A question about a recipe: Belle Foley's Chocolate Cake

I have a question about the recipe "Belle Foley's Chocolate Cake" from boulangere. I would like to contact Boulangere, as Belle Foley was my mother. I would like to know who her mother was. I can be reached at [email protected] I was born on Denton Hill Rd in Fenton Michigan Max Foley

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Recipe question for: Belle Foley's Chocolate Cake

48 Comments

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SKK
SKK September 26, 2011

Go to this site and look above and you will see 'send me a message'. This will allow you to contact boulangere directly. http://www.food52.com/cooks...

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boulangere
boulangere September 26, 2011

Oh, my goodness, Mr. Foley! You've given me a serious set of chills. I would very much love to talk to you. If you'll send me an email through the link that SKK kindly posted above, I'll be right in touch. Thank you so very much!

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drbabs
drbabs September 26, 2011

Wow, I have tears in my eyes. This is so cool!

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healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen September 26, 2011

My mother would say "what a small world!"

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boulangere
boulangere September 26, 2011

Me too, drb! I'm truly stunned.

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susan g
susan g September 26, 2011

I've seen one other 'reunion' on food52. These are remarkable, and soothing in today's virtual world.

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boulangere
boulangere September 26, 2011

Oh, susan g, I'm still stunned by this.

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boulangere
boulangere September 26, 2011

Mr. Foley, I have had a most remarkable day telling my sister, my son and daughter, and friends to whom I've passed along this recipe of your contact. Your mother and her cake are legendary in my family, and I so very much look forward to talking to you. I'm very interested to hear how you found the recipe!

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boulangere
boulangere September 26, 2011

susan g, given the family I came from (and aren't all of them dysfunctional in some way), you have no idea how precious this is. Seriously, I have had a perfectly miraculous day sharing this with family and friends.

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boulangere
boulangere September 26, 2011

And by the way, my son's name is Max!

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boulangere
boulangere September 26, 2011

I just had a life-altering conversation with this gentleman. Bless you, food52!

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sdebrango
sdebrango September 26, 2011

This is so amazing. Unbelievable the whole thing I am so glad you got to connect, So beautiful.

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boulangere
boulangere September 26, 2011

sdb, I've had chills all day. I had a blast forwarding this to my sister, son and daughter. What a fantastically nice man! He knew my mother, her sisters and brother, and gave me the names of our grand and great-grandparents. What a nice, nice man. His son was trolling in the internet for something this morning and the food52 recipe for Belle Foley's Chocolate Cake came up. Blessings on food52! Blessings, blessings! I've been reunited with a great missing piece of my family's history because of you. Thank you beyond words.

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hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour September 26, 2011

boulangere, I'm thrilled for you! What a wonderful and amazing gift to receive. Cheers to you and food52!

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sdebrango
sdebrango September 26, 2011

Amazing and miraculous!!! I am so happy for you "b". How incredible.

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lapadia
lapadia September 26, 2011

"Hallelujah"… Live, Love, Laugh and be Happy!

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boulangere
boulangere September 26, 2011

I really can't tell you all how breathless and grateful I am over this. What a nice, nice man who knows more about my dated family than I do. We have many hours of conversation to come. Food52 is truly amazing. I am grateful beyond words to all of you for more facets than I can name. I am humbled by forces far, far beyond myself. Thank you profoundly.

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boulangere
boulangere September 26, 2011

Amen, lapadia!

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boulangere
boulangere September 26, 2011

And now all my own animals need to be fed. I love you profoundly, my friends. Goodnight after a very emotional day.

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boulangere
boulangere September 26, 2011

make that a very VERY emotional day and conversation. This site is miraculous.

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SKK
SKK September 26, 2011

This site is about relationships, it is miraculous. I am so thrilled for you and Max boulangere!

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wssmom
wssmom September 26, 2011

This is maybe the most amazing thing on food52 yet. I have been following this from the start and am bowled over at what has transpired. So so so happy for you boulangere!

