Hope everyone had a happy 4th of July! I've been writing like crazy and having so much fun getting to know Annie and Will from Wind Chime Café. Since no café book would be complete without a fantastic chocolate cake recipe, I'm attempting to master the art of the multi-layered Smith Island Cake.
Smith Island Cakes are traditionally made up of eight to ten layers of yellow cake and smothered in chocolate frosting. The recipe hails from Smith Island, Maryland, a small Chesapeake Bay island and traditional working watermen community that lies twelve miles west of Crisfield, Maryland.
For the cake layers, I used the Smith Island Museum recommended recipe from Mrs. Kitching's Smith Island Cookbook. Watch the oven closely as the layers bake really fast, and try to give each of them a minute on the highest rack so they get a nice blast of heat on top.
Mrs. Kitching's recipe calls for an icing with lots of confectioners sugar. I'm not a big fan of confectioners sugar in icing since it makes everything taste so sweet, so I substituted my great-grandmother's chocolate fudge recipe, which is OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!!
What you'll need to make the icing:
3 c. sugar
1 large can evaporated milk
1 stick butter
2 heaping TB unsweetened cocoa or choc bars to taste
1/4 t. salt or more to taste
To make the icing, bring all the ingredients except the vanilla to a boil. Continue to simmer on low while stirring until the chocolate thickens (about 15-20 mins). Take off heat. Add the vanilla. Mix by hand until it's thick enough to spread (about 15-20 mins.) *warning* The icing will thicken and turn into fudge so you have to be ready to ice the layers as soon as it thickens to the point where it won't just drip down the sides.
How gorgeous is that?? Okay, so this might not be the easiest recipe to make, but with a few friends and a bottle of wine, it is so worth it! What do you think? Are you ready to give it a try? Or did you take one look at this and think, you have got to be kidding me!?