Tender at the Bone

by Brooke on July 16, 2013

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Looking for a delectable summer read?  Check out Tender at the Bone!  The book was written by, Ruth Reichl, a renowned American food writer and four time James Beard Award winner.  Her memoir is witty, heart warming and a mouthwatering a treat.

In the book, Ruth describes her journey both in food and life.  Her childhood stories of cooking, French boarding school, and steering guests away from her mother’s inedible cooking made me giggle.  Ruth’s words are just as appetizing as the life defining recipes she includes in each chapter.

One of the recipes in her book, reminded me of a cake my grandmother always made for me as a child.  Chapter five was called, “Devil’s Food.”  Below is the tasty recipe that Ruth included in this chapter.



1 cup milk                                          1/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup cocoa                                   1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup white sugar                         2 cups sifted cake flour

1 cup butter                                       1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3 eggs                                                 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°.  Heat milk in small pan until bubbles begin to appear around the edges. Remove from heat.  Mix cocoa and white sugar in a small bowl and slowly beat in warm milk.  Let cool.  Cream the butter with the brown sugar. Beat in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Add cocoa mixture.  Mix remaining dry ingredients together and gently blend into butter mixture.  Do not overheat.  Turn into 2 well-greased and floured 9-inch layer cake pans, and bake 25 to 30 minutes, until cake shrinks slightly from sides of pans and springs back when touched gently in the center.   Cool on a rack for a few minutes, then turn out of pans onto rack.  Wait until completely cool before frosting.



4 egg whites                                      1 teaspoon cream of tarter

1 1/2 cups sugar                               1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup water                                   1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine egg whites, sugar, water, cream of tarter, and salt in top of double boiler.  Set over simmering water and beat with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes, until soft peaks are formed.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Keep beating until frosting is stiff enough to spread.  Use immediately.  This looks like a lot, but use it all; it is enough to fill and frost the cake.








{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

ann dunaway teh July 16, 2013 at 2:52 am

I loved this book. The beginning of the book telling the story of her upbringing had me laughing so hard.


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