Parenting by Chocolate, Part Two

Grumble, grumble, grumble. It's Love Thursday but I hate Blogger. I think I'm channeling the Yarn Harlot again because her post yesterday was eaten by her blogging software and it was a post about having to redo something. Which is also exactly what's happening to me today, only it's not knitting.

However, it IS Jane's seventh birthday and I was about to reveal my tricksy little secret to my World Famous (in my mind) chocolate cake. When last we left our intrepid heroine, she had created a marvelously thick and rich chocolate batter. It looked like this:

So, then, looking over her shoulder to make sure no one was watching, she added THIS:

I have to say that I honestly think the brand of chocolate chips makes a huge difference. After months years decades of taste tests, I really think these are the best chocolate chips. I have used more high-dollar ones that have higher butter-fat percentages but they get TOO melty. I've used the store brand kind and every other kind. I like Ghiradelli best. Your mileage may vary because I will forever defend a Woman's Right to Choose Her Chocolate Chips. (Having said all that, when I make this for my husband, I use mint chocolate chips and then I use the Hershey's kind.)

So go ahead and add the whole bag. I know it seems excessive. It IS excessive. It's supposed to be excessive, it's a birthday cake for your youngest child who will never again be six-years-old!

And while you're at it? Go ahead and set aside the bowl and the beaters for her and her sister to lick.

Anyway, then you bake the cake, let it cool on wire racks for ten minutes and then turn it out onto platters to finish cooling.
Mine just popped right out and left the parchment paper behind but sometimes you have to peel it off. It's important to remove or to make sure the parchment has been removed before you frost the cake. Trust me.

Okay, after it's cooled, you frost it. Right about this time, I discovered I was out of powdered sugar to make the frosting. (Honestly, it's like my baking supplies have been raided by the Borrowers or something. Don't you love the thought that there are tiny people in your house who use all of your pens and erasers and safety pins and rubber bands? It CAN'T just be that you don't have a consistent place for those things and therefore can never find them when you need them, right? It's not just that I never have my list when I go to the grocery store, right? Must be the Borrowers.)

Anyway, I happened to have some store-bought frosting because I have to make a big honking sheet cake for Jane's birthday party on Sunday and I am using these for that:
The pan I use takes four cake mixes and I just won't be making all of those cakes from scratch. (I know, I know. I'm a slacker.)

I frosted the cake. Here's the secret to using store-bought icing: Don't even dream you can do it with one can. Use a can-and-a-half and then put the other half in the fridge for those moments when you need a little spoonful of something in case you need it later for some reason. Which turned out to be the case yesterday for me.

Let's talk for a brief moment about my most favorite cake baking tool, shall we? Because, DUDE, you've read THIS far, might as well finish, right? So, this is my favorite cake baking tool:

Yes, the Long Spatula Thing. (I know it has a name but that's what I call it because I'm not so strong on terminology.) Anyway, the LST will not only make your cakes look like they have been professionally iced, they are EXCELLENT for any sort of re-dos you might encounter. Say, for example, you discover that your horrible store-bought decorative frosting is now unmanageable and you cannot write your beloved daughter's name on the cake with it.

Simply scrape said horrid icing off and start again! You have extra frosting in the fridge!

Re-do the frosting and then add sprinkles and the candle in the shape of a "7."

Only, here's where I learned a big lesson about sprinkles. There are some sprinkles that make both of my daughters CRY. Seriously. The little round sprinkles that are so festive are apparently the bane of every child's existence. They don't taste good and they get in between their teeth.

I had no idea. I'm talking real tears and it wasn't even ANA'S birthday!

So, I scraped the sprinkles off and I used the rest of the can of icing to redo the frosting on the top.
(I know, I know, Cult of the Child, yada, yada. But you know what? It's her birthday and besides, anyone who knows me knows that what we have in THIS house is the Cult of the Pets.)

I think she liked it.

Happy birthday, my little puppy. May all your birthday dreams and wishes come true.


MadMad said…
I love getting all misty-eyed and happy at a post. OF COURSE you had to wipe off those crunchy sprinkles. It's her party, and she (and Ana) can cry if they want to, darn it! Happy, Happy day!

Also, Boy turned 7 last week. Forget all the bad stuff I've said about him. I made it up. Wanna arrange a marriage? We could be in-laws. Wouldn't that be fun?
Anonymous said…
That final pic is perfect! Happy Birthday, girlie! And you can send your sprinkles to me. I think my blood sugar is way too elevated after reading this post, though.
Those tiny people keep taking all my pairs of scissors. I told my husband that, and he just looked at me funny.
DK said…
Oh, wow. She's so cute. And you're such a good mom.

And some day (like, when we live close enough together to meet up for the weekend) I'll bake you a pan of my King Arthur classic brownies from scratch. My secret? Cinnamon. Just enough. In everything - chocolate confections, beef, rice pudding, etc, etc...
I want cake. I want cake now.
hokgardner said…
I bought myself one of those long frosting knives today based on your recommendation. I'd use it on Ella's cake, but I ordered one from the store. But now her party may be cancelled because she woke up at 4 throwing up.

Hope Jane had a wonderful day.
Anonymous said…
My favorite chocolate frosting is:
Melt another bag of those chips with a cup (or two) of heavy cream in the top of a double boiler, stirring until very smooth.
Chill thoroughly (you can even freeze it at this point and then you will have the richest chocolate ice cream ever). When the cake is thoroughly cool and ready to be frosted, whip the chocolate cream.

Excellent frosting.
Anonymous said…
The thing about chocolate is that it's...well...brown. It's not very photogenic. It was helpful that you added all those different frostings and decorations and then photographed them before scraping them off, because it added a touch of color. And, of course, the cake mix box added a nice splash of red. Still, the next time you're planning a birthday party, you might want to take the whole "photography for the blog" thing into account and force your child into a more colorful theme.
Amanda said…
In case you wanted to have that particular geeky bit of cheffing terminology in your brain, the name for that long tool is a spatula knife. Like these:

I have two, one small one, and a larger one, and they are the most useful implement for icing, frosting, cake lifting.