Chocolate Cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache and Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting

Guh. This summer. I’m sorry for being pretty much the worst at posting things.

I’m just kinda busy and exhausted. I mean, before I get whiny: my life is awesome. My existence as a Summer Associate is cushy. I know this. But, my life is also a 12 week long interview at the moment. This means that I haven’t been able to wear sweatpants for months. This means I have to do my hair every day. This means I actually have to put “bake” on my To Do List. It’s bizarre and weird and I apologize that its affecting you.

Anyway. Hi! I’ve missed you!

So, I’m not sure if you know this, but the Olympics are happening. Right now. I’m actually watching them (on three different channels) as I type this.

First thing: who else giggles every time you scroll through your cable guide and select the XXX Olympics?! I mean, really. Way to be, Roman Numerals.

Second thing: I’ve decided the Summer Olympics are about 105x cooler than the Winter Olympics. There are very few Summer sports I won’t watch. There are a handful of sports that I will prioritize over just about everything else in my life. I will miss my run for my half-training to see a Michael Phelps final race. I will put off shopping and running errands to catch beach volleyball. I will decline dinner or drinks invites so that I won’t miss a single millisecond of women’s gymnastics.

Seriously. I only ever want to watch women’s gymnastics. I want to be Gabby Douglas when I grow up, and McKayla Maroney can be my best friend if she wants (no offense, Han. I think you’re a pretty solid best friend. But I think you understand, right?).

If the Olympics were only comprised of three weeks of gymnastics, I would ย never complain. And I would never ever leave my house.

And I might have trouble staying hydrated because of the Third thing: I cry my eyes out during the Olympics. I cry watching them. I cry reading about them. I cry looking at pictures of them. ย I just cry. All the time.

During the gymnastics team finals, I started tearing up during Team USA’s opening on the vault and didn’t stop until I was straight up sobbing when Aly Raisman stuck her last landing on floor.

This summer has also produced some surprising baking fails. My cake was ugly, but tasty. Yours will be beautiful. And tasty!

Don’t even get me started on my emotional state during the Individual All-Around…

I thought maybe it was a gymnastics thing, but no. I jumped up and down and started crying a little bit at the end of the men’s 10k today. Which also shows that it’s not even just a patriotism thing either… because a British man won (and an American got silver (for the first time in 47 years!!!!)).

Let’s just say, I’ve been drinking a lot more water lately…

Chocolate Cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache and Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes one, two-layer 9″ cake

Ingredients

Cake

2 cups cake flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp

2 cups, light brown sugar (packed)

3 large eggs

1 /2 tsp vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

Ganache

8 oz milk chocolate, chopped

1 cup heavy cream

Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp butter, softened

2 tbsp strong coffee, cooled

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

1 tbsp instant coffee

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325ยฐF. Grease and flour two 9″ cake pans and set aside.
  2. Make your ganache first. Heat cream in a saucepan to a simmer. Pour over chocolate. Let stand for about 10 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let cool until spreadable, about 1 hour.
  3. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside
  4. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add vanilla. Combine with flour mixture and buttermilk in alternating additions. Three flour additions, two buttermilk; start and finish with flour.
  5. Divide batter between pans and smooth tops. Bake about 40 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Let cool in pans for about 15 minutes. Turn out of pans and let cool completely on write racks.
  6. While those are cooling, make your frosting. Cream together butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Don’t get too aggressive about it, though. Don’t want the frosting to break.
  7. Add coffee and vanilla and whip until smooth. Add powdered sugar a little at a time, beating until combined.
  8. Fold in instant coffee until distributed throughout.
  9. Assemble your cake! I put ganache between the layers and also on top of the cake (a little bit because my top layer collapsed in the middle. Which has never happened to me before. This summer, man…). Frost. I did a crumb layer with this frosting, but you might not if your cake isn’t a straight up mess like mine was. Top with instant coffee around the edge and sides.

Recipes adapted from Bon Appetit and Martha and Food.com.

Is it just me? Or is there something universally moving about watching the best of the best compete on a world stage?

Go USA! And bake with love!!

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