Every year on my birthday, I go all out on Dessert. I indulge in something sinfully delicious, and it's been a tradition that I really really really enjoy. Like really. Of course I don't wait a whole year to have dessert, but if I do happen to be in a situation where dessert is present, I usually don't eat a big (regular) serving. (Even though I'd be all over that warm brownie and ice cream.)
But on my birthday, I eat a nice big serving of my favorite dessert...
And usually, I'll eat it for dinner.
It all started in 2010 when I was 8 months pregnant with my first baby. It was my birthday, and my husband and I went to the Del Mar fair in San Diego. We had been walking all day and I'd watched my husband eat one fried treat after the next. I was insanely jealous because at that time, I was still really careful with what I ate.
As we drove home that night, I got a little sad because I hadn't allowed my self to enjoy a treat, even on my DANG BIRTHDAY!! I decided that night I wasn't going to restrict my self so much, and I would allow my self to enjoy dessert here and there without feeling so much guilt.
So I made my husband stop at In N Out for a chocolate milkshake.
I remember enjoying that milkshake SO much, almost feeling a kid who had no shame in pounding down a few pieces of birthday cake without their parents noticing.
Since then, I've made it a tradition to have a rich dessert each year on my birthday. And for the past 4 years I've made it a tradition to have it be an insanely rich chocolate cake.
This year I asked my mom to send me chocolate cake recipe from my grandmas cookbook. She sent me this one:
(If you've ever made The Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet Cake, you will notice the recipe is pretty dang similar.)
Now, let's talk about oleo!
Just kidding. Do they still make oleo?
I decided that my grandmas PTA cake would be the best base for my birthday cake. But I didn't stop there.
Next, I made a Whipped Chocolate Buttercream. Back in the days when I used to make cupcakes for people, buttercream was my most requested frosting. I could make it with my eyes closed, and could eat it with my eyes closed too!
Then to top it all off, I poured a dark chocolate ganache over the entire cake.
Chocolate ganache IS my favorite food, in all seriousness.
If I read chocolate ganache on a dessert menu, I order it. No matter what.
Now, You could leave the cake as is, but I think we all know that sprinkles on birthday cakes are a requirement. Bonus points if you use chocolate jimmies! My grocery store didn't have any, which practically sent me into depression, but I recovered quickly.
Rainbow sprinkles work wonders.
Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake
- (For the cake)
- 2 sticks butter (or 1 cup coconut oil)
- heaping 1/4 c. cocoa powder
- 1 c. water
- 2 c. flour (can use white whole wheat, spelt, or oat flour)
- 2 c. sugar (can use coconut sugar)
- dash of salt
- 1/2 c. buttermilk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 TB. vanilla
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- (For the Whipped Chocolate Buttercream)
- 3 sticks softened butter
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 3 heaping TB. cocoa powder
- 5-6 TB. heavy whipping cream
- 1 TB. vanilla extract
- (For the Ganache)
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 1 c. chopped dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar, then set aside.
- In a sauce pan, add the water and bring to a boil.
- In another sauce pan melt the butter and cocoa powder. Once the water is boiling, add it to the butter/cocoa mixture and let boil for about a minute.
- Remove from heat and let it cool for a minute.
- Fold in the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture. Don't over mix.
- In a bowl, whisk together buttermilk, then eggs, vanilla, and then baking soda.
- Slowly fold it into the cake batter.
- Grease two round cake pans, or a jelly roll pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Allow the cake to cool COMPLETELY before removing.
- (Make the Whipped Buttercream)
- In a mixer, whip the butter until it's creamy. Add in the rest of the ingredients and beat on high until whipped and all combined.
- Spread the frosting on top of one cake layer, then place the other cake on top. Spread more frosting on top and all around the sides. Use all the frosting, mostly in the middle and on top. Place in the fridge for a few minutes to set while you make the ganache.
- In a small bowl add the chocolate.
- In a sauce pan, heat the heavy cream on low/medium heat until it is about to boil. (Don't overcook.)
- Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then stir it slowly till the chocolate has melted and it's creamy. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so it cools.
- Pour the ganache over the entire cake, top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
- (Keep cake refrigerated, but let it sit out for about 20-30 minutes before serving.)
So the moral of the story is, eat dessert on your birthday. No if's, and's, or big butts about it.