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.
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.
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.
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
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