Love Vermont Fudge Cake

love VT cake

Thanks everyone for your kind notes and well-wishes. We escaped the hurricane unscathed. As you know, not everyone was as lucky. It pains me to see any community in distress but I am especially saddened by what’s happened in Vermont. Simply put, Vermont was devastated by the hurricane.
I have a special place in my heart for Vermont. You see, years ago, Vermont was our home.

xoxo flag

 

For those of you who have yet to visit, Vermont is an idyllic place, dotted with farms and homes that are nestled between mountains. Wildflowers line the median strip on the highways while centuries old covered bridges usher you into local historic villages. Artisans, farmers and cheese makers help make New England one of the oldest and most significant sources of hand-crafted food in America.
Vermont, after all, is the place where the Von Trapp family (of the Sound of Music fame) settled because it reminded them of their Austrian homeland. In fact, my friend Aran from Cannelle et Vanille recently visited Vermont and wrote that it reminded her of her homeland too. Vermont has that elusive old-world quality that people love.

cake over
cake close

It’s true, Vermont is beautiful. But what makes Vermont most remarkable is its people. Hand to heart I can honestly say that the people I met during my time in Vermont where some of the kindest, most generous and thoughtful people I’ve ever encountered. Tears well up in my eyes when I read about Vermonters who have lost nearly everything sharing what’s left of their food supply with their neighbors whose cupboards are bare.
The images coming out of Vermont are disturbing to say the least. Take a look here and here for example.
I’ve created a page here for those of you who want to help. It would mean a great deal if you would post the link to your blogs or send out a tweet.

love cake closeup
fudge cake collage
chocolate paint

 

In addition to making a donation, I baked this cake to honor the people and spirit of Vermont. You see, I cultivated my love for chocolate while living in Vermont so to me this cake is a perfect tribute. I must have put a lot of love into it because frankly, it’s the best chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted. I’m calling it the Love Vermont Fudge Cake.
Special thanks to:
Lynn from I’ll Have What She’s Having for making these incredible Love Vermont Chocolate Brownies.
and to Emma for these wonderful Whoopie Pies
Thanks also for your emails and donations to charitable organizations.

slice of vt love cake
spoon cake

Love Vermont Fudge Cake
180 g butter, softened
2 g vanilla extract
330 g granulated sugar
100 g self-rising flour (available for purchase or mix 132 g all purpose flour w 8 g baking powder and 2 g salt, then measure for this recipe)
35 g cocoa powder
180 ml buttermilk
4 eggs, separated
pinch of cream of tartar
(*digital scales are widely available and can be purchased for as little as $20)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (177 Celsius)
Butter and flour a cake pan with cocoa powder. For this cake I used a 7” (18 cm) round spring form pan with 4” (10 cm) tall sides.
Mix flour and cocoa powder together and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar for at least 1 minute until light and creamy. Add vanilla. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating on high for 5 seconds after each addition. Add flour and buttermilk. Do not over mix.
In a separate bowl, using a whisk, beat the egg whites with cream of tarter until stiff. (The should stand at a peak but flop over a bit at the top when the whisk is pulled away). Fold the egg whites into the chocolate cake batter.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake in oven for about 1 hr. (Mine cooked for 1 hour and 10 minutes). Do not open the oven for at least 30 minutes if you want to check on it. Cool cake in pan before removing. Frost with recipe below.
Frosting
400 g good quality dark chocolate, chopped, melted & cooled (I recommend Callebaut or Valrohna)
250 g butter, slightly softened
80 g powdered sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and beat well. Mix in the chocolate. Turn the mixer up to medium high for 10- 20 seconds to make sure everything is well- blended.
Cut the cake into three layers. Cut the skin off of the surface of the top layer. Brush away cake crumbs. Spread some filling between each later, stacking layers on top of one another as you go along. Brush away the crumbs again and apply a thin base coat of frosting to cover the entire cake. Refrigerate the cake for 1 hour but allow the frosting sit at room temperature. Remove the cake and coat with remaining frosting. Refrigerate for 3 hours to allow the cake to set. Enjoy cake at room temperature.
Also, be sure to visit my latest issue of Freshness and Light.
Bon Appetit!
 
