My husband and I recently celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary! It's hard to believe ten years of marriage have come to pass. I couldn't pass up such a special occasion and made a small chocolate cake to share with my husband...and our little guy.
I am a very lucky girl to have met my husband many years ago. We've been together such a long time, we always joke that we can't remember our life before knowing each other. My husband is my best friend - he props me up, supports me through hard times, encourages me, and always makes me feel good about myself. He is a steadfast, calming influence.
But setting aside the seriousness, let's talk cake! I decided to surprise my husband on anniversary night with a mini (feels more intimate) chocolate cake. Interestingly, he had a similar idea because he brought home a medley of chocolate desserts that night so I'm not kidding when I say we had a very sweet anniversary celebration. For my cake, I used our favorite chocolate cake recipe with a dark chocolate buttercream. A touch of heavy cream in this frosting makes it quite smooth and easy to spread.
I got a little "fancy" (fancy for me, anyway) and piped some stars and a shell border around the cake. It is a very special occasion, afterall! I used some melted white chocolate for the "10" and little heart-shape decoration. I had our little one take a picture of my husband and I cutting this little cake. It's good to have the little one share this occasion with us.
So here's to love and having someone kind and supportive in your life. Tough times are not as tough when you have someone holding your hand and backing you up. And when you have someone like that to share chocolate cake with, it is a blessed and blissful existence. I'm very grateful and hopeful for many more anniversary cakes in our future.
The chocolate cake: The recipe for this very most chocolate cake can be found here. For this mini version, I divided the recipe in half and baked the cake batter in two 6-inch round cake pans. They take about 30 minutes in the oven.
The recipe for the buttercream I used follows. It's only slightly different from the usual frosting that's paired with the cake. A little heavy cream makes the frosting quite smooth and easy to spread.
Dark Chocolate Buttercream
Adapted from Chocolate Cakes by Elinor Klivans
- Makes 2 cups (or enough for my 6-inch two-layer cake)* -
* Double the recipe to make enough to frost a 9-inch two-layer cake
1 1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Put the two chocolates, along with the instant espresso powder (if using), in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring, until chocolates are melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar together on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about a minute. On low speed, beat in the melted chocolate, cream, and vanilla extract until blended together. On medium speed, beat the frosting until it's fluffy and lightens slightly in color.
Use the frosting immediately when it is smooth and creamy to spread on the cake.
Other details - To decorate the cake, I reserved some of the buttercream for piping. I attached a coupler to a disposable piping bag, and used Ateco tip #30 (closed star tip) to pipe the stars on top of the cake and the shell border around the bottom. I used Ateco tip #1 to pipe the tiny dots in between the stars (with the coupler, you can interchange tips without switching bags).
For the number "10" and heart-shape inscriptions, I melted 1/2 oz. of white chocolate. Place the chocolate in a small bowl and microwave it on half power for about 10-15 seconds, stirring until just melted. Since there's too little chocolate to use a pastry bag and tip, I spooned the chocolate into a corner of a small plastic sandwich bag and snipped the tip off to pipe.