Happy, Happy Birthday!

Zach’s 32nd birthday was last week. (We met the weekend of his 24th birthday! Time really flies!) We didn’t really have anything planned because we had a family dinner when his dad was in town a couple of weeks ago. I still wanted to make the day special so I tried to fill it with as many fun (and cheap) things as possible.  We  started the day off with a “Birthday Breakfast.”

biRTHday BreAkFAst!
I used icing to write on the plate. Thought it was pretty cute.

I put up a few quick decorations around the house just to make it look a little more festive!

I picked up this banner on clearance at Pier 1 forever ago but I think they still have them.
Love using my chalkboards for stuff like this.

My big gift to Zach was his birthday cake. His mom always made him a mint chocolate birthday cake. I have searched through her recipes and cannot find the one she used. I turned to Pinterest and found lots of options! I decided on this Andes Mint Chocolate Cake with Ganache.  He was able to come by the house for lunch so we had the cake then. I couldn’t wait to have a piece! I thought about it all morning 🙂

Andes Mint Chocolate Cake with Ganache

Mine wasn’t as pretty as the one online but it was delish!!!! I think it will be his birthday cake from now on and maybe mine to (and anyone else I might make a cake for!)

Here is the recipe from Bird On a Cake. She has tons of wonderful looking recipes so check her out!

Andes Mint Chocolate Cake
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (OR 1 c. milk mixed with 1 T. vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped Andes Mints
Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease/flour three 8 inch cake pans. Bring some water to a boil and keep it simmering while you mix the other ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat with mixer until combined.
Mix ingredients and then fold in Andes Mints- they give the cake the best flavor!
Add 1 cup of the boiling water and carefully stir until it is mixed in. Beat for 1 1/2 minutes with mixer. Fold in Andes Mints. Pour the batter into pans. Bake for 20-23 minutes (until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).
I would make this cake by itself. It was the best chocolate cake I have had- especially hot out of the oven.

Next is the recipe for the Buttercream icing. It reminded me so much of wedding mints and is made almost the same way. Here is the recipe…

Mint Buttercream Frosting
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract ( I also used Creme de Menthe)
  • green food coloring
  • 1/2 cup milk (may use less)

Mix butter, sugar, vanilla, peppermint and food coloring on low speed in large mixing bowl. Gradually add milk until you reach the desired consistency. Keep covered.

And don’t forget the Ganache!!! I had plenty left over and will use it over ice cream for the next couple of weeks. 

Ganache
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the chocolate chips in a metal bowl. Heat cream over medium heat. Watch it closely and immediately remove from heat when it starts to boil. Pour over chocolate chips. Let sit for 1 or 2 minutes. Then slowly stir the mixture. Continue to stir until all the chips have completely melted. Stir in the vanilla.
Allow the ganache to cool and thicken before you use it. Let it sit at room temperature for a couple hours, or put in the refrigerator if you want to speed things up. Start pouring the ganache over the center of your cake, and slowly move outward in circles.
You can actually cut this recipe in half and still have enough to cover the cake. But you will love having leftovers to pour over ice cream, drizzle over cupcakes…so many possibilities! Cover and store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
I would recommend keeping the cake in the fridge. It tasted so good cold. Writing about this cake makes me want to go have  a piece! 
The Birthday Boy

Throughout the day I sent him little emails or pictures. I wrote up an email with the 32 things I love about him and sent him this cute picture of our baby.

Lucy

It was a great day and I think Zach felt special. Isn’t that what birthday’s are about?!

XOXO,

Sara Beth

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