 

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60 Comments
  1. OMG, I cried when I watched the Sound of Music clip. Haven’t the Von Trapps been through enough? I will bake this cake to honor Vermont. I don’t have a blog to share but I will share a piece with my neighbor.

  2. Here in Vermont we are slowly all getting our lives and towns back together but it will take time. It is a state of extraordinary people, as you mention, and I am truly honoured to live here. Thank you for your yummy and heartfelt post – chocolate always works it’s magic in lifting spirits. I can’t wait to try this and share it all around!!

  3. It was the washed-out caskets that got to me the most when hearing about the disaster in VT. It’s crazy to think that all the idyllic and calm locations I drove through last winter changed so rapidly, and so fully.

    Some of the flooding shots remind me of the yearly spring flooding in Minnesota/North&South Dakota, but there it is expected and anticipated. Here, it’s all so devastating.

    I’m heading to upstate New York next weekend, I hear there will be a detour because of road closures; I will make something chocolatey before then.

    I hope everyone out that way is doing alright – blanket statement I know, but meant in the truest sense.

  4. El, your cake is beautiful. How did you make the frosting look so wavy and amazing? I’ve always wanted to frost a cake like this but don’t know how! Sorry to hear about Vermont. Such a pretty place and a great tribute too!!

  5. I’m heading to Vermont tomorrow. This trip was planned before Irene, and although I could have cancelled I decided to go anyway. I spent all of my summers in Vermont growing up, I feel like it’s a second home. I feel that I need to see what has happened first hand. I know my tourism dollars will help in a small way, and I will bake a cake for for them.
    Beautiful post.

  6. Beautiful. I, too, love vermont and have a special place in my heart for the state. It’s one of those places we visit often and wish we could live full-time. In fact, we’re planning on heading up for our anniversary in a few weeks to support some of the businesses in the areas that were hit. I love it there.

  7. Janet, I completely agree about how hard it is to frost a cake. The reason this cake works is because the frosting is so smooth and creamy. Just take an offset spatula and swirl away.

    Nancy, I only use grams now because they’re more accurate than cups. A digital scale is also much, much easier to work with. To have your work posted next week, you can make any chocolate cake. It doesn’t have to be this one.

    Thanks for your comments everyone. Much appreciated!

  8. I just had to show this cake to my husband. Delicious! So glad that you were okay but so sorry to hear about Vermont. It is a special place to me, too. My ex and I used to travel there quite often for the weekend. We’d refer to the place as vee-tee-cheese! As we’d go crazy with all the produce there. What a lovely tribute to this special place.

  9. Vermont truly is one of the most special places in our country. The people are kind and the culture is ever-constant. Very sweet gesture of outreach…i’ll make something chocolately to honor the people in Vermont!

  10. What heartbreaking videos of the damage in Vermont! I’ve never visited there but the scenery has always been lovely to me. How sad that so much has been damaged. I almost cried when that covered bridge was washing away.

    You cake is a wonderful tribute to the Vermont residents faced with such an uphill battle to get back to normal. It looks delicious!

  11. Vermont is a wonderful place. My heart goes out to all of the flood victims there and in the rest of the East coast.

    We forget that so many have no insurance to rebuild or not enough. For those who were already living paycheck to paycheck or whose farms were barely hanging on… this was it. I can’t imagine all the heartbreak and loss they must be feeling.

  12. A touching post indeed, im glad to see you came out of it ok but it is indeed so sad about others that did not. A gorgeous cake you have made here though (on a lighter note!), it looks like the richest most gorgeous scrumminess 🙂

  13. Incredibly delicious looking cake. Looking at your pictures is making me so hungry. I’m sorry to hear about what happened in Vermont. Chocolate always provides great comfort in times of stress!

  14. It breaks my heart to see all the photos, El. And most people don’t have flood or wind insurance either…something we in Florida must have.
    I made a donation to Red Cross, an organization I know will help as best they can.
    Your chocolate cake look divine!

  15. I am Italian but I spent two months in VT last spring working at Cellars at Jasper Hill in Greensboro. I felt at home since the very beginning. People ara amazing, all of them. I met Von Trapp brothers, too. Lovely people. It really hurts to see those images. Thanks for sharing this and your lovely cake.

