A few weeks ago we said a fond farewell to Jane, who had worked with us for over 20 years, by hosting a little going-away party. Susan, our violin-playing, Labrador-loving (sit, Jaco, sit!) accounting manager brought in a cake she had baked from scratch that was just too scrumptious to be believed…you know, one of those pastries that's best enjoyed by burying your face directly into it–it was that good. All those who tasted it wanted it all to themselves and it brought to mind Chuck Jones' story about his sixth birthday which we thought we'd share with you–the cake recipe is at the bottom of the post…it had to be shared!
"The first surfacing of that part of my character that was later to show up in Daffy Duck occurred at the age of six. My sixth-birthday party, to be precise. I was immensely proud–it seems to me that all my life I have taken the most pride in things over which I have little or no control. Even though I had older sisters, it never occurred to me that anyone had ever become six years old before, and the splendid cake, candles bravely ablaze in salute to my maturity, was ample evidence that I had entered into manhood.
"Having blown out the candles and, as a side benefit, managing to send most of the smoke up my little brother's nostrils, I was handed the knife, my first baton of any kind of authority in six misspent years, and was told to cut as large a piece as I liked. At this point Daffy Duck must have had, for me, his earliest beginnings, because I found to my surprise and pleasure that I had no desire to share my cake with anyone. I courteoulsy returned the knife to my mother. I had no need for it, I explained; I would simplify the whole matter by taking the entire cake for myself. Not knowing she had an incipient duck on her hands, she laughed gently and tried to return the knife to my reluctant grasp. I again explained that the knife was superfluous. It was impossible, I pointed out with incontrovertible logic, to cut a cake and still leave it entire for its rightful owner. I had no need and no desire to share.
"My father thereupon mounted the hustings (he was nine feet tall and looked like a moose without antlers) and escorted me to my room to contemplate in cakeless solitude the meaning of a word new to me: "selfish." To me then, and to Daffy Duck now, "selfish" means "honest but antisocial"; "unselfish" means "socially acceptable but often dishonest." We all want the whole cake, but, unlike Daffy and at least one six-year-old boy, the coward in the rest of us keeps the Daffy Duck, the small boy in us, under control."
Tiramisu Toffee Torte
1 (1lb 2.5oz) pkg pudding
included white cake mix
1 cup strong coffee, room
4 egg whites
4 (1.4 oz) toffee candy bars,
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup chocolate syrup
½ (8 oz) pkg (4 oz) cream
2 cups whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup strong coffee, room
Chopped toffee candy bars or
chocolate curls, if desired
Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9 or 8 inch round cake
pans. In large bowl, combine cake mix, 1
cup coffee and egg whites at low speed until moistened; beat 2 minutes at high
speed. Fold in chopped toffee bars. Spread batter in greased and floured pans.
Bake at 350°F. Bake 9 inch pans 20 to 30 minutes, bake 8
inch pans 30 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out
clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from
pans. Cool completely.
In medium bowl, combine
sugar, chocolate syrup and cream cheese; beat until smooth. Add whipping cream and vanilla; beat until
light and fluffy. Refrigerate until
ready to use.
To assemble cake, slice each
layer in half horizontally to make 4 layers.
Drizzle each cut side with ¼ cup coffee.
Place 1 layer coffee side up on serving plate; spread with ¾ cup
frosting. Repeat with second and third cake
layers. Top with remaining cake
layer. Frost sides and top of cake with
remaining frosting. Garnish with chopped
toffee bars. Store in refrigerator
Yield: 12 servings
NOTE: I like using Symphony Toffee almond candy
Recipe from “Pillsbury Best
of the Bake-Off Cookbook” Copyright ©1996 by The Pillsbury Co. – pages 274-275