Friday, January 20, 2012

30 Sucks

I don't think 30 sucks as much as people say, but I wouldn't know...I'm not the one who turned 30! Last weekend we celebrated Jesse's 30th with our family and it was a blast. There was a taco bar, chocolate amaretto cake and lots of smiles and laughter.

My favorite moment of the night when when my niece, Sophia, told my nephew, Channing, "Hold my hand!" Sophia is 2 and Jesse's sister's oldest and Channing is 3 and my sister's oldest. They had just met - it was priceless. She also made him slow dance. Too cute. 

Of course, kids move to fast for any of us to have picture of those moments, but here are a few pictures of the rest of the night.

The sparkly cake was SO delish! I thought I would share the recipe. It was pretty easy, too! After the last layer of frosting, I cut a "30" out of some card stock and lightly pressed it into the top of the cake to use as a stencil for the edible star-shaped sprinkles I bought. Who doesn't need sparkles on their 30th birthday cake?

Chocolate-Amaretto Layer Cake
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 18.25-ounce package devil's food cake mix
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 12 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (about 18 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Combine cake mix, 1 1/3 cups water, eggs, oil, 3 tablespoons amaretto, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in large bowl; whisk until well blended. Mix in 1 cup chocolate chips. Divide batter among prepared pans.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes. Run knife around pan sides. Turn cakes out onto racks; cool completely. Brush each cake layer with 2 tablespoons amaretto.
Combine butter and cream in medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until butter melts and mixture comes to simmer. Remove from heat. Add remaining 2 cups chocolate chips and whisk until melted. Mix in remaining 3 tablespoons amaretto. Cool until barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Whisk in sour cream and remaining 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, then powdered sugar. Refrigerate frosting just until thick enough to spread, whisking occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread 1/3 cup frosting over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 1/3 cup frosting over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Press nuts around bottom 2 inches of cake. Chill 2 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with cake dome; keep chilled.)


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