Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cookbook Thursday: heartfelt 'Grandbaby Cakes'

Jocelyn Delk Adams writes an award-winning blog titled “Grandbaby Cakes,” featuring a wide variety of recipes from hearty fare such as Southern smothered chicken and mint-infused mojitos to baked goods such as decadent cakes and cheesecakes. It’s one of those sites where both recipes and photos will have you drooling in no time and rushing out to buy ingredients to replicate her creations.
Now Adams has published a cookbook, “Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories,” focusing on the sweet things in life. Interspersed in the book’s 50 recipes are photos and memories of Adams, such as the Original Gooey-Gooey Cake recipe, that Adams insists was invented in St. Louis; her mother received her recipe from her Aunt Beverly of St. Louis. Her favorite dessert is Peach Cobbler, a recipe she acquired from “Big Mama,” the author’s grandmother of Winona, Miss. Adams offers her own recipe, for Peach Cobbler Shortcake, “worthy of any celebration,” she writes.
            The book contains recipes for pound cakes, layer cakes, sheet cakes, baby cakes (cupcakes and such), celebration cakes and desserts for seasons and holidays. Adams also includes cooking advice and “baking rules” and labels her recipes for degrees of expertise. Some recipes, for instance, such as the Ultimate Birthday Cake with its vanilla ice cream with sprinkles and cookie bites sandwiched between cake layers, veers toward the expert baker, but oh what an exquisite cake that would be to receive!
            It’s a gorgeous cookbook and so heartfelt with its sweet blend of memories and recipes, perfect as a holiday gift.
            For sample recipes, check out Adams’ blog. We’re particularly fond of the Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake — ideal for the holidays — and the Red Velvet Cake with Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting that’s pictured on the book’s cover.  I love nostalgia so I’m going to try the CocaCola Chocolate Cupcake with Peppermint Buttercream for my holiday entertaining.

Cheré Dastugue Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” She also writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire, “A Cajun Dream” and “The Letter.” Write her at