When your family has multiple December birthdays you wind up eating your fair share of birthday cake. Caught right in the middle of the holiday season are my husband’s birthday on December 10th and then my own later in the month. But regardless of how many holiday gatherings there are on the calendar we always take the time to make it special, just like a birthday would be the other 11 months of the year. This year I decided to focus the cake on Arnab’s love of chocolate and mint. A combination that never gets old for him. He can polish off a box of chocolate mints like no one’s business.
During the month of December I usually make numerous hand made gifts making the month especially hectic. Last year I did the photograph above for a relative that works in Hollywood. Usually they are something knit. However for the first time I decided no hand-made gifts but I decided I would do one for my step-mother. Just one. As a result I had more time to prepare for Arnab’s birthday this year and it did not just creep up on me like usual.
Arnab is a talented photographer so I gave him the most amazing of camera straps called the Hold Fast Money Maker Camera Strap. http://holdfastgear.com It keeps your camera safe and secure even with a long telephoto lens. His photo adventures can continue on in style. Starting with the beauty of the holiday season and all year through.
As a December birthday couple we always get plenty of “You must hate a December birthday” but since we were both children our respective parents both made sure our birthdays were special just as if they were any other time of the year. Plus mine falling on Christmas Day meant I always had no school and that was especially fantastic. Now as adults I always make sure his birthday always takes place without a hitch because it is those little things that really matter.
Incredibly Chocolatey Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups flour (I always use King Arthur all-purpose flour)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. Triple Blend Cocoa (order from King Arthur flour website)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, whisked
1 cup milk (I use 1% or 2%)
1/2 cup liquid coconut oil
3 tsp. vanilla
1 cup boiling water
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 2 9-inch or 3 6-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray, covering bottom with parchment paper and spraying again with cooking spray.
Combine dry ingredients in mixer bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir in.
Pour batter, which will be thinner than most cake batter, into prepared cake pans and bake for
30 -35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool for approximately 10 minutes, then turn out on cooling rack. When thoroughly cook, frost with Incredibly Chocolatey Chocolate Frosting.
Incredibly Chocolatey Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup grass-fed organic butter, softened
3/4 cup triple-blend cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup whole milk (more if needed for consistency)
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
Whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa powder in medium bowl. In mixer bowl, beat together softened butter and a small amount of powdered sugar mixture. Add powdered sugar mixture alternately with milk and vanilla. Add salt and beat until thoroughly combined and fluffy, adding additional milk if needed 1 tsp. at a time until desired consistency is reached.