Bonfire Night | I (Cake) You.
For all of you non-Brits, Bonfire Night is a holiday that celebrates Guy Fawkes foiled attempt to blow up parliament that is observed every year on the 5th of November. The typical celebration involves fireworks and a bonfire- earning it the nickname "Bonfire Night."
Since the actual holiday fell in the middle of the week, we saved any and all acknowledgment of it until the weekend. Many of the big fireworks shows in the city were moved to the weekend, too, so we didn't feel too bad to wait out the fun.
When Saturday arrived, I cracked into my vault of Texas goods and started a pot of chili and some cornbread. While the celebration may be entirely British, my Texan-self knows no other way to entertain in the fall without it.
But if you're going to pull out the good stuff for your guests, you can't stop there. I needed something good to make for dessert... but something easy since Harrison's nap was guaranteed to last about 10 more minutes.
I preheated the oven and got the assistance of a capable sous chef (Viola) to help me make the coffee cake that Betty Crocker sent me to try as a part of their #icakeyou campaign. Something about the combination of cake + coffee sounded perfect for a cozy Autumn night in.
So we followed the (simple!) instructions on the box and five minutes later, it was in the oven.
By the time the oven buzzer rang, it was smelling SO good in our house that I was regretting not making cupcakes so that I could have snuck one for a pre-lunch appetizer. Oh well.
Then the fun started- putting it together.
I added some chocolate sprinkles to give it a bit of a mocha taste like this one, but next time- I'm going all in and adding chocolate chips to the batter. No need to skimp when you're #cookingwithbetty. :)
Can I just be honest with you. I love boxed cake mixes. I can make something really tasty and really simple. Traditional cake recipes make me sweat with all the creaming and folding and beating... and I always seem to end up with a mediocre end to my effort. I have no qualms about boxed cake mixes... and neither do my guests. It's a major upgrade from the brick-like alternative I've probably served them in the past.
My friend, Amber, came over with her daughter to join us for the night. Her husband had been away on business for a few days. She definitely deserved a giant slice for the week she had put in. It was so nice to have the girls play together while we spent the evening chatting and chowing down... and playing referee to their attempts to grab chunks of the cake.
We perched on the back of our couch and watched the nearby fireworks that evening. After the kids fell asleep, we dug out some vanilla ice cream to go on top of our second round of cake while watching Friday Night Lights. We lit the fireplace and pretended that was our Bonfire.
Our Guy Fawkes Night was just perfect- celebrating with friends and enjoying the coziness of indoors. Maybe next year, we'll feel brave enough to wade out to Battersea for fireworks... but I doubt it. :)
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How do you celebrate Guy Fawkes? Inform the ignorant American, is there a traditional food to eat on Bonfire Night? (If not, can I recommend homemade chili and giant hunks of coffee cake. I'd like to make that a tradition.)
*images original to Aspiring Kennedy
*this post was sponsored by Betty Crocker. Professions of cake fondness are my own.