging through the fridge, I realize we are out of raspberry jam.  She throws herself on the ground, I decide apricot jam will work.  I dump the rest of the container in the pot on the stove. I pick her up of the ground. Kisses. More tears.  I decide rum won’t work–too many kids and not enough cooking time to burn off the alcohol.  Apple juice will do.  As I pour it and stir the mixture, she grabs chalk to draw on the walls. I wrestle it away, asking her to please use the chalk board.  Glaze one is done, I pour it gingerly over the cake while she attaches herself to my leg.

Glaze two: shiny cocoa. I reach for the cream and add it while my daughter wrestles open the fridge door and starts moving all heavy glass bottles.  I add the butter as she torments the dog.  I reach for the cocoa.  It is in a different container than usual, so I test it while wiping up the spilled milk before my daughter slips and falls.  The soil-like substance tastes fine, I think.  Rather, I would have thought–but she has opened the door to the deck, letting the dog escape.  I dump in the cocoa, grab the dog, drag in the kid, hand her a crayon, and spoon the glaze over the cake.

Phew. Finished. Off to meet the new neighbors!

Can you tell the difference?

Can you tell the difference?

At the neighbors’, I am pretty proud of my creation. No brownies from a box  for me. (Shhh. No one has to know my Cake Dr. Secret). A friend’s husband compliments my coffee cake. Huh?  No coffee I inform him.  He insists.  He likes it. Two pieces down.  No, coffee I repeat.

At home, after the toddler is in bed, I clean the kitchen.  As I put away the mess, I notice the coffee on the island; not the cocoa.  Lucky for me, my toddler-rangling-ragged-mother mistake was a hit! Coffee and all.  Now you can make my mistake too:

Chocolate-Apricot-Coffee Cake

(adaption from the Cake Dr. Recipe for Double-Chocolate Rum Cake)

1 package devil’s food cake
1 package chocolate pudding
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup rum
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

Fruit sauce:
1/2 cup peach jam (recipe calls for raspberry)
1/4 cup apple juice (recipe calls for rum)

2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons instant coffee
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Heat oven to 350. Lightly grease and flour a bunt pan.
2. Mix cake, pudding, water, oil, rum and eggs with electric mixer. Pour into pan.
3. Bake 50-55 minutes. Put on wire rack to cool.
4.  Fruit glaze: melt jam in juice.  Poke holes in cake.  Spoon glaze over, allowing it to soak in and drop down.
5. Shiny glaze: melt butter in pan. Add coffee. Add cream. Don’t boil. Add sugar and vanilla. Stir until smooth.  Spoon over cake.

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