Celebrate kwanzaa

December 23, 1997

Celebrate kwanzaa

Kwanzaa, which begins Friday, Dec. 26, and continues to Thursday, Jan. 1, is a time to focus on African-inspired culture and the seven principles of the celebration (Nguzo Saba). It is also a time to feast and enjoy foods from around the world. There are no prescribed menus for the seven nights of Kwanzaa; creating your own feast is part of the fun.

One way to conclude a Kwanzaa feast is with Cocoa Kwanzaa Cake. This easy dessert looks elegant because it is topped with a vanilla glaze. Once the cake is cooled, simply spoon the glaze onto the cake, or put the glaze into a plastic bag, snip off a corner and drizzle.

- The Associated Press

Cocoa Kwanzaa Cake

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened

3 cups sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 eggs


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cocoa

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk halved pecans or walnuts, optional

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup fluted tube pan or a 10-inch tube pan.

In large mixer bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla on medium speed of electric mixer for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; add alternately with buttermilk to butter mixture, beating well, just until blended. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or glaze with Vanilla Glaze or Butter Rum Glaze. Garnish with pecans or walnut halves, if desired. Serves 18.

Vanilla Glaze

1/3 cup butter or margarine

2 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 to 3 tablespoons hot water

In small saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat; blend in powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until glaze is of desired consistency. Spoon onto cake, allowing some to drizzle down sides.

Butter Rum Glaze

Omit vanilla. Substitute 2 tablespoons light rum or 1 teaspoon rum flavoring. Stir in hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until glaze is of desired consistency.

Nutrition facts per serving: 460 calories, 21 grams total fat, 110 milligrams cholesterol, 400 milligrams sodium, 75 milligrams calcium, 61 grams total carbohydrates, 6 grams protein

- Recipe from Hershey's Cocoa

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