Last week was my husband’s birthday. Sean turned 27, which makes us the same age now…as I am the older woman by 7 months.
Scandalous, I know.
There are many things about this dude that I love, for example:
He’s a major dork, for one…which is perfect, because I am prone to being a total weirdo myself.
He totes rids our home of all the spiders for me. This is key, since I become paralyzed with terror every time I come across one–from the tiniest little guy to the biggest ugliest ones. It’s irrational, I know. I just can not handle it though.
We hate all the same stuff. This is a totally negative and cynical way to look at things, but it’s true. And important. It just is.
He is a huge supporter of my blogging/baking/cooking endeavors. He manages all the technical stuff with this website AND manages business at his engineering job. Pro-fesh.
We both love to geek out about all sorts of things–nature, geology (I secretly/not so secretly now, love geology), music, the mountains, etc.
Speaking of geek-outs…we both LOVE food.
We love to splurge on quality over quantity. Trips and vacations, when we do travel, are centered around what we’re eating. I mean, we planned our honeymoon specifically to eat in a great food city–btw, Vancouver, BC is not only an amazing food city, but it is just so dang beautiful.
We share a lot of favorite foods–oysters (omg, omg), burgers of all sorts, korean food, mexican food, and oh-so-many more…but, the one that we both love…the one that he probably (somehow) loves more than me, is chocolate. That man (I have said it before), is a certifiable choco-saurus. So, every year (for the past 7 years), it’s always a chocolate cake for his birthday in some form or another. This year, it was pure and simple chocolate pound cake iced with whipped ganache. It really can’t get much more chocolate-y than that.
So, I guess my point is…after all that rambling…Sean is a great dude. My favorite in fact. We go together like birthdays and cake. I love him to bits and pieces and he can always count on me to make him the best chocolate birthday cake I can muster. Always and forevs.
Chocolate Birthday Cake w/ Whipped Ganache Frosting
cake adapted from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet.
This cake recipe is actually a pound cake recipe that makes the perfect amount of batter for a 6-inch layer cake…which in my opinion, is a great size cake for smaller gathering (in this case, 2 people). The crumb is fantastic, tight and dense without being heavy. The whipped ganache is about as easy as it gets and is perfect for the choco-saurus’ in your life. Use any leftover ganache to roll into light and airy truffles. Another note about this cake, it is best served at room temperature, the frosting and cake will feel dry and hard if served cold–if you make it ahead and refrigerate, just let it sit out on the counter for 30-60 minutes.
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons room temperature, unsalted butter
2 large eggs + 1 egg white, cold
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 2, 6-inch round cake pans by buttering and lining bottoms with parchment. Alternatively, butter and flour a 6 cup capacity tube pan.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a mixer, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt, stir to combine.
Add the butter, egg, and white. Mix on medium-high for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl as needed. Combine milk, espresso, and vanilla. Add to the batter, mix for 2 minutes, scraping as needed. Scrape the batter into 2, 6-inch cake pans or into a tube pan.
Bake the cakes in the oven for about 25-35 minutes (it may take a little longer in the tube pan). Cool 10 minutes in the pan before unmolding to cool completely on cooling racks.
Once cooled completely, cut the cakes in half to make 4 layers.
Whipped Ganache Frosting
adapted from Martha Stewart.
1 lb. chocolate coarsely chopped, or chips (I used ghiradelli)
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
pinch of salt
Place chocolate and salt in a medium bow or bowl of a mixer, set aside.
In a saucepan, heat heavy cream just to a boil. Remove from heat and pour hot cream over the chocolate. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plate and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk ganache until smooth and allow to cool to room temperature.
Beat cooled ganache until fluffy. Use immediately.