Chocolate Fudge Cake


*tw for discussion of depression, suicide

I have not really talked about this before, but a number of years ago, I took a road trip. I drove to the house where my father died and I stood outside of it for a long time.

I had inherited that house when I was a kid, and it was promptly sold. Standing before it, I saw that, in the years that followed, it had become the darkest on the street.

That day, I closed my eyes and I envisioned light raining down on the place, picking up the pieces he couldn’t mend, and returning the parts of him he left behind, healed.

I stood there so long that the clouds parted and the sun came out. Afterward, I wandered through the orange grove across the street.

Today is the anniversary of the day that he chose to end his life. Fifteen years ago today, he died.

It took me a very long time to realize that that was never personal. In fact, most things aren’t.

(though this does not mean it does not need attention at times)

and at some point, it becomes a matter of [holding opposing constructs] at the same time, gracefully

offering light or cake

a beautiful entanglement of sugar/butter/cocoa swirled and smattered every which way,

knowing all of it is just waiting to be loved off, like velvet.

One Year: Burrata, Persimmon, and Caramelized Onion Pizza
Two Years: Hibiscus Herbal Tea Blend *tw also for discussion of depression + suicide
Three Years: Chili-Lemon Tomato Sauce with Sautéed Vegetables
Four Years: The Best Granola
Five Years: Banana Berry Lavender Smoothie
Six Years: Cucumber Ciabatta Sandwiches with Spinach and Lemon-Mint Goat Cheese

Chocolate Fudge Cake
Makes one two-layer cake

CAKE:
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp white vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup strong coffee, cooled
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs

FUDGE FROSTING:
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2-3/4 cup whole milk
2-2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

CAKE:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 9-inch cake pans. Place vinegar in a bowl and pour milk on to of it, setting aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat in coffee and milk. Beat in oil and mayonnaise. Beat in vanilla extract, then eggs. Diving batter evenly between prepared cake pans and bake, rotating halfway through, for 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool a couple minutes in the pan before turning out onto a rack to cool completely before frosting.

FROSTING:
In a saucepan, melt butter on medium-low. Pour over cocoa powder, whisking until a thick paste forms. Whisk in vanilla. Alternate between confectioner’s sugar and milk, mixing until frosting develops thick, velvety consistency. Place completely cooled cake layer on cake stand and top with about a 1/2 cup of frosting. Top with other cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake, creating little swirls as you go. Keep refrigerated. Remove from fridge about thirty minutes before serving. Cake is best on second day, and will last up to four days.

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