Schmecks really does mean good!

So earlier this month I kept seeing blog posts involving the word "schmeck" and they all linked back to Jasmine at Confessions of a Cardamom Addict.

I'd never even heard of Edna Staebler, let alone food that schmecked! What the heck was a schmeck!




Sounds like I'm cursing or crazy!

(Btw, turns out I'm neither, I think.)

Jasmine did a fine job explaining what schmecks is about:

Schmecks is a word that Mennonites use to mean tasty…flavourful…yummy.

Her original event was so popular, she decided to have a repeat event, a part two, and invited all her readers, some of us by personal invitation, to participate and make either an Edna like recipe, if not one of her actual recipes.

Any event that requires I make something yummy sounds like fun to me.

I checked out all the original posts and decided I wanted to cook something new for this event, but I admit, I didn't really want to go out and buy a new cookbook. I haven't even been able to finish reading the pile I have. So I cheated a bit, visited my local bookstore, checked out a book or two and ended up copying out a recipe from More Food that Really Schmecks, Hurry Up Chocolate Cake, as well as Cocoa Fudge Icing.

I picked this recipe because my interest was piqued by the idea of making a chocolate cake in the pan, one that didn't involve cake mix, but was as easy as cake mix. Would it stick to the pan and come out in crumbles instead of nicely cut pieces? Would it have enough chocolate flavor to satisfy my chocolate needs? Would my children eat it, or just eat the icing?

So here are the recipes I copied out:

Hurry Up Chocolate Cake (use a 9x9 cake pan)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 rounded tablespoons cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1 cup lukewarm buttermilk

Sift all the dry ingredients into the pan and stir to blend. Bump pan on the counter to level off. Make 3 hollows in mixture with a spoon. Put vanilla in one hole, vinegar in second hole and melted butter/margarine in 3rd hole.
Pour buttermilk over top. Stir and blend until smooth with no flour showing.
Thump on counter and bake in 350F oven for 30 minutes.

Cocoa Fudge Icing

1 cup sugar, brown or white
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine sugar and cocoa. Stir in milk until smooth. Drop in butter and stir over moderate heat. Boil for 1 minute only.
Remove from heat and cool quickly (cold water in sink.) Stir in vanilla and beat until creamy and thick. It will stay soft - but firm, on cake. (Her words, I didn't really see it though.)

So here is my messy first piece of chocolate cake, with icing. It was very fudgy looking, moist and with a good crumb. Currently my husband is having his second piece, and my youngest child ate his entire piece instead of just the icing.

A cake recipe that only makes a 9x9 pans worth is actually quite practical for a family of four - not too much cake, we won't be eating it for days, but just enough that we will be able to all have some in our lunches tomorrow. It will be a special treat in the kids lunch boxes, a nice way to start off the week.

I am looking forward to other people's submissions to this event, so I can increase my recipe base with more of Edna's quirky recipes.


Linda said...

this looks so decadent AND easy. thanks for sharing! great for a last minute party contribution.

Andrea said...

I grew up in Edna Staebler's corner of the world and have been familiar with the 'Schmecks' books since I was small. The Hurry-Up Chocolate Cake was the star of these books (not everyone is crazy about heavy Mennonite main courses!). This is the default cake recipe in my family and it has never let us down!