On October 29, Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast with her powerful winds, rain, and tides. The devastation caused by this strong storm is incredible. And now those same areas are faced with several inches of snow. People have lost everything. People are trying to survive without food, clean water, electricity…the essentials.
I know a little about how they feel. In 1994, the city where I lived endured what was categorized as a 500-year flood. Alberto, a tropical storm, moved inland on July 4 and stalled just north of us. Over the next several days, many places received more than 20 inches of rain. Far more than the rivers, creeks, and dams could handle. The Flint River crested at more than 20 feet over flood stage. Every creek in the area was overwhelmed. Sturdy dams were over-topped and earthen dams collapsed. It was flooding like no one had ever seen. And it was horrible. People watched helplessly as their homes were inundated. Cemeteries were flooded and hundreds of coffins floated freely. The flood water was full of bacteria, fuel, human waste, and just plain garbage. And all that crept into the flooded homes. Lifetimes worth of memories were lost and never recovered.
And as bad as the flooding was, the recovery was even worse. Believe me when I say that recovering from devastation like they’re seeing in the Northeast is not a sprint. It is a marathon. More like a marathon while slogging through a nasty, wet, garbage-filled mess.
But the best thing that happened in that disaster? The only good part? The relief that was felt when help arrived. Sure, we had help from government agencies, but it was the volunteers who poured in and came with open arms and giving hearts and really helped those in need. They started arriving as the waters receded. They brought building materials, food, water, supplies…whatever they could gather to help people who had lost everything.
The experience from that flood is why I’m honored to participate in the Food Bloggers Support for Sandy effort today. Food Bloggers for Sandy was initiated by Barbara of Creative Culinary and Jenn of Jenn Cuisine as a way to show support for and raise money for those in the northeast who are hurting so much right now. The premise is simple – participating bloggers are posting a recipe today for comfort food. Something that we would take to a “neighbor in crisis or a friend in need; you know, those dishes that are warm and homey and just make a person feel good all over,” as Barb said. And to provide you with links for organizations that could use your financial help right now.
- Samaritan’s Purse is helping victims of Hurricane Sandy at three locations in New Jersey and in one in New York. They have established bases in Atlantic, Bergen, and Ocean Counties in New Jersey, as well as Nassau County in New York where homes were hard hit by the superstorm.
- Red Cross is providing food, shelter, and other forms of support to hurricane victims. You can donate directly to the Red Cross. You can also text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- Salvation Army is also focused on providing food, shelter, and support to victims, and takes donations to storm relief.
- Feeding America is providing food, water and supplies to those who need it as part of their disaster relief program.
I urge you to make a donation to one of these organizations if you have the means. It could mean a world of difference to someone.
And now, what comfort food recipe would I make for a neighbor in need? Without a doubt, this White Chocolate Cake. Comfort food at its finest. Rich with butter, tangy from buttermilk, laced with pecans, coconut, and white chocolate. Oh, yeah. Comfort food indeed.
Before you begin, be sure to have all your ingredients at room temperature. Grease and flour a tube or bundt pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Melt 8 ounces of white chocolate in the top of a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl set over simmering water stirring until chocolate has completely melted.
In a large mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks one at a time beating until each is incorporated before adding the next. Slowly beat the melted chocolate into the creamed mixture. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
With mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk to the chocolate batter mixture. Stir in the pecans, coconut, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a tester inserted halfway between sides of pan comes out clean. Begin checking the cake at the 1 hour, 10 minute mark. Cooking time will vary depending on your oven.
Remove cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack. After about 15 minutes, carefully run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Allow the cake to completely cool in the pan.
Note: I’m not going to lie to you – this cake is finicky. I had to make it several times before it came out quite right. The first time it fell completely apart when I turned it out of the pan after 15 minutes. Through experimentation, I found that if I let it cool in the pan I had much better results. Just be sure to loosen the edges from the pan as instructed above. If you don’t, they’ll cling to the pan and the top of the cake will crack badly. It will still crack some, but not as much. And besides, the glaze will cover most of the cracking :-)
After cake has completely cooled, top with glaze, toasted pecans, and additional coconut.
To make the glaze, place the pecans in a shallow pan and toast in a 350 degree oven for 5-6 minutes or until slightly darkened in color. Allow to cool while you proceed with the rest of the glaze. Add the white chocolate, corn syrup, and heavy cream to the top of a double boiler or heat-proof bowl set over simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the ingredients are combined.
Drizzle the top of the cake with the white chocolate glaze. Sprinkle with toasted pecans and coconut.
Other bundt and tube cake recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Hummingbird Bundt Cake from Bake or Break
- Beer Cake from She Wears Many Hats
- Apple Bundt with Brown-Butter Vanilla Bean Glaze from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles
- Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Culinary in the Country
- Cranberry-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake from Confections of a Foodie Bride
- Triple Chocolate Espresso Pudding Cake from The Hungry Mouse
What I was up to…
- One year ago: Classic Macaroni and Cheese
- Two years ago: Cheesy Chili Cornbread
- Three years ago: Chicken Noodle Soup and Back-to-Basics Homemade Chicken Broth