The Search For The Perfect Birthday Cake…

Hello My  Lovelies!

It’s begun…the search for the perfect birthday cake!! One only turns 29 once right? So a few of my favorite things…lemon and chocolate. I was talking with HB the other night and he asked me what was my favorite kind of cake…and I replied and said well I LOOOOOVE lemon cake….but I LOOOOOVE chocolate too…and then he sent me this….

Hello Best Birthday Cake Ever! #LemonChocolate

So this weekend I shall be trying my hand at the Cake Walker’s Lemon Chocolate Cake recipe. HB and I share a birthday week so we shall critique it in honor of turning 29.

How cute are those little beehives and lemondrop drips? (You do realize that I’m so OCD making those little beehives perfectly is going to kill me right?)

XoXo,

One Drooling Lemon

 

Wanna make it? Check out the recipe below!

Lemon Chocolate Cake

Source: Lemon Chocolate Cake

This delightful cake will quickly become your “go to” favorite when you desire something unique and special—it has surely become a favorite in my house. The moist, lemony crumb is a citrus celebration, but the tango it does with the dense chocolate frosting is completely tantalizing. What’s more, the surprise burst of zest in the chocolate ganache leads the delicious dance, pleasing the palate much like a fresh lemon twist does to the first sip of espresso.

Makes one 8 or 9-inch two-layer cake.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice of 3 lemons (approximately 2 loosely packed tablespoons zest and about 1/3rd cup juice)
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd (from your favorite recipe or store-bought variety)
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature

Frosting

  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), room temperature
  • 2 lbs. sifted powdered sugar (32 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3rd cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate (Use chips or cut bars into small pieces. For best results and flavor, select a brand with 63% cacao content.)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest.

Lemon Drop Drips

  • 1/2 cup hard Lemon Drop candies

 Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Grease two 8×2”, or two 9×1 1/2″ round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, grease the paper and then flour the pans. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together; set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla, zest, lemon juice and lemon curd, beat in until incorporated. Scrape the bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add the dry ingredients and wet ingredients to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. After the last addition, mix the batter until just incorporated. Scrape the bowl and stir gently to mix in. Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Smooth the tops with an offset spatula.
  • For 8-inch pans* bake approximately 43-45 minutes, 9-inch pans bake for 34-36 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The tops will be golden brown and the cakes should just start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove cakes from the oven and cool on racks for 12 minutes; remove from pans (discard the parchment). Cool completely on racks.
  • While the cakes are baking, make the Lemon Drop Drip garnishes. Fit a sheet pan with parchment paper and tape the paper to the pan along one long edge—this will be the “top” of the pan; set aside. In a small non-stick pan over medium-low heat melt the lemon drops until completely melted to a viscous syrup state. Turn the heat to low and work quickly to spoon small puddles on the parchment-lined pan. Once you have a few puddles, tilt the pan up to create drips, maintaining the tilt until the desired drip length is reached; lay pan flat. Repeat in different places on the paper until you have about 12 or so drips. You may not choose to use all 12, but it’s good to have extra in case of breakage.
  • Prepare the frosting. Add the measure of instant espresso powder to the milk and stir to dissolve; set aside. In a large mixing bowl add the butter, half the powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla, salt and half the milk mixture. With an electric mixer, begin mixing SLOWLY at first to prevent a cloud of dry ingredients from pluming out all over, and gradually increase the speed to medium until incorporated. Add the remaining sugar and milk mixture?mix in slowly at first, increasing speed to medium low; blend until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Recipe yields enough to frost the cake including a bottom border and piped dollops on top with perhaps a small amount of leftover.
  • Assemble the cake. Place one cake (bottom or flat side down) onto a serving plate; frost the top with a nice fill. Place the second cake (bottom or flat side up) on top. Crumb coat (thin application) the top and sides. Place cake in refrigerator for a few minutes to set the frosting. Leave the crumb coat as is on the top, but frost the sides with a nice finish coat. Return the cake to the refrigerator to set for several minutes.
  • In a small sauce pan over medium low, heat the heavy cream until it just begins to slightly simmer. Reduce heat to low and add the chocolate chips; let sit for about a minute. Remove from heat. Stir or whisk the ganache to blend until completely smooth, uniform in color and pourable. Stir in the lemon zest. The ganache should be lukewarm*. Pour the ganache onto the top center of the cake. With an offset spatula, quickly spread the ganache outwards toward the edges of the cake; gently nudge some of the ganache with the spatula over the edge to drip down in multiple areas around the perimeter.
  • In an icing bag fitted with the tip of your choice (a #12 circle was used on the cake in the photo), pipe a border around the base of the cake. Similarly, choose a tip of your choice (a #24 round was used) to pipe dollop decorations on the top of the cake evenly spaced around the perimeter. The photo depicts 8 of these, but you may make as many as desired or have garnishes for. Pipe the dollops wide and tall enough to provide a sturdy base to support the lemon drips. Garnish each dollop by inserting a Lemon Drop Drip into the center of each dollop?gently pressing the candy drip through the dollop until it touches the cake. The cake is best served at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator covered in plastic for up to 3 days.

