I'm not sure why this week felt so long, but it did. Fortunately, I got a great deal accomplished and I'm just happy that tonight is not a school night and I can just relax.
As Tanya mentioned in yesterday's blog, she and I had a chance to catch up via phone on Wednesday evening. We do most of our communicating via text; but, Wednesday, we had blocked out some time to chat the old fashioned way - by telephone.
Well, it's the next best thing to being in person It was nice to hear her voice and boy, once we started talking, we were on a roll for well over an hour!
But, we had lots to catch up on and one of the things on our call agenda was to discuss our upcoming Cousins Chicago Road Trip this coming June.
We finally sorted out the details of our trip! We even did a few bookings late last night through booking.com for hotels along our route!
Check out our updated itinerary on the link above. The good news is that we will be leaving from New York together and driving through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and finally Illinois to our destination city...Chicago.
The not-so-good news is that Tanya and Cosette will be flying out of Chicago to head for Miami for the All-Star Game. So, me and my girlies will be driving back alone without our cousins.
I'll tell you more of the details next Tuesday!
Well, I'm sure you noticed the major headline on today's blog - NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CAKE DAY!
Did you ever?!! I mean, what a great day! And on a Foodie Friday no less!
Now, believe it or not, relatively speaking, CHOCOLATE CAKE is fairly new to America. That's right.
Up until the 1830's or 40's, according to NationalCalendar.com, "In America, chocolate was consumed primarily as a beverage until the 1830s or 40s. Chocolate cakes, as we think of them today, mostly did not exist then."
Further, according to the Dover Post, the chocolate cake was born in 1765 when a doctor and a chocolate maker teamed up in an old mill. They ground up cocoa beans between huge millstones to make a thick syrup. The liquid was poured into molds shaped like cakes, which were meant to be transformed into a beverage.
A popular Philadelphia cookbook author, Eliza Leslie, published the earliest chocolate cake recipe in 1847 in The Lady’s Receipt Book. Unlike chocolate cakes we know today, this recipe used chopped chocolate.
Other cooks of the time such as Sarah Tyson Rorer and Maria Parloa all made contributions to the development of the chocolate cake and were prolific authors of cookbooks.
And clearly, from that time, till modern day, CHOCOLATE CAKE has evolved into its own category of cake.
GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE (credit: kraftrecipes.com)
All around the world, different variations on CHOCOLATE CAKE are baked and consumed.
A few of the more popular types include
German Chocolate Cake German chocolate cake, originally German's chocolate cake, is a layered chocolate cake from the United States filled and topped with a coconut-pecan frosting. Black Forest Cake Black Forest gateau consists of several layers of chocolate sponge cake sandwiched with whipped cream and cherries. It is decorated with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. Chocolate Fudge Cake A fudge cake is a chocolate cake containing fudge. Molten Lava Cake Molten chocolate cake is a popular dessert that combines the elements of a flourless chocolate cake and a soufflé.
BLACK FOREST CAKE
One such variation, Black Forest Cake, has an interesting history...
According to whatcookingamerica.net, "Historians believe it originated in the late 16th century in the Black Forest Region (Der Schwarzwald in German) located in the state of Baden-Wttemberg. The name, Schwarzwald, evokes darkness and mystery coming from the romantic German concept of Waldeinsamkeit or forest-loneliness.
During this era, chocolate was first integrated into cakes and cookies. This region is known for its sour cherries and Kirsch or Kirschwasser (a double distilled, clear cherry brandy made from the sour Morello cherry). Combine these cherries with the Germans love of chocolate, and you have this wonderful chocolate confection with cream and cherries. It is thought that the cake is named after this brandy.
While the recipes can vary slightly, for the most part Black Forest Cherry Torte or as it is called in Germany, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte is a sponge cake or Gateau style chocolate cake soaked with cherry schnapps (Kirschwasser) and filled with whipped cream, cherries and chocolate shavings, and frosted with the same.
CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE (credit: dailymail.co.uk)
Did you know... The first boxed cake mix was created by a company called O. Duff and Sons in the late 1920s. Betty Crocker released their first dry cake mixes in 1947.
MOLTEN LAVA CAKE (credit:: pbs.org)
Did you know... Pillsbury was the first company to launch a chocolate cake mix, also including powdered eggs in 1948.
A FEW OF MY OWN CHOCOLATE CAKE MEMORIES
CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM at Pasta Beach, Boston, MA (Nov. 2015) (c)travelincousins.com
WARM CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM at Etcetera Etcetera, NYC (June 2014) (c)travelincousins.com
CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH A RASPBERRY SAUCE & VANILLA ICE CREAM at Nix's Mate, Boston, MA (Nov. 2015) (c)travelincousins.com
CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE CAKE at California Pizza Kitchen, Westbury, NY (Aug 2015) (c)travelincousins.com
Now, I hope I can count on your to celebrate this day with a big, heaping helping of chocolate cake!!
It's certainly on my agenda today!!
Enjoy your Friday!
Tanya's Daily Scoop NEXT TRIP DEPARTS IN: 10 DAYS
The Vegan side of Chocolate Cake
Well Hellooooooo Friday!
While unlike my dear cuz Elisa, my week has really flown right on by.
And today I woke up to the house shaking - no there wasn't an earthquake (thank God), but it is just crazy windy!
Well we are definitely getting super über excited that our trip countdown is only 10 days. I think it's time that I start packing! I plan to start packing for Dave on Sunday and hopefully for me and the kids early next week.
I can't help it travel just gets me excited! And although the countdown for the Chicago Road Trip is 150 days, we already can't wait!
I've even got another trip that I started seriously working on as of last night that doesn't take place until Spring of 2018 that we are also very excited about and that I'll tell you more about in the upcoming weeks...
Dominic went to another fencing class last night - he seems to really be enjoying it!
Last nights class was instructed by Atifeh Seif - trained with the Iranian national team and competed in the Olympic qualifying games for Athens 2004. She placed first in the Persian Olympiad games in 2008, but came to the U.S. in 2012 with aspirations of coaching.
And you all know how much I love the Olympics. So seeing the coach wear her Olympic team jacket last night (because it is COLD inside the studio) I've got to admit that I had a bit of Olympic envy! LOL
Well today is Foodie Friday - a favorite in this family, as I'm sure you have already figured out.
And as you may have noticed today is also National Chocolate Cake Day!
Elisa has delivered with a ton of sweet history about Chocolate Cake and a bunch of absolutely drool worthy pictures! You've got to check them out!! In fact, after reading her column I somehow started craving both German Chocolate Cake (which btw did not originate in Germany) and Black Forest Cake (which did originate in Germany).
I've found a few (okay maybe more than a few) delicious Chocolate Cake memories to share with you...Enjoy!
From Teresa Carles in Barcelona (c)travelincousins.com
From Teresa Carles in Barcelona (c)travelincousins.com
Cosette make these and they were sooooo good! (c)travelincousins.com
From Doomies in Los Angeles (c)travelincousins.com
From Blossom in NYC (c)travelincousins.com
And while I'm at it I just so happened to come across a list of Chocolate Cake recipes (all vegan of course).