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I have a soft spot for Herbert Hoover.

My first Herbert Hoover memory (I understand that it’s not normal to begin a sentence like that) comes from a book about the presidents that occupied a number of my childhood hours. His entry listed his full name Herbert Clark Hoover. The owner of an associative mind, I then thought of Clark Kent.  Despite Herbert Hoover’s superhero-like name, many of us, thinking only of the Great Depression and his inability to turn things around, don’t know just how appropriate it is that Hoover’s name is somewhat suggestive of heroism.

Any good super hero story begins with tragedy.  Hoover fulfilled that prerequisite at the age of nine when he became an orphan. He graduated on to defying odds, becoming a self-made millionaire by the time he was forty. But it was his work bringing aid to those in need that made Hoover’s name a household one. During World War I, he led an effort to provide food to people in Belgium. Germany had occupied the country and as a result, the people there were starving. Belgium depended on imports for food for the people. However, Britain blockaded Belgian ports. Things quickly became dire.

Hoover used his skills and diplomacy to establish large-scale aid to Belgium, literally saving thousand of lives. 

Hoover’s skills were also put to use following the Great Flood of 1927, though this effort doesn’t come across as flawless as his work during the Great War.

Hoover even put his organizational skills to use during the Boxer Rebellion in China. He and his wife had taken a trip to China when the rebellion began. As a result of this activity, a number of foreigners found themselves trapped in China. Here he led the relief effort for these foreigners, also helping to organize their effort to build barricades around the places where they resided.

Despite his record during his presidency, Herbert Hoover the humanitarian was an effective man of action.

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The cake:

Herbert Hoover and his wife were fluent in mandarin Chinese. They spoke it together when they didn’t want anyone to know what they were talking about. Since Mrs. Hoover was also dedicated to humanitarian causes, it seemed right to play with this fact to create Hoover’s cupcake.

The cake itself is flavored with chinese five spice. It is filled with mandarin orange whipped cream. It is topped with cream cheese frosting.

I liked this cupcake, but want to re-work it. The spiciness of the cupcake overshadowed the orange filling. I was going for a more pronounced orange surprise. Also, I over-baked this cupcake just a tad, but that’s nothing that a little less multitasking and a little more diligence can’t solve.hoover1  

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