Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chess Cake vs. Dump Cake and an Algiers Christmas Party

I was at a party last night in Algiers, ignoring advice my mother gave me when I was a teen to "stay out of Algiers." She associated Algiers with VooDoo and said the people who lived there might hex you if you crossed them. She was joking around of course.

This party was a family and friends gathering. Not my family but the family of a cousin's best friend. A few kids were there, so it didn't turn into a crazy night of action. It was BYOB, and I don't drink. However, they had great food, much of it cooked by my cousin's friend, including gumbo, crabs, pasta, spicy baked and Creole fried chicken wings. And for the first time I had Chess Cake. I know, I know. If this was the first time I had Chess Cake I must lead a sheltered life. It reminded me of Dump Cake, and I asked the person who brought it for the recipe, one of my cousin's friend's cousins.

With all the music, it was hard to hear her, but once she said a stick of butter and a box of yellow cake mix, I knew it was a variation on dump cake. And since I couldn't hear the baking instructions, I figured I could look it up on line. Here's the recipe from

* 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup butter, melted
* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup butter, melted
* 2 eggs
* 4 cups confectioners' sugar

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1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9 x 13 inch pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, 2 eggs, and 1/2 cup melted butter. Put into prepared pan.
3. In another bowl, Beat cream cheese until smooth. Blend in 1/2 cup melted butter and 2 eggs. Gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar. Pour over the crust mixture already in the pan.
4. Bake for 1 hour. Cool.
And I also checked out Dump Cake, which I haven't baked since the 90s. I found the recipe I used to use at

1 lg. can crushed pineapple
1 can cherry pie filling
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 (3 1/2 oz.) can flaked coconut
1 c. pecans, chopped
2 sticks butter, melted

Dump pineapple, including juice, into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Spread evenly. Spread the cherry pie filling over the pineapple. Spread DRY cake mix evenly over all. Then sprinkle coconut and nuts over that. Pour melted butter over all. Bake 1 hour in 325 degree oven. Serve with whipped cream.
There are all kinds of versions of Dump Cake. I like peach Dump Cake because it's an easy peach cobbler type recipe.

First half of the party was kind of quiet because the young DJ's were playing rap music and the largely middle-aged and older crowd weren't feeling that. Even Beyonce's "Put a Ring on It" only got dancing in the chairs. However, people danced later when the DJ's realized their mistake so they started mixing more Old School and local music.

So, for the first time I heard Stephanie McDee's "Call the Police," a Zydeco song to which people did the "Zydeco Slide." You can listen to the song if you haven't heard it before.

I shot video of the folks doing the Zydeco slide, but I'm not sharing it hear. Don't want them mad with me for putting them up, Algiers VooDoo threats being what they are. Actually, I think a lot of the people there lived on the other side of the river in what you'd call New Orleans. Algiers was annexed to New Orleans in the 1800s, much to the chagrin of some of its residents. Anyway, the video's kind of dark.

After I tasted the Chess Cake, a guy with a mouth full of gold teeth asked me to dance, and I did. Another first for me, not dancing but dancing with a man with gold teeth. Odd but fun.

1 comment:

Renée aka Mekhismom said...

You are ashamed to admit that you have never had chess cake. I am ashamed to admit that despite all of my worldly travels I have never been to New Orleans - or Louisiana for that matter.

The food that you speak of sounds delightful and I can only imagine the Zydeco slide. Sounds like the party was great fun.

One day I will get to LA. I hope that day will come soon. I love to eat too much to miss out on all the deliciousness.