Why April Cake

Alex was right. When she was little and first learning to tell time, she asked me why the calendar doesn't start with Spring. Well, as it turns out, April 1st was the original New Year's Day, until that newfangled Gregorian Calendar changed it to January 1st. People who refused to give up celebrating on April One (and you know I would have been one of those) earned the endearing moniker of April's Fools.

So now we stay up all night celebrating January One, which as a holiday isn't even 500 years old, and the original April One, a truly ancient and deserving day, is marked by pranksters. Doesn't seem fair. Let's fix this! What can we do to better celebrate the righteous holiday of April Fools?

My quilter senses tell me that enough fun-loving people aren't readily celebrating April Fools because ---wait for it----it doesn't have a color. Think about it. When you start a holiday craft or event, say St. Patrick's Day or Thanksgiving, you have colors to hang your theme on. Where as poor All Fools Day has plenty of grand themes past and present, but no where to take that expression. Even the April birthstone is diamond. No help there for a holiday color.

Or is there?!? Let's make April Fools colors black and white; the color of harlequin and tuxedo. Classy. I like it. What say ye?
Maxfield Parrish 1908
And to get the party started, I've created a new recipe:  April Cake.

Ha! April Fools! It's a brownie (see what I did there?):  champagne & blackberry brownie, with white chocolate.

  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 pkg. white chocolate chips (11 oz.)
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup champagne*
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 c butter (2 sticks melted)
  • 1/2 cup seedless blackberry jam (melted)
Step 1:  Open the champagne!
Step 2:  Mix together first 5 [dry] ingredients. Mix 'em good.
Step 3:  Combine champagne and milk. Correct - you are trying to sour the milk. It will look weird, don't be scared. And the bubbly is hard to measure, so go ahead and be generous.
Step 4:  Add champagne/milk and eggs to the dry ingredients. Stir.
Step 5:  Stir in melted butter. Correct - this will pre-melt the chocolate chips so they disappear in baking.
Step 6:  Pour batter into prepared pan. In our house, "prepared" means nonstick spray. We're making  2 dozen brownies, so your regular 9"x13" sheet cake pan is ideal.
Step 7:  Draw lines on top of cake with melted jam. Swirl jam with a skewer.
Step 8:  Bake 350 degrees (F) for 30 minutes. [Supreme Fiber Artist @angiequilts says that means 180C if you are baking this across the pond. Thanks Angela!]
*The champagne bubbles drove the jam into the center of April Cake, and made a yummy crispy border. I guess baking with flat champagne would avoid that. But where's the fun in that? Your call.

Now it's your turn. Share here your April Fools holiday traditions. Or even your favorite prank. And if you're lucky enough to have April 1 as your birthday, have a very Happy Birthday today, and a Happy New Year.
For Neal

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I missed this up in high foothills with no wifi the past two days. I'm glad y'all celebrated without me. I like it, a classy, bubbly holiday, with brownies.. Playing practical jokes for April Foo's Day as a child I the most I've done. You have takn the day to a newer, higher level.


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