Author: Luisa Perkins
•8:56 AM
Here's Daniel with his birthday loot. All three of his presents--giant stuffed sea turtle from us, play camera and drill from Ma & Pa--were huge hits. Before I tell you more, let me acknowledge that I am on (in) a Pop Song Blog Title roll (rut).

Big fun was had at Daniel's shin-dig last night. As promised, I'll recount the making of the Chocolate Lace Cake.

As I have mentioned before, I take as my primary source for cake recipes Rose Levy Beranbaum's peerless Cake Bible. I have no use for flimsy genoises which must needs be infused with syrups simple or otherwise. No. Give me instead either the Downy Yellow Butter Cake or the Chocolate Butter Cake: rich, moist, and yes: buttery. Then frost with Rose's Neo-Classic Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Ice the top with fluffy flourishes, but keep the sides smooth. This is your result:
Then sprinkle edible gold dust over the fresh frosting and blow gently to disperse the dust:

Melt a 3.5 oz. 70% cocoa chocolate bar; load the melted chocolate into a sandwich-size zipper lock bag and close. Cut the tiniest end off one of the bottom corners of the bag; drizzle the chocolate onto a prepared sheet of waxed paper. (Prepare the sheet by drawing a line equal to the circumference of the cake pan; a 9-inch cake pan's circumference is ~28.5 inches. Then draw a line 5 inches long perpendicular to each end of the long line. This is your guide.) Your drizzle should look something like this:
Now you must wait for the chocolate to harden; the time this takes depends on the temperature of your kitchen. You'll know it's ready when it loses its gloss. Don't wait too long; it needs to be able to hold its shape, but still be flexible enough to wrap around the cake. Once it's ready, fold the bottom edge of the waxed paper under so that the chocolate is right on the edge.

Banish all potentially distracting persons from the room. Carefully lift the paper up and set it on the cake plate right next to the cake. Press it very gently to the cake as you wrap it. Then, while reciting childhood prayers under your breath, peel the paper away from the chocolate, easing the chocolate towards its frosting home as you do so. You will then have this:
That photo is not blurry; it is your eyes, which have misted over with pride and wonder at your accomplishment. Put the cake in the fridge so that the chocolate and frosting can set. As little as a half hour later, serve the cake to a suitably impressed audience:

Other big news in celebrations:

1) This cool writer I know just won a medal--the Best in State Fiction Award! I'm so proud.

2) Four bloggers I (stalk) read daily have recently won The Rising Blogger's 'Post of the Day' awards; Judd clearly has excellent taste, as Radioactive Jam, Bub & Pie, Mental Tesserae, and a-muse-ing are among the best blogs I've found.
**UPDATED: Adriana at What I Made for Dinner is The Rising Blogger's winnner today! Congratulations! And good use of fiddlehead ferns! Yum...

3) Have I mentioned that #1 son Christian got the highest grade in the whole eighth grade on the NY State science test? Or is it just that I am tempted to brag about it every five seconds?

4) Last but most miraculously, I won the Haiku Contest! The competition was fierce, but friendly and hilarious. Here I am, waving to the adoring crowd before walking down the staircase to accept my award:

(Not really. That's me two years ago winning something else. The photo is here mainly to make the fabulous pezmama happy.)

I'll go celebrate all these victories by eating some leftover cake!

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On 22/5/07 , Jenna said...

You're funny! The cake is breathtaking, (so is your new sofa), and congrats to Annette Lyon and to Christian! Tell him to keep up the good work so he may be worthy of my fair daughter. Now to go read your award-winning Haiku. You're on a roll!

On 22/5/07 , PEZmama said...

Yo quiero chocolate cake.

Thanks for the pic. Was that at the finals of the NY State competition for Mrs. America?

I REALLY want chocolate cake.

On 22/5/07 , Luisa Perkins said...

Thanks, Jenna! I'll tell him.

Pez, me gusta chocolate cake tambien. And I plead the Fifth on your question.

On 22/5/07 , Annette Lyon said...

First of all--YUM!!!! You're one of the few people I know who actually know the ziplock chocolate drizzle trick. (We really were separated at birth. This is getting scarier all the time . . .)

Second, you can't show us that picture and get away with not telling us where it's from! (Congrats on the haiku win, by the way! Are you going to share it? I didn't find it on the link, just your name listed, but maybe I'm just blind.)

And thanks for mentioning my award!

(How's the book coming along?)

On 22/5/07 , Luisa Perkins said...

Okay, OKAY! I'll write the story of the photo out tomorrow.

My winning haiku is further down on post I linked today, or you can read all the entries at the original link from a couple of days ago.

The book is getting there. It would be getting there faster if I weren't making sunbonnets and shirtwaists right now....

On 23/5/07 , bubandpie said...

You and Beck slay me with your baking. I think, though, that it would be more fun for me to just imagine that I made that cake. There are few things that make me lose my temper so much as Melting Chocolate Gone Bad.

On 23/5/07 , adriana. said...

Wow, that cake is amazing -- stunning. Is it too late for me to make myself a birthday cake?

On 24/5/07 , Luisa Perkins said...

B&P: Chocolate...temper...good one!

AV: IMHO, it's NEVER too late to make a cake. Go for it.

On 25/5/07 , Terri B. said...

Lovely, lovely chocolate cake. Yum!

On 29/5/07 , rjlight said...

congrats on your Haiku award! I am so glad I can see your picture -- I need to run and get the magnifying glass...

that cake is beautiful! it should win you an award too!