Hi. Remember me? It’s been a while.
Since I last posted I’ve finished one term and started another. I’ve skied in the Rockies and the Laurentians. I’ve found a place to live in the fall, cleaned my room (it’s worth mentioning), had my first financial crisis, and started spending more time at church. I’ve dreadlocked (some of) my hair, welcomed two new roommates into the house and become obsessed with Fun.. Relationships that I hoped would last have ended, but they’ve been replaced with ones I never expected to form. Christmas cheer has come and gone and we’ve celebrated not one, but two New Years (welcome to the year of the dragon!). On January 3rd Canadians hung their heads in shame while Russia celebrated and today we’re all supposed to drink beer watch a bunch of huge guys play with an oddly shaped ball, or so I hear. (Side note: I’ve always found footballs frustrating because when they hit the ground it’s impossible to tell which direction they’re going to go!).
Since “better late than never” is the cliche I live my life by, I figured that this particular lazy Sunday would be a good day to finally make good on my promise to post part two of Gillian’s birthday cake.
As you may remember, Chelsea and I teamed up to make our dear friend Gillian a birthday cake (one of three! Lucky girl). In the interest of time, we baked the cake together a few days ahead of time and I decorated it on the day of her birthday celebration.
I found an icing recipe that looked pretty much perfect on Smitten Kitchen. I thought that the semi-sweet chocolate icing would compliment the banana cake much better than any buttercream ever could. So I pulled up Deb’s recipe for “Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting” and then proceeded to alter it until it was completely unrecognizable. Deb would probably take one look at what I’ve done and exclaim that I’ve completely destroyed the integrity of her frosting, and, well, I have. BUT I am totally happy with the result, and I think the birthday girl was too.
My grandmother, who is an excellent cake baker, taught my mother to always freeze your cake after it’s cooled and before you ice. My mother passed this on to me and I have been grateful for the tip ever since as it allows you to make the cake a few days in advance without it going stale and makes icing and assembling your masterpiece infinitely easier. Another important icing tip is to ice a thin “crumb coat” at the start. It will make a world of difference.
The white writing is an icing sugar/sour cream mixture that I threw together in a panic when I realized that brown on brown wouldn’t make for very attractive decorating. The lighter brown icing is just a half and half mixture of the chocolate icing and the white concoction, because I thought the sides needed “a little something”.
Below is the recipe for a bittersweet chocolate icing that will rock your world. But don’t forget to pour yourself a tall glass of cold milk, this one ain’t for the faint of heart. Happy belated, Gillian!
4 squares of bakers chocolate
1/2 cup icing sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1-1/8 cup sour cream (room temperature)
1/4 cup light corn syrup (give or take a few tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Melt the bakers chocolate in a double boiler, then stir in espresso, butter, cocoa powder and icing sugar.
In a large bowl whisk remaining ingredients, adjusting corn syrup to your own preference of sweetness.
Combine the chocolate mixture with the sour cream mixture (making sure the temperature difference between the two is not too extreme) and then chill in the fridge until spreadable (about half an hour).