Kindergarten…almost there!

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I had something completely different planned for this post but, then things changed.  A few hours ago I accompanied my youngest daughter, Thing 2, to Kindergarten Round up for next year.  To say that she is excited would be a definite understatement.  She is completely over the moon at the thought of going to Kindergarten in the fall, in part because she will finally be back in the same school as Thing 1.  In fact, so much so that I really think that if she could skip the entire summer and go straight to the first day of school, she would do just that. I have to be honest, I’m pretty excited, too.  You know why? Because this means that I get to drop both of my kids off at the same school for the entire day…six hours and twenty minutes of uninterrupted time…all to myself.  I would also like to skip the entire summer and go straight to the first day of school.

IMG00449-20110825-0827 This is my baby.  The last of my three and our five.  While I’m perfectly fine with not having anymore children, I have to admit that there is somewhat of an exclamation mark that follows her around.  While I can’t say that the feeling is bittersweet, there is a finality to it that is a bit uncomfortable at times.

So, while I sat and listened to various presentations about what to expect in Kindergarten, she and her fellow incoming classmates went with the teachers to the classrooms to have a look around and get acquainted with each other. Since I’ve obviously done this before, I let my mind wander a bit, back to the complete shock of finding out that I was expecting her.  I got pregnant, at age 41,  just nine months after giving birth to Thing 1.  It was probably one of the few times in my life that I have been speechless.  By the time that I figured out that my fatigue and nausea weren’t because of me being a new mom, I was five months pregnant.  Upon our first office visit, my doctor looked at my husband and I as if we were misbehaving teenagers. Actually, it was pretty funny.  It took us a full year to stop being surprised by the fact that we had another baby.  So, now, as I approach having her enter school, I can’t help but wonder, where did the time go?

20121028_150221 Never the less, as we were walking home this evening, I asked her if she had a good time, and she said that she did.  “Did you make any new friends?” I asked.  “No, too soon, Mom.”   That’s okay, she still had a HUGE smile that told me that she was in a happy place.  So, after that, I decided to share with you a recipe for a cake that she absolutely loves. She’s not much of a sweet eater but, this one is something special, as it comes highly recommended and approved by this soon to be kindergartener.

German Chocolate Cake

(This recipe is courtesy of Ghirardelli.com)

Yield:

1 cake
Ingredients:

4 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar 
1 1/2 cups butter
1/2 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half
7 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup brown sugar (packed)

Directions

In heavy saucepan on low heat, melt broken chocolate with water, stirring until smooth; set aside. Cream 1 cup butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add 4 egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in melted chocolate and 1 tsp vanilla. Sift flour with baking soda. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk to chocolate mixture. Mix until smooth. Beat egg whites with salt until very stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Spread into three 8 or 9 inch round cake pans lined with wax paper. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on rack 10 minutes; remove cake. Frost with Butter Pecan Frosting.

**Frosting: In heavy saucepan, melt ½ cup butter. Add half and half, brown sugar and 3 egg yolks, blending with wire whip. Heat and stir until mixture starts to boil. Cook, while stirring on low heat 5 to 7 minutes or until frosting has thickened. Add 1 tsp vanilla: cool, fold in nuts and coconut. Spread between layers and on top of German Chocolate Cake. For firm frosting, refrigerate 30 minutes. Yield: 2-1/2 cups frosting.

I have made both this recipe and the Original Baker’s German Chocolate Cake recipe that is very popular,  and I prefer this one. I think that it’s the addition of the brown sugar that makes it more flavorful and I prefer the texture.

**I only use the Butter Pecan recipe above between the layers of the cake.  Once the cake is assembled, I pour chocolate ganache (recipe follows – I double it for use on this cake) over the top and let it drip down the sides.  Pretty and decadent!

Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

(This recipe is courtesy of Williams-Sonoma)

1/2 c heavy cream

2 Tbls. unsalted butter

1 Tbls. light corn syrup

6 oz. European Bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped.

In a small, heavy saucepan over high heat, combine the cream, butter and corn syrup.  Bring to a boil and remove from heat.  Stir in the chocolate and then place over low heat.  Whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.  Remove from the heat and use as directed in specific recipes.

One bite of this cake and this girl 20130222_075332 declared it “Yummy in my tummy!”

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