Friday, February 18, 2011

Giant Snickers!

The birthday boy Babe (holding Dennis' gift) with nephew Sully and Jimmy

    Some of my fondest memories of growing up, being the youngest of five kids, was the way my Mom made each of us feel very special on our birthday.  We weren't showered with expensive gifts, or taken to fancy restaurants, but we were given the gift of choosing our favorite dinner and dessert.  Everything was made from scratch.  We didn't even know that boxed cake mixes or jarred spaghetti sauce existed.  No hesitations, our Mom always came through for us.  This tradition continued on for many years into our adult lives, until my Mom was no longer able to bake.  I am proud to say that I have carried it on with my own boys, and now the Babe, too.
Helen showing off one of her gifts.
(Please forgive my party foul with all the empty wine glasses.  Trust me, they were refilled)
Dennis pre-Super Bowl celebration with his new Terrible Towel

Helen and Dennis -
one the rare photos of him not making a goofy face : )

      Recently I had the honor of hosting a Trifecta Birthday Extravaganza, for my sister-in-law Helen, my brother Dennis, and the Babe.  With this trio, I knew I had to pull out all the stops, which meant I had to pull out a recipe out of my Mom's recipe box.  The Chocolate Ribbon Cake!  OMG!  We hadn't had it in years.  This had been Dennis' birthday cake of choice since he was old enough to speak.  I remember being seven or eight, watching my Mom ice the cake, and when she was finished and it sat in all it's glory on her crystal cake plate (the one we only used for birthday cakes), I thought it looked just like a giant Snickers bar!  It was so beautiful...

     After all these years, it tasted even better than I remembered.  The chocolate cake is extremely moist with a rich cocoa flavor, and the surprise ribbon of cheesecake is nothing short of outstanding!

     What a wonderful way to say Happy Birthday to the ones you love...or yourself.

Please note your icing will turn out much darker.  I only had milk chocolate chips to make this batch.


2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups milk, divided use
2 eggs
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar

For best results, all ingredients should be room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch pan. 

Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add butter and 1 cup of the milk. Blend at lowest speed in electric mixer, then beat 1 1/2 minutes at low speed. Add remaining Cake ingredients, including the remaining 1/2 cup milk. Beat 1 1/2 more minutes at low speed.

Cream butter, 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch until fluffy. Add remaining ingredients for the cheese mixture and beat until creamy.

Spread 1/2 cake batter in prepared pan. Spoon on cheese mixture, carefully spreading to cover. Top with remaining cake batter. 

Bake 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool.

Bring 1/3 cup milk and 1/4 butter to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; blend in chocolate and stir till melted.  Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy. 

Spread evenly over top of cooled cake.

Eat happy to you, 
eat happy to you, 
it's delicious and nutritious, 
eat happy to you!

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