January 30, 2007

I'd rather be reading Atlas Shrugged

That picture is me in five minutes. I just finished my first panic-inspired marathon homework session. I am having trouble getting into Back to School mode. Specifically, tonight it was hard for me to put all my energy into creating an index about peanuts. You people think that those indices at the ends of books just create themselves, don't you? Oh brother. I really don't know if I can make it through this semester. I'm already tired of school, and we just started. Shame! I need some perspective. Today I told Pauline (my good friend, co-worker, MBA student), "Well, really the semester will be over in three months." She said, "Yeah, but those three months could be absolute torture." I count on Pauline's daily doses of realism to keep me grounded.

Yesterday was the birthday of two of my favorite people, my grandmother and my cousin. I made a cake for my cousin. He requested chocolate. I found a recipe called "Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake." The cake was airy like a génoise, which is what it was supposed to be. I did an oops! on the frosting, though. The aim of the frosting recipe was to find a perfect balance between a rich ganache and a light, fluffy buttercream. I got halfway through the frosting recipe before I realized that I was supposed to put the mixer bowl in an ice bath to cool the melted chocolate and butter. Somehow sticking the mixer bowl inside a big bowl of tepid water and putting both bowls in the freezer for five minutes didn't have the same effect. My frosting was all ganache and no fluff. It was so thick. It looked pretty fluffy in the mixing bowl, but even as I was frosting the cake, it was seizing and falling. The cake tasted like a rich chocolate mousse cake to me. It was a lot of chocolate! Couldn't have been too bad. My cousins wanted to stick their fingers in it. All it needed was a John Deere tractor on top. Check. And candles. Check. Check.

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