Saturday, August 3, 2013

Acting My Age and a Faux Ice Cream Sundae Cake

I have gotten exceptionally good at becoming a perfectly boring human being.  I would like to blame grad school, because I just got so used to saying, "no, sorry, I can't come out, I have a paper to write," but that would be unfair.  I have some responsibility in becoming the stay-in-every-weekend-and-do-jig-saw-puzzles-for-fun-instead old young woman many of you have come to know.  I am 23 going on 65.  I turn down invitations for parties, drinks, and even a craft night, because it sounded just a little too crazy for me.

What happened to me?  I used to be so full of life and fun and adventurous (or at least that is how I like to remember myself in college).  I think what happened was that for the past year, I felt like I had so much to prove to everyone.  I had to prove to my parents that I could be a big girl and have my first real apartments and pay the rent on my own.  I had to prove to my grad school that I belonged there, despite being one of the youngest doctoral students in the school.  I had to prove to my clients that I could still be understanding and help them, even though I was half their age.  I had to prove to my supervisor that I was a competent clinician and could handle my enormous caseload.  And lastly, I think I also had something to prove to myself.  I had to show myself that I could handle all the challenges that my life choices brought along the way.

Somewhere in all that mess, I lost track of who I am.  I was no longer the full-of-life 23-year-old with the world at her feet.  I became the puppet of this older, more responsible, and more knowledgable woman that I felt everyone wanted me to be.  Despite me looking like I am 12, everyone I have met in the past year guessed my age to be closer to 26.

If you liked this old lady version of Hannah, I am sorry.  But she is going away for a little while and is not coming back until it is her chronologically appropriate time.  I want to have fun again.

Last week, I was sitting at my desk at my internship (even though my internship is over, I stayed on as a volunteer to help out), and my friend, Casandra, and my supervisor came into my office and looked up to something.  Casandra warned me that what they were about to ask me might catch me off guard, so I should just be prepared.  Ready for some bizarre project they were going to throw at me, my supervisor explained that our beloved coworker, Teresa, was turning 50, and they wanted to do something for her birthday.  She said they arranged a dinner, followed by a "surprise," which I soon learned was taking Teresa to a traveling male strip show on the Cape.  I don't know if it was my love for Tere, peer-pressure, or the fact that I have given up coffee, but I said yes, I would come, to BOTH.

As soon as I agreed, I regretted my decision immediately.  Me?  Go out on a Friday night with coworkers?  To a strip show?  What was wrong with me?! I don't go out on the weekends!  I tried to get out of it by running by every excuse I could think of to Casandra, but she talked me into going.  She said, "it's for Tere," and I was sold.  Teresa is one of the most exciting and fun-loving women I have ever met in my life.  She is vibrant and loud and wonderful and talks about sex all the time, and I love her.  If I was going to make a commitment to myself to be more fun and adventurous, going out for Tere's birthday was the perfect place to start.
Teresa's favorite cake is ice cream cake, but I have only ever made one ice cream cake before, and I did not think it would make the hour long drive to the restaurant from my house.  So I decided to make a cake that looked like ice cream instead.  It works, right?

Faux Ice Cream Cake:
Black Magic Chocolate Cake, filled with Marshmallow Topping and Strawberry Preserves, topped with Vanilla Buttercream, Chocolate Ganache, Marshmallow Topping, Sprinkles, and a Cherry
Cake Recipe adapted from Hershey's
Cake idea: adapted from my crazy brain
Yield: 1 8" double layer cake (approx 16 servings)

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup milk (I used almond) + 1 Tbs white vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  Set aside. 
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease two 8" baking pans and dust with cocoa.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.  Then slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry, until the batter is smooth with no lumps (be careful not to overmix, or your cake will have tunnels).

Pour batter into prepared cake pans.  Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then remove from pans to finish cooling completely.
Assembly Instructions:

Finishing Ingredients:
Strawberry Preserves
Marshmallow Fluff
Chocolate ganache (3 oz melted semisweet chocolate + 1 Tbs olive oil)
Maraschino Cherries
Rainbow Sprinkles

Using a long, serrated bread knife, shave the tops of the cake so they are flat 
Top the first layer with a layer of jam and marshmallow fluff.  (I would recommend putting the jam on top of the fluff)
Invert the second layer on top so that the shaved side is facing down
Coat the tops and side with a smooth layer of buttercream, or the frosting of your choice
For my buttercream recipe, click here.

Finish the cake by pouring a small amount of ganache in the center, and allowing it to spread out toward the edges.  Be careful that the ganache is not too warm, or it will melt the buttercream underneath.  Give the ganache about five minutes to cool, then pile up a small amount of marshmallow topping.  Garnish with sprinkles and a maraschino cherry, and you have yourself one amazing faux ice cream cake!

It's a good thing the dinner and the cake were so great, because the male strippers definitely weren't.  Don't get me wrong, I loved the chance to go out and spend time with my friends/coworkers, but the show didn't have the most attractive bunch of dudes...  It was mostly just sad and awkward.

Thank you Teresa, for showing us all how to have a good time, and live fuller, funnier, and more sexually interesting lives.  ¡Feliz cumpleaños, chica!

Love and cookies,

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Hannah! I'm glad you try to find time for yourself, to live, be silly, sometimes a little irresponsible... it's important! I hope you can blow off some steam a little :)