Notes

*If you choose the 8-inch pans you must be sure you have the ones that measure 2 inches up the side, otherwise your batter will overflow during baking. When filling the 8×2 pan with equally divided batter, the fill level will be about three quarters full for each. The batter should not overflow during baking. The benefit of using the 8×2 pan is you get a taller cake. There should not be overflow issues with the common 9×1 1/2 pans other than a shorter baking time as indicated. Please use caution when working with melted candy or any hot liquid sugar. If the chocolate ganache is too warm, it may slightly melt the frosting when poured on top causing it to sag. Additionally, not all heavy cream is manufactured with consistent fat content. Therefore, if the ganache is too thick to pour once it’s blended together, you may want to add an additional tablespoon or two to thin it.

http://cakewalkr.com/lemon-chocolate-cake/   //   Cakewalker 2016

Weekend Wrap Up..When Unicorns Aren’t Enough

Hey My Lovelies!

It’s a Monday! I feel like I haven’t stopped this weekend! It’s been crazy busy..but when is my life ever slow? Never.. July is always a fun month for my family :) It’s my mom’s, brother’s and grandma’s birthday plus my gram’s anniversary and the 4th of July!

I met a new guy! I decided to branch out of my normal circles..because guys in this town are oh so immature. I’m to the point where I’m just over it. One of my friends in Charleston has been bugging me to death to meet some of the guys down there. So I figured why not? I don’t have anything to lose. She introduced me to a former Marine. (Failed to tell me he was super tall!) He’s the sweetest guy y’all & he has a dachshund..automatic brownie points right there. James and I have been talking these past few weeks and I am enjoying getting to know him. When I say talking..I mean actually talking on the phone..as in he actually knows how to call a girl. It’s amazing! I much prefer talking to texting any day.

This past weekend we celebrated my mom and brother’s birthday :) My brother was born the day after my mom’s bday..she always jokes about he wouldn’t even let her finish her dinner. I remember the day my brother was born :) My grandpa took me out for breakfast and said well Pooh..(short for pooh bear because I might have been slightly obsessed..okay I won’t lie..I’m still obsessed with Winnie the Pooh), let’s go meet your little brother! He was soo tiny!! He weighed the most out of the 3 of us..coming in at 7lbs 5oz..Hard to believe he’s 5’11 now!

Mom and I spent her birthday tooling around town :) We’ve been making bangles together and decided to buy stuff to make a burlap wreath. My aunt was in town from Virginia and we all decided to meet up for birthday lunch. It was so much fun! All of the girls (except my little sister and cousin) made it. We laughed and giggled through our soup and salad. That afternoon mom taught me how to make Pop’s secret boiled peanuts. Seriously..nobody made them better than Pop-Pop.

Friday night, my dad and I went to pick up my sister’s new ride. A few weeks ago she encountered a flash flood in Charleston and instead of driving around the water she attempted to drive through the water. Needless to say, she learned a valuable lesson about water and electricity. Thankfully she was okay..but unfortunately Henrietta the HHR..was not. Dad finally found a good deal this week and I was kind of envious! I’m not a car person generally but I love the way a Volvo and BMW handle. So we picked up her new ride and took it over to the paint shop for a few minor touch ups. She had a Volvo before her HHR and wished that she hadn’t traded it in..but hindsight is 20/20 :)

Saturday was sooo insane! I had to run into work for an hour and half to re-upload a file..then it was off to pick up the two dogs I’m dog sitting this week :) They’re two of my most favorite customers. I love when I have repeat clientele! These little guys are adorable! I’ve been keeping them for the past 6 years. Otis looks hilarious! His mom took him last week to get a haircut and he was appalled that the groomer shaved him..he told me he’s much more dapper fluffy. Needless to say Buster, Otis and I always have a fun week together.

