I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a good chocolate cake but a double dark chocolate cake is even more special. My post the other day about blueberry muffins and a story about my mother brought back a flood of memories about growing up in a small rural town. This cake comes from Maine too.
Maybe your town or region has its own phrases but there are many I grew up with that I’ve never heard anywhere else. Some people live in the boonies, back of beyond, etc., but my friends who lived quite a drive out of town were said to live out in the puckerbrush. I have no idea what a puckerbrush is but it’s obviously something that only grows quite a distance from town.
The iconic word for a downeaster is the word ‘ayuh’. It’s hard to describe how that’s pronounced. It’s got a long a and the rest of it comes from the back of your throat. Some of the old timers said the word as they breathed in saying it 3 times. It’s what Mainers say as yes or affirmative or what to say when you can’t think of anything else to say or simply an acknowledgement that you’ve heard what the other person has said.
When ships sailed from Boston to ports in Maine (which were to the east of Boston), the wind was at their backs, so they were sailing downwind, hence the term ‘Down East.’ And it follows that when they returned to Boston they were sailing upwind; many Mainers still speak of going ‘up to Boston,’ despite the fact that the city is about 50 miles to the south of Maine’s southern border.
Many of the phrases everyone used were politically incorrect but those needn’t be listed. Sometimes when we were staying at the cottage on the coast it was ‘so foggy, I stuck out my arm and couldn’t see my thumb’. If we were really tough we were ‘tougher than a bag of hammers’. If we were slow we were ‘slower than the second coming of Christ’. If my father got angry or hurt himself it was ‘jumpin judas on a rock’.
If it was really dark it was ‘blacker than the inside of a cow’. I can still remember my father saying, ‘Bet that went over like a faht (fart) in church.’
I think only in Maine you’ll find the word dooryard. It’s the yard at the front door of a house. You step out into the dooryard when you leave.
Want directions? ‘You hook a right at the corner and go down the road a piece’.
I had an uncle who was fond of saying, “For the love of Mike, he was so hyper he was like a fart in a skillet.” He also used the very common Maine phrase and the motto of most Maine families, “Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.”
When my brother’s ears were dirty, my mother would say he ‘could grow potatoes in those ears.’ Things were never ordinary type good, in Maine things are wicked good. Wicked all by itself is still evil but wicked followed by good – that’s Maine.
My aunt Leonie, if she didn’t know the answer always said, ‘hard tellin, not knowin.’ Remember that in Maine the letter r doesn’t really exist. The word is hahd. Our neighbor always went ‘Upta camp’ when they went to their cottage at the lake.
Here’s a video by Tim Sample that makes me laugh. It makes me laugh because it’s so true. You need to watch it til the end but it’s only 2:54 long.
This is a cake my mother would bake to take down to the cottage at Ocean Point. We’d go to the shore (showah) for a lobster (lobstah) and clambake with friends and after everyone was ready to pop, my mother would bring out this wonderful cake. I loved it and I loved it even more that she brought it to the clambakes because everyone was always too full for dessert and we’d get to take it home.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup of milk with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract - the good stuff
- 1 cup hot coffee
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- 2 cups chocolate, finely chopped (or use chocolate chips)
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup (you can leave this out)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
- Grease two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans or one 9-inch pan and line the bottom with baking paper. Grease the paper as well and dust with flour. Tap out any excess flour.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed.
- In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
- Slowly add the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly add the hot coffee until fully incorporated.
- Mix in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s).
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool.
- Peel off the parchment.
- In a glass bowl add chocolate and cream. Microwave for 1 minute and stir. Heat again for 10 seconds.
- Add corn syrup and whisk until smooth.
- Place cake on serving dish and spoon over warm ganache. I usually put a thin layer and put the cake in the fridge and then re-apply the ganache so it's extra thick. Doing it in one go means most of it lands on the plate.
I promise, this is my last Maine post for a while. 🙂
Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com says
Haha – love all these “sayings” but I couldn’t hold in my laughter when I read “Bet that went over like a faht (fart) in church”!
