easy desserts & recipes: paula deen's chocolate malt cake (cupcakes)
I admire Paula Deen her for her many accomplishments and the obstacles she had to overcome. She will always have a special place in my heart for more reasons than just her recipes. She helped me to adjust and grow in a culture that was very foreign to me. Because of my husband’s career in the USMC I’ve spent many years on and off south of the Mason Dixon Line. Twenty years ago, when I first moved to North Carolina as a newlywed I was reluctant to embrace anything southern. With a heavy New Jersey accent I stood out like a sore thumb. I went through many adjustments that first year of marriage. Military life, carrying our first child, and living within a culture foreign to me all caused me to cling to my roots, particularly the food. But, it was Paula Deen that truly opened the door to the southern kitchen for me. I enjoyed her over-the-top personality. Because of Paula Deen I began to look at the south differently and she became a southern good will ambassador. I am supportive of Paula Deen despite the recent issue regarding her delayed announcement that she has type- 2 diabetes. Initially I took the stance that it is her business and she should not have to relate, to the world, anything regarding her health. I was appalled by the harsh and nasty criticism Paul Deen received, particularly from Anthony Bourdain. I understand Bourdain’s critique, but I think it would be wise for someone who once used illegal drugs to refrain from delivering this criticism in such an ugly manner. As I set out to write this post, I thought about the issue more and I found myself becoming disappointed in Paul Deen. She showed a lack of faith in her fans by delaying her announcement and poor judgment in becoming a pharmaceutical spokesperson. When a person is a celebrity there is a certain responsibility to the public. Everyone has a right to privacy. However, a celebrity, I feel, gives up some of that privacy. It is the price they pay. While they enjoy the perks they must also accept that they will not have the luxury of privacy and that they have a certain responsibility to the public who support their careers. I heard her interviewed by Al Roker on the Today Show. “I’m gonna keep this close to my chest for the time being’ because I had to figure out things in my own head, said Deen when questioned about when she found out she had type-2 diabetes. When asked about why she waited to go public Deen replied, ” I wanted to bring something to the table when I came forward, “I appreciate her need to bring something to the table and I also understand wanting to keep the information close to her until she figured things out. But, she took too long. Paula Deen is now a paid spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical company that supplies her diabetes medication. This is a clear conflict of interest and if she is true to her word, “Diabetes won’t change how I cook,” then she needs to resign as spokesperson for Novo Nordisk. It is, for me, impossible to promote the very foods that can cause diabetes and promote the pharmaceuticals that help manage diabetes. What I loved about Paula Deen was that she made no excuses for her cooking. It isn’t health food. People need to recognize that she wasn’t selling a healthy life style. She was selling comfort food. I love comfort food, I love her recipes and I agree with her sentiment that people need to be responsible for themselves. As my teenagers would say, she needed to “own it”. If she had disclosed this information sooner she may have had to deal with fallout, but with her charisma she could have brought her fans along on the journey of learning how to balance her southern cooking with a healthy lifestyle. She would still be the genuine Paul Deen if she just said, “Hey, ya’ll, I think I ate too much of my own rich foods so now I’m gonna have to cut back a little and develop healthier habits.” Paula Deen made two very poor choices, (1) delaying her announcement and (2) becoming a pharmaceutical spokesperson. What attracted many people to Paula Deen is her warmth and openness. Fans trusted that she was genuine. She betrayed that trust by not being forthright and by being compensated by Novo Nordisk. I will probably still watch Paula Deen and still use her recipes. I would like to share one of the memories that I hold dear and it involves Paula Deen: One day, my boys and I were particularly blue. My husband was deployed to Iraq. My two boys seemed like ghosts of themselves because of the worry. So, to cheer us all up I did my best Paula Deen impersonation and told the boys that we were going to bake a cake, frost it and then eat it until we couldn’t eat another bite. We laughed a clowned around in the kitchen and when we sat down to eat that cake we were comforted by the time spent together. This story is what comfort food is all about. Paula Deen brought joy into our home that day and, for that, she has my support.
Chocolate Malt Cake (Paula Deen) Ingredients: 2¼ cups all-purpose flour 1¼ cups sugar ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1½ teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup milk (preferably whole milk) 1 cup malted milk powder 1 cup vegetable oil 3 large eggs 1 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 cup unsweetened butter, room temperature ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ¾ cup whipping (heavy) cream ½ cup malted milk powder 5 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 9-inch round layer cake pans; grease the pan with butter, line the bottom with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust the pan with flour. 2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside. 3. In a small bowl, combine milk and malted milk powder, stirring to dissolve. 4. Add milk mixture, vegetable oil, and eggs to flour mixture; use an electric mixer or wooden spoon and beat until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla; beat just until mixture is combined. 5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pans on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pans and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling. Frosting: 1. In a large bowl, beat butter and cocoa powder until creamy. 2. In a small bowl, combine whipping cream and malted milk powder, stirring to dissolve. Add cream mixture to butter mixture, use an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon and beat until combined. Gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar until smooth. Use an offset spatula to spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. For obvious reasons, let me state that my husband and my two boys are athletes and healthy. I am fit, a healthy weight and have no medical conditions.