Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Chocolate Before the Storm

Chocolate is one of those things, for me anyway, that beckons me on a daily- make that hourly basis. Dark, milk, studded with nuts, draped over fruit, and of course, out of a jar (Nutella, of course!), it is forever in the forefront of my thoughts. And since I bake way more than the average person and have goals of one day owning my own bakery, I cannot just rid my pantry, fridge and freezer (yes, I have chocolate in all three of those places) of this creamy confection.
My solution is to keep busy, which is not hard considering the aformentioned goal and having two little cupcakes to run after. So, tirelessly (and sometimes not), this is what I do. Day in, day out, I keep busy to keep myself away from chocolate. There is the rare occasion, however when life tends to slow down. Oddly, it's usually right before an incredibly busy and stressful period. I wonder if I do that subconsciously - give myself a sort of break - a calm before the storm. Case in point: this weekend starts the frenzied planning, baking, cooking, preparing, and decorating for a whole slew of parties. Two school-aged kids means two school Halloween parties, one of them a birthday celebration as well for my sweet son, who turns 4 next week. Taking on a shared role of class mom for my daughter's class means co-piloting their school party on Halloween Day. In between these two parties will be my son's actual birthday, which of course needs to be celebrated with some form of planned hooplah! The following day comes his 4th birthday party, kept small this year with a relatively limited guest list, for the sake of sanity. So four events within five days. Utter mayhem. That's next week. Stay tuned...
So, back to chocolate - a few months ago, I made a cake for a friend of mine who'd just given birth to an adorable little baby girl. This friend is a chef, trained in culinary school so I knew this cake would have to rock. No pressure, right? I decided to go for a simple combination, one that works most always - chocolate on chocolate. End result: she still talks about that very cake, which to me means I did it right.

It is a chocolate cake filled and frosted with a chocolate ganache buttercream - both my own recipes. The end result is a decadent (a word that my hubbie and I decided can only justly be used to define chocolate), lucious chocolate dream. I made a smallish version of it this week. It was two layers and 6" in diameter - the perfect size for my cupcakes and me. It was the second time, however, that my husband was not present to have a piece. Hopefully next time, Honey.

I find it to be the perfect pre-crazed week indulgence. Halloween and birthday parties next week? Bring it on!!

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