Thursday, April 29, 2010

You can do it, Brucey!

Remember that part in Matilda when Ms. Trunchbull makes Bruce Bogtrotter eat that entire chocolate cake? This weekend, for my brother JB's birthday, Luke and I made (what I think of as) Brucey's cake. It was a double layer cake with dark chocolate frosting, and was really moist and delicious. And because JB is a guy who appreciates pretty things, we put a ring of crystalized flowers around the top.

The recipe:

12 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
heaping 3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour two 9-inch round cake pans. In a bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape bowl as needed.
  4. Pour batter into pans.* Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before inverting cakes onto rack to cool completely.
*Our pans overflowed a little, so I'd suggest using all but about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of the batter.

For the frosting we used this recipe from Martha Stewart.

What I didn't know until today is that there is a recipe for Bruce Bogtrotter's cake in Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes.


  1. I remember checking out that Road Dahl cookbook when I was in elementary school! I thought it was so awesome that there was a cookbook for my favorite books. I don't remember which recipes I tried, but they probably all turned out horrible. I wasn't exactly a master chef in 4th grade...

  2. That cakes looks really good. And I always thought that about Bruce's cake, too.

  3. Are you saying J B. is a fatty like Brucey?

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  5. Heather, I didn't even know the cookbook existed, but it wouldn't have made a difference anyway. I hated cooking. I remember my mom giving me a simple oatmeal cookie recipe and I messed it up and cried.

    For a while, my parents had my brother and I take turns making Sunday dinners, because they thought it was important that we learn how to cook. He would make a yummy glazed chicken and asparagus with hollandaise sauce, and I would dump cans of beans and tomatoes in a crock pot before church and call it chili.

    Andrew, I'm saying JB's fat like Brucey, and I'm like that gross cook who put her sweat and blood into a cake.