This cake was baked for an old high school friend's birthday. I have not kept in touch with anybody from high school but somehow we all ended up getting together for this friend's birthday. It was a total catch-up-fest and a little awkward at first. "So... how have the last 7 years of your life been?"... It's almost like talking to strangers! It was fun though and hope not to let another 7 years go by before we meet again.
There were only 5 girls at the gettogether but the whole cake disappeared. Whatever wasn't finished was quickly divided up upon request so they could take it home. I love the feeling of a baking success and bringing home an empty plate. Here is the link to Anna Olson's Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe which I frosted using my own recipe submission for Copycat Duncan Hines Frosting to allrecipes.com.
The most fun part of the decorating was making the swirly caramelized sugar spirals for decorating.
Caramelized Sugar Shapes
1. Heat 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp water and 1 tsp light corn syrup in heavy pot over medium heat. Do not stir, just swirl pot around occasionally.
2. Bring temperature up to 295-310 degrees F (hard ball stage). Watch the thermometer closely as this can burn quickly if unattended. Mixture should be amber colored.
3. Immediately drizzle into desired shapes onto greased baking sheet. [I used a pointy grapefruit spoon to drizzle with). Let stand until set. Carefully remove from baking sheet. Can be stored airtight for a few weeks.