Chef Stacey Strikes Again: A Cake To Die For

"Bean Soup" editors compose a personal limerick for each birthday boy and girl.

“Bean Soup” editors compose a personal limerick for each birthday boy and girl.


Pemi’s annual Birthday Banquet takes place the night before our first session campers depart for home. The feast honors all those campers and staff whose birthdays occur during the summer season, and each and every birthday boy or girl is individually celebrated with a personal limerick, read aloud, and later immortalized in Bean Soup. Of course everyone in the mess hall sports proper banquet apparel: “a collared shirt and your least wrinkled clothing.” Cabin members reunite at “their” table after two rotations of sitting elsewhere, scarcely believing that a mere three weeks before they were unrelated individuals, since by this point they’ve become a band of brothers sharing bonds that inevitably develop when living in simple, close quarters.

It will come as no surprise that Chef Stacey worked her magic last year with a spectacular meal followed by decorated cakes for each table (count, ’em, folks, that’s 25 birthday cakes!) Given the numerous comments from campers and parents who appreciated Stacey’s Thanksgiving tips and biscuit recipe, it seems timely to ask Stacey if she has a favorite cake recipe (why timely? Because Stacey’s birthday is quickly approaching—March 30—but shhhhhh we didn’t tell her that we knew this when we asked for her recipe!).

Below you’ll find Stacey’s recipe—which sounds about as lip-smacking, deliciously-decadent as can be—presented with her trademark detailed instructions (not only is she a great chef, she’s an educator at heart).

But first, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, STACEY! Breaking with the tradition of summertime-only limericks, here’s one especially for you:

  Pemi ’13, we’ve great things in store!
  In the messhall, gourmet treats galore!
  Breakfast, dinner, or lunch
  ‘twill be heaven to munch
  Meals by Stacey – last name Saville-Moore!


And now, the following comes to you from Chef Stacey:

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Fudge Filling
(otherwise known as, “This is the way to die, cake”)

My parents owned a diner in upstate NY that slowly morphed into a family-style restaurant. My mother wasn’t much of a baker, but she could make a mean chocolate cake. She got the mayonnaise cake recipe from a good friend who later opened up his own restaurant after our family place closed its doors. I have modified the recipe to add a chocolate fudge filling and a chocolate icing that is amazing. Sometimes I change it up a bit and add a layer of raspberry preserves over the fudge and ice the cake with raspberry icing. The sky is the limit with this cake. It is so incredibly moist that it is just as delicious served with a dollop of whipped cream or served plain with some fresh fruit. Notice that there are no eggs or oil in the recipe because mayonnaise already contains both.



Please don't lick the screen.

(Please don’t lick the screen)

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup mayo
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla

Set oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9″ cake pans. (I use rounds because it makes a better presentation, but use whatever you choose.)

Cream together sugar, mayo, water and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift all other ingredients together. Stir together all ingredients until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Test cake layers by touching lightly with your fingertips. If the cake springs back then it is done. Put cake pans on rack to cool for about 15 minutes, then flip onto rack to cool completely.

Fudge Filling
12 oz chocolate chips (I prefer semi sweet because the chips set a little better. The beauty of this recipe is that you can use whatever flavor you prefer.)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 TBS butter
1 cupped chopped pecans (This is an optional ingredient also, you can omit the nuts or replace with dried chopped fruit, marshmallows, or shredded coconut, use your imagination and your family’s taste preference!)

Melt everything but the nuts in a small saucepan on low to medium heat, stirring constantly. When the mix is fully melted and smooth, add the nuts or other ingredients. Spread to cool on a greased cookie sheet. When the fudge is of spreading consistency, spread on the bottom layer of the cake. Place top layer on the fudge and frost with your favorite icing.

Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup water
4 TBS butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, broken into small pieces
4 to 5 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Heat water, butter, and chocolate, stirring until chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla and stir.
Sift 4 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, stir the mixture and beat until frosting is the desired consistency. Add more sifted sugar if needed. Frost top and sides of cake.

Cake should be refrigerated until ready to serve.




Thanks for the recipe, Stacey!  

~ Dottie Reed
with limerick by TRJR

Read more about Meals at Pemi!

Assistant Director Ken Moore Joins Pemi Full-time

To shake up an old cliché (is there any other kind?), we have some sad (but not bad) news and some good (make that great!) news!

