Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Caramel Cake & Conversation

I love bookclub. A whole buncha girlfriends sitting around chatting. Not about husbands or kids or church or basketball picture day. Just plot, characters, setting (and, maybe, hair!) for an entire evening. I feel like a grown up at bookclub.

Last night was my turn to host. We read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. If you haven't read it yet, find a copy. Now. I'm not kidding. You won't get anything done for a couple of days, but there's always Pizza Hut and letting kids play "fish for an outfit" in the dirty clothes hamper, right?

The book is about black maids and their white employers in 1960's Missippi. A few desserts played an important role in the story.

I took a picture, because I will probably never make this again. You really DO need a maid to clean up the kitchen when you're done...

One of these is Minny's Caramel Cake. I have never had caramel cake, but apparently it's a Southern tradition. This was the recipe I used. Time-consuming, but enjoyable.

Chocolate pie is important to the plot also, so I brought out this old favorite from Mom's cookbook. (Warning: There are uncooked eggs in this recipe. But, having ingested large quantities of raw cookie dough on a pretty much daily basis, I can assure you that salmonella is highly unlikely.)
Swiss Chocolate Pie
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar, divided
6 oz. chocolate chips, melted and cooled
2 eggs, separated
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
Dash salt
Whip cream until fluffy. Set aside. Whip egg whites with salt until fluffy. Add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Set aside. Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla, egg yolks and cooled chocolate. Gently fold in whipped cream, then egg whites. Turn into chocolate cookie crust. Chill five hours or overnight. Slice and serve with sweetened whipped cream.

14 comments:

Lauralee said...

you made the "chocolate" pie? GROSS!
LOved the book, would love to try the carmel cake!
I miss our book group!

Tristan said...

That caramel cake looks so divine! I'd go just for a piece of that cake!

Ilene said...

So I finally decided to read this book because of all its rave reviews. I went to hold a copy at my library and realized I was #267 on that list.

I think I will swing by a store and just buy my own copy or else I won't be reading it until next June.

Jeanelle said...

Oh I've been wondering about this book...thanks for the review. I have an Amazon gift card from Christmas that I'm still wanting to use. The cake looks yummy and the pie sounds heavenly. Salmonella -- pshaw.

Robin said...

I wanted a recipe for the caramel cake the entire time I read that book. It was a wonderful book. Thanks for the recipe link. I might make the pie tonight.

Rochelleht said...

Oh, I love bookclub AND dessert! I'm already brainstorming my April gig and I know the book I'll be choosing.

Diane said...

The Help is an amazing book. I haven't seen one of that caliber come out in a while.

My grandma made a chocolate pie with 6 raw eggs in it, and we loved it. It never made me sick - I too had an immunity built up from raw cookie dough.

Christie said...

I. WANT. SOME. CAKE.

NOW.

Lauren in GA said...

Gabi, I love you so much. We have played, "fish for an outfit" in the dirty clothes hamper, too. Thanks for admitting that...unless of course you were joking...uh, *ahem* if you were joking then I am joking, too. Pshaw...I never get behind *cough* on laundry.

Seriously, I love you...and now I want some Pizza Hut.

Linsey said...

That cake, oh my, my, my! Can I be in your book group when I move back to DC? I'm willing to drive.

Hollyween said...

That cake is looking so good on SO many levels.

And I love Em's sparkly purple glasses.

You're not a bad mom for not taking her to the eye doctor sooner. We've been told TWICE that Levi has failed his eye exam at school. Does he have glasses yet? Uh, no. What is wrong with me?

Susan said...

"The Help" is an excellent book. I don't think I did anything when I read it. I bet it was a good discussion with your bookclub. My bookclub just discussed "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier. It's another good read.

Robin said...

I made the chocolate pie and it was wonderful. Thanks for the recipe.

mike said...

Wow! This caramel cake looks really delicious. I can live on that for a couple of years. Thanks for sharing this very good recipe. This cake looks good with a hot cup of coffee made from my new coffee machine Kudos!

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