Friday, June 15, 2007

Food Porn Friday!!!

Chocolate "Picnic" Cake
at a Holiness Church Homecoming



Last Sunday was the "Homecoming" at Pastor Jimmy's Edwina Church of God in Jesus' Name, the Signs Serpent Handling church that I’ve been attending and writing about.

Above pictured was my offering, a dark chocolate "Picnic" cake. Many of you may be familiar with this cake in its sheet cake incarnation called a "Texas Sheet Cake" or "Texas Picnic Cake". Essentially what we have here is a rich moist chocolate cake frosted with boiled fudge frosting and sprinkled with chopped pecans. I've experienced mini marshmallows mixed in with the frosting.

Indeed, I'm very experienced in the ways of chocolate cakes.

I believe this cake has a reputation as a cake for taking on outdoor outings because the boiled fudge frosting seals the cake. It’s always better the second day and should be made a day ahead.

If you are a high church person like myself, you may not be familiar with the tradition of the Homecoming. The Homecoming is a yearly summer gathering of everyone who is or has been a member of one of these smaller churches. The Baptists have them as well as the Holiness churches. Everyone is welcome and it takes the form of a big picnic that follows a service and much gospel singing.

Everyone brings food and it is a really wonderful time.

We went in for the service and one of the rare treats was the presence of Jimmy’s younger minister, Michael, and Pastor John Brown from the Marshall church. There were three generations of ministers there all preaching in the style of the Jesus’ Name Snakehandlers.

Since so many children were in attendance, there were no serpents attending the Homecoming. Michael’s baby girl would wander up on the stage with him and he preached almost the entire time holding her.


Every once in a while she'd get tired of being held and toddle off the stage to look at us all with big wide eyes, and scuff her little patent leather shoes on the floor.

And the singing! There was a great deal of singing. Friend Scott met me there and did a duet of "I'll Fly Away" with a young lady who was sitting in front of us with her fiance. They were getting counseled by Jimmy on getting married, which is a very, very serious commitment in a Holiness church. Her young man and I were not singers but eagerly egged the two of them on.

It was the first time I'd really seen the little church that filled up.

But I know you are really ready to see the food. There was so much food! I was actually so into it that I almost forgot to take pictures of it.



There were all sorts of hams, meat loafs, devilled eggs, potato salads, green beans, fried chicken, and all sorts of salads. This, I'm afraid was my plate. This was quite modest compared to Scott’s. Scott managed to find the medieval truncheon sized Styrofoam plates. But he is 6 foot 9. Everything I tried was absolutely delicious!


The church has constructed a picnic shed in the back of the church for just such gatherings. This is where we took all the food before the service and where we womenfolk retired to get everything ready as soon as the service ended.

As is the custom here, the children eat first. Then we all file in and enjoy the bounty of food and the excellent company.

All in all it was a wonderful day for a Homecoming.


Oh. You probably want the recipe for that cake I started all this with?

Chocolate "Picnic" Cake

Layers:

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup milk
1 egg

Combine sugar and cocoa. Add well beaten egg and milk. Cook in a double boiler until thick and smooth. Cool.

1 cup sugar
3/4 cups shortening
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 cups sifted cake flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream shortening and sugar. Add well beaten eggs. Beat well then add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk. Add flavoring and cooled cocoa mix. Beat well. Pour into well oiled cake pans. Bake at 375 degrees about 20 minutes. Turn out to cool on racks.

Boiled Fudge Frosting:

4 cups sugar
2 cups cream
4 squares bakers chocolate

Place sugar and cream in a cold stainless steel pan. Bring to a rolling boil and let boil on high for three minutes. Cut the heat back to medium high and let boil until it reaches the hard ball stage. Pour out into a mixing bowl and put four blocks of unsweetened bakers chocolate in with the mixture. Let the chocolate melt. After it cools a bit, place in the mixer on high until it reaches the consistency of frosting. If the frosting seizes, just add a few drops of cream and continue to mix.

Compose the cake, frosting between the layers and top and sides. Sprinkle generously with chopped pecans. Let sit overnight before serving.




The Edwina Church of God in Jesus Christ's Name
Edwina, Tennessee
2007 Homecoming

5 Comments:

  1. Betsy aka 'the goat yoda' said...
    They sure are a good lookin' bunch of country folks!
    Welcome to Ducks Mahal said...
    What a wonderful gathering. Beautiful people. Many, many blessings.
    seejanemom said...
    You will never fully understand a thing as beautiful as "I'll Fly Away" until you have heard it sung in humble surroundings.

    My heart ACHES that I missed this gathering, but it rejoices that you were able to experience it and bring it here to us. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST, ROSIE.

    REQUEST: Podcasts for music or maybe a YOUTUBE Vid of something so rich???

    This place you describe is the church of my childhood and that song is in my funeral directive as one of only two I wish sung.

    Bless you again for the simplicity of your words and the beauty of the images.
    Mallow said...
    nice photographs, and super yummy looking food as always!! Daaaaamn that cake looks good.. I wish I were more of a homemaker type so I could run to my pantry and get all the ingredients out and whip up a chocolate cake like that. :-/
    Erica said...
    God's ineffable name in Hebrew AND ham in the same post. Oy vey!

    :-)

    OK, at least it wasn't me who did it, because then I *know* a bigass lightening bolt would come down and fry me to smithereens.

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