*Happy Birthdays*

Audley’s much loved grandmother turned 83 yesterday.
Granny Odessa with the Jones branch of great-grandchildren
 We enjoyed a quite little celebration last night with four generations of family over cake and diet coke.  Since the kiddies were out of school yesterday for a holiday, I had a little time to spend in the kitchen making her cake, which she had been reminding me of since last Wednesday.
Granny Odessa loves to eat cake!
White velvet cake topped with raspberry buttercream and chocolate ganache was the flavor of the day.  The piping around the base of the cake is whipping cream, whipped a little thicker than normal so that it will hold its shape.



 You can find the recipe for white velvet cake, here.  I love a to make the white velvet cake for two reasons.  First, you can swap the vanilla extract for any flavoring you like and have a peach, strawberry or even peppermint flavored cake if you would like (I add extra flavoring if I am swapping the vanilla for a more distinct taste).  Secondly, this is a dense cake, just perfect for layering and stacking with minimum crumbs which makes it so easy to ice.
The raspberry buttercream recipe can be found here.  I did learn that if I were to make this cake again, to add a bit extra raspberry flavoring and leave out the raspberry puree if adding the chocolate ganache.  Although filling the cake with icing containing the puree would be fabulous!
This is the first time I have ever used chocolate ganache.  I have always steered away from it because I was afraid.  Bad excuse, right?
Making chocolate ganache was so easy and I will use this technique again (and soon).
I took one half-pint carton of heavy whipping cream and brought it to boil in a saucepan heated on  medium.  Stir constantly as it begins to bubble because you do not want to scorch the cream.  When it comes to a boil that cannot be stirred down, remove from heat and pour over 10-12 ounces (depending on the consistency you are looking for) chopped, high-quality, bittersweet chocolate.  Let sit for about 30 seconds, then whisk the cream and chocolate together until smooth.  
I used a spoon to cover the cake with the ganache.
{See, I told you it was simple!}
I learned something else about ganache; it is also a good foundation for truffles.  Not the truffles where you crush oreos with cream cheese and dip in melting chocolate, but real chocolate truffles that can be flavored with delicious liquors such as Grand Marnier, or Irish Cream an then rolled in cocoa powder or coconut flakes for an elegant presentation.  I have just enough ganache (just plain chocolate flavored) left over to play with this afternoon.
What is topping your table this week?

3 thoughts on “*Happy Birthdays*

  1. Wow! Grandmother is making 83 look great! She looks as if she could keep up with all those great-grands and then some. Hope that she had a beautiful birthday and really enjoyed her cake because it certainly looks yummy.


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