Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Wednesday's words...

     Started by Delores a long time ago, this rotating celebration of words and the magic they make was begun to encourage creative writing. Each week a selection of prompts are posted, which can be words, phrases, music or an image. What is created with those prompts is up to the writer and imagination: a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or whatever they make the writer think of
     Some creative minds put their creations in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog. If you enjoy reading their words, please comment to encourage.
     The prompts will be on the Elephant's Child blog this month and are provided by Margaret Adamson, and her friend Sue Fulton. They also include photographs taken by Margaret's friend Bill Dodds.

It was a baptism by fire, as most new jobs are.  No matter how skilled you may think you are at a certain task, the first day on a new job always seems to make your brain dig into the deepest dregs of your mind to remember how to do even the simplest tasks.

Merribell stood before the kitchen counter with her new starched pinafore on, exploring a cookbook she had found in the cabinet above the refrigerator of the old Victorian bed and breakfast.  She wanted to impress the owner with something sweet other than a typical lemon sugar cookie, but instead using the honeycomb she had pulled from her beehive the night before.  
Source and Recipe!

Her three-greats-grandmother had passed down a recipe to each new wife in her family of a cake sweetened with honeycomb that she said had been passed down for every generation before hers.  She would whisper to each new bride that the day of their first argument, the cake should be made and shared for dessert with the evening meal to settle all disagreements and give them a long-lasting marriage.  No one knew where the recipe had actually originated from, and while some young brides thought that she was just meddling in their marriage, not one of them failed to make the cake the first time the newlyweds argued.

She had planned to tuck the recipe into her purse before she left that morning, but when her alarm had failed to go off ~ as in the rooster had slept in as well ~ her primary thought and goals for the morning were to get to work on time instead of as early as she had intended.

The house was an old Victorian boarding house that had been recently remodeled using a state-funded grant when the owners found it on the registry of National Historic Homes.  Contrary to some of the old-timers' gossip in town, the house had not proven to be haunted by the spirit of a young newlywed bride who had fallen from a third story balcony after an argument with her new groom on their wedding night.  But the rumors had served to dissuade some honeymooners from staying there and the owners wanted to change that reputation.

Merribell knew that her grandmother's recipe would be the perfect thing to add to the menu, but she couldn't remember all of the ingredients.  She had never made the cake for herself since she was still single, but her mother had passed the recipe down to her just before cancer had taken her four years before.  She could still hear her mother's whisper in her ear as she leaned into the hospice bed to give her one last hug.

"I left you Grandmama's recipe in the kitchen with the jars we use to collect honeycombs.  I know that it will bring you, true love, one day.  When you have found the man you want to be with forever, make him the cake.  Don't worry about the stories about just using it for when you argue or waiting until you are newlyweds.  It brought me your father, and I served it to him every Sunday dinner from the moment he first started courting me.  Fifty-five years we had until cancer took him last summer.  Fifty-five happy years filled with love.  Don't cry long for me, I know you will even if I ask you to not cry at all.  I'll be with your dad again, and I'll always be with you in your heart."

A tear fell into Merribell's coffee mug and she wiped the one chasing it with the back of her hand.  She did miss her mother deeply, and her father.  But she knew that they were together again, and that was a comfort to her.  Sighing, she decided to go home at lunch and get the recipe.  Maybe it would bring luck to the inn, and love.

Honeycomb Crunch Chocolate Cake

Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 -10
Author: Julia Frey of Vikalinka

For the cake
3/4 cups Guinness or any other stout
1/4 cup strong black coffee
1 cup/ 250 gr unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cups creme fraiche or sour cream
For the salted caramel buttercream
300 gr butter softened
397 gr Carnation caramel or dulce de leche
pinch of Maldon salt
50 gr crushed honeycomb

For chocolate ganache
1 cup whipping cream/double cream
1/2 pound dark chocolate chopped

For decoration
a handful of honeycomb pieces
a pinch of Maldon salt


Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and butter 3 8″ cake pans and dust them with some flour to prevent the cakes from sticking.
In a large saucepan heat stout, coffee and butter together until the mixture comes to a gentle simmer.
Add cocoa powder while whisking continuously to avoid lumps until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Blend flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a different bowl. Mix eggs, vanilla and creme fraiche with an electric mixer in bowl no 3.
Now check on your chocolate mixture and make sure it’s cool enough to continue the process.
Add the chocolate mixture to the egg and creme fraiche mixture and blend them together. Add flour mixture a little bit at a time and beat on low speed until combined. Divide batter equally among the pans.
Bake cakes in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. (I baked mine one at a time.)
Remove the cakes from the oven and cool on a wire rack. (Once cooled I usually wrap my cakes in a plastic wrap and chill my cakes in the fridge overnight.)
Make salted caramel buttercream by whipping butter in a bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy and then adding prepared caramel or dulce de leche with a pinch of flaky salt until completely incorporated.
Wrap honeycomb pieces in a clean tea towel and crush with a rolling pin or process in a food processor.
Fold in crushed honeycomb pieces into salted caramel buttercream.
(If Carnation caramel is not available in your supermarkets you can make your own by boiling a can of sweet and condensed milk in a pot of water for 3 hours.)
Fill the cake layers with salted caramel buttercream, then cover the entire cake with a crumb layer and chill in the fridge for 30-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, make a chocolate ganache. Bring heavy cream to a boil and take it off the heat immediately, then add your chopped chocolate into it and stir until melted! Cool it and whip it with an electric mixer until paler in colour and fluffy.
Cover the chilled cake with chocolate ganache and decorate with more honeycomb pieces and flaky salt.


  1. Guinness and chocolate all in one place - my mother would be in heaven! Well in reality that's where she is but figuratively speaking she would be there as well lol
    I really enjoyed this little look into Merribell's life - hopefully we'll hear a bit more about her days at the B&B.
    Take care

    Cathy @ Still Waters


Thanks for stopping by and catching my words!