Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to Andy!

October 21st was my sweet husband's birthday.  Because I worked the night before and slept for half the day (sad) on his actual birthday, we sort of celebrated on Saturday the 23rd, instead.  (We DID stop by Not Your Average Joe's to get his free birthday dinner and dessert thursday night, though.)  We had a few friends over, and I made dinner and chocolate cake for dessert.  If you ask Andy, though, his birthday was celebrated over the whole week because I made an extra special effort to cook dinner for him every night... or at least he had a freshly cooked meal or left overs of a freshly cooked meal :)  One of his favorite foods is lasagna, which is seeming to become his annual birthday meal, so I made that for him wednesday night.  I used Ina Garten's recipe for turkey sausage lasagna but used 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground turkey instead.  She adds layers of fresh mozzarella and creamy goat cheese, which added a delicious, sophisticated taste to the meal.  Lasagna has never been a "favorite" of mine, though I don't dislike it.  But if I had a menu of Italian dishes to choose from, I don't think I would ever go for it.  Maybe it's the ricotta cheese?  I don't know.  If I'm going to go for an Italian dish, I want it to be creamy and cheesy.  Anyway, enough about me.  Andy loved this!  The last piece is waiting for him to heat up and devour when he gets home...

You can see the goat cheese oozing out... yum!

Then comes the chocolate cake...  I really wanted the cake to be absolutely delectable and delicious, so I didn't want to just pick any old chocolate cake recipe.  I ended up using the one from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  I figured that it was a classic.  I look forward to the next time I make a chocolate cake.  I want to use a recipe that calls for 1 cup of cold brewed coffee next time.  This one was good, though!  Everyone seemed to love it saturday night, and it really was tasty.  I had to trim some of the layers to make them even enough to frost, and let me tell you... the warm plain cake pieces were highly addictive.  If I didn't have any self-control I might have just made a three layer cake... if you know what I mean :)  I frosted it using both chocolate buttercream and sour cream chocolate frostings.  I LOVE chocolate sour cream frosting.  It has more of a pure chocolatey taste--versus the buttercream, which is obviously very buttery and sweet.  Andy tasted the sour cream frosting as I was icing the cake, and his reaction was a little less than ecstatic, so I whipped up the buttercream to complete the rest of the cake.  (I know, aren't I a good wife?)  I'll post the recipe at the bottom.  Try it as an alternative to buttercream if you're looking for something different! 

I used the new frosting bags and tips I got at BB&B.  So fun!

Four layers!
Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
In a large saucepan melt 1 12-ounce package of semisweet chocolate pieces and 1/2 cup of butter over low heat, stirring frequently.  Cool for 5 minutes.  Stir in 1 8-ounce carton of sour cream.  Gradually add 4 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar, beating with an electric mixer until smooth.  This frosts the tops and sides of two or three 8- or 9-inch cake layers.  Halve the recipe to frost just the top of a 13x9x2 inch cake.  Cover and store frosted cake in the refrigerator.  *I did not and am not currently storing my cake in the fridge, and it tastes fine.

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