You Say It’s Your Birthday
My mother, of blessed memory, hated the heat. Born in Lithuania, she spent the first 35 years of her life either there, or freezing her tushy off in Sweden (with a short stop in Bergen Belsen, also not exactly warm, balmy breezes). My mother loved freezing her tushy off, she hated the heat. When I first became engaged to The X, with an August date set for the wedding in Israel, my mother kvetched about the trip which would take place during the hottest month of the year. After the glass was broken and my mother hugged me under the chuppah, she whispered in my ear, “If you ever give birth to any babies in the summer, I am not coming to help!”
Mommy plans, God giggles…
Ever hear the phrase lazy days of summer? Hah! I have four of the most gorgeous daughters on the planet, each one more beautiful than the next, each one simply exquisite, each one born in the summer.
Three of my gorgeous girlies have birthdays at the end of July, all within two weeks of each other. Nomush, my maverick, decided to let me experience pregnancy during a record-breaking swelter, all the way through to the end of August.
And you know what? My mom came out each time to help! In the multiple diaper-induced coma back then I am not sure I fully appreciated her sacrifice. Back then we had no air-conditioning, and I’ve never seen anyone wait for the chill of the Jerusalem evenings more.
Five years ago I got married again, and yes, it was during the summer. When I called my mom with the good/bad news, she said to me, “Oy! Miraleh! Again with the summer?” And this time, with the wisdom accumulated over score of years (in between weddings), I absolved my mother from coming out. She loved the pictures I sent her.
So July and August can be busy months in the Miriyummy household. Once upon a time there were birthday parties to plan, Bat Mitzvah celebrations to coordinate, presents to buy, cakes to bake… oh yeah, the cakes! I once tried to get the girls to have ice-cream cakes for their parties, but all they really have ever wanted was a deep chocolate cake (like their Miri-mummy, can I blame them?).
Deep Chocolate Birthday Cake with Miriyummy Ganache
I’ve made bajillions of birthday cakes over the years, but back in 2004 the lovely Molly53 posted a cake on Recipezaar that has become THE birthday cake in our household. We accept no substitutions. I usually make a non-dairy version.
- 1 cup butter or 1 cup margarine (200 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs, well beaten
- 1 cup cold black coffee
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 300 grams (12 ounces) dark chocolate
- 1 cup cream or non-dairy substitute (I use Rich Whip)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 F).
- Grease and dust an 33 x 23 cm (13 x 9 inch) cake pan with cocoa. Actually, I just line it with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter and add sugar a little at a time.
- Add eggs the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa together 3 times. Sometimes I don’t bother to do this and the cake still bakes beautifully.
- Add the coffee to the batter alternatively with the flour mixture.
- Mix well after each addition.
- Then add vinegar and vanilla. Mix well again.
- Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until your cake tester comes out dry. Leave to cool completely.
- To make the ganache, simply melt the chocolate and cream together, either on top of the stove over low heat, or nuked in the microwave for about three minutes.
- Pour over the cooled cake and let set.
- This cake actually tastes great when kept in the fridge. You can also decorate it with little silver sprinkles or anything that shows up well against the deep, dark chocolate of the ganache.
Today is the 12th of Elul — happy 25th birthday Nomush!
Today is the 22nd of August — happy 21st birthday Chip!
Posted on 22 August 2010, in Birthdays, Celebrations, Chocolate, Dessert, Family Life, Mom and tagged birthday, Chocolate, cooking, dessert, kosher, man plans God laughs, recipe. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.