I was sad on Saturday. Due to a conflict, I missed a very important funeral. My dad’s contractor passed away last week : ( But he’s been more than a contractor to us..he’s been family. His father married my aunt in 2002 on Valentine’s Day. Their marriage brought our families together and created a very unique blend. My aunt and uncle’s house was always the place to be. It was there that I first met Mr. Grady. He was a precious man. His life might not have been the best…but the man could do some amazing things with wood. I smile every time I walk through our house..all the projects my dad thought he could handle only to have Mr. Grady come over and fix what he messed up. He built our deck on the back of our house :) He had battled cancer valiantly this past year..but losing his dad took a toll on him. We lost my uncle and aunt last year within 2 weeks of each other last year. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever lived through in my life. This year..Uncle Frank’s sons have died within months of each other. We lost Glenn and now Grady. My mom and dad were able to make the funeral and I felt better knowing they were there in my place.

Saturday was my crazy brother’s birthday. My dad decided randomly after the funeral that we should take off and go see him. My dad’s been sick the past two weeks so I offered to drive. Well..let’s just say that mom and I were talking and I completely forgot about July beach traffic until I was stuck bumper-to-bumper in it. A trip that normally takes us about 2 hours..took us four. But..being able to spend time with your only brother is what it’s all about :) I was excited to be able to see The Village Surf Shop’s new window in person. They hired a great typographer to come do some hand lettering. I’ve been drooling over the Instagram photos since they posted them. My brother is super tight with the owner’s so we’ve done a lot of business with them over the years. They also stock our Killa Surf Squad merchandise! I’m pleased to say the t-shirts sold out within a week. But don’t worry new stock is on the way! We went to the Conch Grille to grab some dinner and dad was in rare form. I promise you his jokes get worse and worse the older he gets. Kudos to our waitress for being a good sport and putting up with him. I had the most amazing Mahi Mahi! Grilled to perfection, it literally melted in my mouth. After dinner, we headed over to Old Time Pottery, one of my absolute favorite stores in Myrtle Beach. You just never know what you’re going to find there. I discovered they have a craft section! Mom and I saw the metal wreaths we’d been searching for to make burlap wreaths. I wish I had bought more than two. They were super cheap :)

The drive home was so much better. Only took me about an hour and forty minutes. But..after doing a HIIT workout Friday, running and driving 8+ hours on Saturday..my back was so stiff. I looked like an old lady walking into church yesterday.

Sunday night was super fun! I headed over to Anna’s house for KC’s 7th birthday :) I can’t believe how big her boys are getting! They were watching the World Cup when I got there. Her dad and I had the best time doing our own running commentary. I was the only one pulling for Germany. Apparently, James was pulling for Germany too. I got a hilarious text message from him with a photo of him in his Germany jersey & jacket. It’s always fun to spend time with Anna’s family :) Both her family and her husband’s family were there. They are just a fun bunch to hangout with. I’m glad they include me in their get-togethers. KC got a metal detector for his birthday and had the best time scouring the yard for hidden treasure. He found a big treasure in the backyard. A piece of old chain was buried and Hot Rod (Anna’s Dad) helped him dig it up :) So much fun! Anna makes the cutest cakes and decorations! You could literally create an entire Pinterest board with her decorations of cuteness. KC had a Lego cake and it was balling! It was soooo yummy too! Chocolate :) My fav!

It was a really fun weekend :) I went home and made more boiled peanuts with Mom. I attempted to make a batch by myself Saturday..and I won’t lie..I must not have done something right..they were horrible!

I feel like I’ve run a marathon this weekend..it’s been non-stop. Whew..

How was your weekend? Anything fun and exciting happen?

XoXo!

