Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy Birthday to ME!

Today I start my 41st year of life! 40 has been one of the most interesting years of my life--moving to the South, meeting new people, learning how to relate to family who are now living far away, finding new places to do everything--shop, eat, worship, and recreate.

I'm a chocolate fiend (shouldn't I be after 6 years of working at a gourmet chocolate shop?) and so I made these cakes for my coworkers at Starbucks. The recipe is called Deep Dark Chocolate Cake from the Hershey's Chocolate Cookbook, which I received as a wedding present 17 years ago. Someone had me pegged, even back then! I know the ingredient list by heart, so here it is:

2 C. sugar
1 3/4 C. flour
3/4 C. cocoa
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 C. oil
1 C. milk
2 eggs
1 C. boiling water (1 T. instant espresso powder or strongly brewed coffee, optional)

Mix all dry ingredients together. Add milk, eggs. and oil, mixing well for 2 minutes. Add boiling water (batter will be thin). Stir until incorporated. Bake at 350 degrees in a greased and floured 9x13 or 2-9" rounds or in cupcake tins. Cool and frost.

A frosting I didn't use today, but ADORE, is this one. We call it caramel frosting, but it's really brown sugar buttercream frosting. If you know what penuche fudge is, you'll LOVE this frosting.

1 stick butter
1 C. FRESH brown sugar ( I don't know why, but it works better and crystalizes less if it's fresh--I also like DARK brown sugar)

Bring to a boil in a saucepan. Add 1/4 C. milk and stir until well incorporated. Bring back to bubbling. Remove from heat and place in mixing bowl. Add 3 1/2 C. powdered sugar and beat vigorously. FROST IMMEDIATELY, or it will harden like a rock! YUMMY!!!

Let me know if you try either of these. When I first entertained my husband's family, I made this cake because it was one of the few things I knew how to make! I made the frosting and my father-in-law's comment was, "Brown frosting. Never seen brown frosting before." He's not a sweet person, except in the morning, so what did he know!

Hope you have a great day today--I am!


NC said...

No way! You're a sister VIRGO! Happy Birthday Honey! I hope you have a fabulous day and an even more wonderful year to come!
and thanks for the recipe ;)

I was just coming by to email you and tell you that I have a little 3D project coming this weekend that I think you'll like!

Charmaine (CharmWarm on SCS) said...

Happy Birthday! Hope you had a wonderful day! I'm going to have to make some of those wonderful looking cupcakes! :)

Amy said...

Sweet! Those cupcakes look absolutely delectable!

Happy Birthday, Jenn!!!

chriss b (chriss58 on scs) said...

Happy Birthday Jenn! Hope you have a fabulous weeeknd.

Nancy Riley said...

Oh my, Jenn! HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY ... a few days late. Sorry I didn't catch this post ON your birthday. Hope your day was special in every way! Your cupcakes turned out beautifully!