Sam flew back to D.C. today, so there was sadness all around. But I'm planning on going out there in a couple weeks, so I'm not a complete emotional wreck. So last night I made Sam a celebratory bon voyage dinner to please and soothe his soul via his taste buds. I hadn't yet made him the Mediterranean-style meatballs, so I made those along with cous cous and a simple salad. My mom even made pita bread, which was positively lovely. And, just as I had hoped for, Sam nearly died from gastronomic delight. He said they were better than he even imagined they would be, and I have been talking those puppies up for weeks! A chef could never feel so happy.
And for dessert, Sam requested his favorite cake. The cake he says should not be allowed to be called cake because it makes all the other cakes feel bad: I first made this cake several years ago, and have made it billions of times since then. I started with this recipe, but since Sam (horror of horrors) "doesn't like coconut" (I think he secretly does, because how do you not love coconut?), I decided to substitute chocolate shavings. I am still dying to try the coconut, because, clearly, I love coconut (pine for it. lust after it. dream about it. covet it.). But alas, I think I will never get the opportunity. My bro-in-law Jason doesn't like it either. Weirdos.
This is the recipe now:
1 box white cake mix
splash almond extract
1 c sour cream
1 c sugar
2 c whipped cream or cool whip
Chocolate bar (I use a semisweet Ghirardelli bar)
Bake cake according to directions in 2 9- or 8-inch cake pans. When cakes are cool, make the frosting and filling as follows. Mix sour cream, and sugar together until sugar is dissolved. Grate in chocolate-- as much as you like. I just start grating and stop to stir everyone once in a while to see how much there is. This last time I probably grated about one square or so of the bar. Mix thoroughly. Put on cake upside down on cake plate or serving platter. Spoon several spoonfuls of mixture onto the bottom (not the top) of the cake. Spread the mixture around, coaxing it into all the nooks and crannies of the cake. Keeping spooning and spreading until you've used just over half of the mixture. Spoon a little more onto the bottom of the other cake-- just enough that the mixture soaks into the cake. Place the second cake on top of the first, bottoms together.
Mix the whipped cream or cool whip and the almond extract together with the remaining mixture. Frost the entire cake. Shave more chocolate all over the cake. Eat it up, yum.