We nearing the end of our 12 days of Festivus celebrations – after, wait for it, catching up with Jase, Heid, Barn, Liz, Wayne, Mike, Pat, John, J-Lou and Estelle – and as such, it is time to unleash the one-two Jerry punch. Since Seiny is obvi atop the Festivus pole, that means today is all about the king and creator of Festivus, my dear friend Jerry Stiller.
I’ve known Jez the longest of the Seinfeld bunch, having met in the early ‘50s.
You see I was working in a bridal shop in flushing … sorry, wrong show. I was working at a diner in Midtown and Jez came in with a nice young lady for a cup of coffee after he agent was rude to her. The young lady, his beautiful future wife Anne Meara and it goes without saying that my service played a huge role in their eventual relationship.
I was the Best Man of Honour at their wedding in ‘54, am godfather to little Ben – who was named after, obviously – and was integral in getting the role of Frank recast because I knew that it truly was the role Jez was born to play.
I am ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t seen much of Jez since Anne passed away in 2015, so it was so wonderful to see him doing so, so well. There was a lot of laughter, plenty of tears and even a few grievances aired – his, most notably, was how little we see of each other – as we sat down to devour a traditional, hallowed Jerry Festillervus Cake.
While the TV Festivus dinner never featured the Festivus cake, this delight is a tradition of the real celebration. A light, moist chocolate cake, slathered in sweet chocolate buttercream and dotted with M&M’s? Sign me up … and yourselves.
Jerry Festillervus Cake
200g raw caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened
3 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ cup cocoa powder
275ml sour cream
200g dark chocolate, chopped
300g icing sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Cream the caster sugar with 175g of unsalted butter and 2 tsp of the vanilla until light and fluffy. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, bicarb and cocoa. And then … in a third bowl, whisk the eggs and 150ml of the sour cream. Add the second and third bowls, alternating in thirds, until it is all combined.
Pour the batter into a 30 x 30cm cake tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
To make this icing, melt the remaining butter and chocolate in a medium bowl in a microwave until just melted and easily combined. Sieve in the icing sugar and stir through the golden syrup and remaining sour cream and vanilla until just combined. Ice the cake immediately, smoothing the edges half-assedly as you go.
Spell ‘Happy Festivus’ with M&M’s as best as your skills will take you … before carving up and devouring. Like a monster.