This blog is mostly going to be my little place to talk about the novel I am writing. Which is why I stole a quote from one of my favorite tv shows, as this novel I am writing, I plan to finish, and at times.. it feels like an impossible thing. Also this is to journal my move to the UK, and starting my own business as an Indie Yarn Dyer

Happy Birthday Sis!

Look at what I did the past two days….

Today is Mim’s 30th Birthday. Which mean I’m shortly behind her. (2 years, 5 months to be exact)

I decided to make her a whimsical cake since it’s her 30th. She doesn’t care or freak that she’s now 30 like some women. I don’t know how I’ll react when it’s my turn.

This is a 3 layer chocolate and white marbled cake with The Most Amazing Triple Chocolate Frosting. (Can I coin that name?)

The recipes I used, are here:

For the chocolate cake I used: “The Best Chocolate Cake by I Am Baker”

For the yellow cake I used: “The Best Yellow Cake by Smitten Kitchen”

I have to admit I’m not happy with the Chocolate cake. It tasted good, don’t get me wrong.. But it was very liquidy. Which did not work for my goal. I was afraid of adding more flour to thicken it up. (It was just about perfect until I added the coffee at the end. That made it far too liquidy) You can see in the photo the difference between the two batters. The chocolate one is fine if you are not trying to make a chessboard checker cake like I was. (I also got chocolate cake batter ALL over me)


Thats a lot of cake batter. O.O

3 cake pans ready to go in the oven. You can see the idea happening here. Sadly though the chocolate bled into the other sections due to its much more liquid consistency.


Here they are all baked up. So sad, you can see how they didn’t stay defined. It was the chocolate’s fault. I could already tell that they weren’t going to checkerboard at this point.


Frosting the first layer.


Put on the second layer. Did the same for the next layer.

Crumb coated all three layers together. See, it’s messy. It’s not perfect. It’s fine that way. This just means I won’t get crumbs in the frosting.

I decided I wanted crumbs in my frosting. So I mashed up a whole bunch of Oreos. Kept mashing till the frosting in the Oreos mixed into the crumbs and became a part of it.

Sprinkled the crumbs all over the cake. Decorated with M&Ms.

I learned a lot doing this cake.

1) If making a checkerboard cake, the batters MUST be consistent. As you can see in the first photo, my cake came out marbled instead of checker board because the chocolate drooled into the other sections.

2) I am NEVER putting cookie crumbs on the sides of a round cake again. That was a bitch and a half and I nearly lost the entire cake. I ended up doing it by doing exactly what I told James he shouldn’t do. I took my frosting blade (which since my offset spatula is tucked away in a moving box with my piping tips, I was just using a regular butter knife) and dipped it in the crumbs then frosted the sides of the cake more.

3) Put M&Ms on the cake before putting the crumbs. That way they stick and you don’t have to cement them on with more frosting like I did.

4)I should have leveled the layers. I didn’t care enough to do it. This cake was for fun. Not to showcase my baking prowess.

5) If you haven’t had sugar in nearly 2 months, making a cake (ie: licking the spatula, beaters, fingers etc) and eating a slice of the cake will introduce so much sugar into your system that you feel like you are going to go into a diabetic coma. Yeah… I haven’t gotten much done today due to that. Ugh, even my sweat smells like sugar to me now!


I needed to improvise as I ran out of baking chocolate!! Oh noes!! I’ve had this container of baking cocoa for years, and I’ve finally run out.

I’m also going to let you in on a secret. In my freezer is coffee. It’s not my mothers. It’s mine. I’ve carried it for years, needing only a pinch at a time. Whether I’m making Klah (yes, I’ve made this drink many times. Used to drink it at work on a regular basis. I’m a dork.) or something like this frosting.


The Best Triple Chocolate Frosting EVAR! by Erin Gallagher

Adapted drastically from Smitten Kitchen

3.5 oz Trader Joe’s 70% Dark Chocolate Wedges (Came in our Christmas basket from Merlin and Jennifer!!)

.2 oz Unsweetened Baking Cocoa (I used powder, but you can do the equivalent in the brick form if you want. But make sure you do the math, I’m not going to do it for you. Or don’t do the math if you want it just that much more dark with the bitter chocolate)

2.3 oz Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate

3 sticks Unsalted Butter (so 1 1/2 cups)

3 teaspoons instant coffee made up in 1/4 cup boiling water. (Or 1/4 cup Fresh brewed coffee)

Splash of Vanilla

Confectioner’s Sugar until you reach desired consistency.

Melt the Chocolate Wedges. Mix everything. Lick the beaters when you are done. You know you want to. I won’t judge.


So the original recipe called for 6 oz dark baking chocolate. Like I said, I ran out of my cocoa powder, hence this adaption. It also called for like 4 cups or so sugar. I didn’t bother measuring mine. I never do. I just add till it feels right, and most importantly tastes right.  I also apparently didn’t even remember the milk at all. It didn’t deter from it.

This makes a very fluffy frosting. I was honestly worried about not having enough because of having 3 layers of the cake, and then needing to coat the outside. I had PLENTY. There is still some in the bowl many hours, and many finger fulls (from all of us) later.


Now because of how liquidy the chocolate cake was, I ended up with lots of extra. Apparently I forgot to snap a photo, but I ended up with 2 smaller cake pans worth (I’d say the cake pans are like 5 inches… I think. I don’t know. Mom bought them in England). Seriously. I baked a total of 5 layers of cake yesterday. I kid you not.

The two smaller cakes are wrapped up and in the freezer. No photo for you!

Mim had to go to work on her birthday, but this morning before we had cake, we watched Spaceballs. It’s a bit of a family tradition as I requested it for my birthday as a child. I mentioned a yearning to watch Spaceballs and so she opted for that as she was queen of the remote for today. Then we watched Life on Mars cause thats how we role.

I was supposed to do a photoshoot today, but due to a timing snafu that didn’t happen. Tomorrow instead.

I’ve spent the day activating my new smartphone. I’ve finally said goodbye to Verizon. I wish I had done it sooner because now I’ll have more money for myself each month.

Speaking of my new phone.. this photo was taken with it. Sorry for the poor lighting.. it’s 8pm and I’m not getting up to get my camera, nor turn on more lights in the house. Also I had a puppy sleeping in my lap.

The mark is where I branded myself while baking. I while I was preheating the oven I had forgotten that I had left a cast iron skillet in there, and in that skillet was a long handled metal spatula. So I took those out of course. About 5 minutes later I was reaching across the counter for something way in the back, and I accidentally brushed up against the end of the spatula. Yup… I branded myself. The day before my photoshoot. (So this was yesterday)

Yeah. It hurts. Neosporine to my rescue. I don’t know what I’ll do in England without it. Seriously it’s the top on my “Please send me in a care package” list.

Alright. Time to go make dinner. Tomorrow is the photoshoot, as well as a dye day. I haven’t been able to dye the past couple of days and so I feel like I’ve gotten nothing done. (I’ve gotten other things done, but not physical dyeing)

By the way… it took me all day to do this post. Kept getting distracted by other things.

One response

  1. Happy birthday to your sister!!!

    February 24, 2011 at 9:40 am

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