Tuesday, April 13, 2010


H. recently had a birthday, so we had a party on Saturday, and what birthday party is complete without birthday cake? He wanted a yellow cake, and c'mon, I just couldn't use a box mix. I'm qualifying this cake as worthy of going on the chocolate cakery shenanigans because it had chocolate icing. I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and I think it's the best cake I've ever made. So good. I did, however, alter the frosting recipe. I wasn't really in the mood for buttercream, but I didn't know how chocolate sour cream frosting was going to turn out. Using Smitten Kitchen's recipe as my base, I altered it accordingly:

1 bag Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 heaping cup sour cream
1 heaping cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
3/4 t. vanilla extract
1/4 c. light corn syrup plus some drizzle over the top

Melt chocolate chips. Combine all other ingredients. You want to have the yogurt and the sour cream mixture at room temperature (and let the chocolate cool off before adding it to when you add the melted chocolate chips) or it will kind of curdle, apparently. Anyways, mix all together and refrigerate until it's a good consistency to spread: 30 minutes to an hour. The frosting has a ganache-like consistency and it's a great alternative to buttercream if you're trying not to become a lardhead with all five sticks of butter in that frosting. It was a little tangy, but nothing a little corn syrup can't fix!

Here I am, frosting the cake, with cold spinach dip sitting in front of me, smelling the hot reuben dip and stuffed mushrooms in the oven. Sounds tempting, but when I make something or stand in a kitchen for a long time smelling the food I'm making, it makes me not want to eat it. When it's finally prepared, I don't want it anymore. I'm finding that cooking is all about the experience of creating rather than eating, for me at least. We made 14 pounds of pulled pork barbecue in some Crock Pots for the party; I couldn't eat it until the next day.

Here's the cake mid-party:

Prior to all the cooking we did for the party on Saturday night, though, H, Javalady and I went to the farmer's market, and H. bought me these lovely tulips to go in a Mason jar for the party. Aren't they beautiful! And since H. loves garlic more than life, he made 3 big bottles of garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil....while we were cooking for the party. It was an incredibly productive day!

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