This cake looks so good Maureen! I could scarf down half of that in a jiffy – “like a fart in a skillet”!
Oh, I love this! You have no idea how much I love all things language, even though I do my part butchering the beautiful English…
“I bet that went over like a fart in church” – I am saving this and will amaze Phil with it soon… Priceless…
the chocolate cake is a work of art!
Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers says
Oh my … that cake is just calling my name! Love the glaze and nuts on top.
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Really entertaining post. And funny video. I know some of those phrases, but not most of them. And the cake? Well, I’m going to tell Mrs K R about it! Need I say more? 😉
Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg says
Maureen, this is a hoot. I’m from PA and we had our sayings too. And this cake. Good gracious it looks good. I love chocolate.
…always have to laugh when I read your posts. This is decadent cake, Maureen…and there is even a cup of coffee in it already! 🙂 ela
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
Well, Maureen. This is a wicked good post. Cake included!
Laura @ Family Spice says
ha ha! I finally stopped using “ya’ll” from my years growing up in Texas. And it was so slight, I didn’t notice that I stopped using it.
The Wimpy Vegetarian says
What fun to start my morning blog jaunts with your blog. I love this. I lived in Boston for many years, and western Mass too, and we had our sayings God knows. But none as rich as yours. And I totally cracked up on the video!!! The final line was priceless. I spent time in Maine, and the entire thing was pitch – perfect. Just like your cake 🙂
Shea Goldstein says
Beautiful cake! I laughed out loud at the “faht in church” comment by your dad. LOL!!
Some of those expressions were definitely new to me and quite humorous though I’m sure regional expressions are always amusing to those who don’t live in the area.
The cake looks very rich and decadent … such a good word and really gives you the idea that something is extra special.
Maureen, this cake looks so exquisite, dark and moist. The photos were lovely to scroll through, and the only thing slowing it down was the fun story about Maine and the colloquialism of the region. I feel as though I’ve toured the state! Thanks for sharing your neck of the woods and the tasty-looking cake.
Me. I have no interest in straight-up chocolate or double chocolate cake. Sorry! (If it’s peanut butter chocolate, though, then I’ll try it.)
Recipes that evoke a certain time and place are the best! And a Double Chocolate Cake smothered in ganache is a fabulous example!
Wow! The Maine expressions are priceless!
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Maureen, I love this post! So fun and so much to learn… and this cake, well tie me down and stuff me full of chicken feathers… it’s a good un!
I have not heard the phrase, “For the love of Mike,” in ages. Brought back memories. Now today I wonder who was Mike and why should I love him.
Of he is the original baker of your Double chocolate cake then I love him and I know why!
My Kitchen Stories says
I really loved this post Maureen. You can tell me more about Maine…but wait I haven’t read the other one yet. I will do that today. This is the same as a cake I have been making for years but I never thought to put oil into it. Duh. Maine sounds like it was a wonderful place to grow up as long as you don’t live in the Puckerbrush!
Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says
Hi Maureen, I’m trying to be good but oh my goodness is that gorgeous cake leading me into wickedness. The diet is just gonna have to wait.
What a great post – I love all the expressions – it doesn’t get much blacker than the inside of a cow. I love the directions too – very Irish! Here if you ask directions, you are quite likely to get an answer of “Well, if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here!”
Hester, I love that line!! I must remember it because it’s so me. I’m horrid with directions.
Marie @citronlimette says
Maureen, this is such a great post. Just learned “new expressions” Thanks to you!!!
Eva Taylor says
Thank you Maureen for a little peak into your childhood again, so cute. We are quite familiar with the Bostonian accent (from Cheers, no less) but I hadn’t heard the Maine accent in a very long time. During our first year of marriage, we did a road trip to NYC but we stopped along the way in many B&Bs in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts! Such a lovely trip that was, except for the weather, which sucked!
The photos of this cake are absolutely mouth watering, I can see how this would have been your favourite; I’m surprised that folks didn’t catch on after the first time your dear Mom brought the cake to a clambake, I would have definitely saved room! It looks incredibly moist and chocolatey! Simply beautiful. I do hope where you are isn’t as sweltering as it is in Canberra, it seems that it’s quite unbearable there.
