Another year has passed, and it’s been a great one.  Today is my birthday, and I anticipate another great year to come.  Being an optimist by nature sure helps!

I just made a birthday cake for my sister a week and a half ago, and it was amazing.  So good that it was tempting to make it again, but in the spirit of trying new things, and in the spirit of chocoholism I’ve gone back to Ruth Wakefield’s book to see what she has to offer.  Her Chocolate Fudge Cake sounded like the way to go, so I packed up what I needed, and took the book to work to make the cupcakes there.  Yes, I got paid to bake chocolate cupcakes today!  How amazing is my life?

While that sounds like a pretty good job, I have to admit that there is a small catch.  That small catch is that my job is in an elementary life skills class with high needs students, so my helpers are sometimes not too co-operative, and other times VERY enthusiastic.  It can make following a recipe a little more challenging than usual, so I’ll just blame that for any mishaps.  I had 2 great helpers today, and while we might have had to  re-wash our hands after licked fingers a few times, and scoop a raw, shell-less egg or two off the counter, we had a great time!  We got side tracked a few times, but we successfully got 3 dozen cupcakes into the oven to bake.

It was when they were about half-baked that I realized why they had seemed awfully pale for chocolate cupcakes…. I’d doubled the recipe, but forgotten to double the chocolate.  They also may have been a bit over beaten, due to 2 kids both needing turns with the mixer, but that’s half the fun.

When they came out of the oven and had cooled, we made a basic chocolate buttercream icing to put on them.  No recipe, just the basic butter/milk/cocoa/icing sugar method I was taught as a child.  I just had one helper for icing them, but it was so hard to keep that tongue off the spreader!  I finally gave in, let him lick, and finished icing the rest myself.

When it was finally lunch time, we all sat down with cupcakes (and nice healthy things to eat first, of course!)  They were universally well received, despite the missing chocolate.  They were less chocolately than I was hoping for, and not as lovely and tender as the Lazy Daisy Cake, but I hesitate to blame the recipe because of the slightly haphazard preparation.  I can’t share the recipe today, since I left the book at work, but I will share it in the near future.

Happy birthday to me.  44 will be the best year yet!

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