I'm not sure what kinds of gifts are awaiting me today. Wait, I take that back...I do know of one wonderful gift I get to open...
This gorgeous quilt!
Yay! My That Girl...quilt along quilt is officially done. I even wrapped it up so I can open it tonight with any other gifts I might wind up with.
And as a homage to the fabrics I used and as a hopeful attempt to label the next decade of my life, I've named this quilt Blissful Thirties.
I love how this quilt came together, I just wish I'd made it a little bit bigger. This is definitely a one-person snuggler, but that's okay with me.
And thank you, Jennifer, for hosting this awesome quilt along. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and I will definitely use this pattern again!
Growing up, with a birthday six days before Christmas, my mother was adamant about separating my birthday from Christmas. The year of my first birthday, my father was the one who picked up my birthday cake from the bakery, and when he got home and showed it to my mother, she nearly skinned him. Oh the horror - it had snowmen on it! And was decorated with red and green frosting! Over the years, my birthday cakes had lots of things on them - including He-Man one year - but never again was there a Christmas themed cake.
My birthday cake today will not be decorated with red and green frosting, nor will there be any 80's cartoons. characters. It will be chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate, with luscious chocolate fudge frosting and super yummy layers of chocolate cake. In fact, I ought to share the recipe with you...
This is my most favorite chocolate cake, slightly adapted from the Barefoot Contessa. It's really quite easy to make, and ridiculously delicious. Now, I'm off to get started on it!
|Yes, I made a chocolate cake for Thanksgiving. I'm sorry, pumpkin, but chocolate is my one true dessert love.|
Beatty's Chocolate Cake
adapted from the Barefoot Contessa
Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken well
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
3. Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
6 ounces good semisweet chocolate
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1. Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.