Thursday, March 31, 2011

To Wren With Love

Four years ago in a Chicago bar, I came across the love of my life.  Fast forward to today, living in San Francisco together, our love continues to grow.  Wren and I met just before his birthday (March 20th) and our first "official" date was when I took him out for a sushi birthday dinner.  I had just come along a recipe for a Bailey's Irish Cream cake that looked really good so I thought I would make it for him as a surprise.  The cake was a huge hit, and so it was named Wren Cake.  I have made it for him a couple of times since then but it has probably been over 2 years since the last time I whipped one up, I thought it would be a nice throwback to the beginning of our relationship and the perfect way to celebrate our anniversary.

Unfortunately I lost the small newspaper clipping with the recipe, so I had to recreate it this time.  The unique part about this recipe, which is why it caught my attention the first time around, is that it calls for a box of vanilla pudding.  The original recipe also relays on a yellow box cake mix, which if you feel so inclined you can go that route, but for me I made it from scratch.

3 cups of unbleached white flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups raw sugar
1 cup unsalted butter cut in chunks (at room temp)
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (if you don't have this on hand you can use milk and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice)
1 box of vanilla pudding (3.4 oz size)
1 cup of Irish cream liquor

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine the first 3 ingredients and set aside.  In a large bowl add butter, using a mixer beat until smooth.  Next add in sugar and beat until combined, add eggs in one at a time mixing after each egg.  Add buttermilk, vanilla and the package of pudding, beat until combined.  Lastly mix in your Irish cream.  You can use a bundt pan if you like, mine is packed so I used a 9 inch spring form, butter and flour your pan before pouring in batter.  Bake for around 50 minutes.  If desired, and I promise you you will desire this, make a glaze for the cake with 1/2 powdered sugar, 1/8 cup Irish Cream, 1/8 cup milk.

*If you are making this recipe using a box cake mix, omit the first six ingredients. 

This cake is heavenly and your house will smell amazing while it is in the oven!

After the cake was done baking I got this feeling that something just wasn't quite right, hadn't the original Wren Cake been chocolaty??  Wren and I talked it over and yes the original was definitely a chocolate Irish cream cake, if I recall correctly I used a box of chocolate pudding and also added in about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to the batter.  Chocolate or vanilla this cake is a special one, I am definitely not going to wait another year before I make it again.

Happy four year anniversary my love!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats! And cake looks great. Thanks for the comment on my site. That's great that you're pursuing your interest in nutrition too. I'm still taking prerequisites locally near DC, but I hope to start a masters program in nutrition at Virginia Tech next year. How about you?