Monday, May 16, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

My husband is a chocolate peanut butter addict. So I knew that I really had to come correct for his birthday. After much researching, I decided on a sour cream chocolate cake, with peanut butter frosting, topped with a dramatic chocolate peanut butter glaze.

This cake is very rich, but really, really amazing. I was afraid that the flavors would be overwhelming, but everyone seemed to agree that this was not the case. I regret that I do not have pictures of this cake, however smitten kitchen does have pictures of it. Mine looked virtually the same, except that my glaze was a bit thinner, and my cake was MUCH taller. I'm not sure why on either count, but seriously my cake was towering, and carrying it to his birthday dinner, the thing had to weigh 20 lbs. Or at least it felt like it.

The recipe calls for 8" pans, but I used 9" pans and clearly did not have any issues with it. I would definitely make this cake again, and I'm pretty sure my husband would be on board with that as well.

Lemon Poppyseed Cake with Raspberry Curd Filling

(My pictures leave a lot to be desired, I know. And I don't have any pictures of the inside, either. But it was beautiful!)

My father-in-law is 85 years old. He is a brilliant man: an accomplished electrical engineer and woodworker, but he is also a very easygoing man. Every year he has but one request for his birthday: lemon. Make it lemon. Whatever it is... lemon.
While I personally don't see the merits of any kind of dessert that is solely fruit-based and does not include chocolate, I decided that it was not my very special day, and that I ought to make him what HE wants. Fine. But it won't be just any lemon cake -- no. Make it lemon poppyseed, with a delicious raspberry filling, and a lemon cream cheese frosting to top it off.

I have to say, even I liked this cake. I don't care for lemon, and I REALLY don't care for raspberries, but it was pretty darn good.

The Life I Never (Always) Wanted

I never wanted this. I cannot stress that enough. If you told me five years ago, that I would end up a wife, a stay at home mother of two, without a Facebook page, and with a stand mixer on my counter... I probably would have dumped my drink on you. I'm guessing I would have had a drink in my hand. Five years ago, that was pretty much a given.

Somehow, in spite of myself, I met a wonderful man. We got married. We had a baby girl. Two years later, we had a baby boy. Five days after he was born, my little girl started preschool. THAT is when it happened. The baking. The sickness. Maybe it was some sort of post-partum psychotic break? (I'll have to see if there's a related article on wikipedia.)

I developed a constant need to feel like well, I may not be the best mother in the world, but I've got to at least be better than someone. So what did I do? I started baking. I thought if my kid showed up at school with the prettiest cupcakes, the other moms would know that when it comes to motherhood, I was a force to be reckoned with. And maybe -- on some level -- my daughter would know it, too.

It's gross. Don't think I don't know it.

However, when I reflect back on that life I led 5 years ago... I know I'm exactly where I need to be. And want to be. Most of the time. I'll have to get into the details of my former life in another post. That said, I think this will be a place for reflections, for sarcasm, and for recipes. Hope you enjoy it.