Well, actually it wasn't champagne -- it was Prosecco, a sparkling wine from northern Italy. Come to that, maybe it wasn't Eggs Benedict as I made Bernaise sauce, not Hollandaise.
Whatever it was, it was really, really good.
In the afternoon, I made a chocolate pound cake for the family celebration. More butter. Lots more.
This cake has long been a family favorite -- as you can see by the condition of the page in the Southern Junior League Cookbook. I've modified the recipe over the years, adding a dab of cinnamon and making more icing so that it fills the center of the cake. Everyone likes a little extra icing, don't they?
A bitter-sweet occasion -- Ethan and Aileen were with us but after dinner they had to get on the road to Atlanta. The movers came today and packed up their household stuff and will be unloading it at the new house in Atlanta tomorrow.
Here's my Bernaise recipe, given to me a long, long time ago by Eleanor in Tampa.
1 stick butter (1/4 pound)
2 Tbs. lemon juice
3 egg yolks
Salt and pepper
2 thin slices onion
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
a few sprigs of parsley
Put the egg yolks in a blender, along with all the other ingredients except the butter. Melt the butter till bubbly. Blend the yolks and other stuff for 15 -20 seconds then slowly add the bubbling butter while the blender is still running. Run blender a few more seconds.
At this point, the sauce will be quite runny. I like to put it back in the pan I melted the butter in and set that pan in another pan of hot water while I fix the English muffins, Canadian bacon, and the eggs (which should be poached but which I fry over easy, never having quite gotten the hang of consistently turning out a perfect poached egg.)
When these elements are assembled, the sauce will have thickened a bit and be ready to crown the lot. Finish off with a drift of paprika and another sprig of parsley.
And here's the Chocolate Poundcake --
3 sticks butter
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 heaping Tbs. cocoa
1 cup milk
1 Tbs. vanilla
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add sifted dry ingredients, alternating with milk. Add vanilla.
Bake in a well-greased and floured tube or bundt pan at 325 F fo one hour and twenty minutes. Turn out of pan and ice while still hot.
The Icing on the cake
1 stick butter
3 Tbs. cocoa
2 cups confectioners sugar
3 or more Tbs. strong hot coffee
Cream butter well. Sift sugar and cocoa together and stir in. Add coffee to make a spreadable consistency. (This is more of a glaze than a traditional American cake frosting.)
And the cake is especially good if you make it late in the day so that it's still a little warm when you eat it. With vanilla ice cream on top.