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Monday
Mar072011

« The Slipping Sliding Birthday Cake »

This weekend was a series of birthday celebrations -- replete with celebratory food, birthday sweets and fun. The first celebration was for my friend, Ava.

We (Ava, Mia and I) celebrated Ava's birthday at Locanda Verde, in Tribeca, on Saturday night. Desert was at my place, and Ava requested a Tart au Citron, in lieu of a birthday cake.  Definitely, a fine choice. And we all enjoyed it.

The second celebration was for my nephew Garrison, who turned eight on Saturday. Garrison, in contrast to Ava, wanted nothing to do with fancy French pastries. He wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate icing.

My favorite recipe for chocolate cake is a bit unusual, as it incorporates cocoa, vegetable oil and brewed coffee. The batter is extremely thin, but the recipe produces a rich, moist cake ...... to die for.

Normally, I like to fill the cake with a raspberry or cherry filling, and ice it with a chocolate ganache.  But this was for a kid's party, and I wanted to make a more traditional chocolate icing -- which I could use to ice and decorate the cake (and skip the fruit filling all together). I subsequently scoured the web for a chocolate icing recipe and settled on a recipe which I found on a random food blog.

Random food blog.  Those words should have made me pause. But no, I never learn.  I made the recipe anyway, and I quickly realized that something was wrong.  Seriously wrong.  So wrong that the icing would not stick to the cake. In fact, the icing was so thin that it started to ooze out of the center, like a festering wound.  So, like a trauma surgeon racing to the OR,  I quickly rushed the ailing mess into the fridge, and prayed that bleeding would stop.

Luckily, after 20 minutes, the icing firmed up enough for me to finish icing the cake.  I even managed to pipe a decorative border around the top and bottom.  (Forget a garland on the side; there was no way that was going to happen.) A few candles and a red baseball hat finished the sorry mess. 

Garrison didn't notice the mess.  In fact, the birthday cake was a big hit (no pun intended), and everyone went home happy.  Here is my killer chocolate cake recipe.  As a community service, I will not pass on the chocolate icing recipe.

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