Here in Door County, that means it’s balmy and beautiful one day and drizzly and horrible the next. And so we carry on.
All our efforts are going into the garden.
We’ve made such a mess cutting down trees and tilling new beds that I am CRAVING the beauty that a spring garden will bring. It looks like I’ll have to wait just a few more days for the colour to pop. Though one tulip has shown her colours. Alas, it’s all about patience which is really fine with me. I’ve GOT to get that mess cleaned up so I can enjoy the beauty that is to come. And sooooo much is coming…
Each night I sit with my garden journal mapping out the perfect place and patterns for all the spring crops.
I’m learning we don’t have MUCH of spring up here. So you watch the snow melt, wait patiently for the weather to stabilize (sort of) and then you quickly plant your cabbages, carrots, radish, onion and the like and PRAY that it doesn’t shoot up to eighty degrees just a few weeks later.
I find such enjoyment in planning out the patterns and designs for the potager.
Straight-laced, no-nonsense stuff goes in the back in the market rows but the potager is my area for supreme, colourful creativity. I’ve got quite a design planned and I’m hoping it grows out like the images in my mind.
I have recently gifted a score of climbing hydrangea cuttings (which I’ll tell you more about soon) and my David Austen roses FINALLY arrived. I’m storing them in a bucket of water for a few more days because we’ve got a birthday in the house this week so that means red meat and cake.
It also means I needed to ditch the garden grime and get to the kitchen for one of my favourite cakes to bake. I’ve been wanting to share this with you for ages! It’s a classic in our house and requested every year by a certain handsome husband.
I’ll be sure and share the steak recipe in another upcoming post. For now, there’s a stack of dishes to do and roses to plant. And don’t laugh… would you believe I forgot to PHOTOGRAPHY the cake before we tucked into it?
Parisienne Farmgirl's German Dark Chocolate Cake
For the Dark Chocolate Cake
- 2 Cups sugar, divided 400 grams
- 1 3/4 cups organic, all purpose flour 220 grams
- 1 cup dark cocoa powder 120 grams
- 2 tbsp black strap molasses add to one cup of the sugar, blend well to make rich brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs room temp
- 1 cup organic milk, soured add lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice add to milk
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp bourbon vanilla
For German Chocolate Frosting
- 2 cups evaporated milk
- 3 cups organic sugar
- 2 cups organic, no salt butter
- 6 egg yolks, beaten
- 1 tsp bourbon vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups finely crushed pecans
- 3 cups coconut flakes
For Dark Chocolate Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Prepare three eight inch cake pans by buttering the sides and dusting with flour. Trace parchment paper to the size of the pans and place in the bottom.
- Prepare two 6-inch round cake pans. This recipe makes a three layer cake with extras so it's nice to freeze little ones for a future cake need.
- Combine all dry ingredients except brown sugar and sift twice. (see notes for brown sugar)
- Sour milk (see notes)
- Combine milk, eggs, vanilla and olive oil in a separate bowl. Mix well.
- Add browned sugar to sifted mix. Blend well.
- Boil water.
- Combine all ingredients and add boiling water. Mix well and carefully.
- Pour into prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning cakes half way through baking time.
- Knife should come out clean.
- Allow cakes to cool completely
For German Chocolate Frosting
- Combine milk, sugar, butter and egg yolks in a large saucepan
- Cook slowly to melt butter completely over medium heat. Do not allow it to scorch.
- Mixture will slowly come to a boil. Stir constantly.
- Add vanilla, coconut and pecans. Allow a very soft boil for five minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting cakes.