Posted by: familiabencomo | Thursday, February 28, 2008

Let them eat Cake!

As one of my friends informed me this morning, it has been a while since I last posted anything….. more on that later. For now, let’s focus on the important issue at hand: DESSERT. I have been blessed to have an assortment of friends, relatives & virtual strangers show an enthusiasm for our Serendipity Bake Off. Thank you all! This has been a great way for me to collect tried & true recipes. Recently, we have had THREE cakes submitted for the bake off. WARNING: it is now late February which means most of us have weakened our our resolve on our new year promises (well, actually, I’m just hoping you have since I have weeks ago) and these cakes are all very tempting.

The first sin-provoking, devil-may-care, scale-tipping dessert comes from my dear friend Evelyn. Originally from Australia, Evelyn & her charming husband, Joe, have been in the US for 20+ years. They have 3 of the most beautiful & kind-hearted girls (young ladies now!) you’d ever meet. And, although their family roots are Down Under, their heritage and kitchen are definitely Italian. Evelyn is my olive expert that I wrote about previously.


Evelyn wrote:

Hi Amy,

I did it. Here is my entry! I chose this easy chocolate cake recipe I make all the time…especially when I need a very quick dessert…everyone loves chocolate! And this is “very” chocolately! It really is easy and delicious – when I serve it, I always get compliments and asked for the recipe. I am sure you will like it. The only problem …. if you are not making it for a party or a “big” family… it’s a lot of chocolate cake to eat – you will be eating it for at least a week twice a day, if you don’t share it with the neighbors (or give it away) !! But you do have to try it – don’t wait for a special event!


  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/ 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 box devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 small package (4oz serving)
  • instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour Bundt pan. Mix together eggs, sour cream oil & water. Add cake mix & chocolate pudding mix. Combine well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour into prpared pan. Bake 45-55 mins, until cake springs back when touched. Cool 30 mins before removing from pan. Invert on a plate & dust withpowered sugar when cool. Great served with whipped cream (or vanilla ice cream) and mixed fresh berries.

Next to send in a cake was Chris from Atlanta. Anyone who lives, has lived, plans to live, visited or had a layover in Atlanta must be good people. Soapchic Ash & I met 8 years ago when we both lived in that peachy city. Chris’ blog is an amazing diary dedicated to her passion of food & flavors. She has a dream to open her own bakery…. Fingers crossed her dream comes true! Below is her Half Pound Cake (which I just gained by the richness of the photo alone!).

Last, but in NO WAY least, my very own mother baked a cake which happens to be a repeat for her. Many moons ago when Alfredo & I were married in Italy Mom baked this multi-tiered cake for the reception she held in her home back in Dallas. It’s quite stunning, festive & very tasty. Mom recently moved to Charlotte, NC after close to 30 years in the Big D. Despite the fact that she lives farther away from us, we see her more often now….. Is that not crazy? It’s a wacky, wonderful world & I welcome its many imperfections.


Mom wrote:

I made this cake to celebrate Amy’s wedding. I loved it so much that I’ve added it as an alternate to my annual Holiday Dessert Buffet.
1 3/4 C Almond Flour
1 1/2 tea. baking powder
4 eggs (room temp)
1 C sugar
You can make your own almond flour by grinding blanched almonds in a spice grinder with 1 T sugar and 1 1/2 tea. baking powder–do not over process as you could end up with almond paste. I remove the 1 T sugar from the cup of sugar. Note: I say “spice grinder” but I have a coffee grinder that I use exclusively for grinding almonds, spices, etc.
Whisk eggs and sugar together in a heat proof bowl. Place bowl over barely simmering water and whisk for 10 minutes. This liquifies the sugar and makes for a nicer texture–very time consuming and quite boring, but beauty knows no pain.
Butter three 8″ cake pans, line with parchment, and butter the parchment. Divide mixture evenly between the 3 pans and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. The center will puff up and later deflate while cooling. Cool on a wire rack.
1 lb. marscapone
1/2 C powdered sugar
1 C whipping cream
4 or 5 C assorted fresh berries-I used blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries–don’t use frozen or you will end up with pink and or blue filling–unless that’s a look you like
allow marcapone to sit at room temp for 15 minutes to soften
chill your bowl and beaters in the freezer during this time
Whip the cream with the powdered sugar until peaks form. Add the softened marscapone with a wire whisk incorporating completely.
Remove the cake layers from the pan, peel off parchment paper. I always add a small amount of filling to the cake plate to anchor the first layer. Add enough filling to the first layer to fill the depression in the middle to edge level. Add berries. Add next layer, repeat.


  1. Sin-provoking aptly describes all of these gorgeous cakes! The wedding cake looks especially gorgeous, but you know I don’t play favorites when it comes to cake!

  2. Amen, sister! Cake is always good. It seems that my mom used edible pansies to decorate the cake before….I think.

  3. They look so tasty I am going to have to make one this weekend

  4. They are all fantastic, but I have to put in a special comment on the Tiramisu Wedding Cake. It is absolutely gorgeous! The colors are beautiful. TFS!

  5. Both cakes – the bundt and the Tiramisu Wedding Cake are gorgeous – no dish required…just a fork! 🙂 Thanks for a fun event.

  6. Thank you for your kind remarks…It really is a beautiful cake in person—is this the baking equivalent of “my cake has a lovely personality”? But, it does look like the ugly step-sister compared to the others….what a talent group of gals!!!

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