We start with a heartfelt goodbye and thank you to Nikki Tropeano, Pemi’s inaugural Alumni Coordinator, who recently launched a new career as a State Farm Team Agent near her home in Alabama. From building our database of alumni contact information to overseeing the digitalization of old Bean Soups, to managing Pemi’s 105th Reunion, Nikki’s year of tireless effort, enthusiasm, and eye for detail built the foundation for Pemi’s exciting future plans for alumni engagement. We’re certain you join us in wishing her all the best in her new endeavor. We all count on seeing her back at Pemi.

KenMooreThe great news? We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that Kenny Moore has joined the ranks of year-round Pemi employees, adding the oversight of Alumni Relations to his Assistant Director portfolio. Ken will continue as Head of Program, the task he’s fulfilled so dynamically over the past several years, and will take on some other added responsibilities, including oversight of social media, enhanced work with off-season Open Houses, and recruiting for Pemi West. We feel extremely fortunate to have secured Kenny’s full-time services and can’t wait to see the energy and innovation that are sure to come from full time involvement.

We asked Kenny to give us a brief Pemi bio, and he responded with his characteristic passion and thoroughness. Why not let him speak for himself?


Junior 5 - 1992sm

1992. J5 cabin photo. Ken is front and center, with his ever-present smile.

I started at Pemi in 1992, first session in Junior 5 with Ray Hearey as my counselor.  I remember him fondly, Ray being a Harvard man and my parents being Harvard grads as well. It was a good cabin placement for me.  I spent the next summer as a first-half camper, and in my third year, I came full season to Pemi and had Colin Brooks as my counselor in Lower 4.  (He would be my counselor in S2 as well.) Three more summers rounded my camper seasons at six, all told, three as a first-half boy and three full-time.  I spent the majority of my time on the waterfront, swimming, sailing, and doing a bit of knee-boarding. [Colin’s influence?]  My last summer as a boy, 1997 in the Lake Tent, was superb.  I took advantage of the trip program, journeying with Reilly to Maine twice, for the Allagash and Katahdin senior trips. Those two expeditions provide some of the most vivid memories of my cabin days. Reilly also led an infamous canoe trip down the Connecticut River that ignited an everlasting bond between James Finley and me.

The Lake Tent gang, 1997.

The Lake Tent gang, 1997.

In 1999, I began my counseling career in Lower 5 as Josh Fischel’s assistant counselor.  That summer Chris McKendry, my future cousin-in-law, was a camper in L-5 as well!  Josh’s demeanor with the boys and his tremendous patience provided an invaluable model for me as a young counselor trying to find his style.  My other major counseling influence would be Colin Brooks, Josh and he making up a unique duo for sure! Initially, it appeared that I would focus on Archery, but soon enough, in 2002, I began my career as Head of Waterfront, which lasted until 2012.  In 2002, I also became a Division Head in the Junior Camp, living in J-3.  It was a memorable summer for me, highlighted by my selection as the Joe Campbell Award winner by my peers on the staff. 

After three summers as a counselor in the Junior Camp, I then served as Upper Division Head in 2003 & 2004 and finally as the Division Head in Senior camp in 2006.  In 2007, I graduated from cabin life, serving a more administrative role as Assistant Athletic Director, working on organizing Pemi’s massive athletic schedule.  In 2011, I became Assistant Director and Program Director overseeing occupations, teaching, and scheduling.  

In my new full-time Assistant Director role, I am very excited to be working throughout the winter with Pemi boys of all ages, from alumni to prospective campers.  Pemi provides boys with an excellent framework for being productive, accomplished, and caring citizens of their community.  Our values of independence, responsibility, and cooperation translate directly from campers’ days by Lower Baker to their future careers and relationships.  I look forward to fostering close and fulfilling personal relations with all members of the Pemi community and to connecting alumni back to the institution and to each other.  Friendships made at Pemi last a lifetime, as I am so well aware as I look to my own close-knit group of friends, Brian Mitchell, Rob Follansbee, and Porter Hill, to name only a few.  I was incredibly fortunate to grow up with a special group of Pemi boys, who in turn became veteran staff members and passionate educators. It’s exciting to think of how many others like me could tell the same story.

My goal to help alumni re-connect to Pemi is first and foremost.  Theirs will be a crucial role in continuing the mission of Camp as we move further into our second century.  Utilizing social media, and other Pemi publications, will aid the process in new and exciting ways – and remind all to carry our values into the outside world.  In sum, I am absolutely thrilled to undertake this initiative, advancing Camp Pemigewassett and its mission, educating boys to take a fulfilling and rewarding place in an-ever changing world.


We are thrilled as well. Please join us in welcoming Kenny to 24/7/365 Pemi!