Chocolate chocolate chip cake with white chocolate-mint ganache

Chocolate chocolate chip cake with white chocolate-mint ganache

Chocolate chocolate chip cake with white chocolate-mint ganache

I worked this weekend, like I work most weekends. I can’t complain because I only work two days a week. Most of the time I like waiting tables, for reasons I’ve talked about plenty here at The Ordinary. Mostly, it’s because, although I’m dubious sometimes about the goodwill of humanity as a whole, I like people, much of the time. Sometimes I feel good about my job, I approach it with great cheerfulness, I want to keep busy and turn lots of tables. Lately I’ve been in a slump. I suppose this happens to everyone, no matter what their job. I’ve been doing it too long. It’s gotten to the point where my heart sinks a little every time the door opens and new customers walk in. It will pass, I know it will, but that’s how I’ve been feeling lately. Yesterday was supposed to be warm and sunny (they promised!) but instead it was spitting grey and cold. Which means we weren’t very busy, and the day passed in a slow sort of blur, and I did my best to be friendly to everybody, but I was feeling a little grey myself. And then around 3:30 the sun came out. The door opened, and my heart didn’t sink at all, because in walked Malcolm, and I thought I’d never seen anything so bright and beautiful. He wore a bright green shirt, and bright green-and-yellow sneakers, and his green eyes were bright. He wore a purple backpack, and it didn’t have anything in it but lemon drops. I was all done taking tables, so we sat outside on a wall in sunshine that felt almost bewildering, after all the rain. The glad trees around us were suddenly vivid, vibrant, spring green. I drank out of a bright green cup, and I had lemons and limes in my water. Malcolm dropped a lemon drop in my cup, so sweet and tart. And we just sat in the sunshine, in a bright green-gold world, not talking at all. It felt like waking up.

The secret to this cake is that it has a melted easter bunny on top. We bought Malcolm a white chocolate mint easter bunny, because he doesn’t really like chocolate, but he wasn’t too crazy about this, either. If you don’t happen to have a leftover white chocolate mint easter bunny, you can melt white chocolate and add a drop of peppermint essence. If you like, you could add a drop of peppermint essence to the cake itself as well.

Here’s Tom Waits with You Can Never Hold Back Spring

Continue reading


Isaac’s chocolate chocolate pecan cake

Isaac's chocolate chocolate pecan cake

Isaac’s chocolate chocolate pecan cake

David recently bought The Blind Leading the Naked, by The Violent Femmes. What a time warp!! It’s such an evocative album, and it’s funny because it’s evocative for David, too, and it’s not like Violent Femmes’ Violent Femmes, which is probably evocative for everybody who was a teenager in America at the time. It brings back strange specific memories. I remember going for a long trip in a friend’s car, and he was obsessed with this album. I fast-forwarded through a song I didn’t feel like hearing, without asking (cassette tape!) He got really angry, because it was a thoughtless and self-centered thing to do, which, in all fairness, it was. And later he stopped being friends with me on grounds of thoughtlessness and self-centeredness, which in all fairness was probably true of me at the time, too. But mostly the album brings back pleasant memories, of adventures with friends. And it brings back memories for David of the same time and the same part of the world, but we didn’t know each other at all. But we might have crossed paths, we might have been in the same city, listening to the same song, and not even knowing it. And now Isaac likes the album, too, and he has some of the lyrics memorized with uncanny awareness and precision (we’re going to have to be very very careful what we listen to around this boy!) One song in particular, I want to listen to over and over. It’s Good Friend. It seems strangely perfect to listen to it now, to remember a time when my heart probably was in a mess every time I turned around, but to be sitting next to the best friend I’ll ever have, sharing our separate memories. I particularly like the part in the middle where he talks. The music grows hushed, you’re waiting for it, you’re ready for it. Like all talking parts in the middle of songs, you know he’s going to be sincere and serious, you know he’s going to be sincerious, and in a few lines his personality and his peculiarly stylish style shines through with such clarity. I love it. So this week’s interactive playlist is songs in which the singer talks in the middle, songs with that beautiful part where you get to the bridge and you find somebody on it, talking to you about all the things in his or her heart. Conversely, we can also have hip hop songs in which the rapper sings unexpectedly, because I love those too.

Isaac designed this cake. His birthday is coming up, and this cake was sort of the rehearsal. He wanted chocolate cake with chocolate chips and pecans. He wanted vanilla and cinnamon, and he wanted powdered sugar and brown sugar. I decided to make it in the style of a genoise, because I find that a fun cake to make, and I didn’t want it to be too much like pecan brownies. So this is dense but softish, too.

Here’s a link to the interactive playlist. This is one of those subjects I’m going to need help with. I always hear a song with a taking part and think…I’ll remember that to use in a playlist, but then I always forget when the actual time comes.

Continue reading