When you’re young, life is always an ebb and flow of knowing and not knowing.

There are days when the prospect of not knowing is exhilarating and there are other days that crawling out from under the covers seems like a terrifying feat.

I’m not married, I have no kids, my job is temporary, and my future is uncertain.

There are days I jump for joy and there are days I cry, just because.

I know with every year that passes, I develop more of who I am and who I will become.  I take long walks just to breathe in fresh air and I watch the sunrise just to keep me grounded.  I savor every cup of coffee in the morning and nothing satisfies me more than digging up a sweet potato from the ground.  I find that laughter truly is the best medicine and that money can’t buy happiness.

I try to live more in the moment then worry about the future.

I celebrate my birthday to remind me of this, to keep me grounded.  To breathe in deep and remind myself that getting older just means I’m getting wiser.

26 isn’t so bad after all.

 

This blog has become a great learning experience in both cooking and photography.   I am thankful for each and everyone one of you who stops by whether it’s for one recipe or for many.

For my birthday I did something I’ve alway wanted to do: go into one of my favorite boutique kitchen stores and pick out a bunch of random stuff I love.   So I did that and now I’m giving it away to you:

To enter: comment on this post and tell me your favorite type of cake!  I had such a fun time trying to figure out my birthday cake this year but I would love to hear everything you love!

For a bonus entry, tweet or facebook about this giveaway and leave another comment- it’s that simple!

Fine print: Giveaway will end on Friday, February 17th at 5pm (cst).  A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday morning!  Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond.

Update (2/20) Congrats to Bobbi from Fresh and Foodie! You’ve won my favorites things package!  Be sure to email me your address and I’ll get it sent out!

4.5 from 10 reviews
Brown Butter, Vanilla Bean Cake with Ganache Frosting
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2-1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Butter and flour for preparing cake pans
  • Frosting:
  • 3 cups good dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
Instructions
  1. For vanilla beans, carefully slit each bean and scrape out as much of the insides as you can into a medium skillet. Toss in the butter and scraped out vanilla beans into the pan. Heat over medium heat. Once butter has melted, continue stirring while butter foams up. Once brown flecks appear at the bottom of the pan and the butter has a nutty aroma, remove from heat and set aside.
  2. To prepare 8" cake pans, melt a little butter and brush around entire surface. Then sprinkle/shake flour over butter until flour covers the entire pan. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350˚.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, combine eggs and sugar. Begin whisking over medium-low speed until mixture thickens. Add in milk and browned butter to the mixture (be sure to remove the vanilla beans before you do this!) Finally, add flour and baking powder and mix over low speed until everything is just combined (only about one to two minutes.)
  5. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake in the preheated oven until cakes is golden and springs back when touched (30-35 minutes). I always check mine starting after 20 minutes because I never trust my oven to be the right temperature.
  6. Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes. Once cooled slightly, turn over onto parchment paper and let sit until cooled completely.
  7. To make ganache, place chunks of chocolate in a bowl. Scald heavy cream over medium heat (meaning, heat heavy cream until little bubbles form around the edge.) Pour hot heavy cream over chocolate and let sit for three to four minutes. Then, stir to combine chocolate and heavy cream, continuing to stir until smooth. Let cool while cake cools.
  8. Once ganache and cake are cool, taking a hand mixer (or a spoon), whip ganache so that it becomes slightly fluffy.
  9. To assemble the cake, take one cake and place on your serving plate (top side down.) . Cover the first cake with ½″ layer of ganache and place the second cake on top. From here, take a healthy scoop of ganache and crumb coat the cake with a thin layer. Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes, remove, and cover cake with remaining ganache. Style it however you like!
  10. Found Via Honey and Jam with recipe adapted from The little red house

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