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boulangere
boulangere September 27, 2011

And now to finish off the story, I received this email from him this morning:

It was really great talking to you last night. I sent the cake recipe with your remarks to my sons, nieces and nephews and some cousins that would have known the Goodfellows. When I talked to my sister this AM, (I think I told you today is her 88th) I read your remarks to her and she said it was your mother, without my telling her that I had talked to you. She remarked that my mother and your grandmother were just great friends. Did you know that your grandmother went to college late in life and then taught in the Fenton Schools? Will talk again. Max

This is an amazing community. I am grateful to food52 in a whole new way now.

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sdebrango
sdebrango September 27, 2011

This just gets better and better. I love the email from Max, what an amazing story and it keeps unfolding.

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boulangere
boulangere September 27, 2011

sdb, as I hope I've adequately conveyed, the entire experience has been breathtaking. My family is a very fractured one, and Max Foley has brought a huge loop around us all. I've loved sharing this with my son and daughter and sister. I will certainly keep in touch with him, and I love that he shared the recipe and its story among our extended families. And yes, I did know that my grandmother had returned to college at an age before it was customary for people of certain ages to do so, and that she had been a much beloved teacher in the Fenton schools. Many years ago my aunt had sent us a newspaper story about her. Thank you for following along.

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sdebrango
sdebrango September 27, 2011

I am following this because its heartwarming, miraculous and very interesting and I love that you are filling in some gaps through Mr. Foley.This is so wonderful.

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SKK
SKK September 27, 2011

I am following along (with sdebrango and the rest of Food52) because I believe in happy endings and you and Max are the beginning of a happy ending. Boulangere, thank you so much for sharing this with us. And for feeding your animals!

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boulangere
boulangere September 28, 2011

Just when I thought the story had reached a conclusion, today I received this from Max Foley:

Cynthia, My niece said she had the frosting recipe that went with the cake. We lost many recipes in one of our moves and so I didn't have it. The only thing I remember about the frosting is that it is like eating fudge and I always liked the corner piece of the cake as the frosting was the thickest. Give it a try and see what you think. Max

I never knew this existed. I'll post the frosting recipe on the Belle Foley's Chocolate Cake recipe page.

I feel like Christmas has come a few months early.
-

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sdebrango
sdebrango September 28, 2011

I can't wait to see the frosting recipe. This keeps getting better!!

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boulangere
boulangere September 28, 2011

Just posted it.

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mrslarkin
mrslarkin September 28, 2011

this has totally made my day! what a great, great story, boulangere. so happy for your good fortune. you have paid it forward in a million different ways, with your generosity, good will and friendship. Hooray for cake!

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boulangere
boulangere September 28, 2011

mrsl, I have been bowled over for the past 2 days by this. I had a long, long phone conversation with Max Foley last night that honestly brought tears to me several times. My family is a fractured one on both sides, and Mr. Foley and his children and their progeny have enriched us beyond words. As you say, better living through cake!

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em-i-lis
em-i-lis September 28, 2011

This is totally amazing, boulangere! Wow! I got chills reading through this entire exchange!
Best wishes, em-i-lis

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boulangere
boulangere September 28, 2011

I'm still getting chills emilis, thank you so much.

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Greenstuff
Greenstuff September 28, 2011

Every now and then, I think about posing food pickle questions about how to name recipes. This thread has SO answered one of the things that I wonder about, "Does it add to the recipe to name it after a person?" Yes it does! I wonder what kind of responses I could get from "Dot's Chocolate Cake" and "Mrs. Baxter's Swedish Bread." Hurrah for communications in the new millennium and the best of wishes to boulangere and her Foley friends!

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boulangere
boulangere September 28, 2011

omg, greenstuff, here of all sites the recipe can be what is is, don't you think? Food nourishes us all over the generations, no?

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Greenstuff
Greenstuff September 29, 2011

Wow, boulangere. "The recipe can be what it is," is such a big thought. Thanks for living out this piece of your life with all your virtual friends. Lots of food for thought, and I really do mean that in all its interpretations..

