What does every one-year-old want at her party? A keg.
Haha, just kidding.
What do the parents of every one-year-old want at her party? A keg.
There are those Debbie Downers who go on and on about how first birthday parties are such a waste because the kids don’t remember them. Then there are the rest of us. The rest of us for whom, despite entering the world of parenthood, the fun gene has not been suppressed. Altered, yes, (staying up past midnight? Totally overrated…) but not suppressed. We are the people who throw adult-friendly kid birthday parties.
My Emma and her little buddy, Charlie, have birthdays two days apart, giving us the perfect excuse to have a joint first birthday party for them. The colors were red and aqua. The decor was all homemade and very Pinterest-worthy. The homemade food was a smash hit. There were adult beverages. It was so much fun!!
I know at some point down the road, my precious little one will want a tacky-licious themed birthday party, and I’m just praying I can persuade her to do a 90s Just Dance theme party instead, so Mommy can show off her perfectly choreographed N*Sync moves. But for now, she’s one. She gets the party Mommy wants to throw, and that party includes a keg, champagne punch, and Killer Chocolate Cake (the one on the left ).
I’ve never had another chocolate cake like this one, which is good because if there were more than one cake like this in existence, there would be some sort of massive implosion of the universe. It’s not quite a flourless cake, but it’s just as dense and rich. It’s kind of like a brownie, but a little more cake-like. There are chocolate chips to tip it over the edge. The outside of the cake may look a little dry, but once you slice into it you meet a luscious, fudgey interior that makes you wonder why you don’t make this cake every week for the rest of time. The original recipe from the Frog Commissary in Philadelphia calls for a mocha ganache/frosting, but I like to use a basic chocolate buttercream and LOTS OF IT. I think the sweet, whipped chocolate buttercream tempers the richness of the cake, which is saying quite a lot because I make a rich chocolate buttercream. Mmmmmmmm.
If you have something very, very special to celebrate, this cake is your cake. If you are trying to introduce your friends to the taste of chocolate nirvana, this cake is your cake. And if you stand with us, the cool parents, for whom a child’s birthday party is a great excuse to get together, eat amazing food, and pop a few corks in the process, then this cake is your cake! (said best with a Braveheart-esque accent and conviction)
And of course, happiest of birthdays to our sweet, sweet Emma. We love you more and more each day!! Everything about you is amazing, especially (but not limited to) your love of food and the fervor with which you eat it. Just don’t make us take you to Chuck E. Cheese….
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter
- 6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 6 eggs
- 3 c sugar
- ½ t salt
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 1½ c flour
- 1½ c semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter
- 1⅓ c GOOD quality cocoa
- 4½ c powdered sugar
- ½ c milk
- 1½ t vanilla extract
- To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. (do not skip that step!!)
- Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl over simmering water (water should not be touching bottom of bowl). Cool chocolate mixture to lukewarm.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Whisk in the chocolate mixture, then stir in the flour and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes. (Try not to overbake this cake, although it IS tough to tell when it is done because of all the melted chocolate chips). Cool on racks and remove from pans as soon as cooled. Wrap the layers if not using/frosting the same day.
- To make the frosting:
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add a small amount of additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.