  16. I’ve never been to Vermont but after reading this and seeing the photos I definitely want to visit. I showed my husband and he thought it looked great too. Do you know if the roads are safe for fall foliage peeping? I will definitely donate too. Thanks for this post. The cake looks delicious and comforting.

  17. This cake looks delicious and I’m not even a chocolate lover! I wish I had a piece now & I’m glad you guys you made it safely through the hurricane.

  18. Mish- Sounds great. You can check the state of vermont tourism website and the governors webpage.

    Anonymous-As a baker, accuracy is important. Therefore, I only use a kitchen scale to measure. Digital scales are available for as little as $20.

    Thanks for the comments everyone. Much appreciated!

  19. I’m so sorry to hear of the damage in Vermont. I’ve been away from TV and news for so long I didn’t know about this. I’m so glad you’re safe and think your cake is a beautiful tribute. xo

  20. I’m just reading this for the first time! What a wonderful tribute to Vermont. I’m looking forward to paying a visit someday. I keep on hearing about Simon Pearce and Woodstock, and how beautiful it is up there.

    This cake looks absolutely decadent and over the top!

  21. Thank you for the shout out, El.

    Driving through Vermont was very beautiful this past weekend – sunshine and lots of green! And sadly, some signs of the devastation as well…

  22. Mother Nature doesn’t play favorites. She takes a toll when she unleashes her fury. Hurricane rains on the east coast and wildfires in Texas. Many people have been left homeless.
    You cake looks so fabulous it would lift anyones spirits.
    Mimi

  23. El, this is such a moving tribute to Vermont!

    I never met the Trapp family (I remember Maria von Trapp being at a State dinner at the White House and Reagan making headlines the next day by mistaking the “Edelweiss” song for Austria’s national hymn), but their musical director, Franz Wasner, was a fatherly friend and mentor when we both lived in Rome.

  24. I love Vermont. so.much. It has been sad to see the destruction that happened during the hurricane. On a beautiful note, that is one gorgeous cake. I can only imagine how fantastic it must taste.

  25. I’m so sorry to hear about VT. I’ve been away and didn’t know how bad it was. I’m sending a donation now. Stunning cake by the way. I have to try it because it’s making me drool!

  26. that hurricane was not fun.
    we got lucky too.
    and our neighbors literally two houses away were on the grid of power that had to wait almost 2 weeks for power to come back. luckily we got ours back in a matter of hours. i was more than happy to turn my house into a laundymat/showerhouse. at one point i almost thought about throwing everyone in the pool and scrubbing them all at once as our pool holds more bodies than our two small bathrooms. LOL
    do you live in VT still? or NH?
    sorry i’ve been m.ia.; took a break from blogging

  27. El, What a beautiful post. I too have a special place in my heart for Vermont. I lived there for 10 years and I still consider it my true home. I am heartbroken about the devastation… But I know the resilient people of this beautiful state will rebuild.

    Your cake is a magnificent tribute to the spirit of Vermont. I might just have to make it this weekend!

  28. Lovely cake! Question: Where did that lovely, simple, square, white plate come from in the last picture?

    Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  29. Since I live in Vermont, I will definitely have to make this. Vermonters around here have been so kind and generous; I think that alone will help people pull through. And now that Fall is in the air, the beautiful colors tend to cheer us up.

  30. Heather- Regarding the plate, I wish I could remember. I’m pretty sure I bought it in Montreal. Sorry I can’t be more specific buy I’ve had it for a long time.

  31. I’m so glad you’re safe and sound. I loved this post. I’ve never been to Vermont. It’s high on my list of places in the States to visit. It sounds like I would just love it there. If I come, will you save a piece of this for me? I try not to bake chocolate around here because I have no self control. I’m always up for having it at someone else’s home though! xoxoo

  32. El, that cake looks INSANE! And I love Vermont; my mom went to graduate school there (just a few years ago…she went back to school) and I loved visiting Burlington in the fall. Happy weekend!

  33. El – this is so devestating. I have been to most New England states, but not Vermont. This makes me want to visit. And your cake….looks like the perfect plate of comfort!

  34. We loved the time we spent in Vermont just after the hurricane. Luckily, we were able to avoid the sad destruction of some of the more historical bridges and towns. I love this cake — I think my son would as well. Thanks for sending me here!

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