My Dearest Husband,
Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You are amazing and you prove it everyday. We made this cake just to say how much we appreciate everything you have done for us.
With my note finished I could now deliver what would be my 5th From the Bottom of My Heart Cake. My Mom discovered this recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook a few years ago and decided to make it for a friend who had recently helped cut down the 3 ft tall grass in Mom’s backyard. A considerable task that far outstretched our resources and energy. The next cake was gifted to a trusted doctor, another went to an understanding babysitter and so on until it suddenly was our family thing. When we are bowled over by a person’s generosity we bake them this cake, when a friend has gone above and beyond the call of friendship, we bake them this cake. It has become a tradition, steeped in love and appreciation for those around us.
This particular cake is for my husband. Since Christmas he has worked consecutive 55 hr work weeks while we search for a new employee. All the while performing his job spectacularly. He has proven to his bosses and coworkers that he is a gentle and guiding teacher, a diplomatic negotiator and expert handler of all things grouchy, human and animal alike. We are so proud of him and want him to know how much he means to us.
My daughter and I spent the later part of the afternoon in the kitchen. She learned to melt chocolate in a double boiler and crushed nuts with her favorite mortar and pestle, the wooden one with the handle that fits so perfectly into her hand. We watched with wonder as the eggs were whipped from little spheres of bright yellow into a light and airy froth which was then folded back into the chocolate magically transforming once again. Into the oven it goes. She watches through the oven window as the cake puffs itself like a hot air balloon. “Mom its going to explode!”
“Not to worry my dear. Its done cooking, but not done transforming. Watch how it sinks and cracks as it cools. The cake is showing us its personality. Just like people, each cake is different. They change as they get older with cracks, puckers and wrinkles here and there. I promise when the cake is completely cool it will look different again.”
I stick our cake in the fridge as she scampers off to draw a new cartoon about cooking a giant brownie. For her six year old mind baking is like magic. Watching her enjoy baking is magic for me too.
From the Bottom of My Heart Cake
(The original recipe was the Chocolate Truffle Cake from the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook)
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts (our favorite), toasted and coarsely ground
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup whipping cream
- Two 8oz packages of semisweet chocolate chips or 16 oz of other high quality semisweet or dark chocolate, cut up
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Whipped Cream, for serving (this is not really optional in my opinion)
- 9 inch spring form pan
- Saucepan and metal bowl for melting chocolate
- a second large bowl for beating eggs
- hand mixer or standing mixer
1. To make the crust stir the crust ingredients together in a bowl until well mixed. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a springform pan with butter and press the crust into the bottom. Set aside.
2. Warm the whipping cream in a double boiler over low heat (find out how to make your own double boiler here). Add the chocolate and stir gently until the chocolate is completely melted and combined with the whipping cream. It should look smooth as silk. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
3. Preheat the oven to 325F. Add the eggs, sugar, and flour to a large mixing bowl and beat together with a mixer for ten minutes. It will change color and texture becoming a thick and smooth pale lemon yellow.
4. Fold 1/4 of the egg mixture into the chocolate then fold all the chocolate into the egg mixture. Folding them together this way helps retain the air we spent ten minutes whipping into the eggs while also bringing the temperature of the warm chocolate and cool eggs closer together. Pour into your prepared pan. Try not to lick the bowls, rinse them out in the sink and leave on the stove to dry.
5. Bake at 325F for about 45 minutes. The edges and halfway to the center should be puffed up. The center should be slightly soft and jiggly. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and let cool until room temperature before moving to the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours. Serve with whipped cream. Store leftovers covered and in the refrigerator.
(No recipe card for this one. Sorry! You can print it by clicking the Print Friendly button)