Cooking With Sumner

There are two things to which you absolutely never want to know the ingredients: laws and sausages. Sometimes it’s better if you don’t tell people what goes into other things you might make, too. Just like sausages, they’ll love it, but let’s face it. They just don’t want to really know.

“What They Don’t Know Won’t Hurt Them” Frosting

Most frosting is made with confectioners’ sugar, butter and milk, sometimes with some flavoring and food coloring thrown in, and it’s great. One small adjustment can make it richer and creamier, and no one needs to know how you did it.

2 cups confectioners’ sugar4 tablespoons butter, softened2-3 tablespoons heavy cream

Cut butter into sugar. Stir in cream until desired consistency. Whip with an electric mixer if you want a lighter frosting.

“Do Not, Under Any Circumstances, Tell Your Roommate What’s in This” Cake

When your roommate asks, tell her (or perhaps him, but more likely her) that, yes there’s real sugar in it, but there are no eggs or butter. You won’t be lying, just tell her you found a really great substitute. Seriously. This is actually a one of the most moist chocolate cakes I’ve ever encountered, and it goes great with “What They Don’t Know Won’t Hurt Them” Frosting.

1 cup sugar 1 cup real real mayonnaise 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups cake flour 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup buttermilk

Beat the sugar and mayonnaise until blended. Add the vanilla and blend. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and add it to the mayonnaise mixture in 3 batches alternating with the buttermilk. Pour into a greased and floured pan, 9×13 should work. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool before frosting.

“My Mother Would Never Eat These If She Knew” Chocolate Bars

Of course, she only eats fruits and nuts, so she doesn’t anyway.


20 chocolate wafer cookies3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted1 tablespoon sugar1/2 teaspoon ground coffee beans1/4 teaspoon fine salt


8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 2/3 cup sugar1/2 cup sour cream 2 large eggs, room temperature


4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped2 tablespoons unsalted butter1 teaspoon light or dark corn syrup2 tablespoons sour cream, room temperature

Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil.Crush the chocolate wafers in a food processor with the butter, sugar, coffee and salt until fine. Evenly press the crust into the prepared dish covering the bottom completely. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.Melt chocolate.Blend the cream cheese, sugar and sour cream together until smooth. Add the eggs until just incorporated. Pour the chocolate into the wet ingredients and mix until it is smooth.Pour the filling evenly over the crust. Bake until filling puffs slightly around the edges, but is still a bit wobbly in the center, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack.Put the chocolate for glaze, butter and corn syrup in microwave safe bowl. Heat glaze in the microwave until melted. Stir the ingredients together until smooth; add the sour cream. Spread glaze evenly over the warm cake. Cool completely, then refrigerate overnight.Cut into small bars or small squares. Serve chilled or room temperature.