Friday, December 18, 2009

Chocolate and Birthdays

Posts like the one I have planned for today make me wish I had one of those magical cameras that can take a photo and upload it to the magical fairy unicorn land of the internet with a simple sneeze. Or that I had a camera built into my forehead like a third, all-seeing eye so that I never forgot to take pictures that I might need for a post, and then when I did take them, they'd all be right there at my fingertips when I'm ready for them.

Alas, even my most mundane wishes are unlikely to be fulfilled, so I'll just get on with it.

Happy Birthday Burgundy!

Fourteen years ago today, my beloved daughter was born. God has blessed her with beauty, brains, and good sense, and I am blessed and overjoyed to have the privilege of parenting her.

Yesterday after work I raced home to make cupcakes for her to take to school today. I had the (in my humble opinion) brilliant idea to fill the cakes with chocolate ganache, and on researching how to make it, I discovered that after it cools, you can whip the ganache into a frosting or icing consistency.

I used a basic chocolate cake recipe from Allrecipes to make the batter, but I substituted my fresh-ground whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe. I used real butter, real milk, and real cocoa. The cupcakes are not especially pretty, but oh heavens, they are delicious.

The ganache was so painfully easy that I hesitate to post it. Not for long though. I chopped up nine ounces of bittersweet baking chocolate and heated one cup of heavy cream on the stove. Just as it started to boil, I poured the cream over the chocolate and whipped it for about 30 seconds. Voila, ganache.

I let the ganache cool in the mixing bowl, then whipped it until it was fluffy. I used a needle-like piping tip to fill each cake, then switched to a basic star tip to "ice" them. The are cute and incredibly tasty.

Julia made a delicious looking German cake with vanilla pudding in it. She wrote "Alles Gutezum ????" on the cake. I can't remember anything past alles gutezusomethingsomething, but I know it's all's goodsomethingsomething translating into "all the best on your birthday." Julia's such a sweetie.

This evening, I'll make the chocolate buttermilk cake referenced and linked in my Friday's Food post, but I have no idea what I'll make for dinner. None.

If I have to guess, I'd say she'll want roast asparagus. That's about as far as I can get.

Photo Credit goes to the talented Anthony Vasser of Ninjen Photography.

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