This year, I got to make my husband's birthday cake, which was pretty special...
Okay, HE actually made the buttercream icing, because he recently learned how and is still tickled to do it. So, I am MORE than happy to let him :-)
I got the recipe here. I figured, who better to tell me how to make something chocolate than Hershey themselves? It's your basic, no-frills chocolate cake, but... better.
I followed the direction for the three-layer cake, because I have 2 8-inch pans and 1 9-inch. I figured, either way I was going to have to reserve some batter, dump a layer on a cooling rack, and bake twice anyway. May as well be three layers :-) I had Ethan make a double batch of buttercream icing, and spread it on niiiice and thick between all of the layers.
Among my goofy little quirks (like, an irrational fear of leaving voicemail messages) is that I get all nervous when I have to cut cake. I don't know why! So, I used a bit of embroidery floss and pre-scored the top. Then, I decorated each "slice" with a little chocolate swirly thing. I melted some chocolate chips in a plastic baggie and snipped a corner off... drizzled a funky design on some waxed paper, as well as the script words "Happy Birthday." I popped 'em in the freezer for an hour, peeled 'em off, and stuck 'em on the cake. It made a very elegant, but easy cake :-)
I do have one nifty little tip for melting chocolate in a baggie... I use a mug, and tilt all of the chips to one corner. Then I stick that corner into the mug, leaving the rest of the baggie out, and microwave away. Of course, that's also the same corner I snip.
I showed this yesterday, but here's another look--I must say, I'm pretty proud of myself!!