Sunday, April 26, 2009

Brains' Chocolate-Chocolate Cake

I met my friend Brains possibly during my freshman year at Willamette (that was back in 1991), but I remember most vividly some point during my sophomore year when he showed up at our dorms looking to hide from one of his housemates. He lived in this old, 5 or 6 bedroom craftsman house off-campus that was widely known as The Asylum. All of his housemates were Willamette students at the time, and they were all a bunch of really goofy, kind of crazy, super smart guys (and maybe one girl).

The night in question, when Brains showed up at our dorm seeking asylum--haha, get it?--he told us he and one of his housemates, Jason, had got into a little fight. I can't remember how it started, but it ended with Brains shooting the fire extinguisher at Jason, locking himself in his bedroom, and Jason waving a big knife at Brains through the crack at the bottom of his door. Apparently up until the knife came out, the fight was in jest. I can't remember how Brains snuck out of the house, but somehow he made it out to live another day.

I hadn't spent much time with Brains before that, and so I was more than a little concerned about the knife and this Jason person. (Brains kept assuring me that it was all in jest, which I guess must have been true as both of them are still alive and friends today.) We became better friends as the years wore on, and especially when I moved to Portland as he was one of the three roommates I lived with at first. Knives were never a part of our friendship.

He celebrated his 39th birthday yesterday and asked me to bake him a chocolate-chocolate cake. Chocolate has always been a part of our friendship so this I was happy to do.

happy birthday Eat My Cake
brains and a different cake in 2006

April 25, 2009
Name of Cake: Chocolate-chocolate for Brains
Occasion: Brains' birthday!
Constituents: 2 9-inch layers chocolate cake filled and frosted with chocolate fudge frosting, heavily sprinkled with sprinkles

Unfortunately, I have no photos for you as my camera is in the repair shop.

But picture this: Rose's All-American Chocolate Butter Cake, made partly with golden baker's sugar and Alter Eco Unrefined Sugar. This sugar is moist and dark and beautiful. Plus it comes from the Philippines, and I like that. E. Guittard Cocoa Rouge Cocoa Powder, which gave the cake this deep red hue, and a deeply lovely full-bodied chocolate-ness. Two layers of moist, chocolaty but not overpowering, tender and light cake.

Picture also: a dark, rich, shiny chocolate buttercream made from one pound of E. Guittard 61% melted chocolate into three sticks of butter beaten with 1/2 cup powdered sugar. As if this wasn't enough, beat in 6 tablespoons of cocoa powder paste (made from equal parts cocoa powder and boiling water).

The frosting, unfortunately, hardened like a chocolate bar after a few hours. This was a great way to keep the cake from drying out, but as a filling and frosting it was a bit too much. Next time, I would at least fill the cake with something creamier. Also, I think serving it soon after frosting would be better as the frosting would be fudgy but not hard. Also, during a hot summer day this frosting would probably stay nice and soft. On a 50 degree night? Chocolate bar.

However, this didn't stop any of us partygoers, incidentally many of whom were Asylum alumni (including Jason!), from polishing off 90% of the cake and lapsing immediately into a chocolate coma.

My work is done.

9 comments:

  1. Oh, I am sad not to see an actual picture of your chocolate cake. But I love the story. I am glad there was a happy ending to the scary knife scene!
    Brains sounds like a good sort. He likes chocolate cake and a party.

    Hope your camera is repaired soon.

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  2. Melinda, I hope my camera is repaired soon too! The cake looked very festive, with big swirls of chocolate frosting and lots of those little ball-shaped sprinkles that crunch when you bite them. Brains is a good friend; the kind who likes to laugh at everything. He and I always have fun when we are together!

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  3. I dropped my camera in a bowl of lemon custard last week, but so far it still seems to be working. Your cake sounds very, very chocolatey, which sounds very, very good.

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  4. BBC, I'm glad your camera is still working! I wouldn't mind licking off my camera if it fell into lemon custard, but mine just stopped turning on. Go figure.

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  5. uhh...does it need new batteries? Just asking.
    Your friend,
    Smart Ass x

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  6. Yummm... the cake sounds delicious. I'll have to track down some of this sugar of which you write.

    (And I think that was my cue to go to bed, the fact that at first I spelled it "sugur".)

    It's so nice to see Meredith's face! Tell him "hi" from me! Is he still making music?

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  7. Melinda, I did try recharging the battery and putting it back in, but the camera didn't care. It still wouldn't turn on. (insert sad face here)

    Raya, I hope you can find the "sugur" 'cause it is really yummy. Brains is a special ed teacher now and I don't think he's been playing much lately. He did take fiddle classes a few years ago and was getting good! I will pass on your greetings.

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  8. Any friendship which includes chocolate in its foundation, must be a good friendship!

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