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boulangere
boulangere September 29, 2011

Profound thanks to you all.

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Kfoley
Kfoley October 1, 2011

boulangere, I am the Great-niece of Belle Foley. My dad grew up next door to her and he and Max are cousins. Max is also my God-father. I was so happy to get this information from Max. I had unexpected tears appear as I read this stream of conversation. My Aunt Belle was a 'larger-than-life' figure and I have great memories of going to the farm to visit her.

The fact that Aunt Belle was part of your mother's life was amazing but how wonderful that Max is now part of your life.

Continue to post information if you can.

Enjoy this experience.

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sdebrango
sdebrango October 1, 2011

We are all watching this unfold and it's amazing, I noticed that Mrs. Foley's great grand daughter left a comment on the post for the cake recipe. I am making this cake soon and it will be even more special knowing the rich history of this fantastic cake.

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boulangere
boulangere October 1, 2011

Kfoley, how wonderful to hear from you and see you now on food52. This is an astonishing community in many ways, as I see you've gathered. I've shed tears throughout this exchange, as well. My impression of your great aunt is exactly as you mentioned: larger than life, and kind through and through. I had a wonderful conversation with your Uncle Max the other evening, and look forward to remaining in touch with your beautiful family. Thank you so much for sending the frosting recipe!

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lorigoldsby
lorigoldsby August 17, 2012

B- I recommended your recipe in response to a hotline request...as I copied the link, I reread your headnote because I always reread that story when I make this cake. I've always found it to be very poignant and a little profound...and then I read the amazing thread about Max and your grandmother-WOW! Don't know how I missed this before but glad I caught up!

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boulangere
boulangere August 17, 2012

Thank you so much, Lori! I'm working on a blog post about it as we speak. It's been a vastly warm experience sharing the cake and its history, not to mention discovering new family members.

Greenstuff
Greenstuff August 18, 2012

So glad to see this one come up again! I personable as it sometimes seems, we have to leve the Internet. I'll be looking for that blog post.

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boulangere
boulangere August 19, 2012

Hope to have it up this week. Thanks, Greenstuff!

dymnyno
dymnyno August 18, 2012

I hope this will be a blog post soon to complete this incredible story!

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boulangere
boulangere August 19, 2012

Thanks for all the good nudges.

Kitchen Butterfly
Kitchen Butterfly August 20, 2012

oh wow, 10 months later and the emotion is still as strong. Actually, I know some 'Foleys' who have just moved back to Michigan. I knew them in Nigeria and then we met and worked together again in the Netherlands till last August. I am going to email them now...to see if this is their family.....How amazing and wonderful. Isnt life precious?

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boulangere
boulangere August 20, 2012

How kind of you, KB! I'd love to know if they're related.

ChefJune
ChefJune August 20, 2012

I agree, KB. Don't know how I missed this thread the first time around.

boulangere, it gave me goose bumps. Food is such an amazing connector in so many ways. I too am looking forward to your blog post.

BoulderGalinTokyo
BoulderGalinTokyo August 20, 2012

The way to a man's heart might be through his stomach, but the way to my heart is an absolutely wonderful true tory like this.

What a wonderful community, what a wonderful 'HOME'. Thank you food52.

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boulangere
boulangere August 20, 2012

Yes it most certainly is. This has been an experience like no other.

calendargirl
calendargirl August 20, 2012

I just came across this thread, boulangere ... astonishing and lovely. I look forward to your post.

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boulangere
boulangere August 20, 2012

Oh, how sweet of you! I'm working on it as we speak.

Rhonda35
Rhonda35 February 12, 2017

The always-fabulous Joy the Baker linked to this recipe in her "Let It Be Sunday!" post today. Despite being a devout Food52 reader, I never saw this cake or its story before. LOVE it!!

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Blanca Oliver
Blanca Oliver February 13, 2017

I also came here by way of Joy the Baker. And what a great story to start my week :)

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