Impulse Buy: [yellow tail] bubbles
Store: College Square Liquors
Aisle: Spakling Wines and Champagnes
It is no secret among my friends and family (and all of you readers who have kept up with my previous posts) just how much I adore champagne. It has a special place both in my heart, and on the tiny shelf in my shared refrigerator. There’s just something magical and classy about the bubbly beverage.
Champagne is used in celebration, to mark something new, something now, something that has the potential to be more than just “something.” January 1st is toasted with a tall sparkling glass, a bottle is broken on the bow of ship about to set sail, and Marilyn Monroe supposedly bathed in 350 bottles worth of the stuff.
While that last tidbit has nothing to do with new beginnings, it shows the other side of champagne that I love: its extravagance. I have always considered myself as a girl with got-rocks taste on a costume-jewelry budget. But no matter what color warning the ATM flashes every time I take out money, one sip of champage can make me feel like I’m in Paris circa 1922. I can feel the beads of my dress swing around my knees and hear the jazz band play until morning. Everything is golden and a bit Gatsby-esque.
I decided that in celebration of finishing my senior thesis, champagne of many sorts and varieties was in order. Although one may say the bottle that I chose isn’t exacty a splurge at around ten dollars, for a girl whose ATM is flashing warning signs like a Christmas tree (as previously noted), ten dollars could have bought many week’s worth of ramen. I decided that for this impulse buy, drinking the popping pink punch was not enough. With my background in baking I chose to take my bottle even further: chocolate and champagne cake. Sounds fancy, non? Well then, you have been fooled! This cake may be the easiest creation with which to impress everyone at your next soirée. It follows the same trick mug cakes rely on: completely disregarding anything the back of the cake mix package instructs. And, as if I really had to tell you, this gateau is served best with a flute of the finest and flambouyant dancing on the lawn.
Johanna Caruthers is a senior English major at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She likes unicorns, baking, poetry, and roller skating.
Chocolate and Champagne Cake
Serves 12 mademoiselles et monsieurs
1 box of white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines’ Moist White Cake)
1 to 1 1/2 cup of champagne
Preheat oven according to the directions on the box, lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan, and set aside. Combine cake mix and champagne into a large bowl. The mixture should appear wet, not sticky. Add small amounts of champagne to reach the desired texture. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake as directed on the box, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before covering with chocolate frosting. Enjoy immediately among friends.