One Legs Propped Up Resting Lemon

Best Birthday Weekend – Part 1

So this weekend has pretty much been the best weekend of my life..Yep..pretty positive about that. I had a birthday on Friday :) I decided this year that if I had to get another year older I might as well do it in style!

It all began Wednesday night. I traveled 40mts to pick up my corn hole set from a girl who was sweet enough to make me one. I decided, after contemplating the plans online, that constructing one was a little out of Lemon’s league this week. I called Lilly to see if she was busy and somehow managed to convince her to come help me paint corn hole boards. We managed to get two coats on before it was too dark to see.

Thursday night was a pre-birthday dinner at Mellow Mushroom. My friend Nathan works at our local Mellow and we conveniently share the same birthday! We had a blast hanging out and catching up. Nathan and Lilly thoroughly embarrassed my by telling everyone it was my birthday over the loud-speaker. I acted mortified..but I secretly loved it :) Nate was even sweet enough to make me a birthday pretzel!

Friday I enjoyed a day off. I’ve come to the conclusion I don’t take enough of them. I planned my menu out for the Carolina Cup and headed into town to buy groceries.

Here was my menu:

Veggie Tray | Oreo Balls | Spinach Artichoke Dip Bites | Sweet and Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken

A Peep Bouquet | Mexican Dip w/Chips | Buffalo Chicken Dip | Garlic & Lime Salsa | Black Bean & White Corn Salsa | Key Lime Cookies | Pink Lemonade Cookies

Let me just say… PINTEREST is evil at 2am..but since I was already having a night of insomnia..I figured I might as well be productive.  I wrote my shopping list down and by 7am I was in the parking lot at the grocery store. I came to the conclusion that shopping for groceries that early is the way to go. I got in, I got out.

Next stop was Lowe’s to get some teal paint. I took my corn hole chevron bag along to show Mr. Joe what color I wanted. Thanks to technology he was able to color match it with little difficulty.

I can home, threw the spinach artichoke bites together and into the oven. While they were cooking I painted my chevron’s on. I am seriously the queen of multitasking. While they were drying, I was mixing up dip. Two dips going on the stove, bites in the oven and I mixed my cookies up to spoon onto the pan. My cousin arrived at 11 am to help before she went to work. I taught her how to make Oreo balls. We had a slight mishap and mixed in chocolate chips (they are typically supposed to be melted and you dip the balls into them.) yet in our mishap we might have created the most epic Oreo ball ever! SOOOOO GOOD!

That afternoon I ran into town to pick up extra tickets for the Cup. Thankfully one of my friends had some he needed to sell so we got them cheaper than we would have if we’d got them at the Cup the next day.

I ran back home and changed..then it was off to Gram’s for birthday dinner and Broadway! My mom and dad treated me to Neil Berg’s 102 Years of Broadway and dinner at Chilli’s. I had really wanted to go to Longhorn for dinner but we arrived to a 3hr wait time. So it was off to Chilli’s! I must tell you I was really irritated when Chilli’s took their Chicken Fajita Pita off the menu. But..they’ve pacified my irritation with the Caribbean Chicken Salad and the Bacon Avocado Chicken Sandwich (which 1/2 the time they forget to put avocado on..). It was a great dinner out with my family :)

We headed into town to watch Neil Berg and he did not disappoint! I was extremely excited to see Rebecca Pitcher. For those of you who aren’t Broadway nerds, she played Christine in the Broadway adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera in 2006. Her voice was amazing. She of course did a few numbers from the Phantom including Angel of Music. Neil always brings such a great history of Broadway to life throughout the show. This is the second time I’ve seen them. Last year I saw 101 years of Broadway on my birthday weekend no less :) The show was awesome..they played hits from Cabaret, Kiss Me Kate, Phantom, Les Miserables and Guys and Dolls.

Neil was wonderful enough to wish me a Happy Birthday post show. The director of the Arts center and I share the same birthday and she had told him it was mine as well. He even autographed my program for me! Another priceless treasure to add to my theatre box :)

It was home to finish last-minute Cup details..I was really bummed because it was POURING rain. I crossed my fingers and said a prayer that it wouldn’t rain the next day.

Xoxo!

One Sleepy Lemon