- 6 squares semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
This is one of those posts that are, well, just plain special! After finding a place in my heart, my dear friend and neighbor, Karlie, found herself in my cookbook, You Never Cook Alone. Karlie is a southern gal, a wife, a mother and a grandmother with a beautiful southern accent. Karlie once said “Elise, I swear it was the oil in her hands!” when referring to how very good her momma’s stuffing was and how no one in the family could replicate it. I could listen to Karlie all day long! Perhaps it’s that she’s from the south and I grew up in the north. Her stories fascinate me. Her funny and witty sayings bring a smile to my face, they make me laugh and they warm my heart so. I remember talking to Karlie one day when she said, “I was like a long-tailed cat in a room of rocking chairs!” I love this woman…
Stirring up memories
Listening to stories and watching people’s faces light up as they remember special moments in their lives or how they felt when eating or enjoying a specific recipe or meal with their family brings me such tremendous joy. I was elated (honored actually) when Karlie asked if I had time to try to replicate a dessert sold at their bakery and sandwich company.
Karlie’s paternal grandmother Karlie Keith Fisher (whom Karlie is named after) opened Fisher’s Bakery and Sandwich Company in 1928. I was surprised when Karlie told me of how her grandmother lost much of her sight at a very young age from a medical mistake. Ms. Fisher attended the Governor Moorehead School of the Blind. Karlie’s grandma became a very successful and adored businesswoman of her time. Mrs. Fisher started her bakery/sandwich company in her Raleigh home in 1928. As her success and business grew, the City of Raleigh made her move her business out of her home. Fisher’s Bakery and Sandwich Company had been relocated a couple of times as the business grew. The last place Fisher’s Bakery and Sandwich Company found a home was on Brookside Drive. Unlike many businesses during the Great Depression, her business thrived. Very much like my grandmother, Karlie’s grandmother was also known as a compassionate and caring woman who helped others and fed the hungry at her own expense. Mrs. Fisher’s sons and other family members worked alongside her in the family business. The Fisher’s kept the bakery and sandwich company for over 50 years. Both Karlie’s grandma and daddy have passed on…
When Karlie was a young child the chocolate cake roll at her family bakery and sandwich company was sold by the slice and cost 5 cents. This was one of Karlie’s favorite desserts. On a quest to replicate the exact recipe (or something close to it), I asked Karlie lots of questions about this cake she remembered. I determined this was a devil’s food cake of sorts and not a sponge cake. The filling was not too sweet and as Karlie suggested was spread on “pin-striped thin.” Karlie also thought she remembered what had made this cake so special. “I think it was the little crunch in each bite,” Karlie said. Karlie’s brother, Tommy, told her that this crunch came from the coarse sugar they sprinkled on the counter before rolling the cake it up.
Karlie and I spent the afternoon together. She brought pictures of her family for me to see. I love hearing Karlie’s stories. There’s lots to glean from and I just adore her. Below are pictures of Karlie’s dad and her grandma. It was as if they were in the kitchen beside us. You could almost hear them cheering us on!
Karlie brought with her two collages that she had made years ago after finding old labels, bags, stickers, and pictures at the old store. The family bakery and sandwich shop sold not only delicious baked goods, but sandwiches like pimento cheese and tuna salad. Their motto was, “If It’s Fisher’s — It’s Fresher!”
We began by making the cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
While your cake is cooling prepare the best whipped frosting you’ve ever had!
Use an electric mixer. This frosting is very easy, but it does take several minutes to whip up.
Cream the butter and sugar for two minutes. Scrape down bowl and mix additional two minutes until light and fluffy.
Reduce to medium speed and gradually beat in 1/4 cup of cream. Continue beating for 1 minute.
Mix 1/2 teaspoon vanilla into 1/4 cup of cream. Gradually beat in to frosting.
Increase mixer to med/high speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
Reduce to medium speed and add remaining cream, and beat until very fluffy for 15 minutes.
This is when the real fun begins!
Carefully unroll your cake and remove the towel. No need to worry if you have some cracks. Cracks will most likely disappear when your cake is filled and rolled up. Sprinkle your cake with turbinado sugar.
Spread your wonderful whipped frosting over your cake leaving about 1/2-inch along each side.
This will insure that the frosting stay in the roll. Roll up your cake (isn’t this fun?), place, seam-side down, on your platter.
Sprinkle with a little cocoa powder or confectioners’ sugar if you like. We left our cake as is because it looked so good!