It’s not as hot here by a long shot. While they are sweltering in their 4th day over over 40 degrees celcius, we’re sitting on 29 or 30 with a light ocean breeze. We don’t even need an air conditioner other than in our offices.
David Crichton says
I wouldn’t say I’m a cake man, but even I couldn’t refuse this.
Shirley ~ Rhubarb Whine says
Well, I consider myself well and truly educated. Thank you!
I’m so happy I could be a part of your edification 🙂
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
I love these references to Maine memories 🙂 This cake also reminds me of the one I make for my husband’s birthday each year – about as much chocolate as you can fit into a cake with excellent results!
Krystle(Baking Beauty) says
Oh yum this looks so decadent! I love ganache as it doesn’t have to look as perfect as icing !:)
“puckerbush” – I love that!! 🙂 This cake looks magnificent – just the sort of cake I love best. 🙂
You probably live in the puckerbrush! 🙂
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day! Your cakes looks FANTASTIC Maureen, true!
I enjoy your post with your melancholy nostalgia as it makes me smile …makes me smile about my very fond childhood memories in the States….so thank you!
Dear Maureen, I guess Maine is kind of like New York; no one really every knows what you are talking about!
It is fun to learn all the different expressions.
It sounds like fun, the clambake and all. I love listening.
I am a chocolate cake kind of person and this looks wonderful! I am going to give it a try. I also like that is has the veggie oil in place of the butter; not that I don’t love butter, I do, it is just getting so expensive these days.
Stay well and blessings dear. Catherine xo
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Yes please to chocolate + chocolate. That ganache looks sinful!
It was good. 🙂
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Hang on, I love the Maine posts! We’re planning a trip there so I would love them to keep on coming 😛 This is a gorgeous looking cake. Look at that icing and crumb! If I were at home right now I’d be baking it.
InTolerant Chef says
What a decadent cake Maureen! It’s even better when it brings back such fun memories 🙂
I adore your posts about Maine, Maureen! Do you ever get to Karen’s blog at Back Road Journal? She often posts Maine photos there that would make you weep with their loveliness. And thank you – one of my favourite songs is Billy Joel’s Downeaster Alexa, but I never knew what the name meant before…
Loved Tim Sample, and your cake looks very moreish! xx
Oh yeah, Karen makes me more homesick than most with her photos from camp in Maine. 🙂 (Homes on lakes in Maine are called camps even though many are better than the house I live in. Homes along the rocky shore are called cottages. Don’t ask why, I have no idea.) Hence our neighbour went upta camp.
Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says
Looks wicked good 🙂 You’re right, anything double chocolate is always better!
Denise Browning@From Brazil To You says
It is good to know that its is not only me that is having fond memories of home lately!!!!! 🙂
When I saw this cake last night on FB, I thought how I hate you for posting that and having all of it for yourself. 🙂 This chocolate cake is pure dynamite (as we say in Brazil).
I am loving this. wowed.
Donalyn@The Creekside Cook says
This is one of my favorite kinds of chocolate cake – the coffee does something wonderful to chocolate, doesn’t it?
Here in upstate NY you hear many of the same expressions as you did in Maine, but our family favorites came from my grandmother who was raised in Alabama – “great big guns and little bitty fishes!” was her favorite. Don’t ask me what it actually means, but it does come in handy sometimes 🙂
Amy @ Elephant Eats says
So jealous that you grew up in Maine…it is one of my most favorite places and I so wish I lived there. What funny sayings you have 🙂 This chocolate cake sounds amazing…it’s just as chocolatey and moist as I like!
Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking says
This video is so cute and that cake looks amazing!
Glamorous Glutton says
Fabulous cake, it looks so moist, rich and chocolatey . Great post. GG
You have me drooling over that ganache!
Wow, what a dark, decadent and delicious looking chocolate cake! And I love hearing those unusual Maine phrases…puckerbrush??? Enjoy your weekend, my friend!
Sarah & Arkadi says
yup! i am salivating right now!
