Perfectly chocolatey new year’s day

7 01 2011

A slice from the edge of the cake (it was baked in a 9-inch square). I intentionally got the edge because for me, the true test of how a cake tastes is how the edge turns out. This one's perfect!


We didn't fuss about the cutting. As long as we could get our forks into it. Hahaha!

ONE FOODNETWORK episode that I play in my head whenever I want to go to a happy place is From Martha’s Kitchen’s trip to the Hershey plant in Pennsylvania.  Martha’s demonstration of the HERSHEY®’S cocoa tin can back label recipe called Hershey’s® “Perfectly Chocolate”™ Chocolate Cake caps off the episode.  And that’s actually the part that takes me the a happy place.  I saw that episode seven years ago.  But the memory of that baking demonstration has remained fresh in my head I could almost lick the frosting off of my hands every single time.  Oh, how sacrilegious of me – I meant the “Perfectly Chocolate”™ Chocolate Frosting.

So imagine my pleasant surprise when my dear sister-in-law told me that our new year’s lunch at their house would have that cake – yes, the Hershey’s® “Perfectly Chocolate”™ Chocolate Cake frosted with the “Perfectly Chocolate”™ Chocolate Frosting! – for dessert.  I wanted to hit the fast forward and breeze through the spread.

Look at how the decadent frosting just oozes...


The recipe at the back of the cocoa can.

But in deference to everybody at the dining table, good manners prevailed and I sampled all the dishes that they had laid out.  Especially since I could immediately see the effort.  They did away with the tri-color fusilli and the spinach linguine of years past and opted for my favorite angel hair pasta.  My dear sister-in-law even chimed in as I approached the table, “See, it’s your favorite angel hair.”  I acknowledged it with a wide smile and a nod quick enough to turn to my brother who was by the stovetop, deep-frying meatballs.

The meatballs!

“You made these yourself?”  I had to ask, and proceeded on before he could even break into a reply, “So I assume it’s ground sirloin, with Italian herbs and say, a splash of Worcestershire sauce.  Did you have to put breadcrumbs?  It’s optional.  But for sure it has to have grated parmesan cheese, right?”  All my brother could manage was, “Yes.  No.  Yes, may parmesan.”

The kare-kare came from us so I didn’t really help myself to a lot of it.  It is the classic Filipino stew of your choice meat cuts (beef or pork, usuallt oxtail) and fresh vegetables in a savory roasted peanut sauce thickened further with ground roasted rice, and colored with natural annatto.  Sautéed fermented shrimp paste is served on the side.

Having moved past the staple kare-kare, it soon dawned on me that the spread was a veritable display of my brother’s and sister-in-laws culinary prowess.  There was my brother’s roasted chicken, this time infused with the essence of lemon and thyme, and my sister-in-law’s Bistek Tagalog (beef stewed in soy sauce and citrus, topped with sautéed onion rings) using choice sirloin sliced paper thin.  The latter was the runaway hit with me that I couldn’t run away without demanding for the recipe – down to the actual brands she used.

Roasted chicken


Halfway through the scrumptious Bistek Tagalog! I have to make this at home!

They put out a selections of wines – both red and white – but the non-drinker that I am, I opted for hot tea.  Lunch conversation revolved mostly on how each dish was prepared – I’m the most shameless, unapologetic solicitor of recipes that I know! – and quite obviously, it meant a lot of actual slaving over a hot stove and oven.  True enough, my brother was able to finish Rick Riordan’s The Sea of Monsters from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, while all the cooking and the new year’s eve celebration were going on.

One of the reds. My brother said it's good. I didn't take even a sip.


I didn't automatically get what a "moreish" red wine is... "Moreish", it turns out, means "so good that you want more".

I asked for the book, and he whipped out his brand spanking new iPad.  It was the first time I held one in my hand.  I just played with the touch screen and by the time I reached page 179, I knew it’s still the hardback for me.  Thank God, I’m not into gadgets or they would’ve long burned a hole in my pockets.

Page 179 of Rick Riordan's The Sea of Monsters on my brother's new iPad.

Just as I was handing back the iPad, the chocolate cake – the Hershey’s® “Perfectly Chocolate”™ Chocolate Cake frosted with the “Perfectly Chocolate”™ Chocolate Frosting! – was served.  It was a nice touch.  But even before it hit the table, I already knew I was in a happy place.

Oh, we finished this too. Hahaha!


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.



One response

14 01 2011

that perfectly chocolate chocolate cake looks yummy!!


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