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Cake From A Box. A Wooden Box.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Lucinda lives in West Virginia now, but she grew up in Sweet Home Alabama - and don't you know...we have so many things in common. Why, I checked just now and she even put up a post about sweet Eugene Walter last week! And how can you not like a person who has a blog called Cookbook of the Day. Seriously. A week or two ago she did a whole series of cookbooks from Alabama chefs. Lately? She's been on Ina Garten cookbooks.


And this I totally agree with her about. You know you need that wallpaper.

Well, Lucinda is a multi-tasker and she even makes and sells her own cake boxes. My cake pans are the boring non-stock ones from Williams-Sonoma (or maybe Target?). They're all the same. But Lucinda took a childhood memory:

When I was a little girl in Alabama …

my great aunts baked a cake nearly every day. They always saved some batter to make a little cake for me. Once Aunt Ruth found an old wood cheese box with three compartments. She lined it with an old grocery sack and poured in the extra batter for my little cake, three cakes this time. They were almost too beautiful to eat!

Years later I found a piece of that old box and looked for a replacement. I found the same Cloverleaf cheese box. When I baked in it, my cake was as beautiful as the ones I remembered. I started baking in any wood box I could find.

Friends loved the boxes and asked me where to get their own. So Lucinda’s Wood Cake Boxes was born. I hope you love baking in them as much as I do.

and here it is!:


So of course I had to try it. Thing is, you can't bake in the box above 300* so any recipe will have to have its time increased (which is not a bad thing - when you cook at 300*, if you have anything like chocolate chips in the batter, they are a lot better about retaining their shape rather than just completely melting into nothingness. It's a preference thing, but fun to play with.).

The box is a really nice size so I took the Devil's Food Cake recipe that was in the latest issue of Bon Appetit (although! I didn't like the sour cream fudge icing that they suggested in the magazine and made my own) and was able to bake the cake as one layer.
It came out so good. As in, you couldn't decide if it was a brownie with icing or a little-little sheet cake. It was perfect, and somehow it even tasted better. Was it just me, or was it the box? Not sure. But it disappeared so fast that I don't even have an 'after' shot to put here.

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We're in the middle of Mardi Gras season, so later this week I'll be making a king cake (and will post here). If you're interested in making the super-traditional/historical king cake, this is the link to my Galette des Rois recipe.

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