The Café Sucre Farine says
So funny how different parts of the US have such different sayings. When we moved to the south I had no idea what people were talking about most of the time. Now I say all those southern things. This cake looks like a universal treat, no matter where you hail from! Beautiful and enticing pictures too!
LOL… love reading about the Maine colloquialisms. All I can say is I would be Happy Camp-ah eating this cake!!
When I saw that gorgeous double Dark Chocolate Cake of yours in my sidebar, I thought it was perhaps a birthday cake:) (my calendar tells me it’s someone’s birthday this month:) Little did I know I would be laughing my “butt” off with all this Maine talk. Now living in PA, we too have some “unusual” expressions but alas, I don’t see any clambakes in our future here. I’ll have to head up to Maine or go back to Long Island for one of those.
Thank you so much for sharing this “must have” Cake…
Kim | a little lunch says
Maureen, I read your blueberry muffin post earlier but was rendered speechless (ouch…) so I didn’t comment then, but you can write about your Maine memories anytime (please!) and I’d be a happy camper reading them. Ayuh. (Believe it or not, my hubby says that as an affirmative — I have no idea where he picked that up, having resided in the Midwest his entire life — and I tease him that he must have lived in the Nor’east in a past life.) Loved that video clip, your cake recipe, and especially the glossary of terms near & dear to your heart. (Wish we were neighbahs.) Sweet memories of your folks in this post, too! xo
And the logic fits!!! hahahahaha!! Of course he wasn’t a native, lol lol lol!!! I loved the post and love the video. And LOVE the double chocolate cake, and this is totally not fair when I am trying to stay away from sweet.
Love those sayings Maureen! We have a couple of funny ones in Dutch. It they’re totally weird when you’d translate them into English! And ofcourse that cake looks insane! I think I need to make this soon. Looks too good!
Bam's Kitchen says
Just to let you know it took all my will power to prevent myself from trying to lick the screen. Oh this cake looks so cook. A great pin for pintrest!
Emma @ Bake Then Eat says
I love these stories about your home town, no matter where you are in the world the sayings from back home always make us smile. I say things sometimes and my fella just looks at me like I have grown 2 heads! And I do the same to him as well 🙂 By the way this cake looks beautiful so moist and decedent 😀
Foodie in WV says
I love anything with dark chocolate! Your recipe and photos look so yummy 🙂
Foodie in WV says
I wrote a comment, but it didn’t seem to go through 🙂 I’ll try again! I love anything with dark chocolate! Your recipe and photos look yummy 🙂
Barbara @ Barbara Bakes says
Such a fun post. It’s funny the things that we remember. Don’t think I’d be able to pass on this luscious cake even if I was too full.
Sandra - The Foodie Affair says
Triple the chocolate! I’m in heaven 🙂 Pinned this beauty!
Look at that chocolate, that one hell of a sexy cake
I think I’ve died and gone to heaven! Thank you Maureen’s mom!!!!
Oh wow, that looks really delicious, I love chocolate so I couldn’t refuse from printing your post and giving it a try. I like the video too, always enjoy good humor!
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I visit your site all the time and I leave comments. Maybe you missed them? 🙂
Kim Beaulieu says
Oh my gosh, that last photo in particular is killing me. I just want to shove my face into the ganache. Socially acceptable right?
Marie | FeelingFoodish says
Maureen – this looks amazing!! Yum to clambakes too!
I think of Maine and clambakes when I make this cake!
Maureen, I love reading your Maine recipes. My family is from Maine and my sister who lives in Portland is coming home for her 50th birthday. She wants a chocolate cake so I think this will be it! Thanks for posting it and keep those Maine recipes coming, please.
Thanks, Shelly. You just know when you’re a native. Even if you’re ‘from away’. 🙂
Who wouldn’t love a double dark chocolate cake??? I just showed your post to my husband and he’s pestering me to try making it. But I’m no baker. I’m a buyer 😉 but I might just try this out as soon as our cook ware arrives from Singapore. The move to Australia has been a bit crazy. You have a wonderful food blog Maureen! Just wonderful!
Love your writeup on Maine. Good memories and great that they are captured for others to read.