Thursday, July 26, 2012

Calories don't count if they're connected to a celebration.

      What's more cheerful than a birthday cake? Seriously. What else in life comes with icing, sprinkles and good wishes?  It's the epitome of happiness. If you want to get happy, birthday cake is the way to go. It doesn't even have to be your own; birthday cakes are made for sharing!

       I am a devout fan of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels. I've read them all and eagerly await the next one.  Her characters never cease to make me laugh and make my life seem mundane and perfectly normal by comparison.  Stephanie Plum is also a fan of birthday cake.  She often keeps at least one in her freezer for emergencies. She's also been known to go to the supermarket and cruise the bakery aisle for abandoned birthday cakes.  Did you know that you can get them for half off?  "Happy Birthday Steve!" Who's Steve? Does it really matter when you are scarfing down the last of the decadent icing roses? I think not!

       My sister in law recently had a birthday and in my current domestic goddess state I decided to bake her a birthday cake - from scratch.  Betty Crocker was not invited to this party. It didn't take long for me to find the most wonderfully decadent recipe and before I knew it I was baking up some birthday bliss.  Like birthday cake, this recipe was made to share. Be warned, this one isn't diet friendly, but as Stephanie says;

“Calories don’t count if they’re connected to a celebration. Everyone knows this.”
Janet Evanovich, Hard Eight

It's My Birthday And I'll Eat Cake If I Want To

What You Need:

10 squares of Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate, divided
1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip dressing
2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp vanilla, divided
3 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup butter
3 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup milk

To Make It:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Melt 6 chocolate squares as directed on package; cool.
  • Beat dressing, brown sugar and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended.
  • Add eggs and melted chocolate; mix well.
  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt in separate bowl.
  • Add to chocolate mixture alternately with boiling water, mixing well after each addition.
  • Pour into 2 parchment paper lined 9 inch round pans.
  • Bake 30 ~ 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centres comes out clean.
  • Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes.
  • Remove from pans to wire racks.
  • Cool completely.
For Icing:
  • Meanwhile, microwave remaining chocolate squares and butter in large microwaveable bowl on medium for 1 to 2 minutes, or until butter is melted.
  • Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  • Cool.
  • Add icing sugar, milk and remaining vanilla and beat with mixer until well blended.
  • Refrigerate 30 minutes or until icing is of desired spreading consistency.
  • Stack cake layers on plate, filling and frosting with chocolate icing.

Thanks Kraft for this decadent recipe!

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