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Birthday Cake and Stand Mixers

It was my birthday on Friday! My lovely friend Amy came to visit and spent the night, and on Saturday morning I made myself a cake for Sunday's celebration with my family. I originally wanted to make this chocolate opera cake, but it would have been far too time consuming to undertake without a stand mixer... which I didn't own until Sunday afternoon!

For my birthday I really wanted just one thing - a Kitchenaid stand mixer. And I got one! (Reference: See picture above) A 5 quart mixer in pistachio (which I really think should be renamed mint green). Words just can't equate how happy I am - every time I walk into the kitchen it makes me smile :) and now I can cross it off the list!

Oh yeah, so back to the birthday cake. Since I didn't have a mixer yet, I wanted something impressive but not too labor-intensive. I decided to go with Deb (smitten kitchen)'s chocolate peanut butter cake. The only change I made was to use a tad more chocolate in the peanut butter chocolate glaze... making it more of a ganache than a glaze, really.

The cake was delicious. The peanut butter doesn't overwhelm the delicate chocolate cake layers, and the semisweet ganache ties everything together. Birthday cake success!


Oh, and if you're wondering what I first made in my new mixer....

Marbled Brownies

They're kind of addictive. The kitchen smelled so sweet while they were in the oven! The true test of the stand mixer will be chocolate chip cookie dough though. I mean, I know it can handle it, but I'm curious to see if the cookies made in the mixer bake up differently than the ones I mix by hand. It's a project I may undertake tonight, after Shawn's done making dinner (sausage & peppers & onion)!

I'll let you know how my little 'experiment' turns out!