On October 1st it was my mom‘s birthday and it’s the first one where I couldn’t call her on the phone and sing her happy birthday. The whole week leading up to the day, I felt sad and found myself in tears because it hurts not to have your mom around anymore. But as I wondered how I could celebrate the day, I thought about the chocolate chip cake she always used to make for birthdays. It was baked in a bundt pan and sprinkled with icing sugar and while to others it seems just like an “everyday” kind of cake, for our family, this cake was special.
Heady with vanilla and studded with dark chocolate chips, my favorite part of this cake is actually the golden crust which seems extra buttery and rich. I like that this cake isn’t fussy and it totally suits my mom’s personality. My mom was the epitome of sweetness and kindness and never was the sort to put on a fancy production. That said, whenever we had guests, my mom pulled out the fancy china and silverware and would warm the soup bowls in the oven before serving. She was a very proud woman and this cake and the sprinkling of powdered sugar has an elegance that reflects how she lived.
This cake is also the hands-down favorite of my brother. He always requests it for his birthday and my mom, and now his wife, makes it for him. There are lots of recipes and foods that remind me of my mom, but this cake is special. And now I’m going to adopt this cake as a way to celebrate every October 1st – a lovely reminder of my maman that will really mean something to me and to my family. It’s an ideal way to begin a new tradition.
Elsewhere: Over at Poppytalk I talk figs and even provide a fig recipe – and I’m a bonefide fig hater. Try a Spanish Pan de Higo flourless cake this season.
maman’s chocolate chip cake
1 c butter
1 c sugar
1 6-gram pack Oetker vanilla sugar (or 1 t of vanilla extract)
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c corn starch
1 T baking powder
1/2 c milk
1/2 c chocolate chips
Cream butter, gradually add sugar, the vanilla sugar and eggs. Add mixture of sieved flour, corn starch and baking powder alternately with the milk. Mixture should be firm, don’t add too much milk. Finally, add chocolate chips and fill greased and dusted bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. When cool, dust with icing sugar.